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Theory • Musicianship
Songwriting Tuition

at Waltons New School of Music

‘Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.’
– Plato

Tuition Offered

Subjects Taught

The development of a complete musician requires far more than simply learning to play an instrument or sing. Tuition in musicianship and theory is recommended for students of all ages, whether they are studying classical, traditional, jazz, popular or world music instruments, and essential for anyone planning to take grade examinations past intermediate level.

The New School offers tuition for students at all levels in:

  • Music Theory (all grades, to diploma level)
  • Musicianship
  • Sight Singing
  • Songwriting
  • Jazz Theory & Improvisation
  • Junior Certificate Music
  • Leaving Certificate Music

At higher levels, the following subjects are available:

  • Harmony
  • Counterpoint
  • Composition
  • Conducting

Tuition Options

Our options for theory, musicianship and songwriting tuition include:

  • Weekly private (one-to-one) lessons, 30, 45 or 60 minutes in length.
  • Group lessons, designed for students at the same level of proficiency who enrol together, and available as 30- 45- or 60-minute ‘partner’ lessons, as well as 60-minute lessons for 3 or 4 students.
  • Single 1- or 2-hour Intensive Lessons for both individuals and small groups.
  • Four group courses: Music Fundamentals, Sight Singing Made Easy, Songwriting Workshop and The Art & Craft of Songwriting (see following tab).

See Tuition Options for more information on private, partner and small group lessons, and Enrolment • Fees for tuition fees and enrolment forms.

Group Courses

Music FundamentalsMusic Fundamentals I & II introduce students to the fundamentals of reading and writing music, as well as to elementary musical grammar, and are recommended for anyone beginning instrumental tuition at the New School.

Designed especially for voice/singing students and choristers, Sight Singing Made Easy allows students to develop simultaneously their music reading skills and practical sight singing.

We offer a Songwriting Workshop during the school year and both a summer version and a term version of The Art & Craft of Songwriting workshop. The workshops are designed to guide students through the entire songwriting process, integrating the craft’s many skills into a seamless artistic whole.

‘This course is perfect for anyone with an interest in music. It starts with the very basics of theory and the information is made easy to understand. There is a good atmosphere in the class, being with people who share your passion for music.’ [Music Fundamentals]
– I. Colgan

‘Sight singing is a skill that I thought was beyond me, but when it was broken down and explained well by an excellent teacher, and then practiced of course, it’s amazing how quickly it became second nature!’ [Sight Singing Made Easy]
– R. Fitzpatrick

‘This course gave me great confidence in songwriting, and to have the guidance of a professional songwriter was so helpful. The course helped me both lyrically and musically to realise my songwriting potential, and I am now constantly writing new material.’ [Songwriting Workshop]
– A. Bradley

‘Melanie O’Reilly is a very experienced teacher and had great suggestions for improving my songwriting. I love her energy, enthusiasm and kind nature. She went above and beyond to assist the whole class to improve their work. I really enjoyed and benefited a lot from this class.’ [The Art & Craft of Songwriting]
– D. Connolly

Leaving Certificate Music

The New School’s courses and workshops together make up one of the most comprehensive Leaving Cert. Music programmes of any music school in the country:

    Leaving Cert. Music

  • The Preliminary Course covers the fundamentals of music theory up to Junior Cert. standard as a preparation for Leaving Cert. Music.
  • The Two-Year Course is designed to prepare students for all aspects of the Essential Listening and Composing Activities at Higher level.
  • The Easter Revision Course provides extra preparation to students studying for the exam, either on their own or at school.
  • And the Pre-Exam Revision Workshop offers intensive final preparation, on the Saturday before the exam itself, for both New School and external students preparing for this year’s exam.

See the Leaving Certificate Music section of our website for general information.

Theory • Musicianship • Songwriting Faculty

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for private, partner and small group lessons are listed in the Enrolment • Fees section of our website and depend on the length of lessons as well as the duration (number of terms) of enrolment:

Group course fees are listed on individual group course pages.

Enrolment • Booking

Enrolment for theory, musicianship and songwriting tuition at Waltons New School of Music requires a completed enrolment form and, except for those students using payment plans, full payment of tuition fees.

Intensive Lesson booking requires a completed booking form and deposit.

Private, Partner and Small Group Lessons


Group Courses


Intensive Lessons


Gift Certificates


Your Feedback

Have you studied – or are you studying – theory, musicianship or songwriting at the New School? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire about your experience here.


Other Information

Songwriting • Composition Prize

Scholarship CompetitionThis prize is awarded for the most creative original composition or song for solo instrument, voice or ensemble, performed by the composer or songwriter alone or with ensemble for our annual Scholarship Competition in late May / early June.

See Scholarships • Prizes for more information.

Grade Exam Syllabi

Links to downloadable music theory syllabi (pdf format) with different exam boards:

Student Benefits

Currently-enrolled students (and parents of students) are entitled to several useful benefits, including:

  • Discounts on Waltons World Masters Series Events
  • Discounts from Waltons Music
  • Discounts on Ensembles, Sessions and Music Theory Courses
  • Discounts on Practice Facilities
  • Discounts on City-Centre Parking

See Student Benefits for more information.

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