FAQs

If I want to go to the RIAM for lessons, how do I apply?
Applicants should apply online by December 1st each year and pay the appropriate application fee.  It should be noted that the number of applicants who successfully complete the audition procedure might exceed the number of vacancies available.

Are there any Entrance Scholarship on offer?
A number of entrance scholarships are offered in Keyboard, Strings, Wind/Brass/Percussion and Vocal  to candidates on a competitive basis through the audition process. These entitle the successful recipients to 50% discount for one academic year in both Practical and Musicianship classes.

When are auditions held?
Auditions are normally held during February.  Days and times are decided by the auditioning panels and once assigned cannot be changed.

If I am called for an audition, what am I expected to perform?
Students who are called for audition are notified by letter of their audition day and time. The audition panel will ask a complete beginner to undertake some simple tests to ascertain their musical initiative, awareness and capability.  Non-beginners are asked to undertake some similar tests and also to perform own-choice piece[s] depending on their level.

What happens after the audition?
The panel produce a list of applicants in order of merit and each applicant will receive correspondence informing them whether they are being offered a place or on a waiting list. Heads of Faculty will take cognisance of successful applicants who wish to be taught by a particular teacher or, for instance, a male or female teacher although there are no guarantees that requests can be accommodated.

Successful candidates, offered and accepting a place are allocated a teacher who takes personal responsibility for the student’s tuition and development, provides expert guidance in helping the student to select courses and activities, and advises on their suitability to the individual’s musical capacity and temperament. This includes participation in group activities, exams and competitions. Please note administrative staff have no involvement in scheduling tuition, days and times of lessons/classes are decided by each teacher. Applicants offered a place in the Academy must adhere to the deadlines stated in the letter of offer or the offer will lapse and the place will be re-assigned.

What happens if I do not pass the audition or am on a waiting?
If one is unsuccessful at the audition, or there are insufficient places to offer all successfully applicants,  they can if they wish re-apply for the next Academic year and go through the process again.

What does it cost?
Tuition fees at the Academy are kept to a minimum due to the grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science.  In return, students receive a weekly lesson of between forty minutes and two hours, in addition to constant advice, support and concern from the Teaching and Administrative staff alike.  There is no fee for past or current students to participate in orchestra/ensembles or chorale, but a small charge is made for participation in chamber music groups.  Tuition fees must be paid in full before the commencement of each Academic year.

Are lessons individual or group classes?
Most lessons are individual; however, Recorder is usually class.  The following are also group classes: – Pre-Instrumental, Musicianship,  Junior Choirs, Opera, Oratorio, Lieder, Song Class, Chorale and Chamber Music.  Some students at the discretion of the Heads of Faculties can be offered places on a three programme [depending on age] for Piano and Violin.  We hope to expend these classes for future academic years.

Is there anything else that I should know?
All new students are accepted on a one year probationary period and must pass an End-of-year evaluation in order to retain their place at the Academy.  This evaluation will be based on:-Attendance/punctuality, level of practice and preparation, progress, musical development, response to teacher’s guidance.

All part-time students graded within the assessment structure must sit an End-of-year exam in both practical and musicianship.  This is optional (at the discretion of your teacher) in the first year of study but compulsory thereafter (exceptions are made for Leaving Certificate and Final year Degree students in the year they are sitting their exams).   There are a certain number of scholarships awarded from the Assessment examinations (50% reduction in fees for the relevant subject for one year).

Attendance at musicianship classes is compulsory for all students from the year in which they reach their 8th birthday.  However, exemption may be granted to some students who have passed internal Level 7, ABRSM Grade 6 Theory, RIAM Local Centre Grade 7 Theory, Honours Leaving Certificate or is a registered full-time Degree, Diploma or Access student (in the relevant discipline). Such requests must be submitted in writing with evidential proof to the General Office.

Performance Ensembles
All students of orchestral instruments are required to attend Orchestra/ensemble as assigned by the relevant panels.

New students will be assigned by the Head of Performing Groups each Academic Year and will be notified accordingly