BMus (Keyboard)

  • Application deadline
    24 March 2023
  • Course duration
    4 years
  • Course accreditation
    Trinity Accredited Course
  • Course fee
    €3,000 per annum
  • Course fee (non-EU/EEA)
    €21,000 per annum

Course Introduction

An Introduction from Head of Keyboard, Colma Brioscú

At the RIAM Keyboard Faculty we will help you develop the skills, creativity and talent for the demands of a performance career. We can offer a supportive, innovative and stimulating environment. 

The keyboard faculty has a rich tradition of success amongst our graduates, who perform in concert halls around the world. Our committed teaching staff have a wealth of experience both as performers and teachers staff and includes distinguished soloists and chamber musicians, and renowned pedagogues. 

We also offer a range of internal competitions open to BMus keyboard students, including the prestigious Maura Teissier Bursary of €10,000.  

The 4-year Bachelor in Music programme is accredited by Trinity College, the University of Dublin. Each academic year has 30 weeks in total from September to June - 24 academic teaching weeks and six performance spotlight weeks. There are no academic classes during the performance spotlight weeks, but your practical lessons continue across all weeks. 

The performance spotlight weeks provide you with the time and space to focus solely on keyboard solo or ensemble projects with international and national tutors and conductors. 

The BMus degree at the RIAM takes in small numbers of keyboard students each year. As a result, we will give you a lot of contact time with expert tutors. This includes: 

  • Two hours each week in your one-to-one lesson 

  • Weekly chamber music coaching 

  • Access to a range of solo performance and concerto opportunities 

  • Frequent masterclasses 

  • Small academic classes to help you excel in supporting studies 

I am very happy to take queries from you. You can contact me on  


Photo: Colm Hogan

Course Outline

The course consists of five pillars of study: 

  • Principal Study 

  • Chamber Music 

  • Large Ensemble Performance 

  • Supporting Academic Studies 

  • RIAM Holistic – the working musician 


Principal Study 

At the heart of the BMus keyboard programme are core lessons with your principal study teacher. You will have two hours of one-to-one lessons per week. In addition, weekly performance classes and frequent masterclasses with international artists ensure that keyboard players are able to grow technically and musically over the four years of the programme. 

Years 1 and 2 support you in underpinning and maximizing your technique.  Mid-year technical exams focus on mastery of the required studies and ability to sight-read and learn quickly.  The end-of-year exams require performances of suitable repertoire to highlight your developing skills. 

Years 3 and 4 focus on helping you develop to a professional standard.  The mid-year exam in year 3 is one movement of a concerto and year 4 is a full Concerto performance.  The end of year exams require you to perform standard recital repertoire and encourage performances of contemporary works. 

Chamber Music 

In all four years students are coached in chamber music by expert tutors. Keyboard players are encouraged to work in duos, trios and quartets. In later years, students tackle the larger chamber repertoire involving keyboard such as works by Schoenberg and Brahms. 

Pianists are encouraged to perform on RIAM’s collection of early pianos, undertaking collaborative projects such as the study of Schubert Lieder on early 18th century instruments with RIAM’s singing students.  

Our chamber ensembles frequently perform in national and international venues such as the National Gallery of Ireland, American Irish Historical Society (New York) and the Centre Culturel Irlandais (Paris). 

Large Ensemble Performance 

Throughout the 4 years you will take part in RIAM Chorale as a singer or rehearsal pianist, giving you the opportunity to perform in a concerted, large scale work. Keyboard students with a proven standard in orchestral instruments are welcome to audition to join our orchestras or wind ensembles. 

Supporting Academic Studies 

The academic component of the degree adds an intellectual foundation to your practical keyboard studies, making you a more thoughtful and interesting musician. Rephrase? 

In years one to three, you will study a number of core modules: Harmony and Counterpoint, Aural training, Analysis and History. There are also shorter modules in Music Technology, Instrumental Pedagogy, and Free Composition.  

In Year four you have the opportunity to explore a specialist elective of your own choice: Dissertation, Composition, Music technology, Analysis or Conducting. 

RIAM Holistic- the working musician 

The fifth pillar of study is designed to make you a flexible and adaptable artist, ready in mind and body for the demands of a portfolio career in music. Students study: 

  • Career Strategy 

  • Entrepreneurship 

  • The principles of pedagogy 

  • Music in the community 

  • Contemporary music collaborations 

  • Yoga 

  • Performance psychology 

 For a more detailed description of the course requirements, please refer to our course handbook 

Performing Opportunities

Keyboard students are provided with the following performance opportunities during their BMusPerf studies: 

  • Concerto with orchestra 

  • Public solo recitals 

  • Chamber music performances 

  • Internal piano competitions 

  • Masterclasses 

  • Continuo in operas and vocal works 

  • Solo and duo projects on early pianos 

Career Destinations

The following graduates represent a selection of career destinations of RIAM alumni: 

Finghin Collins, concert pianist 

Lance Coburn, concert pianist, lecturer in the RIAM 

Dimitri Papadimitriu, Artist Lecturer in Chamber Music, Carnegie Mellon University, School of Music 

Fiachra Garvey, Artistic Director, North Wicklow Chamber Music Festival 

Why Choose Us

RIAM keyboard graduates have enjoyed considerable success in international competitions and include: 

  • Lance Coburn (First prize, Cologne International Piano Competition) 
  • Finghin Collins (First Prize, Clara Haskil International Piano Competition) 
  • Soo Jung Ann (First Prize, Maria Canals and Beethoven International Piano Competitions) 
  • Alexander Bernstein (Third Prize, Dublin International Piano Competition) 

We take in small numbers each year, so you will get lots of attention, many performance opportunities and lots of support. 

Keyboard students receive two hours of practical lessons and one hour of accompaniment each week, which means you will make progress very quickly. 

Our keyboard professors are noted pedagogues, performing artists and chamber musicians. This means that they know the standard needed to reach the profession and have the practical experience to guide you there. 

RIAM students have access to some of the world’s leading performers and teachers through the RIAM Masterclass and International Visiting Artists Programmes. Recent visitors include John O’Conor, Vanessa Latarche, Joanna McGregor, Pascal Rogé and Grzygorz Kurzyński. 

We believe that collaborative chamber music projects are very important to keyboard players’ development, so we will give you many opportunities to study with expert coaches and perform this amazing repertoire in public.  

Through our Historical Performance Department, we will give you access to projects involving early pianos, opening up your imagination in interpreting pieces from the 18th and early 19th centuries. 

Dublin is a bustling and vibrant capital city of Ireland, now the only English-speaking country in the EU. 

As an associate college of Trinity College, the University of Dublin, RIAM students graduate with a degree from one of the top universities in the world. RIAM students have access to Trinity’s gym, sports clubs, and societies. You can have the university experience, but with classes in the intimate setting of a conservatoire. 

Entry Requirements

The closing date for applications is 21 December 2022. 

Auditions are held in January. 

You will be asked to perform two contrasting pieces after which there will be a short interview.

You will also take a written theory test and an aural test. You don’t need to have studied grades to apply, but we do recommend Grade 6 RIAM Local Centre/ABRSM theory level as a minimum standard.

Normally applicants receive their result within one month of the audition/interview.

Full details about entry requirements can be found at the following link: Undergraduate Entry Requirements 

Course handbook