RIAM Adult Division -violinists six-year-old Maebh Breslin from Tallagh with her grandad, James Cramer

Launch of RIAM Adult Division

Published: 27th Jun, 2022

Today, the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) launches its new Adult Division offering instrumental and singing lessons, performance opportunities, music appreciation, and professional development for adult musicians at all levels, from beginner and improver to seasoned professionals.

Since 1848, the RIAM has taught or assessed over one million young musicians in Ireland through its Third-Level, Junior, and Exam divisions. For the first time in its 175-year history, adult musicians and appreciators will have full-access to the Academy's talented Faculty of professional musicians, teachers, and doctoral students, many of whom perform in Ireland's National Orchestras. It launches at a time of exciting transformation at the RIAM as a brand new campus development on Westland Row is due to open in September 2022, and a 175th-anniversary programme of special concerts and events will run throughout 2023. 

Adult learners can share their love of music with like-minded musicians at instrumental and vocal classes in small group settings. Classes from eight to 12-week durations will run twice per year, culminating in a celebratory concert each term. Lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners will be available in various disciplines, including clarinet, classical piano, flute, french horn, guitar, jazz piano, low brass, musical theatre singing, opera singing, percussion, saxophone, trumpet and violin.

Professional musicians and teachers can sign up for a range of short Continuing Professional Development courses designed to upskill performance and teaching, including RIAM Key Skills for piano teachers, Kodaly Method and conducting for choral practitioners, and historical performance for professional string players.

Each term of the RIAM Adult Division will feature a new music appreciation series on Friday mornings. Eminent RIAM piano Professor Anthony Byrne leads the way with an introduction to the great piano repertoire and pianists of the 20th and 21st century, with guest performances from the Academy's most promising third-level pianists. Future talks will see the return of RIAM Director Deborah Kelleher's famous and fast-paced 'History of' series and Discovering Opera with Head of Vocal Studies Kathleen Tynan.

Speaking about the launch, RIAM Director Deborah Kelleher said, "This is a truly exciting development for the RIAM that opens our doors to the only age group left for us to teach! The new Adult Division aligns perfectly with our core value of inclusion, of delivering a broad range of professional, non-professional, and access programmes in the belief that music benefits all, and making the RIAM accessible to anyone who loves music. For the first time in RIAM's long history, an adult interested in learning cello or jazz piano can do so with some of Ireland's most experienced teachers. Those who spent their youthful years learning music, but left their instrument aside as life took over, can pick it back up and build upon those foundations with a group of like-minded learners. The network of incredible private and school-based music teachers around Ireland can engage in important Continuous Professional Development. Those with a deep passion and appreciation for music, who never saw themselves as a performer, can attend thoughtful and insightful music appreciation lectures with live performances. The RIAM Adult Division is open to all, and we look forward to welcoming our first corps of adult learners in September 2022".

To view the full catalogue of courses available visit www.riam.ie/adultdivision


RIAM Adult Division - violinists six-year-old Maebh Breslin from Tallagh with her grandad, James Cramer

We asked some of our current Junior RIAM students to help us find our first batch of adult learners - thank you to six-year-old violinist Maebh Breslin from Tallagh with her Grandad, James Cramer, 10-year-old percussionist Conor Sheahan from Kilmacud and his Mam Muireann Sheehan, and 17-year-old horn players Sean Noonan from Saggart and his Mam Dara Pender!

RIAM Adult Division - percussionists, 10-year-old Conor Sheahan from Kilmacud and mom Muireann Sheehan
RIAM Adult Division - horn players, 17-year-old Sean Noonan from Saggart, Dublin and mom Dara Pender