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St Andrew's College Dublin St Andrew's College Dublin

Start of 2019/2020 Music Information


Please find below information for the new 2019/2020 school year regarding our music programme.

We are very excited with our choice of musical for P6 this year. This show will be hard work and not one we have done before however we know our P6 students will rise to the challenge. As our show will take place a few weeks earlier than usual we will be announcing the show on the first day of term and teaching the audition song and dance. We will also explain parts and hand out scripts. Auditions will take place on Monday 2nd and Wednesday 4th September and script rehearsals will take place for principals during lunchtime the following week. The date of the show will be Friday 13 March 2019. Please note this is St. Patrick’s weekend so please make sure you do not plan to be away!!   More details to follow very soon!

We had a wonderful concert earlier this year when all our singing students took part in an informal recital in the Junior Hall in early March. The confidence gained through performance is huge, and the discipline of memorising a song and learning how to ‘entertain’ an audience through a performance is also very important. This will go ahead next year again giving any students who are taking singing lessons with either Ms. Dempsey or Ms. Scullion, an opportunity to take part in this relaxed evening, either individually or in a group.

Last year we introduced Bodhran lessons as part of our instrument programme and launched with a group of boys from P4-P6 learning every week with our hugely talented teacher Mr. Robbie Walsh. The Bodhran can be learned either individually or in a group and during the year our students learned to play along with a wide variety of types and styles of music. There have been large bodies of study which demonstrate that children who undergo musical training have better verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability and executive functions and more recently learning rhythm has been particularly identified as being of benefit. The Bodhran is an ideal instrument for this!

CHOIRS… changes!
Our Wednesday choir is for students from P3-P6 and will be changing this year. This will no longer be led by Ms Armitage but will have a new Director, a new time and a new day! Anyone from these classes is welcome to join this choir. More information will follow.
Thursday morning choir will change to Tuesday mornings to facilitate timetabling, running from 8.00a.m. – 8.40a.m. as normal and led by Ms. Armitage. This choir is for student from P4-P6 and entry is by audition for new members.
Please note if a student attends choir it is considered that a commitment has been made to that choir and a student should attend every week unless an email is sent to Ms. Armitage.

There is considerable demand for places on our Instrument Programme, therefore please complete and return an application form (see below) to Ms. Armitage by 12.30p.m. on Thursday 29 August to be timetabled the following week. As some instruments are extremely popular places may be full before 29 August, or a particular teacher’s slots may be filled, therefore please return your form as soon as possible. PLACES ARE FILLED ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS.

Enrolment for Current Music Students

On Tuesday 27 August from 8.00a.m. parents who currently have a child learning any instrument on an individual basis, can queue in the Junior Hall to book and pay for places. All music teachers will be present and parents can queue and book directly with each teacher for the lessons required. Forms and payment for rotating lessons will be taken separately to avoid unnecessary queueing. Payment must be received by 3.00p.m. on Tuesday at the latest to secure a place and time.

Enrolment for New Families and Students Who Wish To Start Lessons

On Wednesday 28 August from 8.30a.m. new parents, or parents of children who have not learned an instrument with us before, can queue to book and pay for lessons in the remaining slots. Forms and payment for rotating lessons will be taken separately to avoid unnecessary queueing. Payment must be received by 1.00p.m. on Wednesday at the latest to secure a time.

NO forms will be accepted before this and must be given only to Ms. Armitage in person, unless an alternative arrangement has been made. Ms. Armitage will be available on the first day of term at 8.30a.m in Junior reception to answer any questions.

Our new instrument term begins on Monday 2 September. Payment for lessons MUST be received before that date.  Payment can be made by cheque (payable to St Andrew's College), by credit card or bank transfer only. If payment is not received by Friday 30 August 2019 unfortunately your child will not be timetabled for lessons until payment is received.

Please note, a student is only permitted to learn one instrument during class time. If they would like to learn a second instrument this lesson must be taken either before or after school or during lunchtime.

Ms. Linsey Dempsey, Ms. Catriona Scullion, Mr. Gordon Douglas, Ms. Megan Sherwood, Mr. Kevin Walsh, Ms. Rachel Du, Ms. Maja Brooks, Mr. Sam Russell, Mr. Robbie Walsh and Mr. Darren Bell.


Instrument Class Individual Group
Singing P1 - P6 Yes Yes
Wunderkeys K1 Yes Yes
Piano K2 - P6 Yes K2 only*
Bodhran P2 - P6 Yes Yes
Ukelele K2 - P6 Yes Yes*
Guitar P1 - P6 Yes Yes*
Bass Guitar P3 - P6 Yes Yes*
Cello P3 - P6 Yes n/a
Violio K2 - P6 Yes n/a
Double Bass P3 - P6 Yes Yes
Drums P1 - P6 Yes n/a

* Subject to students being of a similar standard.

We were very sad to say goodbye to our guitar teacher Mr. Gary Burke at the end of last term. Our new guitar teacher is the fantastic Mr. Darren Bell who comes with a wealth of experience and holds a BMus Degree from Maynooth University and a diploma in Jazz Performance from Newpark Music Centre. Darren is currently working as a full-time freelance guitarist, based in Dublin and he also works as a guitar and theory lecturer in BIMM. He has over 15 years of gigging, teaching and studio experience specialising in Jazz, Classical, Rock and Funk. He has gained vast experience in the musical theatre and orchestra scene and has performed with the RTÉ house band and RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Mr. Joe Csibi has taken a career break and sadly will not be teaching with us for the next few years. He has taken up the exciting position of General Manager of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra where they will greatly benefit from his huge experience and talent. Our new double bass teacher is Ms. Maja Brooks who is a double bass and piano player, with a Master’s Degree in Music and a Teaching Diploma. She graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland and has years of stage and teaching experience in her native country and in Ireland. As a double bass player Maja has performed with many different orchestras around Europe and worked with the best conductors and soloists. We are delighted to have her working with us. We welcome back Ms. Megan Sherwood after her maternity leave and say goodbye to Ms. Jenny Dowdall who was covering for Ms. Sherwood.

Our string programme includes violin, cello and double bass group and individual lessons. Children from K2-P2 study violin and in P3 they are offered the cello or double bass as their instrument instead of the violin. There groups will be limited to small number and places will be allocated by the instrument teacher following an assessment and in consultation with Ms. Armitage. We would encourage students to take a cello or double bass home to practice if at all possible. If a child loses their instrument it must be replaced by their parent. Children from P2-P6 are asked to PLEASE ensure they bring their violin AND music folder to school on the day they have their string classes. Please find below the day your child will have their violin/cello/double bass group classes

P1 & P2 - Mondays

P3 & P4 - Tuesdays

P5 & P6 - Wednesdays

Our Performing Arts Festival is a hugely popular event in the Junior School Calendar. It will be held in the Junior Hall on Monday 27 January to Friday 31 January with the Prizewinners’ Concert on Friday 31 January 2020 at 7.00p.m.   Children from P2-P6 are invited to compete in our singing, dance, drama and instrumental competitions in a relaxed, friendly, fun and positive atmosphere and will receive encouraging feedback from our professional adjudicators. Children from K1-P1 are invited to perform either in a group or individually to either sing, dance, say a poem etc. in a non-competitive, encouraging and positive atmosphere.

Please note all children from P2-P6 are required to have an A4 display book with plastic pockets to hold sheet music. This ensures the music does not get damaged and sits safely on the music stand in school and at home. This folder is to be brought to every music class. The same folder can be used for choir and orchestra members and for any musical event.

Orchestra is held before school on a Wednesday from 8.15a.m. – 8.50a.m. in the Junior Hall. All children from P3 to P6 are welcome to join (or younger by arrangement). We recommend a student has been learning a stringed instrument for a year before they join the orchestra.

Children have the opportunity to sit the Royal Irish Academy of Music, the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or Rock School for guitar. If a child commits to undertake an examination they are required to undertake regular practice at home. It is not a requirement of the Junior School music programme that children sit a music examination, children are very welcome to learn an instrument for pleasure if they would prefer. Parents will be required to enter their own child for an examination in consultation with their music teacher.