Tuesday, 19 September 2017 06:00

Call for Local Centre Music Examiners

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We're hiring!

The RIAM Local Centre Examination System requires Examiners for Music.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals interested in undertaking examining work nationwide. Teaching experience is essential.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 06:00

Exam grace period announced

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The RIAM Local Centre Senior Examiners are delighted to announce a grace period for all exams, effective from 2018.

The 4th Annual RIAM Teaching & Learning Network Conference took place in the Royal Irish Academy of Music on the 29th & 30th June, 2017. The theme of the conference was The 21st Century Teacher's Toolkit and we had a variety of speakers over the 2 days. Below you can find some useful links and resources from the talks which took place on Day 2 of the conference. 

The 4th Annual RIAM Teaching & Learning Network Conference took place in the Royal Irish Academy of Music on the 29th & 30th June, 2017. The theme of the conference was The 21st Century Teacher's Toolkit and we had a variety of speakers over the 2 days. Below you can find some useful links and resources from the talks which took place on Day 1 of the conference. 

A blog post by Ciarán McManus.

As a piano teacher and RIAM examiner, I am deeply immersed in the instrumental education world in Ireland, and I believe that attending conferences like the annual RIAM Teaching and Learning Network conference is vital to help you grow as a teacher, and in turn your students will become even better musicians.

Thinking Outside The Box: The 21st Century Music Teacher's Toolkit. 

It's June, so it's conference time again!

The 4th Annual RIAM Teaching Network Conference will take place on the 29 and 30 June 2017 in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. This year, the conference will focus on new approaches and resources available to teachers, and on the importance of working with the needs of each individual student. The closing address will be given, once again, by our Director, Deborah Kelleher, where she will reflect on the conference and the necessary skills of the 21st century music teacher.

Monday, 10 April 2017 09:05

The Network on YouTube

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The RIAM Teaching and Learning Network YouTube channel hit 100,000 views today! We are very excited, mainly because we have only been actively using the channel since our new website launched last June. Not bad for a mere nine months!

The RIAM Teaching and Learning Network YouTube channel supports our website and our social media channels, as a way of providing videos that we hope will make preparing for exams or learning a musical instrument just a little bit easier! We  are particularly delighted to have videos of all the 2017 piano pieces form Elementary to Grade V available on the channel. So if you have not already subscribed to the channel, don't forget to subscribe now, so you never miss a video!

Below is a selection of our favourite videos. Thank you for watching and we hope that you will continue to find the channel useful. And remember, if you have a suggestion for a video you would like to see, just let us know! 


Grade 1 Mock Exam with Lorna Horan
Ode to Joy for the Flute with William Dowdall
The 2017 Piano Albums Playlist
'Jesu, der du meine Seele' BWV 78 by J.S. Bach Playlist
'Caro Mio Ben' by Giordani, performed by Imelda Drumm



Friday, 03 February 2017 14:36

Coaching and Music Teaching

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In February 2017 Paul Roe will run a one-day workshop on Coaching in the RIAM. Last week The Department of Education launched a new initiative for coaching for school leaders. Paul will be coaching a range of school principals over the next couple of years for the Centre for School Leadership CSL [http://cslireland.ie/en/established-leaders-eng/coaching.html]. We are delighted to have Paul with us for a workshop on this area on the 26 February 2017.

For more information see: RIAM Tickets


How coaching can make your life more rewarding and fulfilling

For some years now I have been working as a professional coach, along with my teaching and performing career as a clarinettist. People often ask me ‘what is coaching,’ as it is such a ubiquitous term. Most of us have heard about sports coaching, chamber music coaching, and life coaching, to name but a few and yet we have very little idea of what it means to be coached or be a coach. Hopefully this short article may shed some light on this area.

The first thing to say is, there are as many different styles of coaching as there are styles and approaches to teaching or playing the piano. Indeed some forms of coaching that are practiced are quite contradictory. One form of coaching may be quite directive, whilst another will be completely facilitative. That said, there are some clear differences between what is generally understood as coaching and other forms of human interaction. I have various definitions I use in relation to coaching depending on the context. For now I will offer this phrase on the role of a coach…a coach serves the learning, growth and change of another-this requires mindfulness on the part of the coach. Coaching fundamentally is about change. As human beings we are hard-wired for growth and change throughout our lives.

Often people involved in coaching refer to setting and achieving goals and whilst this can be a part of coaching it is by no means the whole story. Coaching is a developmental process where we gain, amongst other things, understanding through improving our self-awareness. Awareness precedes clarity and clarity precedes change and choice. Ultimately we learn to be self-generative, make better choices and are more successful.  In fact when I work with clients, goals evolve and emerge out of the work we do together, it is an organic process. Here is a very short list of fundamental approaches one finds in coaching:

  • Holding conversations
  • Eliciting discussion
  • Providing feedback
  • Asking for options
  • Asking questions
  • Working with
  • Making suggestions
  • Exploring together
  • Being curious together

Contrast this with the following (again brief list), which would not be considered coaching:

  • Invoking authority
  • Assessing
  • Outlining a strategy to follow
  • Grading a test
  • Lecturing
  • Disciplining
  • Telling
  • Prescribing
  • Making expert diagnosis

Perhaps having read these lists you may find that you as a teacher favour a coaching or non-coaching approach. That is not to say, one is better than the other-it is simply to make some clear distinctions. There are many teachers who use the best of coaching methodology in their teaching and many coaches who also have significant pedagogical competencies. Coaching is a highly skilled and nuanced capacity that can take many years to refine, if one wants to work as a professional coach. That said, one could introduce more of a coaching approach to the various relationships we have, both professional and personal and in doing so find our interactions are more rewarding in a variety of ways. When we let go of our expert mode and relate more fundamentally to people many of the communication difficulties that stifle creativity and growth disappear. There is no better way to improve what it is we do by working with an empathic and insightful coach. We get to see ourselves in a whole new light, in an environment that is nourishing, supportive and transformative. It is worth bearing in mind, any personal growth we gain will in turn assist those we work with and represents a positive model of life long learning. Shunryu Suzuki encourages us to cultivate a beginner’s mind from which point we can seek to learn something new. This is the antithesis of the expert mind where we can hypnotise ourselves into believing we have all the answers. 

Coaching is a role fundamentally dedicated to the service of others and in order to earn the right to coach, one needs to engage in a very meaningful way with ones own growth, learning and change. It is a very fulfilling and personally enlightening journey. I welcome any queries and thoughts. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if I can should you wish to find out more.

 -Paul Roe



Thursday, 12 January 2017 10:26

Appreciating Music RIAM style

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Appreciating Music RIAM style
I gave my first music appreciation classes 15 years ago, in 2002. The series was called ‘Bravo: An appreciation of music through the ages’. I was in the RIAM only a year or two and was the principal music history teacher, so was the obvious choice. Ambitiously, I decided to tell the entire history of music from 400 BC to 2002 in 10 weeks, (though I must admit the first week covered about 2,000 years in one go!)
I prepared assiduously, fretted over keeping to time, accosted students in the corridors to give live performances (a must for us) and generally wound myself up nicely.
I remember the nerves fled in the face of the nicest group of appreciators I could possibly have found. My fellow journey-men and women were all music lovers. They were rooting for me and the young performers and we had a BALL! My highlight of those first talks must be Tara Erraught (then an Access student) singing an Irish traditional song. I remember when she finished singing and left to go to class we just knew as a group that she would make it.
15 years on and I am reprising ‘Bravo: an appreciation of music through the ages’ but with some notable changes. This time I will tackle the history of music from 400BC to 2017 in 8 weeks (yes!). We will follow the 10am talk with a tea and coffee break, and then on to a full student/staff concert at 11am. Tara was (and is) a wonder, but we have more young Tara’s to celebrate. That is music education for you.
Adding to the excitement, we will do our first ever Facebook livestream, using the lectures as a trial. We hope that over time, the RIAM can use technology to reach further and further outside our doors and offer musicians and lovers of music an insight into what makes us tick in the lovely world of music. Some of the stalwarts who were with me in 2002 have been in touch and now have reduced mobility, so I hope they might access the talks in this new way.
The Bravo Lectures are available on Facebook livestream from 10am to 10.50am event Friday from 13th January for 8 weeks.
Coffee concerts at 11am are available live only at www.riam.ie
To join us in Westland Row at the talks and concerts for the course, please sign up here: https://riam.ticketsolve.com/#/shows/873568245
Friday, 02 December 2016 10:52

The View from the Director's Office #5

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Our High Achievers

This year we are delighted to have Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys as guest of honour at the RIAM High Achievers Gala concert in December.  The journey from the examination room to our Gala event is a long one, and it represents real achievement every step of the way.

Royal Irish Academy of Music, 36-38 Westland Row, Dublin 2, 016325300

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