Jenny O'Connor-Madsen

Jenny O'Connor-Madsen

Dr Jenny O'Connor-Madsen is a previous senior examiner with RIAM. She completed her degree, masters and PhD in music at NUIMaynooth. She has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally and has published several articles on her research on Women and Music in Ireland.

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So Long, Farewell .....

 

I have a little news from the Teaching and Learning Network - this Friday will be my last day working in the Royal Irish Academy of Music. I have loved my time working to build and develop the RIAM Teaching and Learning Network and as a senior examiner, but now it’s time for a new adventure. I am sad to leave the RIAM - I have had so many great times here - but excited about what the future holds and the new role that beckons.

I want to thank you, the teachers, who have always been so enthusiastic and supportive of the Network, the workshops, the conferences and all that we have achieved together. I have thoroughly enjoyed working and collaborating with you and I hope our paths will cross again in the future.

Finally, I would like to thank all the wonderful staff in the RIAM who have helped in so many ways, big and small, since I began with the Network in 2013 - you are all amazing and I will miss you! A special thanks to Lorna Horan and Majella Boland, my comrades in the senior examiner office - thank you both for everything!  (This photo sums up the fun we have had!)

Thank you all, 

Jenny O'Connor-Madsen
Senior Examiner and Project Manager, RIAM Teaching and Learning Network
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The Network on YouTube

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!

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High Achievers Recipients- 2016

2016 High Achievers - Dublin
  Student Subject Level Applicant Area
  A - D        
  Barron, Darragh  Speech & Drama 8 Bernie Delaney Dublin 9
  Bisset, Daniel Violin 3 James O'Connor Dublin 3
  Boc, Kevin  Clarinet 1 Terence Clancy Dublin 24
  Brychta, Alexnader  Cello Senior Certificate Marianna  Alaberdova Naas
  Canny, Lauryn  Speech & Drama 8 Kerrie O'Reilly Palmerstown
  Carroll Breen, Isabelle Piano 2 Therese Fahy RIAM
  Chen, Sheba Hisa  Piano 2 Rhona Gouldson Terenure
  Chen, Solomon Clive  Piano 3 Rhona Gouldson Terenure
  Ciuta, Theodora  Speech & Drama 7 Ailbhe Murphy RIAM
  Claffey, John  Double Bass 4 Ciara Harrington Dublin 16
  Coady, Daniel Trumpet 2 Alan Coady Malahide
  Colbert, Caitlin M Theatre 3 Judith Lambert Blackrock
  Collazo, Nicholas  Cello 7 Lilia Nicolaeva Dublin 15
  Corcoran, Ishbel Flute 7 Ishbel Corcoran wicklow
  Cosgrave, Nicole Violin 7 Siobhan Murphy Cosgrave Donabate
  Croke, Charlotte  Piano Junior Recital Colma Brioscu RIAM
  Crowley, Laura Piano 8 Rhona Gouldson Terenure
  Dalton, Cara  Flute 4 Susan Doyle RIAM
  Deepu, Nivediza Speech & Drama 2 Ann Kavanagh Rathfarnham
  Dillon, Sean  Speech & Drama 6 Brigid Moloney Dublin 15
  Doody, Caoimhe Cello 7 Chris Marwood RIAM
  Dooley, Sarah  M Theatre 8 Victoria Massey Dun Laoghaire
  Dunne, Fodhla  Violin 7 Maeve Broderick RIAM
  Fennessy, Caoimhe  Speech & Drama 8 Rita Barror Rathfarnham
  Ferguson, Rachel Piano Senior Certificate Lydia Ferguson Dublin 14
  Finnegan, Niall Speech & Drama 6 Rita Barror Rathfarnham
  Fox-Lane, Emer Violin 5 Anne Moroney Dublin 6W
  Gahan, Conor Trumpet 1 Grainne Power Dublin 3
  Grassau, Henrika  Cello Senior Certificate Henrika Grassau Portmarnock
  Guerrero, Jeannine  Piano 6 Rhona Gouldson Terenure
  Hampel, Janna Viola 7 Elizabeth Csibi Dun Laoghaire
  Healy O'Reilly, Emer  Irish Harp 7 Aine Ni Dhubhghaill RIAM
  Howard, Jennifer M Theatre 4 Heather Cassidy Dublin 18
  Hughes, Darren  Piano Senior Certificate Brendan Finan Dublin 5
  Husca, Anna Maria  Singing Senior Certificate Carmen Coman Dublin 5
  Karaan, Merrella  Piano 1 Nuala Moran Dublin 20
  Keenan, Helen  Singing Advanced Recital  Mairead Buicke Dublin 5
  Kelly, Alison  Speech & Drama 5 Suzanne Binley Dublin 16
  Khosochir, Sondor  Piano 5 Bolor Sharau Dublin 9
  Kristinsdottir, Messiana Singing 6 Derval O'Sullivan Dublin 6
  Landale, James  Piano 2 Nuala Moran Dublin 20
  Le Wong, Chong Tian Piano 5 Lian Hoi Ngan Swords
  Le-Khac, Tri-Nhien Piano Junior Recital Aine Quinn Dublin 6
  Lucey, Michael  Solo Acting 4 Ann Kavanagh Rathfarnham
  Macenri, Lizzie Speech & Drama 2 Croine Flaherty Rathfarnham
  Maguire, Ciaran  Piano 7 Ciaran Maguire Dublin 15
  Maher, Nicole  M Theatre 7 Johnny Ward Dublin 12
  Mansolas, Chloe Piano 4 Chloe Mansolas Dublin 6W
  Masetti- Nolan, Olivia  M Theatre 5 Judith Lambert Blackrock
  McCarthy, Paula Alto Saxophone 6 Terence Clancy Dublin 24
  McDermott, Ben  Cello 7 Chris Marwood RIAM
  McGrath, Ryan  Piano Senior Certificate Lance Coburn RIAM
  Meegan, Emma Lee Trumpet Senior Certificate Margaret Bannister Dublin 6
  Mooney, Phoebe Speech & Drama 5 Ann Kavanagh Rathfarnham
  Moran, Darragh  Trombone 3 Carmel Moran Dublin 14
  Morris, Cormac  Double Bass 3 Chris Turner Blackrock
  Motsonelidze, Maria Piano 2 Lina Buturina Kiva Dublin 6
  Murphy, Nancy  M Theatre 8 Victoria Massey Dun Laoghaire
  Murray, Lauren Irish Harp 4 Junshi Murakami Dalkey
  National Yacht Club Choir Choral Singing Bronze Ealu Thomas Dublin 14
  Nolan, Matthew Piano 4 Colma Brioscu RIAM
  Noonan, Aoibhe Alto Saxophone 3 Paul Mahon Dublin 18
  O'Beirne, Stan  Piano 7 Rhona Gouldson Terenure
  O'Brien Hogan,  Polly Cello 5 Aisling Drury Byrne RIAM
  O'Connor, Sarah Singing 4 Mairead Buicke Dublin 5
  O'Malley, Rachael  Piano Advanced Recital  Therese Rice Dublin 14
  O'Niell, Max Singing Advanced Recital  Susan Coleman Dublin 6
  Phillips, Amy Solo Stage Sch Perf Senior Certificate Alison Vard Miller Stillorgan
  Praje, Denisa Maria Piano 2 Gabriele Grickaite Dublin 15
  Redbond, Aimee Singing 7 Liz Foster Dublin 6
  Roche Griffin, Natalie M Theatre 6 Derval O'Sullivan Dublin 6
  Shiel, Cameron  Violin 1 Jessica Valiente Dalkey
  Situ, Jinlong John  Piano 5 Jinlong John Situ Dublin 18
  Stewart Millar, Alex Viola 1 Paul Mahon Dublin 18
  Stuart, Claire  Solo Acting 3 Marina Donnelly Rathfarnham
  Swords, Anna Speech & Drama 2 Croine Flaherty Rathfarnham
  Treacy, Dearbhla  D & T Recorder 7 Bill Hearne Dublin 16
  Whyte, Andrew Clarinet 3 Fintan Sutton RIAM
  Yin, Lucy  Piano 8 Michael Quinn Dun Laoghaire
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Exam Statistics

2016 Exam Figures

 

  Exams  Recitals   Total 
Theory       2234
 Keyboard      29247
 Piano  28949  230  29179
 Piano duets  8    8
 Organ  6    6
 Accordion  53  1  54
Bowed Strings      2847
Violin 2451 27 2478
Viola 64 3 67
Cello  278 13 291
Double Bass 11   11
Strings     433
Classical guitar 181 1 182
Irish Harp  246 3 249
Concert Harp  2   2
Brass     197
Cornet 6   6
Trumpet 148   148
Flugelhorn 1   1
Trombone 28   28
French Horn 6   6
Tuba 3   3
E-flat Tenor Horn  5   5
Woodwind     1565
Flute 794 23 817
Clarinet 246   246
Oboe 34   34
Bassoon 7   7
Descant Recorder 221 3 224
Descant and Treble Recorder 15   15
Alto Sax 199 3 202
Tenor Sax 5   5
Soprano Sax  6   6
Baritone and Euphonium 4   4
Euphonium  5   5
Voice     2401
Classical singing 1179 119 1298
Music Theatre  1075 2 1077
Choral singing 24   24
Vocal duets  2   2
Percussion      3
Percussion 1 3   3
Speech and Drama      1767
Speech and Drama  1412 6 1418
Solo Verse Speaking  7   7
Stage school performance solo 28   28
Speech and Drama Senior Cert Written 2   2
Solo Acting 169   169
Reading Prose and Poetry  2   2
Public Speaking  89   89
Creative performance 11   11
Cor-Reacaireacht  1   1
Choral Verse Speaking  27   27
Oral Communication  11   11
Duologue Acting  2   2
Groups     628
RIAM Cara Awards 614   614
School Orchestra  3   3
Recorder Class Playing  9   9
2-part recorder ensemble 1   1
4-part recorder ensemble  1   1
    Total 41322

 

Download 2016 Exam Figures  

Download 2015 Exam Figures 

                                                                                                              

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Coaching and Music Teaching

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.

 *Offer Extended until Saturday, 26 November 2016!*
In May of 2016 we were delighted to meet representatives from Meludia at the RIAM. They kindly travelled over from France to give us a demonstration of their wonderful new programme for aural training, available at Meludia.com . We have been trying the programme ourselves over the past few months and think it is a really valuable and important resource that makes aural training fun for all involved. In the RIAM, we are currently trialling the programme with our Third Level Music Students, in the hopes that it might become a regular part of their undergraduate studies. 

 

Music Theatre & Popular Singing Exam Guidelines for Teachers - by Kaeylea b. VanKeith (RIAM Examiner and Singing Teacher)

The following are guidelines for Presentation and General Information by Grade from Grade III to Senior Certificate. 

For Music Theatre and Popular Singing, part of the Presentation score is based on dressing in a costume appropriate for the character of one of the Musical Theatre songs. Props may be used, but are not required. Movement or gesture is encouraged, where appropriate to the character or meaning of the song. First and foremost, the character should be expressed through the voice.

It is advisable that students do one or more of the earlier grades prior to submitting for Grade 3 Music Theatre & Popular Singing.

 

  • Grade 3:
    • For Musical Theatre songs, introduce:
      • Title of the song
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Name of your character
      • Why she/he is singing the song (context).
        • For example: “My first song is ‘Part of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid, with lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken. My character Ariel is a mermaid. In this song she sings about her wish to be human”

 

  • For Popular songs, introduce:
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Artist who recorded the song
      • For example, “My next song is ‘The Rose’ by Amanda McBroom. This song was originally recorded by Bette Midler for the film The Rose”.

 

  • Grade 4:
    • For Musical Theatre songs, introduce:
      • Title of the song
      • Title of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name of your character
      • Context of the song (where in the plot does it happen, why are they singing it / to whom)
      • Give a summary of the plot as it relates to your character.
      • Name two other songs from the musical

 

  • For Popular songs, introduce:
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Name of artist who originally recorded the song
    • What year it was recorded

 

  • Grade 5:
    • For Musical Theatre songs, introduce:
      • Title of the song
      • Title of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name other works by the composer & lyricist
        • For example: “I will be performing ‘Popular’ from the musical Wicked, with music & lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote the musicals Godspell and Pippin”
        • State what Year the musical premiered and Where (e.g.: Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway)
        • Name of your character & who originally performed the part
        • Context of the song (where in the plot does it happen, why are they singing it / to whom)
        • Give a summary of the plot as it relates to your character. Be aware of the other main characters.
        • Name two other songs from the musical
  • For Popular songs, introduce:
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Name of artist who originally recorded the song
    • What year it was recorded
    • Name ONE example of:
      • Another artist who has recorded the song, OR
      • Another song written by the composer/lyricist

 

  • Grade 6:
    • For Musical Theatre songs: clearly introduce
      • Title of the song
      • Title of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name other works by the composer & lyricist
        • For example: “My next song is _______ from the musical ________, with music & lyrics by _______, who also wrote the musicals  ________”
        • State what Year the musical premiered and Where (e.g.: Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway)
        • Name of your character & who originally performed the part
        • Context of the song (where in the plot does it happen, why are they singing it / to whom)
        • Give a summary of the plot as it relates to your character. Be aware of the other main characters and their storylines.
        • Name three other songs from the musical

 

  • For Popular songs, introduce  
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Name of artist who originally recorded the song
    • What year it was recorded
    • Give TWO examples total (can be one of each):
      • Other artists who have recorded the song, OR
      • Other songs written by the composer/lyricist

 

  • Grade 7:
    • For Musical Theatre song, introduce:
      • Title of the song
      • Title of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name other works by the composer & lyricist
        • For example: “My next song is _______ from the musical _______, with music & lyrics by ________, who also wrote the musicals ________”
        • Include the name of the Book writer/librettist
        • State what Year the musical premiered and Where (e.g.: Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway)
        • Name of your character & who originally performed the part
        • Context of the song (where in the plot does it happen, why are they singing it / to whom)
        • Give a summary of the plot as it relates to your character. Be aware of the other main characters and their storylines.
        • Name three other songs from the musical

 

  • For Popular songs, introduce:
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Name of artist who originally recorded the song
    • What year it was recorded
    • Chart information, if applicable (Top Ten, #1, etc)
    • Give THREE examples total (can be combination of each):
      • Other artists who have recorded the song, OR
      • Other songs written by the composer/lyricist

 

  • Grade 8:
    • For Musical Theatre song, introduce:
      • Title of the song
      • Title of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name other works by the composer & lyricist
        • For example: “My next song is _______ from the musical _______, with music & lyrics by ________, who also wrote the musicals ________”
        • Include the name of the Book writer / librettist
        • Include the name of the original Director, Choreographer or other significant member of the creative team
        • State what Year the musical premiered and Where (e.g.: Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway)
        • What is the musical based on? (source material – when was that written?)
        • Name of your character & who originally performed the part
        • Context of the song (where in the plot does it happen, why are they singing it / to whom)
        • Give a summary of the plot as it relates to your character. Be aware of the other main characters and their storylines.
        • Name three other songs from the musical
        • Include more detailed general information about the musical, either history/development of the show, it’s place in musical theatre history,  what historical significance it might have, or themes explored in the musical

 

  • For Popular songs, introduce:
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Name of artist who originally recorded the song
    • What year it was recorded
    • Chart information, if applicable (Top Ten, #1, etc)
    • Give THREE examples total (can be combination of each):
      • Other artists who have recorded the song, OR
      • Other songs written by the composer/lyricist

 

  • Senior Certificate:
    • For Musical Theatre song, introduce:
      • Title of the song
      • Title of the musical or movie that the song is from
      • Composer & lyricist
      • Name other works by the composer & lyricist
        • For example: “My next song is _______ from the musical _______, with music & lyrics by ________, who also wrote the musicals ________”
        • Include the name of the Book writer / librettist
        • Include the name of the original Director or Choreographer or other significant member of the creative team
        • State what Year the musical premiered and Where (e.g.: Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway)
        • What is the musical based on? (source material – when was that written?)
        • Name of your character & who originally performed the part
        • Context of the song (where in the plot does it happen, why are they singing it / to whom)
        • Give a summary of the plot as it relates to your character. Be aware of the other main characters and their storylines.
        • Name three other songs from the musical
        • Include more detailed general information about the musical, either history/development of the show, it’s place in musical theatre history,  what historical significance it might have, or themes explored in the musical

 

  • For Popular songs, introduce:
    • Title
    • Composer & lyricist
    • Name of artist who originally recorded the song
    • What year it was recorded
    • Chart information, if applicable (Top Ten, #1, etc)
    • Name BOTH:
      • Two other artists who have recorded the song, AND
      • Two other songs written by the composer/lyricist

 

 

Other tips:

 

  • Think about and prepare your costume for one Musical Theatre song well in advance of the exam.
  • Introduce each song clearly. Take your time - pause if you need to think of what to say next, rather than using fillers like “em…uh…”. A bit of silence is okay!
  • Think about the dramatisation of each song & practice it (e.g.: don’t stare into the corner ceiling or at the floor)
  • Find opportunities to practice your performance in front of family members, fellow students, friends, etc.
  • WATCH a video of the entire show to understand your character, the story and the style.

  • Remember that there is a ‘hierarchy’ in a Music Theatre performance:
  1. The character should always be expressed through the voice first.
  2. Engagement in the eyes and facial expression help to convey the story.
  3. Physical gesture and movement can be added to enhance the performance, as appropriate.
  • Note: The performer should be sensitive to the size of the space. A ‘big’ or highly choreographed performance in a small room may not be suitable (and vice versa)
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Sample Musicianship Tests: Music Theatre

Syllabi2015 2018 1As those of you who work with the Music Theatre and Popular Singing Syllabus will know, the musicianship tests are different for these exams. We regularly recieve questions about the tests and what is required and involved. Below are sample musicianship tests for these exams, for Grade III up to Senior Certificate. 

If you have any questions about the tests, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We hope you will find them useful . 

Download Here

The RIAM is currently recruiting for new Local Centre music examiners. The deadline for applications is Friday, the 23 September and you can download an application form HERE. At the moment, I am getting lots of calls, from interested people, wondering what is involved. So, I thought I would give you a little insight into the work of an RIAM Local Centre Examiner. 

The RIAM Local Centre exams take place in 1,000s of venues throughout Ireland every year and we examine over 40,000 students in solo instruments, choral exams, orchestral exams, duet exams and more. One of the best things about being an examiner is how varied it is, and all of the wonderful students you meet, throughout the country. From the student taking their very first elementary piano exam, that is so full of excitment and nerves, to the adult who has come back to lessons and exams after some years, and who is often more nervous that their younger peers, but so eager to do a good job of the task at hand. The role of examiner is one that allows you to engage with so many wonderful people and for that small window of time, they give you a litttle glimpse into their lives and their musical journey. You often get to hear a little snippet from their day, as they tell you about the football match they are running on to, the birthday party that they left early (they are never too happy about this one!) or the school or job that they would like to delay returning to. Above all, it is a role that allows the examiners to share a love and appreciation of music, with students of all diciplines throughout the country. 

For us in the RIAM, it is also a serious job. It is so important that every student gets the same consideration, because what might be a ten minute slot in our examining day, is the cumulation of many months of practice for them. We want to make sure that every student enjoys their experience, and that we work hard to be patient and kind. Sitting your exams is a big deal and we want to encourage, and offer feedback that is constructive and useful to every student, as they continue on their musical journey. 

So, if you ever thought that you would like to be an examiner, or that it's a role that you would enjoy or be good at, why not apply? We would love to hear from you. We are looking forward to adding some new faces to the RIAM Local Centre Examiner team for 2017. 

How to Apply:

You can download the application form HERE and email it or post it into us, with a cover letter telling us a little bit about you and why you would like to be an examiner. 

Interviews will be held in Mid-October and the successful candidates will be invited to attend 4 days of training in the RIAM in November 2016. The training is intense, but there is so much to learn and it offers a great insight into the RIAM exams and the work of the examiner. 

We hope you will consider applying!

 

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