Frequently Asked Questions
for Junior and Part-Time Applicants

Who should apply for piano tuition?

In the Junior Conservatory we take applications from 5–18 year olds.  Beginners must be aged under 8.  Very young applicants who are not ready to study piano are usually encouraged to apply for places in the Kids Club or Pre-Instrumental Classes.

The Continuing Education division accepts applications from non-beginners aged 18 and over.  Preference is given to more advanced candidates and performance experience is essential (Grade 7 minimum).

How do I apply?

Application forms are available online from mid- January.  The first closing date for receipt of applications is usually end of March and  applicants are called for audition in April (non-beginners) and in June (beginners). (Applicants who apply after the March closing date may be called to audition in early June.) Please note that due to the large volume of applications, short-listing may apply.

What happens at the audition stage?

Auditions for Beginners take place in 2 stages:

Audition/Trial mini-lesson:  Candidates are invited to take an audition where they may be asked to sing a song and are usually given a short trial lesson.  (If they can play another instrument, the candidate should play one piece on this instrument.) 

Selected students then progress to the next stage - a musical aptitude test.  The test is usually administered in groups of 10–15.  The test is designed for use by small children and involves listening to a recording and responding by circling pictures on a page – it tests rhythmic and pitch response.  A trial run is given before the test begins.  The result of the audition is added to the result of the aptitude test and those scoring highest are offered places.

Non-beginners for both the Junior Conservatory and Continuing Education division are expected to perform two contrasting pieces appropriate to their standard, and take sight-reading and aural tests.  They may be asked to perform scales appropriate to their level.  A short, informal interview also takes place at the audition.  Continuing Education students are expected to have performance experience and a minimum standard of Grade 7 or equivalent. Preference will be given to the most advanced students.

Note: All applicants are expected to have daily access to an acoustic piano – a digital or electronic instrument is not acceptable.  Offer of places is subject to candidates obtaining a suitable instrument.

What happens after the audition?

Offers are issued about 3–4 weeks after the audition.  Those who score an A or B are offered places, while those who score C or D are placed on a waiting list – this does not guarantee a place, due to the restricted number of places available each year.  Candidates who score an E on the audition are not offered places.

Once an offer of a place is made, you must accept this offer by returning the acceptance form and a day and time of lesson will be issued, provided there are time-slots available which match your availability.  For this reason, it is advisable to give as many available times as possible on the application form. Details of how to pay fees and complete the enrolment process are included in an information pack which is sent with the offer.

If I am on a waiting list, when do I find out if I have been offered a place?

Most applicants are placed on the waiting list because we do not know from year to year exactly how many vacant places we will have and how many third-level students will be taking places on degree programmes. (These students are given priority.) Offers to candidates on the waiting list are generally not made until the middle of September and continue to be made until all vacant places are filled – usually in early October.

Do I have to attend a Musicianship Class?

Yes.  Musicianship classes are compulsory for all Junior Conservatory students.  A list of classes and times are made available with the offer of a place.  It is not always possible to arrange the musicianship class and the instrumental class to take place on the same day or in the same building, so be prepared to make two visits per week.

Can I choose to study with a particular teacher?

Yes, but placement with this teacher cannot be guaranteed.  There is a list of teaching staff on our website.  If you do not have a preference, you will be assigned to a teacher who has a time-slot available to match your availability.  All teachers are highly-qualified and experienced. 

Can I continue to study with my own teacher outside of DIT?

No.  Once you accept a place at the Conservatory, you must discontinue lessons with any existing teacher.  This is based on best practice and ensures that the student can focus exclusively on the Conservatory curriculum.

What are the requirements for entry to organ and harpsichord classes?

Students who wish to commence organ studies must have passed Grade 5 piano.  Harpsichord students are expected to have passed Grade 8 piano.