Laois School of Music

About Us
Orpheus Orchestra conducted by John Davidson , at the Laois School of Music Summer Concert at Portlaoise Youth Education Centre . Photo: Michael Scully - no fee .

Laois School of Music was established in September 2001. The Arts Office of Laois County Council identified a significant deficit in the provision of musical education in the Midlands region. In order to bring this concept to fruition, Laois County Council recognized the need for a partnership approach with Laois V.E.C (now Laois Offaly ETB) and the Arts Council. The development of music was one of the principal objectives under the Arts in Laois Development Plan 2001-2003. Laois County Council, with assistance from Laois V.E.C. and the Arts Council, prioritised this artform in establishing the Laois School of Music.

The School of Music has developed from a zero base to its present position of 320 students, 14 part-time specialized Music teachers and a full-time Co-ordinator. In providing quality tuition in Piano, Guitar, Strings, Woodwind, Voice, Percussion, Kindermusic, Junior and Leaving Cert Music, Laois School of Music has become a recognised Centre of Excellence for Laois and the surrounding counties. There is a thriving Orchestral programme in place, with up to 60 members age 8 to 18, who play as a Junior Orchestra (Orpheus), a Senior Ensemble and as a combined Youth Orchestra for larger events.


Portlaoise Youth Education Centre, Railway Street, Portlaoise (beside Kavanagh’s Bicycle Shop)

Opening Hours

Monday – Thursday : 4pm – 9pm    Sat : 10am – 3pm


Tuition available in Piano, Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Recorder, Clarinet, Saxophone, Drums, Singing, Kindermusic, Junior & Leaving Cert Music.

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Contact Us
If you have any questions or would like more information about a course, please feel free to contact us today.

Laois School of Music,
Laois County Council,
JFL Avenue,
Co Laois.
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Classes and Ensembles

What Instrument?
(Individual/Group/Paired Tuition open to Children and Adults) 


Sarah Abdeihafeez , performingat the Laois School of Music Summer Concert at Portlaoise Youth Education Centre

The piano is a good place to start for formal instrumental training as the finger movements are easier than those for a stringed or woodwind instrument. Piano playing develops an understanding of chords and harmonies. A keyboard can be used as a starting point for practise purposes at home but over time, the difference in the weight and feel of the keys will become more evident.

Group Keyboard 

A cost-effective introduction to Piano for a year or two, suitable for children age 6+.


The violin can take a long time to master and requires patience and commitment on parents behalf as well as the childs. Beginners violins are inexpensive and can be started at age 6/7 and will be upgraded in size as the child grows.


The cello is a beautiful instrument and can be started as young as age 6. Transport of the instrument can be an issue when you progress to a full-size cello – but the sound you’ll produce by then will make it worthwhile!

Thomas Duggan performing at the LSM and MGL Festival, March 2016


The guitar demands a certain level of physical maturity from the player because of it’s size and shape. Our minimum age for starting guitar is 8.

It can take quite a while to acquire the skill of fingering strings – don’t expect instant results! Reading of music will go hand in hand with our lessons.


The recorder is an ideal introduction to a woodwind instrument. Group recorder gives an excellent grounding for further wind instruments from age 6.


Breath control and technique are the most important parts of learning the Flute. Starter flutes are reasonable enough cost but will need to be upgraded after 2-3 years. Minimum starting age 9.


Both instruments require a great deal of physical maturity because of the technique involved in producing a sound. They can be expensive instruments to buy and reeds need constant replacement. Beautiful sound once mastered. Beginner age 9+


Most children will be ready for drums by the age of  9/10. Our drum tutor takes students through the process of reading drum music. A beginners drum kit can be purchased at a reasonable cost – second hand kits are also a good beginners option. Parents and other family members may need earplugs!!


Everyone has a voice – get some tips on how to make the most of yours! Group and Individual Lessons available from age 8/9.

Classes and Group Activities based in Laois School of Music

LSM Senior Ensemble 

Youth Orchestra perform at the Christmas Concert 2015

For players age 12+ at a minimum of Grade 3 standard. Rehearsals every Tuesday from 5.30pm to 7pm. Open to Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion. Director Vincent Hunt

Orpheus Orchestra

For Junior players who have been playing for a minimum of one year. Rehearsals every Tuesday from 5pm to 6.30pm. Currently open to Strings and Woodwind. Director John Davidson


Flute Choir

For flutes at a minimum standard of Grade 2. An ensemble designed to broaden the playing experience and repertoire of flautists. Rehearsals every Monday at 8.00pm. Tutor: Kim Melia.

Junior/Leaving Cert

For students who wish to take music as a Junior or Leaving Cert subject but who may not have the choice on their school curriculum. Classes on Wednesdays assigned according to school year. Phone the office for further details. Tutor: Andrea Saachi


For children age 4 to 6, Kindermusic explores the basic rudiments of Music training – developing the listening ear through singing, movement, exploring rhythm patterns, using a variety of percussion instruments, all in a fun and educational way. Classes in various age groups on Wednesdays. Tutor: Kimberly Melia

Kindermusic Year 2

The next step for our younger, budding musicians on Monday evenings. This class is a pre-instrumental course for students who are aged 5+ and have already done a full year of Kindermusic. This course acts as an introduction to many musical instruments and different genres of music. It will include 4 modules incorporating Xylophone, Recorder, Singing and Ukulele. Tutor: Kimberly Melia



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Tutors of the Laois School of Music

  • Piano: Mary Wisely, Dianne Marshall, Tatyana Vykhodtseva, Ed Dwan
  • Guitar: Maurice Daly, Conal Rae
  • Violin: John Davidson, Nicole O’Sullivan, Sorcha Russell, Saffron O’Sullivan, Ed Dwan
  • Woodwind: Kim Melia, Robert Solymon
  • Drums: Kevin Connolly
  • Kindermusic: Kim Melia
  • Cello: Vincent Hunt, Sonja Cadogan
  • Junior/Leaving Cert: Andrea Saachi
  • Singing: Andrea Saachi

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Upcoming Events

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Tuition Fees


Lesson Type 40% Due within a month of lessons starting 30% Due 1st December 30% Due 1st March Annual Total
Individual Lesson (20mins)

Beginners Age 6 to 8 only

€170 €125 €125 €420
Individual Lesson (30mins) €240 €180 €180 €600
Individual Lesson (45mins) €360 €270 €270 €900
Paired Lesson (30mins) €170 €125 €125 €420
Group Lesson (40mins) €150 €110 €110 €370
Kindermusic (40 mins)

Kindermusic Year 2 (40 mins)









Junior/Leaving Cert

LSM Pupils

€120 €90 €90 €300
Junior/Leaving Cert

External Pupils

€170 €125 €125 €420
Orpheus Orchestra &

Senior Ensemble

LSM Pupils (1.5hrs)

€40 €30 €30 €100
Orpheus Orchestra &

Senior Ensemble

External Pupils (1.5hrs)

€80 €60 €60 €200
Flute Choir (45mins) €40 €30 €30 €100

– 5% Discount applies to second and subsequent family members/instruments on INDIVIDUAL LESSONS ONLY

– Payments can also be spread throughout the year by setting up a Standing Order through your bank – further details available from the office


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Contact the Arts Office by phone 057 8664033/13 or email us