Studying Music Independently

Live online tuition to help 6th Year students, looking to study a subject outside of school, prepare with confidence for the 2024 Leaving Certificate Exams.

Subject choice is a vital part of student success in the Leaving Certificate. The challenge of the Leaving Certificate is less daunting when students study subjects that they are interested in, or are related to their field of future study or simply subjects that they are good at. Unfortunately, sometimes students are unable to access the subjects they want in their schools. Over the last 40 Years, students have attended weekly grinds at The Institute of Education and with the help of our teachers studied many subjects outside of school, over the last number of years, the number of students taking this “independent” option has increased.

This year we are introducing a specific course for students who are studying a subject outside or independently of their school.  Unlike “grinds”, students attending this class will be assigned homework, class tests will be set, feedback will be provided through a formal Christmas report. Students will be expected to fully participate in class, the teachers will know your name! The weekly class time is 120 minutes, over 29 weeks, this extra class time will allow our teacher dedicate sufficient time to covering the syllabus. The majority of the tuition will be delivered online.  Depending on the subject, a small number of classes may be delivered onsite.

While the focus of the classes will be Leaving Certificate 2024, students preparing for Leaving Certificate 2025 will be permitted to attend the course.  Student preparing for Leaving Certificate 2025, may not be required to attend all classes (depending on project components and practical requirements), and a 50% discount will be applied for the 2nd year of the course.

Taking on a subject out side of school is a significant undertaking, it requires hard work and perseverance, but with the exceptional teachers on this course, it is very possible and can be hugely rewarding.

Students studying a subject outside of school with us receive:

  • Access to expert teachers
  • Answers to their questions
  • Exam focused notes
  • Exam strategies & examiner insights
  • Recordings of all live classes to rewatch right up to the end of the 2024 Leaving Certificate exams

Our formula for success:

Expert Teachers + Exam Focused Notes + Live Class Recordings = Better Leaving Cert Results

(The school data policy is available to view here.)

Students studying a subject outside of school with us receive:

  • Access to expert teachers
  • Answers to their questions
  • Exam focused notes
  • Exam strategies & examiner insights

This course will feature:

  1. Class duration 120 minutes/week
  2. Homework assigned and corrections shared
  3. At Least 1 Progress Test (Christmas) with report
  4. A Mock Exam

Below, you will find more about what will be covered on this Music course.

The teacher for this course is Holly Woods.

During this course you will cover the following topics:

September – December 


  • Set Work 1 of 4 – Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  • Set Work 2 of 4 – Cantata No. 78 “Jesu Der Du Meine Seele” (Bach)
  • Irish Music – General Features / Irish Instruments / The Dance Tradition
  • Aural Awareness – Aural Skill Development (Introductory Level)


  • Melody Writing – Composing A 16-Bar Major Melody (Question 1)
  • Harmony – Composing Bass Notes and Chord Indications To A Given Tune (Question 5)


  • Performance Portfolio 1
  • Unprepared Test 1

Weekly assessment feedback + Christmas Exam

January – March


  • Set Work 3 of 4 – Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture (Tchaikovsky)
  • Irish Music – Collectors / Song Tradition / Sean-Nós Performance
  • Aural Awareness – Aural Skill Development (Intermediate Level)


  • Composing A 16-Bar Minor Melody
  • Harmonic Writing: Intermediate Skill Development


  • Performance Portfolio 2
  • Unprepared Test 2

Weekly assessment feedback + mock exam

April – May


  • Set Work 4 of 4 – Piano Quartet No. 1 (Barry)
  • Irish Music – Twentieth Century Developments / Sean O’Riada / North American Influences / Fusion
  • Aural Awareness – Aural Skill Development (Advanced)


  • Composing A 16-Bar Melody: Advanced Skill Development
  • Harmonic Writing: Advanced Skill Development

Weekly Assessment Feedback
Summer Exam (for those in 5th Year only)

Notes and Homework

Extensive notes are provided to students. These notes are for use throughout the course and are intended to act as adequate revision tool.

To support the ongoing skill development of each student, a large bank of listening, composing, and performing exercises are provided for use in class time as well as in the students’ independent revision time.


Homework is assigned and graded weekly, with individual feedback provided before each class.

End-of-topic assessments are regularly scheduled. Student progress is closely monitored to ensure ongoing skill development is progressing at the appropriate rate.

A Christmas assessment test and mock exam will also be scheduled which students can complete in-person or online.

Our live online classes are taught by our expert teachers using Microsoft Teams. This technology is reliable, intuitive and familiar to many students. It allows the teachers to dedicate their full attention to teaching and students to focus on learning.

This method of class delivery offers many advantages to students:

Interaction: Each student can interact with their teacher before, during and after class. Similarly, teachers can interact with their students either individually or as a class group

Progression: This two-way communication enables teachers to accurately gauge students’ ongoing progress and understanding

Clarification: Students may message their teachers directly if they prefer to seek further explanation on a particular point without interrupting the class

Over 4,000 students attended online classes with us in the last 12 months. 97% of students who did so say that they were very satisfied with the class delivery and format.

Our commitment to you: whether you choose to attend your classes online or on-site you can be assured that the outcome will be exceptional.

Please note:
Login details for online classes will be issued to students by email before the start of the course.

We have provided answers to other Frequently Asked Questions below, but if you have any other questions, please contact

Online Grinds FAQs

Click on each question for the answer>>

Q: If I enrol in an online class, can I also avail of classes at Leeson Street?

A: Yes, you can enrol in other classes at Leeson Street. Click here for details.


Q: How do I access my online classes?

A: Students enrolled on the course will receive an email from us containing their unique login details and links to access their chosen subjects. Login credentials will be sent in advance of course start date. Only those details sent to you will enable you to successfully access classes online.


Q: How are the online hosted?

A: All online classes are hosted live on Microsoft Teams. The links to the weekly classes are accessed via Moodle. Students must sign into both Moodle and MS Teams with the login credentials sent to the student.


Q: Are the online classes pre-recorded?

A: No, each online class is streamed live as per the timetable. Recordings of classes will be available after each live class is completed. These can then be replayed as a revision aid.


Q: Will I have access to recordings of the live classes?

A: Yes, recordings of classes will be available after each live class is completed. These can then be replayed as a revision aid. These will be available up until the end of the State exams 2023.


Q: Are there any specific requirements to attending online classes?

A: We would advise that all students enrolling in our online grinds have the following:
• Access to a reliable wifi service.
• Access to a PC, Laptop, Tablet, or similar device.
• We would not recommend using a mobile phone.
• Headphones/earphones.


Q: If I'm attending the online classes will I have access to the notes?

A: Yes, students enrolled in online classes will receive a monthly delivery of notes for each chosen subject. Please allow five working days for delivery from the time of booking.


Q: Are the class notes available online?

A: No, a hard copy will be posted out to each student for the subjects they enrol in, on a monthly basis.


Q: How long is each weekly class?

A: Each class lasts 120 minutes.


Q: How much is the fee per class?

A: The total fee for this course is €1,750.


Q: Can I cancel my classes and get a refund?

A: Yes, though please note: Classes are taught for 29 weeks. A refund (or partial refund) can be given for requests made on or before Week 17, 28th January 2023. A request for a refund can be made by contacting our office on 01 6613511 or


Q: How many weeks of tuition are there in the weekly course?

A: There are 29 weeks of tuition between September and May. Students will have one class per subject booked per week  (29 classes).


Q: Are there any breaks or holidays during the year for students attending weekly classes?

A: Yes, the classes schedule generally follows the normal school calendar with breaks at mid-terms, Christmas & Easter.  Please refer to the timetable for more details


Q: Is attendance at weekly classes and part-time courses monitored?

A: Yes, attendance is monitored for each class attended. The Institute however accepts no responsibility for students who fail to attend class.


Q: What style are the classes conducted in? Can students ask questions?

A: Our classes run in a more lecture style than most students might be used to in school, but they are also interactive, and teachers will use a variety of methods to ensure that students can learn and understand and feel comfortable asking questions and contributing to the class.


Q: For weekly classes, does the beginning of a new term mean the start of a new course?

A: No, in the weekly classes each subject commences in September and runs through to the end of the academic year in May. Students can catch up on what they have missed by reviewing the previous class recordings and notes.


Q: If I want to join weekly classes during the year, can I find out what is yet to be covered on the course and what I have missed?

A: Each teacher has their own individual teaching plan for the year and will be able to advise on this.


Q: My son/daughter cannot attend the weekly classes. Can we buy the notes?

A: No, teaching is a central part of all our courses and classes.  The notes are to facilitate recall and revision of what was covered in class by the teacher.

For the Academic Year 2023/24 this Music Course will take place every Wednesday at 17:30 as per the Weekly Schedule below.

NOTE: All classes are 120 minutes in duration.

*Students may join at any stage throughout the year, subject to availability.

Weekly Schedule

WeekWeek CommencingNote
14th Sept 2023First Week
211th Sept 2023
318th Sept 2023
425th Sept 2023
52nd Oct 2023
69th Oct 2023
716th Oct 2023
823rd Oct 2023
No Classes30th Oct 2023Mid-Term
96th Nov 2023
1013th Nov 2023
1120th Nov 2023
1227th Nov 2023
134th Dec 2023
1411th Dec 2023
No Classes18th Dec 2023Christmas
No Classes25th Dec 2023Christmas
No Classes1st Jan 2024Christmas
158th Jan 2024
1615th Jan 2024
1722nd Jan 2024
1829th Jan 2024
195th Feb 2024St. Brigid's Bank Holiday*
No Classes12th Feb 2024Mid-Term
2019th Feb 2024
2126th Feb 2024
224th March 2024
2311th March 2024
2418th March 2024
No Classes25th March 2024Easter
No Classes1st April 2024Easter
258th April 2024
2615th April 2024
2722nd April 2024
2829th April 2024
296th May 2024**May Bank Holiday. No classes Mon 6th May. Classes as normal Tuesday 7th to Saturday 11th May.

*Classes will be taught on Bank Holiday Monday 5th Feb ’24
**No classes on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May’24. Classes will be taught instead on Monday 27th May.

The fee for enrolling in this course is: €1,825.

All students joining our weekly classes now will receive access to recordings of all the classes for which they have enrolled.  In addition, they will have access to recordings of the classes that have already taken place since the start of the course. This is an invaluable aid when it comes to revision. Class recordings are available to the end of State Exams 2024.

Please note:

  • Card payments accepted.
  • 10% reduction for the second and subsequent members of the same family, attending the same courses. Please contact our office to avail of this discount.
  • Fees are non-transferable.
  • Installment payment option available (Not available online – Please phone to avail of this payment plan – 01 661 3511)
    • 10% premium
    • Installment 1 due when order is placed. Installment 1 pays for weeks 1 to 17.
    • Installment 2 due before Monday 29th Jan 2024 (Start week 18).