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Key Skills 2023

KEY SKILLS returns as a live event to a number of venues, nationwide. Devised by RIAM Professors Réamonn Keary and Lorna Horan, this immensely popular workshop for piano teachers examines all repertoire from the new RIAM 2024 Piano Albums, with performances, discussions, and tips on how to approach the technical and musical challenges of all pieces.


This Autumn, Key Skills will come to a number of centres throughout the country to present the new 2024 piano albums for the Lower Grades as well as review the 2023-2026 Higher Grades.

Key Skills will be held as a 1-day workshop from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, with all exam grades covered in progressive order.

All Piano Album repertoire from Elementary to Grade VIII will be performed and discussed, with particular focus on the technical and musical details that can cause difficulty for the student.

The Dublin workshop on the 3rd of September will be recorded and will be made available as a REPLAY option after the Live events are completed.


Available Live options:

27th August 2023 - Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Co. Louth

27th August 2023 - Ursuline Convent, Thurles, Co. Tipperary

3rd September 2023 - The Connacht Hotel, Galway, Co. Galway

3rd September 2023 - Vernon Studio, Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin

(The course fee for the live workshops does not include a possible delivery of the handbook in the post. Please see below in the Course Handbook section for further details)


Online option: (registrations for the Replay option will open at a later stage. ) 


(A recorded version of the 3rd September 2023 Dublin Workshop, which will be made available for online re-viewing

about a week after the live event).



Course Handbook

The Handbook will contain annotated scores and teaching notes for all pieces from the new 2024 Piano Albums (Elementary - Grade V) and the 2023-2026 Piano Albums (Grades VI-VIII).


All Key Skills 2023 Live workshop participants will receive a copy of the Key Skills Handbook, in person, at their booked event venue, on the day of their workshop.

Registrants who can't attend their booked workshop in person can nominate somebody to collect the book on their behalf. (please notify accordingly).

Alternatively, we will retain their copy for collection at the RIAM, Dublin, or they can subsequently request to receive the book by post. (Supplement fee of €10).


All Key Skills 2023 - REPLAY registrants will receive a copy of the Key Skills handbook in the post - please supply your EIRCODE.


 Unfortunately, the handbooks will not be available for posting before your booked course date.

Learning Outcomes

Topics covered will include

• Recognising and conveying the style and character of each piece

• Suggesting teaching and practice methods to overcome the potential challenges in each piece

• Adding the finishing touches that turn an Honours performance into a Distinction

• Approaching the big exam day itself


Réamonn Keary

Réamonn Keary was educated at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Trinity College Dublin, the National University of Ireland Maynooth and in Vienna as a private student of Prof Leonid Brumberg.

He is a Professor and former head of the Keyboard Faculty at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. He frequently gives lectures and workshops on the subject of piano teaching and learning; presenting, for example, the series Piano Keys on RTÉ lyricfm from 2003 to 2017 and the highly popular Key Skills series of workshops for teachers around the country every autumn. He regularly presents masterclasses and has been a guest teacher in Millikin University Illinois and Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna.

Réamonn is highly-regarded as a chamber musician and has performed and recorded with many of the country’s top instrumentalists.

He is closely associated with the RIAM’s Local Centre examination system, having served as the Chairman of the Senior Examiners for many years and annually recording the Local Centre Piano Albums. He is also much in demand as an adjudicator and was a jury member of the Dublin International Piano Competition in 2006 and 2009.


Lorna Horan 

Lorna Horan is chief examiner (music) for the RIAM Exam System. She is selector and editor of the Local Centre junior piano albums, and is on the selecting and editing panel for the senior piano albums and extended lists. Lorna has recorded all the junior and senior aural test samples for the Local Centre exams and is one of the Key Skills’ workshop leaders.

Lorna started her piano training in the Royal Irish Academy of music (RIAM) before progressing to the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. She later graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music and from the Vancouver Academy of Music. She holds a master’s from the RIAM under the tutelage of John O’Conor.

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