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Student Of THe week

Avril Moran


Avril Moran has the honour of being Galway Music Academy's first Student of the Week for 2020.

She has shown a consistent and significant increase in her abilities since the start of the term. This is no small feat considering she pulls double duty learning both piano and guitar.

Her nominating teacher

Página "Mila Maia"

Camila Maia, says that,

"Avril did a great job performing 'Hallelujah' (Leonard Cohen) and 'Imagine' (John Lennon) - the last couple of pieces we’ve been working on. Really impressive sight-reading and dynamics!"

We're delighted to celebrate such a powerful multi-instrumentalist - the bar has been set, and we'd like thank Avril and her family for all her hard work.

Cillian Darcy

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Cillian Darcy is Galway Music Academy's second

Student of the Week for 2020.

Cillian has shown great progress since starting online in the summer. The Knocknacarra based student shows up on time, and ready to learn.

His nominating teacher, Gregory Prendergast says, "Cillian has gone from complete beginner, learning the names of the strings and how to tune the guitar, to learning loads of songs like ‘7 Nation Army’, ‘jingle bells’, and ‘Ireland’s call’. I’m delighted with the progress he’s made so far and with his positive attitude.”

We are really pleased with how well the online lessons are working for Cillian and we wish him and his family all the best!


Joseph Faherty

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Joseph Faherty is Galway Music Academy's third

Student of the Week for 2020.

The Claregalway based drum student attends online lessons with our very own Brendan Jones.

His nominating teacher says,

"Joseph has shown great progress in the last year. His focus and attention during online lessons is excellent and has attributed to him having a deeper understanding of stick technique. His hard work both in lessons and in practice has shown improvements in coordination, rhythm and time- keeping, Joseph has shown himself to be the most improved student. 

Well done sir!"

We, here at the academy, are delighted Jospeh's self discipline and hard work are paying off with his online drum lessons. Congratulations to he and his family!

Rock on!

Orlaith Kelly 


Orlaith Kelly is Galway Music Academy's fourth

Student of the Week for 2020.

She is currently taking her lessons online, but usually attends in our Claregalway location, Colaiste Bhaile Chlair.

Her nominating teacher, Eoghan Gallagher, had this to say,

"Orlaith goes above and beyond with her practice week in week out and never fails to impress me with her hard work ethic. She engages with each lesson with great positivity and energy, whether it’s online or in person. Not only is she a cracking banjo player, she’s a lovely girl and an absolute pleasure to teach"

We couldn't be more delighted to see yet another self disciplined and confident student come out of the academy. 

A big thank you to Orlaith and her family for their continued presence and hard work.

Ella-Rose Boland

Orla Hanratty

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Ella-Rose Boland is Galway Music Academy's fifth

Student of the Week for 2020.

The Claregalway  based student attends her classes at our  Colaiste Bhaile Chlair location.

Her nominating teacher, Niamh O'Meara says,

"Ella-Rose only started with Galway Music Academy this term and has already progressed remarkably in her piano lessons. She is a quick learner with a talented ear for music. Her sunny disposition and eagerness to learn has made her a joy to teach - going from strength to strength with her piano lessons each week. Due to Ella- Rose’s hard work and effort, she has improved significantly in her chord progressions, sight-reading and finger work. Well done Ella- Rose keep up the good work!” "

It's great to see a student progress so well and so quickly. Excellent work and congratulations to the Bolands.

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Orla Hanratty is Galway Music Academy's sixth

Student of the Week for 2020.

The Rosshill based student attends her classes online at the moment. 

Steph Geremia, her nominating teacher, says, 

"Orla has been preparing for her first upcoming flute exam and has put in so much hard work over the past few weeks. She has improved wonderfully on her scales, performance pieces, articulation and dynamics."

Some say that luck is when preparation meets opportunity, and we at the academy know that Orla will be accompanied by great luck on exam day.

We wish her and her family all the best, and a Happy Christmas.

Emma Hounkponou

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Moly Brandon

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Michael Nickleson

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Emma Hounkponou is Galway Music Academy's lucky seventh

Student of the Week for 2020.

The Monievea based student attends her classes in Claregalway, but is online at the moment.

Her nominating teacher, Rónán Ó Flaherty says,

"Emma has put in many hours of hard work and practice in preparation for her Grade 1 violin exam for the Royal Irish Academy of Music. In these uncertain times, Emma had to adapt to government guidelines in submitting her exam, and did so with great determination and always a smile on her face. She is 100% focused in every lesson whether it's online or in person and is a pleasure to teach. Well done Emma and Happy Christmas to you and your family."


Excellent work Emma and family, and have a Happy New Year! 

Molly Brandon is Galway Music Academy's eighth Student of the Week for 2020.
The Tuam based student attends her classes online. 
Caroline Ó Donoghue, Molly's nominating teacher, says,
"Molly started playing just before the summer via online lessons and from day one has absolutely blown me away with her dedication. Every week she has her tune learned off and has made huge progress in recent months with her ornamentation. Last week she learned The Blackthorn Stick by heart with a mixture of rolls, cuts and chords and it was clear she deserved Student of the Week. Congratulations Molly and keep up the hard work."
We are delighted to have Molly as our student of the week, and we wish her and her family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Michael Nickleson is Galway Music Academy's ninth student of the week. We are happy to start the new year off right with such a shining example of a student.

His nominating teacher, Margaret Newell, says, 

"Michael has been making great progress at the fiddle since starting back in September. His love for music is evident in the practice he does during each week. He never turns down a challenging piece and sticks with it until he gets it right. He even played a piece in front of his class before Christmas. Overall, Michael deserves recognition for all his hard work put in over the last few months and with the way he is going he is headed for great things!"

Hard work pays off again. We are delighted Michael and his family are kicking off the new year on a positive note.

Ava Mullins

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Ava Mullins is Galway Music Academy's tenth student of the week.

Her nominating teacher, Jim Higgins, says, Ava is a very dedicated student who puts in great practice every week. She is a terrific guitar player who produces a fine tone from the lovely new guitar she recently got. Ava has a beautiful voice, and we have worked on a lot of contemporary songs throughout our musical time together, such as ‘Jar of Hearts’, ‘All of me’ and some classics like ‘Wise Men Say’ by Elvis  Presley, ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Let it Be’ by the Beatles. She aIso does a fantastic version of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ which we worked on leading up to the Christmas period. I very much look forward to working with Ava on new songs and guitar tunes in the New Year.

On top of all this "Ava is also a brilliant soccer player, Gaelic footballer and Camogie player! I don’t know where she finds the time to keep it all going!"

Amazing stuff from a stand out student on all fronts. Congratulations to Ava and her family.

Chloe James

Tara Hynes

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Chloe James is Galway Music Academy's eleventh student of the week.

She has been with the academy since 2015 and currently takes her classes via Zoom.

Melanie Higgins, her nominating teacher, says,

"She is a really hard worker and always makes time to practice in her busy schedule. Chloe is such a pleasant student who is a delight to teach and she always puts in the effort to get good results in her exams. This week especially she has been working really hard on her pieces for her upcoming grade 6 exam which she will sit in the summer."

We know her with all her hard work and excellent instruction that the grade 6 exams will go brilliantly.

A big congratulations to Chloe James and her family.

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Tara Hynes is Galway Music Academy's twelfth student of the week.

The Renmore based student currently attends her classes online.

Her nominating teacher, Anna Mullarkey, says,

"Tara is a fantastic student. She is now working towards grade two. She has a great flair for the piano and is very diligent with her practice. She is a wonderful sight reader and has a great understanding of her scales."

A big congratulations to Tara and her family. We at the academy wish her the best of luck with the grade exams and all her future musical pursuits.

Nikhil Vegi

Moya Cummins

Michael Claffey

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Nikhil Vegi is Galway Music Academy's thirteenth student of the week.

The Roscam based student currently attends his classes online.

Dave Clancy, his nominating teacher, says,

"He has a fantastic ear, great timing and rhythm. He is a thrill to teach and has explored his love of melodies especially Irish ones such as 'The Rights of Man'. He puts in the practice every week and the sky is the limit for him."

It's great to see consistent hard work paying off. Congratulations to Nikhil and his family this week. All the best and many happy returns.

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Moya Cummins is our fourteenth student of the week. 

Her nominating teacher, Camilla Maia, says, 

"Moya is extremely talented and passionate about music. She has been doing an incredible job learning the new pieces for grade III and composing her own tunes. Her enthusiasm to learn and get to know new composers and styles is something I truly admire. I'm delighted to be her tutor."

We are delighted to hear such great progress.

A huge congratulations to Moya and the Cummins family

ny happy returns.

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Michael Claffey is our fifteenth student of the week. The Oranmore based student currently takes his lessons online.

 Gregory Prendergast, his nominating teacher, says, 

"Michael has grown in leaps and bounds since starting lessons. He now has a repertoire consisting of traditional, rock, pop, and jazz songs. 

Strong and consistent practice has made Michael an excellent rhythm player, managing to hold the backing to some very difficult pieces. On top of all this, during lockdown, he has mastered a few scales and applied them appropriately to reveal some tasteful soloing work. I am absolutely delighted with his progress so far. Keep up the great work!"

Excellent to hear sustained effort wins again.

Big congratulations to Michael and the Claffey family.

Lauren and Emma



Lauren and Emma Kearns are Galway Music Academy's sixteenth and seventeenth students of the week.

The Claregalway based students attend their lessons online at the moment.

Their nominating teacher, Caroline O Donoghue, says,

"Lauren and Emma have been doing their lessons online for the past number of weeks and have been working very hard to learn their tunes off without relying on the notes. Last week they learned Siamsa Slide and played it absolutely beautifully, including ornamentation. Both girls have put in a super effort over the last two terms and are better and better each time I hear them. Keep up the fantastic work!"

We are delighted to see such great work and progress!

A huge congratulations to the Kearns family!

Christian Dooley

Lee Keane

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Christian Dooley is Galway Music Academy's eighteenth student of the week.

The Oranmore based student currently attends his drum lessons online. 

Brendan Jones, his nominating teacher says,

"With great focus in class and consistent practice, Christian has shown above average understanding and control of drum technique, for this reason he is student of the week. Well done sir, keep up the good work ."

Focus and practice are key elements of musical development, so Christian is off to a great start.

A huge congratulations to the Dooley family!

Lee Keane is Galway Music Academy's nineteenth  student of the week.

His nominating teacher, Eoghan Gallagher, says, 

"Lee always puts in great practice week in and week out and engages very well both online and in-person. He has made huge progress since September and continues to do so every week."

A big congratulations to the Keane family!

Daniel Holland

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Daniel Holland is Galway Music Academy's twentieth student of the week.
His nominating teacher, Niamh O'Meara, says,
"Daniel is a super student. He is always enthusiastic and good humoured, going from strength to strength with his playing every week. Daniel is an absolute pleasure to teach and is a very talented young man with a very musical future ahead I'm sure."
We would like to extend a huge congratulations to Daniel and all the Holland family.
Great work.

Laura Kenna

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Matthew Mcnena

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Laura Kenna is Galway Music Academy's twenty-first student of the week.

Caroline O'Donoghue, her nominating teacher, says,

"Laura is an excellent student who has made great progress with her timing and ornamentation over the last couple of weeks. She learned The Lilting Fisherman last week and played it with a brilliant sense of rhythm and style without the notes. Keep up the great work Laura!" 

A big congratulations to Laura and her family!

Matthew McNena is Galway Music Academy's twenty-second student of the week.

The Oranmore based student currently attends his lessons online.

His nominating teacher, Steph Geremia, says,

"Matthew is a hard worker and shows great commitment and enthusiasm each week. He continues to consistently improve since he began lessons a few years ago and is currently preparing for his Scrúdu Ceol Tíre Comhaltas whistle and flute exams."

Amazing stuff! 

A big congratulations to the McNena family.

Oisín murphy


Oisín Murphy is Galway Music Academy's twenty-third 

student of the week.

The Renmore based student currently attends his lessons online.

His nominating teacher, Dave Clancy, says,

"I’ve been teaching Oisín since January and he has a remarkable ear and is a dedicated student and puts in the work every week. Great rhythm clean chords and capable of learning his melodies really quick"

A huge congratulations 

to the Murphy family.

Matthew Kelly


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Matthew Kelly is Galway Music Academy's twenty-fourth

student of the week.

The Athenry based student currently attends his lessons online.

His nominating teacher, Jim Higgins, says,

"Matthew is only ten but already full of music. Matthew has terrific rhythm and has been very quick developing his Bodhran techniques particularly his triplets and roles. Matthew is a mighty man to sing a song both with the Bodhran and with piano accompaniment. Some of the songs we have worked on are ‘the Fields of Athenry’, ‘The Star of the County Down’, ‘’I’ll tell me Ma’, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ and ‘Wise Men Say’ by Elvis Presley. Matthew is also a great hurler and plays full back for Athenry and also a great help on the family farm - a terrific all round young lad. Good Man Matthew!"

We wish the Kelly family all the best. Keep up the good work and congratulations.

Julia Cummins is Galway Music Academy's twenty-fifth

student of the week.

The Claregalway based student currently attends her lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Margaret Newell, says,

"Julia truly deserves Student of the Week as she has shown excellent determination in learning the violin since last September. Her eagerness of learning more and more pieces on the violin is evident as although she only did her grade one exams at Christmas, she is already preparing for grade two exams at the end of May!! She never backs away from challenging techniques and is improving rapidly every week. I won’t be surprised at all if we see her playing in Carnegie Hall in years to come!"

A big congratulations to the Cummins family.

Kate Gorham

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Kate Gorham is Galway Music Academy's twenty-sixth

student of the week.

The Renmore based student currently attends her lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Anna Mullarkey says,

"Kate is a fantastic student. She works very hard and asks very good questions. Always keeping me on my toes! She has just finished her preliminary exam and I am sure she will do brilliantly!"

Fantastic news, and a big congratulations to the Gorham family.

Anna Butler

Dillion Nallen

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Anna Butler is Galway Music Academy's twenty-seventh

student of the week.

The Roscam based student currently attends her lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Caroline O Donoghue, says,

"Anna is one of the most hard working students I know who always has her tune learned off perfectly. She has been making huge progress with her ornamentation and timing and is piecing it all together in the last few weeks. Keep up the great work Anna."

A warm and happy congratulations to the Butler family.

Dillion Nallen is Galway Music Academy's twenty-eighth

student of the week.

The Claregalway based student currently attends his lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Brendan Jones, says,

"During the last term Dillion has shown a dramatic improvement in his focus for  the online lessons . As a result he is showing a deeper understanding of the instrument. For this reason he is our student of the week. I tip my hat to you good sir."

Congratulations to the Nallen Family.

Aeveen kelly
Kate robinson

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Aeveen Kelly and Katie Robinson are Galway Music Academy's twenty-ninth and thirtieth

students of the week.

The Galway based students currently attend their lessons online.

Their nominating teacher, Ronan O Flaherty says,

"Ever since I started teaching Aeveen and Katie (4 years ago?) they've shown great determination and passion in learning the fiddle. Every week without fail their enthusiasm and commitment is evident and it's a joy to teach them. The way they're going, I've no doubt that they'll be future fiddle stars in the future. A big thank you to the parents too for their dedication. keep up the good work girls. Ye're mighty!"


Kate Martyn

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Kate Martyn is Galway Music Academy's twenty-ninth student of the week.

The Oranmore based student currently attends her lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Gregory Prendergast, says,

"Kate shows up with a positive mental attitude and practices diligently every week. We will be going for the grade exams in the spring and I think she will perform brilliantly. Super delighted with her progress so far."

A big congratulations to Kate and the Martyn family.

Anna Butler


Anna Butler is Galway Music Academy's thirty-second student of the week.

The Roscam based student currently attends her lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Caroline O Donoghue says,

"Anna is a diligent and detail oriented student who demonstrated a real sense of rhythm in her rendition of The Penny Candle on the concertina. Anna learned her tune off by heart with added ornamentation. Well done and keep up the great work!,"

A big congratulations to the two time student of the week and to the Butler family.

Elia Tierney

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Elia Tierney is Galway Music Academy's thirty-third student of the week.

The Corrandulla based student currently attends her lessons in Claregalwy.

Her nominating teacher, Camila Maia says,

"Elia is a great student and definitely has improved her flute skills in the last few months. She is very artistic, creative and we have loads of fun playing jazz pieces together."

A big congratulations to Elia and all the Tierney family.

Juliet Cloonan

Lora Kundek

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Juliet Cloonan is Galway Music Academy's thirty-fourth student of the week.

The Craughwell based student currently attends her lessons in Claregalway.

Her nominating teacher, Ronan O'Flaherty says,

"The mighty Juliet is an absolute joy to teach. Every week without fail she arrives into class with her tune practiced perfectly and with a very positive attitude. She never shys away from a challenging tune and it's a joy to see her improving each week. A big thank you to her parents too for their dedication and hard work, which is very important in the progress of a student.

I'm sure Santa will come to the Cloonan household. Have a great Christmas"

A big congratulations to Juliet and all the Cloonan family.

Lora Kundek is Galway Music Academy's thirty-fifth student of the week.

The Ballybane based student currently attends her lessons in online.

Her nominating teacher, Melanie Higgins says,

"Lora Kundek is my student of the week. Since I have started teaching Lora a few weeks ago she has been working really hard and making great progress. We have covered two big pieces for the piano, and she is now working on her third. She has great a dedication and always shows up to class with great enthusiasm and her practice well done. I am very happy to see her making progressive steps forwards."

A big congratulations and Happy Christmas to Lora and all the Kundek family.

Malikia& Luke

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Malaika and Luke Muzzamil are Galway Music Academy's thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh students of the week.

The Knocknacarra based students currently attend their lessons in Renmore.

Their nominating teacher, Jamie Toomey says,

"Malaika and Luke are fantastic students who not only play guitar and ukulele, but sing brilliantly too! This week we had great fun singing and playing The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and as you can hear, they did a wonderful job! Congratulations guys and keep up the great work!."

A big congratulations the Muzzamil family.

Molly Brandon

Oliver Tomczakowski

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Molly Brandon is Galway Music Academy's thirty-eighth student of the week.

The two time student of the week is Tuam based, and currently attends her lessons online.

Her nominating teacher, Caroline O' Donoghue says,

"Molly is an exemplary student who always has her tune learnt off by heart and diligently works in her ornamentation every week. This week however, she mastered The Daisy Field reel which, if you know the tune, is no small feat. Have I mentioned she is only learning concertina for the last year?! Amazing work Molly-keep it up!"

Another big congratulations to the Brandon family.

Oliver Tomczakowski is Galway Music Academy's Fortieth student of the week.

He currently attends his lessons in Renmore.

His nominating teacher, Augustina Taborda says,

"Oliver learnt a full piece in only one week! He always surprises me with the development of his skills. Amazing work Oliver! "

A huge congratulations to the Tomczakowski family.

Caitríona & Ruby

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Caitríona McHugh and Ruby Moore are Galway Music Academy's Forty-first and forty-second students of the week.

They currently attend their lessons in Renmore.

Their nominating teacher, Dave Clancy says,

"Ruby and Catriona work together brilliantly and complement each other's playing. They have a lovely unassuming way of listening and encouraging each other. They are improving each week since we came back to face to face lessons in particular, and are a joy to teach. "

A huge congratulations to both the McHugh and Moore family.

Rachel Guckian

Róisín Casey

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Rachel Guckian is Galway Music Academy's Forty-Third student of the week.

She currently attends her lessons in Claregalway.

Her nominating teacher, Margaret Newell says,

"Rachel began playing trad music a few years ago and then transitioned to playing classical. She is just after completing her grade 3 exam and is now beginning grade 4. She is a pleasure to teach as she puts a lot of effort into the violin and is a very pleasant girl too. Congratulations to her and her family for receiving student of the week. "

A big congratulations to Rachel and the Guckian family.

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Róisín Casey is Galway Music Academy's Forty-fourth student of the week.

She currently attends her lessons in Claregalway.

Her nominating teacher, Steph Geremia says,

"Róisín Casey is developing into a brilliant young traditional flute player. She is a dedicated and hard working student. Róisín is currently preparing for her Scrúdu Ceol Tíre exams and for the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. Wishing her all the best!"

A big


to Róisín and the Casey family.

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