Get into music – sign up for a music class in Donegal!

Welcome to the online home of the Donegal Music Education Partnership, offering top-notch Donegal music classes and organising 11 performing groups across Donegal.

We’re now signing up students for our music and singing classes in Letterkenny, Donegal and other centres, Sept 2018 – June 2019.

There are a limited number of places (mostly because of people heading off to third-level) so act now!

We teach mostly classical, with some jazz, contemporary/rock and traditional music. We cater for all ages and abilities. Details here.

If we don’t have what you’re interested in, we can point you in the right direction. To find out more about Donegal music classes, or indeed singing tuition or performing groups, call us on 07491 76293 (office hours), email or send us a Facebook message.

The results are coming in for our many students who did examinations recently with Trinity College London and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. And they’re looking very good! Congrats and well done to all the successful students and their tutors.

On the performance front, it’s been an exceptionally busy 2018 with lots happening. And so we’re glad to take a breather! A whole series of concerts involving the DMEP ended on a high note (geddit!) with concerts in a castle and a temple – Glenveagh Castle on Friday 1st June and Mussenden Temple, high above Benone beach near Castlerock, on Sunday 3rd June. Both super – at Glenveagh the line-up was Pine the Pilcrow from Dublin, Donegal String Quartet and Donegal Youth Choir conducted by Sara Laughlin; at Mussenden the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Victor Yélamo.

We’ve had a great start to 2018. Yes, Donegal music classes going full tilt with our 30+ tutors, and lots of memorable concerts, workshops and trips.

More below, after pics of the Donegal Youth Orchestra at the National Concert Hall, the Donegal Youth Choir at Lourdes and the remarkable Soundwaves gang (see videos of all on YouTube, playlist ‘Donegal Music Education Partnership’). Read on below for more general info.




Conductor Vincent Kennedy and the DYO’s own Mary Armitage at the last rehearsal before the concert at the National Concert Hall on Saturday 10th Feb. All the hard work paid off (as it usually does)! Mary Armitage, DYO doyenne, looks on.

Here at the DMEP we have almost 500 music and voice students on our books, mostly young people but the occasional enterprising adult too. We have more than thirty tutors in eight towns and villages across Donegal. We’re now filling a limited number of tuition slots for 2018-19. We have full/part scholarships available in some instruments, including viola and French horn.

Conwal Parish Church, Letterkenny, Sun 21st 3pm – The Robinson Panoramic Quartet (above) and the Donegal Chamber Orchestra performed the world premiere of ‘This is Real’ by John McLachlan. The piece was commissioned by the DMEP with the support of the Arts Council. The concert also featured the world premiere of ‘Absence’ by Derek Ball, originally from Letterkenny. Both composers spoke at the concert (although in Derek’s case it was to remark that the piece was self-explanatory 🙂

John Doyle (closest to camera) working with some cracking Donegal guitar players and upcoming talent 🙂

John Doyle – ex-Solas, Joan Baez and Mary Chapin-Carpenter go-to guy delivered a super workshop for DMEP here at Regional Cultural Centre on Saturday 20th. Ex-Altan fiddler Ciaran Tourish was also on workshop duty here that day. And they played a super Music Network concert that night at Kinnegar Brewery with Niamh Parsons and Liam Kelly. No bother to them! Workshops (which drew 20+) were supported by Music Network and RCC, thanks folks! 

Click here to enrol for music tuition or our performing groups.

You can get on our waiting list for tuition by dropping a line to with this info – parent/guardian name/ student name/ student DOB/ chosen instrument(s)/ musical experience? /address / mobile no / landline no. The tuition programme is after school, so let us know if any evening doesn’t suit.

The DMEP is making a big impact on music making in Donegal (and let’s thank the Department of Education for funding and our parent body Donegal Education and Training Board). As well as the Famous 500 going to the Donegal music classes, there are another 300 or so in our performing music groups, which include the Donegal Youth Orchestra and the Donegal Youth Choir.

See our ‘News’ section for the latest all round. For more info on music classes, music groups or Donegal musical life in general, contact Aisling or Martin at the DMEP on 07491 76293 or

Donegal Music Education Partnership works in partnership with the national network of Music Generation.

ABOVE – Young Donegal musicians pictured just before going onstage at the main gigrig at Ennis during the 2017 All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil. With them are, on left, Roisin McGrory of the Inishowen Traditional Music Project, and on right Martin McGinley (standing) of the Donegal Music Education Partnership and Paul Harrigan (kneeling) of Ceol na Coille, Letterkenny.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? (pic from a DMEP bit of Errigal Arts Festival last summer) – Good news that the Murray twins from Falcarragh, Michael (sax) and Conor (double bass), are summering in Donegal and looking for gigs. Bridgetown’s Amy Gillen, left, has just had the final recital for her BA in Music Performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin and is off to the Galway Flute Festival in Switzerland next month. Sarah Walsh, Ballybofey, second from left, has been studying violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Amy Meehan has been busy with exams and performances here in Donegal recently. More to follow from this line-up!

We’re also signing up for our eleven performing groups, with music and singing for all ages. Our adult return-to-music group Mind Your Quavers warmly welcomes new members, as does our adult choir, the Errigal Singers. Young singers are catered for by our junior choirs in Letterkenny and Dungloe and by Donegal Youth Choir, conducted by Sara Laughlin. Jazzers have the Errigal Groove Orchestra (keen to have new members in 2018 – 19, gigs already coming in) and Errigal Saxtet. We’re delighted to have more than sixty young musicians signed up for the Donegal Youth Orchestra under conductor Vincent Kennedy. Big sound! Then there’s the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, with some high-profile gigs recently, and the Donegal Junior and Intermediate Strings, who are finishing the 2017-18 year with a school tour in the Letterkenny and Donegal Town areas.

Yes, the DMEP is a fantastic music project (though we say so ourselves :-).

As we may have mentioned (and no harm to do it again), the DMEP is part of Donegal Education and Training Board and is funded by the Department of Education and Skills. Many of the Donegal music classes happen in ETB schools, colleges and centres across the county. We teach mostly classical and jazz, with some contemporary/rock and traditional music. If you’d like to play or sing, get in touch!

The Errigal Groove Orchestra, with some talented new members for 2017-18 (to join the talented existing members!), in action with conductor Sean McCarron on Culture Night.

  • Soundwaves 2016
    Soundwaves 2016 the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny ( 15-17 of February)