2024 Waltons RTÉ lyric fm Music for Schools Competition

2024 Waltons RTÉ lyric fm Music for Schools Competition

Friday, 23 February 2024, 5.00pm

After four long years without it, Waltons New School of Music and RTÉ lyric fm have announced the launch of the 2024 Waltons RTÉ lyric fm Music for Schools Competition!


Founded in 2012, the Music for Schools Competition is a non-profit national event celebrating and supporting music in Irish schools.

The Competition is open to all primary and post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland, and hundreds of schools from all 26 counties have participated in previous years. Music groups of up to 40 members formed by schools will work together to produce a piece or song in response to this year’s Competition theme, Music Moves.

Groups can be made up of any combination of instrumentalists and singers that schools choose, and all music genres are welcome. (Past entries have included classical, Irish traditional, jazz, pop, rock, rap and folk.) Schools are also encouraged to promote diversity and inclusiveness in their groups.

Twelve Finalist groups (six primary and six post-primary) will be selected to perform before their peers and a distinguished panel of adjudicators in the National Concert Hall on 8 April 2024. And at the end of the concert, the adjudicators will announce this year’s six winning groups (three primary and three post-primary), which will win awards totalling €7,000 worth of vouchers for musical instruments and equipment from Waltons Music to expand and enhance their schools’ music programmes. The entire concert will be streamed live by RTÉ lyric fm and can be watched from anywhere in Ireland or around the world.

The Music for Schools Competition offers schools the opportunity to think and work creatively with any combination of students, developing a creative and original musical project that has learning potential at every stage of the process.


Friday, 23 February 2024, 5 pm • Entry Deadline
Friday, 1 March • Announcement of Finalists on RTÉ lyric fm
Monday, 8 April • Finalists Concert, National Concert Hall


‘Participation in the Music for Schools project has brought our pupils to a musical place, both physically and emotionally, that we never dreamed we could reach. It made us go beyond what we thought was our best effort, and to find a creative musical niche for every child involved.’
– Joan McNamara • Teacher, Knockanean National School, Co. Clare

‘To win this competition has truly been a dream come true. It has been such an uplifting and positive experience for the students and teachers involved. Blending the genres of Pop, Rock, Rap, Classical, Traditional Irish Music and Voice brought about an opportunity for students from First year to Fifth year to collaborate together, work hard and bond in a most remarkable way. This exposure to music fusion has provided a platform for each student to broaden their educational experience and compliment their classroom lessons. It has been a thoroughly worthwhile experience, and I recommend the Music for Schools Competition and process to every school and music department in the country.’
– Ciarán Somers • Teacher, Borris Vocational School, Co. Carlow

‘There is no other competition like it. Our children have taken on a new air of confidence and belief. Playing as a group develops so much more than musical abilities – responsibility, teamwork, a sense of belonging and partnership. The support and buy-in from pupils and parents alike from the very first day really helped us to achieve something very special. It has lifted the school immensely, and the level of goodwill in the community is palpable.’
– Orla McNamara • Teacher, Gaelscoil Aonach Urmhumhan, Co. Thiobraid Árann

‘Participating in the competition was an experience that neither the students nor I will ever forget. It is so important that this competition keeps going and more and more students each year get to participate. Obviously exams, etc. are very important, but when they leave school, they might not remember what they got in their geography exam but they will certainly remember participating in the Music for Schools Competition. The experience bonded my group of students immensely, and students from all years have developed friendships that would have never been there otherwise.’
– Suzanne Creaven • Teacher, Laurel Hill Secondary School, Co. Limerick

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Published by Waltons on 28 November 2023

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