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Colum Ó Cléirigh Memorial Scholarship


Colum Ó Cléirigh (1932 - 2017) is widely acknowledged as a pioneer within Irish music education.

A graduate of UCC, where he studied under Professor Aloys Fleischmann, Colum gained much experience as a choral conductor, secondary school music teacher, music administrator and school principal before his appointment to the Music Department in St Patrick's College in 1971.

Colum was one of the first Irish musicians to study at the Kodály Institute in Hungary and was involved in organising the initial Kodály Courses in Ireland in the 1980s. Since then, many of his students have studied at the Kodály Institute and have returned to Ireland as influential advocates of Kodály's music education philosophy. Colum is also highly respected by the Kodály community in Hungary as having been instrumental in establishing a strong interest in this approach.

The Kodály Society of Ireland (KSI) promotes the principles and processes of Kodály-inspried pedagogy in Ireland. The society is particularly keen to introduce undergraduate music and music education students to Kodály's thinking and philosophy and with this in mind, offers a number of scholarships to students to attend the annual summer course held in Ireland. In 2019, this scholarship scheme was renamed the Colum Ó'Cléirigh Scholarship. 


Who can apply?

The Colum Ó Cléirigh Memorial Scholarship is open to the following students on the island of Ireland:  

  • all undergraduate music students in full-time education

  • students training to become primary school teachers 

  • PME students training as music teachers 

What will the scholarship offer?

The scholarship will cover the course tuition fees, including chamber music. It excludes lunch, accommodation, subsistence expenses and extra costs (e.g. singing lessons).


Scholarship recipients may also be asked to help with certain tasks during the week. These tasks will not interfere class attendance.

How do I apply?

Students interested in applying for the Colum Ó Cléirigh Memorial Scholarship should send a letter of interest explaining your interest in Kodály-based music education, your reasons for applying and describing any potential benefits that you might gain from the course.

Please include your full name, an email address, mobile number and details of the course you are studying. 

Applications should be sent to: and the closing date is Friday 24th May 2024 at 6pm.

Criteria for Selection

The successful candidates will:

  • demonstrate a keen interest in learning about Kodály-based music education

  • show an interest in further developing personal musical skills, knowledge and understanding

  • indicate a willingness to fully participate in all aspects of the summer course

  • describe the potential benefits of participating in the course

Please note that all applications will be determined anonymously by the Scholarship Review Panel. The judges' decision will be final. No late applications will be accepted.

Scholarship Recipients 2019


Our Scholarship Recipients 2019 (R-L):

Aoife O'Donovan (TUD Conservatory of Music & Drama with TCD), Callum Jeacle (Royal Irish Academy of Music), Grace Kelly (DCU School of Theology, Philosophy & Music), Georgia Goodall (DCU St. Patrick's Campus) and Sarah Keane (CIT Cork School of Music)

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