Innovative New Apprenticeship Scheme in Music at DkITDKIT

Ardú Vocal Ensemble, Musicians in Residence at An Táin Theatre for 2017, in partnership with the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music at DkIT have chosen seven promising young musicians from the college as Ardú Apprentices for the year. As part of the scheme these students will shadow Ardú in rehearsal as well as perform alongside them in several concerts in Dundalk and further afield. The Apprentice scheme, the first of its kind in Ireland, has been devised and curated by Artistic Director Ciarán Kelly in collaboration with staff at DkIT.

Speaking about the project, Ciarán noted:

“Being a professional singer incorporates any number of skills, not just vocal ability; leadership, teamwork, presentation and initiative are all equally important factors. It is our hope that by working with these young musicians, we can help develop the necessary skills alongside their studies at DkIT and give them a head start as they graduate and aim to make it as professionals. We look forward to singing with such talented musicians, delivering workshops in Dundalk and beyond and watching the Apprentices develop and progress throughout the year.”

Head of Department, Dr Adèle Commins, also noted the potential of such a scheme:

“Across Europe, Higher Education Institutions are looking to develop apprenticeship models as part of its best practice. Our partnership with Ardú, as well as collaboration with other industry groups such as RTÉ and RehabCare, places DkIT at the forefront of these developments, provides our students with wonderful worthwhile experiences and also feeds into our locality.”

Recently Education magazine noted that while school-leavers are often encouraged to undertake college courses over vocational training, opportunities such as this at DkIT provide a new model. Noting that the current mode creates difficulties for both employers and graduates, as employers cannot find the skills necessary to meet their business needs and graduates with excellent academic knowledge require workplace skills to make best use of this knowledge, apprenticeship experiences should be higher up the priorities for Higher Education. Such initiatives could dovetail well with initiatives outlined in the Government’s 2016 Action Plan for Education and Minister Bruton’s assertion that changes would see 50,000 people registering for apprenticeship or trainee schemes by 2020, as well as a 25 per cent increase in the number of higher level students who have access to work experience.

The first performance in Dundalk featuring Ardú and the Apprentices will be ‘America: NOVA’ at St Nicholas’s Church on May 20th 2017. More information can be found at In the meantime, you can enjoy performances by the music students of DkIT for their Christmas Concert which will take place on Thursday 15 December in St Nicholas’ Church Dundalk and will feature the DkIT Choir and Chamber Choir under the direction of Annalisa Monticelli, David Stalling and Dr David Connolly.

For more information on opportunities to study music and a wide range of other programmes in Creative Arts and Media, check out