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Founder & Director
Irish cellist and Munster Music Academy, founder, and director Tara-Lee Byrne studied in Holland, Italy, and England and holds honors degrees in performance and teaching from The Royal Irish Academy of Music Dublin, Utrecht Conservatorium, Holland, Trinity College of Music London. and Trinity Guildhall. Tara-Lee was a Music Scholar at Trinity College of Music London. and during her studies was awarded a place on the Mentorship scheme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten Pears Festival Orchestra and was a finalist in the London Symphony Orchestra String Experience. Her solo performances include appearances with The Hibernian Orchestra, Dublin Orchestral Players, Dublin Symphony Orchestra, Royal Irish Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra; 'I Suoni Bianchi ' Chamber Orchestra, Italy.
Tara-Lee is in demand as a cello teacher and chamber music coach in Ireland, Australia and abroad having previously taught in the Young European Strings School, Dublin and Royal Academy of Music Junior Department London. Tara-Lee tours nationally and internationally hosting string workshops based on her book ‘The Cello Freeway', an interactive teaching book and DVD focusing on cello bowing technique for teachers and cellists of all ages and abilities.
Tara-Lee has performed and recorded with global artists including Beyonce, Kanye West, Elton John, P-Diddy, Bono, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Maxim Vengerov, Westlife, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Damian Rice, The Chieftains, and Christy Moore.
Tara-Lee has held the position of principal cellist with Utrecht Symphony Orchestra, Holland; Opera Orchestra di Teatro Mancinelli, Orvieto, Italy; Trinity College of Music Symphony Orchestra, London; Orchestra da Camera Di Scuola APM, Saluzzo; The Hibernian Orchestra and Royal Irish Academy of Music Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. In Ireland Tara-Lee was deputy cellist with The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra, The Irish Baroque Orchestra, and the Irish Film Orchestra.
Tara-Lee is a professional wholefood chef having graduated from Matthew Kenney Plantlab in Santa Monica, USA. Tara-Lee divides her time and creative energies between her 170-year-old farmhouse in Killaloe and Byron Bay, Australia. She continues to follow her passion for teaching music, performing, cheffing, educating and inspiring others to invest in their health by making conscious, sustainable food and lifestyle choices.
Tara-Lee is obsessed with tea and drinks matcha, masala chai and earl grey daily. She loves everything Japanese & Indian, the smell of freshly cut grass, marketing podcasts, and spa breaks. She speaks Italian and French and recently discovered she can actually paint.
Tara-Lee remotely manages MMA from her beachside home in Byron Bay, Australia. She teaches both online and in Byron Bay MMA where she warmly welcomes cello and piano students to join her studio.
Sarah King, (BA Mus Hons, H. Dip in Education) is a music graduate of Waterford Institute of Technology where she studied voice and piano and received a Higher Diploma in Education from Trinity College Dublin. Sarah studied voice with Toni Walsh in the D.I.T Conservatory of Music and Drama. She has many years of experience teaching music at second level where she taught Junior & Leaving Certificate music and acted as musical director in school musical productions. Sarah currently teaches piano, voice, musical theatre, guitar, and music theory and is the director of both our children's choirs. She is very passionate about building each students character and confidence through the means of music.
Sarah is the eternal optimist and can always be spotted wearing sunglasses come hail, rain or snow. She loves butterflies but claims to know very little about them. This doesn’t deter her in naming her guest bedroom The Butterfly Room. She loves driving and as a result, is a self-proclaimed terrible back seat driver. She likes to think there are two types of people in the world. Drains and radiators. She tries to be a radiator and avoid the drains. Her favourite cake is coffee cake. She religiously completes The Irish Times crossword on a daily basis. Sarah is The Rock of MMA since she joined the faculty in 2012.
Sarah teaches on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Judit Csüllög originally from Hungary, holds degrees from Eszterházy Károly College, Miskolc University and Liszt Ferenc Music Academy Budapest, Hungary. In addition to piano, Judit also studied history, music theory, solfege, chamber music, and choral directing. Since 1999 she has worked at the Music Department of Eszterházy Károly University, recently as an associate professor.
Judit joined the Munster Music Academy in September 2019 where she teaches piano, music theory, Kodály, accompaniment and chamber music.
In her teaching, Judit’s main objective is to transmit her affection for music and allow children experience the miracle of playing an instrument while providing them with support to learn the necessary musical and technical knowledge. Judit teaches piano to all age groups, abilities, and musical interests. She is passionate to impart her love for music to all her students while fostering and nurturing their musical path.
Judit leads an active performing career in addition to her academic and instrumental teaching. She particularly enjoys working with singers and has an extensive vocal repertoire in both classical and musical theatre genres. Judit has been the repetiteur, conductor and music director of numerous musical productions in Hungary including Chicago, The Sound of Music, and Annie. Since 2013 she has been the Musical Director of Egri Pinceszínház Theatre, Hungary.
In 2008, Judit obtained her Music Pedagogy Ph.D. diploma in Slovakia, the title of her thesis was: ‘The Role of Folk Songs in Teaching Piano to Beginners in Hungary’. Her favourite research area is piano methodology. However, she is keenly interested in Bartók and Kodály’s piano works. Judit has presented papers and publications in both Hungarian and English. As an honour, Judit was awarded the Eszterházy Károly Medallion in 2011, and the Academic Prize of Hungarian Academy of Sciences Regional Commission in 2016.
Judit favourite food is chocolate and Hungarian stuffed cabbage though not eaten together. Her favourite composer is Chopin. She is a sports fanatic. Her children know once the Olympics start on television “do not ask Mom, unless it is really important”. Judit is very fond of Agatha Christie's books. She has all her books in Hungarian and many in English. The very first English book Judit ever read was Agatha Christie’s Sleeping Murder and it remains her favourite to this day.
Judit is currently based in Hungary and teaches as part of our Digital Music Academy. We welcome students to join Judit's online piano and theory classes.
Celia Donoghue (B.Mus. LTCL, MA Music Therapy) teaches piano, clarinet, flute, saxophone, recorder and has taught at all levels from pre-school to third level. She plays clarinet in the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra, the Limerick Philharmonic and Derg Trio, and is also the organist in Ballina Church. In 2017 she qualified as a music therapist and works with young children and the elderly.
Celia loves playing chamber music especially with her students. Other enthusiasms include swimming in the lake, watching Coronation Street and trying to tame a very wild garden. She spends hours doing Sukodu, cryptic crosswords and logic puzzles. Celia's latest discovery is online jigsaws!
Celia teaches on Wednesdays.
From a musical family, Eóin took lessons in various instruments before starting his studies in the Cork School of Music in 2004. There, he studied piano with Nicholas O’Halloran and harpsichord with Pauline McSweeney. In 2007 he began his Bachelor of Music at the school with piano as his primary instrument, keeping up his studies in harpsichord, especially in the chamber music setting. He completed his bachelor’s degree in 2011 and followed up with a Master of Arts in Performance in Piano Accompaniment under the tuition of Dr. Gabriela Mayer, both completed with first class honours. Eóin decided to expand his skillset after completing his MA by attending University College Dublin to study for a Higher Diploma in Computer Science then worked in both IT and music for a few years before returning to music in a more full-time capacity in 2019.
He is an experienced accompanist, having played for choirs, orchestras, opera productions, musical theatre productions, soloists and other groups for over fifteen years. In the last year, he has notably performed with Opera Workshop, Jean McGlynn and Francesca Federico, a Fulbright Scholar in residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
Eóin has worked in education for many years with a focus on piano and voice tuition. In the Redemptorist Centre of Music (2014-2015) and the Dublin School of Music (2014-2018) he taught piano, voice and regularly accompanied students for examinations and concerts. He has worked with a wide range of ages and skill levels and works hard to find how each student works and learns best. Currently he works in the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in the University of Limerick, mainly teaching voice and keyboard skills on the BA in Performing Arts, though he regularly works with master’s students from programmes such as the MA in Classical String Performance and MA in Songwriting to expand their skills in music in a variety of areas such as voice, piano and music theory.
Eóin is also an avid choral singer and has sung with many notable choirs around Ireland such as the Limerick Chamber Choir (2018+), Irish Youth Chamber Choir (2014, 2015), County Limerick Youth Choir (2007-2015), Voci Nuove (2012-2014), Madrigal ’75 (2007-2014) and the UCD Choral Scholars (2015-2016). He has worked as Musical Director for the Carrigaline Choral Group (2014) and Monfort School of Performing Arts (2014), and as Assistant Musical Director for Voci Nuove (2014). He recently directed the Comhar Vocal Ensemble, which he founded with colleagues Emma Downes and Conor Prendiville, in concert for the Killaloe Music Festival.
Eóin is a sci-fi fan, particularly Isaac Asimov and Star Trek. Since the pandemic hit and he had fewer performances, his hair colour has frequently changed (it’s actually half purple in this photo). He also loves cold weather, stationery, meditation, skincare and cosmetics, and makes his own soap.
Eóin teaches piano and vocal coaching on Tuesdays.
Alexander Cox holds honours degrees in both Music Technology and a Masters Degree in Creative Music Technologies from Maynooth University, Dublin. Alexander’s specialist performance areas and techniques are in the rock/metal genres. He has a keen interest in experimental, electronic, jazz and music composed for visual media. Alexander's original electro-acoustic compositions formed part of his master's degree thesis.
As a teacher, Alexander provides his students with the necessary tools and techniques to allow them to play in the genres which they wish to perform comfortably. He places a strong emphasis on developing good practicing habits and body awareness while playing to allow for maximum freedom and ease with the guitar. Alexander welcomes students from all levels, abilities, ages, and musical interests, including complete beginners up to students who wish to explore advanced lead guitar playing.
Alexander likes running up mountains, reading science fiction/fantasy and playing Dungeons and Dragons, which he claims to have spent too much time doing so in college. He is patriotic in his favourite food choice, it being the humble Irish spud in the form of chips. He enjoys the guitar playing of Joe Satriani and Michael Romeo.
Alex teaches lead guitar, pop, metal, rock, classical, acoustic, and electric guitar. He welcomes students from the age of 8 years onwards including complete beginners. Alex teaches on Mondays.
Natalie holds a Bachelor of Music Honors degree from Cork School of Music where her performance studies extended into pursuing modules in community music, class teaching, and piano. On completion of her degree, Natalie relocated to Dubai, where she taught music in the classroom and piano at primary school level. Natalie is a member of the teaching piano faculty at the Munster Music Academy Killaloe since 2016.
Natalie enjoys the variety, challenges, and rewards of teaching students of all ages, abilities, backgrounds, and musical interests. Natalie is as comfortable teaching Bach as Beyonce. In her teaching, Natalie incorporates and emphasises from the very first lesson the importance of a theoretical understanding of music to support each student's practical learning of the piano.
Natalie drinks ten cups of tea a day. She is fluent in German. She can sing songs in Spanish but can’t speak Spanish. She is a self-confessed karaoke queen. She wanted to marry Phil Coulter. She always orders chicken salad but doesn’t eat the salad. She used to do tap dancing, that’s right. Twinkle toes and twinkle fingers.
Natalie teaches on Wednesdays.
David Szabó is a pianist, piano teacher, and accompanist from Hungary. He graduated from the prestigious Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest in 2009 with the highest grade of diploma. By invitation in 2011, David continued his studies in classical performance at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick graduating in 2013. During his studies and until 2019 David taught piano skills to BA degree students and accompanied voice, dance and instrumentalist students.
During his ten years in Ireland, David taught at the Munster Music Academy, Killaloe, Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe, Galway, Maoin Cheoil in Ennis and Limerick School of Music. In 2019 David returned to base himself in Budapest. David was recently appointed head of the piano department in Kodály Zoltán Music School, Szob,
2021 sees David embrace the world of online teaching as he returns like a piano Jedi to teach at MMA albeit it virtually. David returns in a new position we have created especially for him - visiting professor of piano.
This will see him combine weekly online teaching supported by twice a term intensive piano lessons, workshops, and masterclasses in Killaloe for all his students. David welcomes all piano students at MMA to attend his in-person piano workshops.
David's students have won numerous national piano competitions and have been accepted onto music performance degree programmes in esteemed establishments including Trinity College Dublin, and University College Cork, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. David has won prizes at several national piano competitions and accompanist competitions. In concert, David has performed extensively across Hungary and Ireland both as a soloist with orchestra, a diverse chamber musician and accompanist. David’s most recent performances include Mozart's D minor piano concerto under esteemed international conductor, Robert Houlihan in Limerick, and Leipzig, Germany at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater performing Schubert's Piano trio in B flat major.
Since 2009, David gives regular charity concerts in Hajdúnánás, Hungary which were broadcasted by the local Hungarian media channels raising over 1000 euros for the lunch of homeless people during Christmas time. He is a multiple prizewinner in maths and chess competitions including 1st prize in the National Maths competition, Budapest, Hungary, and an international chess competition, Bratislava, Slovakia.
In his free time, David likes reading, cooking, creating new recipes, being with friends and family and playing every type of sports and games including chess, cards, and board games. David is especially proud of recently completing the seventh venue in the Harry Potter board game, defeating Voldemort being Neville Longbottom.
David teaches online as part of the Munster Music Digital Academy and is a visiting professor in Killaloe.
Jonathan was Principal Horn in the Gulbenkian Foundation Orchestra in Lisbon, Portugal for 30 years.
He started playing the horn at the age of 12 in rural England. His mother was his driving force as she would encourage him to listen to classical music from a very young age and to become a member of every local orchestra. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London with James Brown, and played Principal French horn with the European Youth Orchestra and the Snape Maltings Chamber Orchestra.
A great part of Jonathan’s passion has always been to inspire and mentor other musicians at all levels. Whilst at the Academy, he taught Brass for Brighton College and Cheam School. When he left the Academy, Jonathan taught at the Kent Music School and, once in Portugal, he went on to teach the French horn at the Lisbon University of Music (ESML) for 25 years. Since his time with the Gulbenkian, Jonathan has become Musical Director for various projects and continues to teach.
Now based in Ireland, Jonathan plays as a freelancer in chamber groups and orchestras such as the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Camerata Ireland. He is the Musical Director of St. John’s Brass and Reed Band in Limerick, and, together with the Garryowen Community Development Project, is developing the Garryowen Music Hub to bring the opportunity of learning music to the local community.
Jonathan enjoys cooking, working on his eco project up in Tountinna and walking his dogs. Jonathan teaches on Mondays.
Oisín is a musician, piano teacher, and filmmaker who has a passion for the arts and a keen interest in promoting creativity amongst young people. He is currently completing his Trinity College Licentiate Performance Diploma on the piano under the guidance of Dr Judit Csüllög. He has studied both piano and music theory at the Munster Music Academy for over ten years.
As a teacher, Oisín's vision is to inspire his students to share the love of music-making and performing from the very first lesson. He understands the importance of balancing practise and fun and believes students can equally enjoy playing and learning about music.
Oisín is also an aspiring film director, having won multiple national awards and competitions for his short films. He approaches both directing and teaching similarly, encouraging and supporting his students in developing their musical personality and identity on their musical journey. Oisín particularly enjoys combining music and visual media. He is a massive foodie and is obsessed with anything French, so if you're looking to bribe him, he has requested that you bring croissants. His favourite movie is American Honey, but he loves everything from dramas to thrillers and comedies.
Oisín teaches on Saturdays and especially welcomes beginner students to join his classes.
Noémi Szentimrei is a violinist and violin teacher from Hungary. She started playing the violin when she was seven years old. Pursuing her love for the violin she continued her undergraduate studies and holds a BA degree from the Tibor Varga Musical Institute of the István Széchenyi University in Győr and a Master degree from the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Noémi recently graduated with first class honours in the MA in Classical String Performance from Irish World Music Academy Limerick under the guidance of the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
As a concert musician, Noémi has performed extensively throughout Europe with orchestras and chamber music ensembles. She is a passionate chamber musician winning prizes in national chamber music competitions in Hungary.
She is an experienced teacher who loves working with children of all ages. In Ireland she had the opportunity to teach in the Sing Out With Strings and the Saturday Strings with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in Limerick. In her teaching, Noémi creates a friendly, relaxed yet supportive atmosphere in her lessons which encourages her students to be more confident and enthusiastic about their musical experience.
Noémi's strong bond with Ireland and traditional music was ignited a few years ago when she played violin in an Irish Punk Rock band consisting of Hungarian musicians! She is a multi-passionate creative who is fond of writing novels, composing music, taking photos, and drawing in her leisure time. Looking at her slender figure no one would suspect that she can eat bottomless bowls of her favourite food, french fries morning, noon, and night.
Noémi is based in Hungary and teaches as part of our Digital Music Academy. We welcome students to join Noemi's online classes where she teaches violin, viola, and chamber music.
Claire is a Functional Yoga teacher. The core of her approach is helping students to experience and recognise that every 'body' is different and responds uniquely to particular movement and postures. Specialising in Restorative, Slow Flow and Yin Yoga, Claire teaches with 'body awareness' - a key aspect of practising functionally and helping people to establish a better relationship to their body by 'listening to' and respecting what their body needs. She has a passion for human anatomy, the impact of habitual patterns on people’s bodies and everyday life, and how a functional practice can help people to develop more harmony between their bodies and daily activities. Mindfulness is woven into her practice, to help people cope with modern-day pressures, their resulting emotions, and to foster ‘inner-awareness’ - a better connection to the person within.
Claire grew up in Portugal, started learning music age 6. She played the flute with the Lisbon International Youth Orchestra until her early twenties. Her language studies took her into the world of corporate finance, where she turned to yoga to release stress and nurture her body, which was frequently hunched over a computer. Yoga soon became a passion, as it had a transformational and healing effect on Claire as she eventually became physically stronger and agile, and able to access a quieter space within. She turned her passion into her career and began teaching yoga in the UK and Portugal. Now in Ireland, Claire teaches in Killaloe Ballina and online, and writes on the topic of yoga and functional movement for her blog.
Claire is an artist, animal and nature-lover, tea-drinker, a self-awarded star at poaching eggs, and grew up tri-lingual in Portuguese, French and English. www.clariayoga.com
French-born pianist Jordane Francois is the epitome of today’s independent contemporary classical musician. Since graduating with first class honors from the Conservatoire de Marseille in France, Jordane has diversified her musical horizons spanning repertoire from ancient music to the 21st-century.
Jordane has performed extensively as a chamber musician in France and Australia championing piano, harpsichord, and organ repertoire. In musical partnership with cellist Tara-Lee Byrne, Jordane performs as The Onyx Duo.
Since her arrival in Australia twelve years ago, Jordane has cemented her place as a passionate advocate of music education in New South Wales. Jordane holds a bachelor degree in music from University of Nice and a teaching degree from the University of Marseille Aix en Provence, France. Prior to relocating to Australia, Jordane taught piano at the Conservatoire de Cannes for twelve years. Jordane enjoys a thriving private teaching studio in Byron Bay and welcomes new students to join her piano class at Byron Bay MMA. Jordane also teaches as part of the Munster Music Digital Academy.