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The Academy of Popular music is Ireland’s first 2nd level music school to offer graded certification in electric guitar, electric bass, keyboard, drums and pop singing. Students are given the opportunity to study their instrument of choice, play in bands and learn music theory and notation - all whilst playing the music that they love in the fantastic building that is the CIT Cork School of Music.

We have enjoyed enormous success in our first two years in operation- we were formally opened by President M.D Higgins, had a band perform on the Late Late Toy Show and have featured masterclasses from some of the industry’s leading lights like Ash Soan (drummer for Adele), Tina Verbeke (voice coach to Bono) and David Hayes (musical director for RTE’s the voice). Our highly experienced and qualified senior tutors pride themselves on the standard of student we produce. Already, Academy students have won major national competitions, gained high-profile performance opportunities (TV and Presidential performances), and some have continued on to study in CIT’s BA in Popular Music.

Ethos/Mission Satement

Pop music education is a new but rapidly expanding field about which we are very impassioned. Ensuring that students have a positive experience with us is of utmost importance.

For some, this experience will be helping them achieve musical excellence, while for others it may be their first opportunity to play the music that inspires them, play in a band, or write their own songs, which inherently develops confidence and positive social interactions. This holistic approach enables everybody to take what they want from it. Students who enjoy and feel comfortable in the environment they learn in, and have a connection and love for the music and instrument they are playing, do very well - it’s that simple!

Register now for September!
You can download and print off an application form from our registration page.

Students from the Academy on the Toyshow:

Shauna Nolan won the Academy Facebook competition. The price was a production day in the studio with David Hayes. Listen to the amazing result:

Take look at our official Academy launch montage video with president Michael D.Higgins:

Also make sure you view the amazing final performance video below:


Pop Singing
Electric Guitar
Electric Bass
Junior Pop
Music Technology
Pop Choir
Pop Degree Primer Course

"The Academy of Popular Music which is run in conjunction with the CIT Cork School of Music is an example of how creativity in young people can be nurtured and supported."

Michael D Higgins
President of Ireland


"As the Lord Mayor of Cork and the first citizen of the City, I, Terry Shannon, am great honoured to be involved with The Academy of Popular Music. It is a great addition to music education in our City. The Academy's creative and innovative method of teaching students is greatly welcomed and I wish them every success in the future."

Clr. Terry Shanon, Lord Mayor of Cork