13th Annual National Online Piano Festival | 16th - 19th March 2023
Piano Lessons Dublin

13th Annual National Piano Festival - March 16th - 19th, 2023

Innovative Piano Festival Returns!


Feast your ears lads and lassies, the Piano Academy of Ireland (PAI) is back with a bang and a tickle of the ivories! Our annual National Piano Festival is set to take place in person once again, taking you on a journey of melody and harmony, straight from Rathgar's gorgeous Methodist Church, Dublin 6. This year's festival will take place from the 16th to the 19th of March, 2023 and it's going to be an in person treat, just like the good old days.

We know you're all chomping at the bit to show off your skills, so we're giving you the opportunity to show off submit your finest performances and have them judged by our esteemed adjudicator. So, whether you're a budding Beethoven or an aspiring Adele, this is your chance to shine. Don't let this opportunity slip by, and put your best foot forward, or in this case your best pedal forward.

So dust off your pianos, warm up your fingers, and be ready to tickle those ivories like never before, see you at the Live in person festival!

Registration for the Piano Festival AND written Limerick submission deadline is February 17th, 2023.
☘️Limericks *finalists* will have two more weeks to make their video, just like before, deadline March 3rd.

2023 National Piano Festival

Lads and lassies of all ages, it's time to step out of your comfort zones and tickle those ivories like never before! The Piano Academy of Ireland (PAI) Festival is the perfect platform for everyone, whether you're a tiny tot just learning the ropes or a seasoned pro who's been playing for decades.

From the young 'uns under six years old, to the more mature and experienced players, and everyone in between, we welcome you all with open arms and ears ready to listen to your performances. Not only that, but you'll get feedback from our esteemed adjudicator, who has been in your shoes, so they know just what it takes to hit the right notes.

And let's not forget about the fantastic prizes, and of course, some good old-fashioned Irish humour! So, what are you waiting for? Get those Limericks ready and show us what you've got!

International Limerick Contest

Feast your eyes, folks, for the return of the Limerick Contest, now in its third year! This year's National Piano Festival will be full of fun and laughter with the Limerick (5 line rhyme) contest as one of the highlights. It's time to put your thinking caps on and get those creative juices flowing!

We're calling on all participants, friends and family to submit one Limerick to the Piano Academy of Ireland (PAI), to lift the oul' spirits and have a bit of craic. And during the Piano Festival Concerts, from the 16th to the 19th of March, 2023, everyone who qualifies will recite their Limericks and the overall winner will be announced.

But wait, there's more! The winner will be awarded with a limited edition LucKey the Leprechaun NFT, worth about €500, with the winning limerick embedded. Get cracking, and show us your wit and humour in limerick form!

Registration for the Piano Festival AND written Limerick submission deadline is February 17th, 2023.
☘️Limericks *finalists* will have two more weeks to make their video, just like before, deadline March 3rd.

2023 Adjudicators

At the Piano Academy of Ireland, we're not just playing notes, we're making music - and history! Back in 2012, we were the first to offer a prize in the revolutionary new currency of Bitcoin, and when the world went into lockdown in 2020, we didn't miss a beat, transitioning our annual festival to the virtual realm. And just when you thought it couldn't get any more exciting, we then added a Limerick Writing Contest to our line-up, because when life gives you lemons, we make Limericks! But wait, there's more!

For our 2023 Festival, we're not just playing the usual tunes, we're striking a chord in the world of NFTs by minting a limited-edition NFT Leprechaun, with 88 variations to choose from. And for our top prize winners, a one-of-a-kind NFT prize awaits.

Plus, we're giving back by donating 10% of the proceeds of the NFT sales to the Sheila Gouldson Scholarship Fund that brings piano lessons to those who need it the most.

Tune in for more details on the NFT reveal soon! In the meantime, let's raise the roof and make some music!

An Opportunity for Learning and Inclusivity
The Piano Academy of Ireland's annual festival is not just a bunch of keys clacking, it's a celebration of music and learning! And let's not forget the bling - with over €1000 in prize money, trophies, salvers and medals that are nicer than your grandmother's china, everyone's a winner! But it's not just about the awards, it's about the experience. We'll be giving out certificates and fun give-aways to all participants, because we believe in sharing the love. And speaking of sharing, our competition categories are as diverse as a Guinness on tap - solo and duet categories from under 6 years all the way to adult, so whether you're a prodigy or a hobbyist, there's a spot for you at our piano-palooza.

Let the Festival Fun Begin!
Sure, why not add a bit of green to the mix! As part of our St. Patrick's Day celebration, we're asking all participants to dress up in their finest or most funk-tastic green attire. Think of it as a little nod to the Emerald Isle and the spirit of St. Paddy. We want to see you in the green, lads and lasses! And who knows, you might just be the best dressed of them all and win an extra prize!

Registration for the Piano Festival AND written Limerick submission deadline is February 17th, 2023.
☘️Limericks *finalists* will have two more weeks to make their video, just like before, deadline March 3rd.

Go n-eirí an t-ádh libh, 

Rhona & Archie

Save the Dates!

Registration Deadline

(1) Online Registrations
(3) Limerick Text & Videos (encouraged)

February 17th, 2023
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Also, don't forget to submit your video by March 3rd, for a chance to win our grand prize of an NFT! The Leprechaun King or Queen of the NFT world awaits you! And if you're not lucky enough to win, don't worry, there will be plenty of craic and music to go around. So get those green shirts pressed and those video cameras ready, and let's make some music!

Festival Procedure

  1. Get ready to tickle those ivories, lads and lasses, because the Piano Academy of Ireland's annual festival is going live and in person from Rathgar Methodist Church from the 16th to the 19th of March 2023! With round-the-clock piano performances, each age-group concert will be presented in alphabetical order, followed by a live adjudication! But don't worry, we'll be mixing in a bit of humour with Limerick interludes, and announcing the 'Most Festively Dressed' and 'Best Limericks' of the bunch. In case you miss it, don't fret, it'll be available for viewing afterwards.
  2. And speaking of festively dressed, we're asking all our participants to don their finest or funk-tastic green attire as part of our St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Show us your true Irish spirit!
  3. During the festival, we'll be handing out feedback reports and certificates to all participants, including any special awards. And don't worry, there will be medals!
  4. But it's not just about the feedback, it's about the prizes! With more than €1000 in prize money, NFTs, gorgeous trophies, salvers and medals, as well as certificates and fun give-aways for all participants, we're spreading the wealth.
  5. 5 And for those lucky enough to take home a trophy, Congrats!


  1. Solo Under 6 years
  2. Solo Under 8 years
  3. Solo Under 10 years
  4. Solo Under 12 years
  5. Sonatina Under 12 years*
  6. Solo Repertoire Under 12 years**
  7. Solo Under 14 years
  8. Solo Under 16 years
  9. Solo Under 18 years
  10. Solo Etude Open (no age limit)***
  11. Piano Concerto Open (no age limit)****
  12. Solo Adult Bronze Jubilee Pre-Grade 5 (over 18)
  13. Solo Adult Silver Jubilee Post-Grade 5 (over 18)
  14. Duet Under 12 years
  15. Duet Under 16 years

*To perform the first OR last movement from any Sonatina.
**To present 5 - 7 minutes of contrasting repertoire, minimum of 2 pieces representing different styles/moods. Please note performers presenting a programme under the time limit will not be considered for a prize.
***To present one Piano Etude by one of the following composers: Hummel, Moscheles, Herz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Alkan, Henselt, Smetana, Gottschalk, Saint-Saens, Moszkowski, Lyadov, MacDowell, Debussy, Busoni, Godowsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Bartok, Stravinsky, Szymanowski, Prokofiev, Lutoslawski, Ligeti, Glass, or Bolcom.
****To present one movement from a piano concerto of own choice. Orchestral part to be provided by the competitor. A second piano will be provided.

Rules & Regulations

I. Online Registration
  • All online registration forms must be completed and payment made to be processed.
  • Entries must be submitted by Friday 17th February 2023. Late entries will be accepted until Tuesday 21st February, but with an additional fee of €10 per entry.

II. Age Requirements
  • Ages will be determined based on the performer's age on January 1st of the competition year.
  • Example: For the Solo Under 10 category, the performer must be 9 years old or younger on January 1st 2023.

III. Schedule and Performance Requirements
  • The Festival schedule will be available online prior to the event.
  • Performers will present one piece of their choice, except for those in the Under 12 Repertoire category.
  • Participants cannot perform the same piece in multiple categories.
  • Previous first-prize winners are not eligible to enter the same category again.
  • The time limit for each category is 9 minutes, except for the Concerto category.

IV. Adjudication and Prizes
  • Performers must score a minimum of 86% to win first prize and 81% to win second prize.
  • The Adjudicator's decision is final.
  • The Prizewinners Concert will take place at the Rathgar Methodist Church.

V. Festival Administration
  • The Piano Academy of Ireland reserves the right to refuse entry to any performer.
  • The Academy also reserves the right to change the time, venue, or order of performances as necessary.
  • If a large number of entries are received for a category, it may be divided into two groups.
  • The performer's piece may be heard in its entirety or in part at the discretion of the adjudicator.
  • Performers must provide a clean copy of their music to the adjudicator.

Limerick Video Submission Guidelines

Video Recording Tips:
  • Please film your video in Landscape.
  • Using your phone or tablet to record is fine.
  • Please hold your phone/tablet to record video in landscape, not portrait (landscape is horizontal, portrait is vertical). This type of recording will help fill the screen better and make for a more consistent presentation for our premiere.
  • When recording your video, include just a few seconds of silence before and after starting the performance.
  • Try to present yourself as if this were a “real” performance! We want to capture your best performance to share!

Instructions for Uploading Video:
  • After your video audition has been created, upload it to YouTube as “unlisted” (see below).
  • Be sure to give the file an appropriate title and description (see below).
  • Copy/paste the URL into your online Video Submission Form.
  • Please check your URL to ensure it is functioning properly before submitting your application.

Video Format:
  • YouTube accepts any of the following video formats: .MOV, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP, and WebM.

Follow these directions to upload your completed video to an unlisted YouTube file. By doing this, only someone with a direct link to your video will be able to view it on YouTube.
  • Go to www.youtube.com and sign in. If you don’t already have an account, create one.
  • Click the “UPLOAD” button at the top.
  • Either click on the “Select files to upload” box and select your video file from the directory or
  • drag/drop your video file into the box.
  • In the “Basic Info” screen, enter YOUR NAME where the filename appears. i.e. Lisa Smith, Limerick
  • Change the privacy setting from “Public” to “Unlisted.”
  • Click “Done.”
  • When the video is finished, copy the URL and paste it into your online application form.
Discover the Musician Within
Phone: Call us at 01 4972333



Head Office and Studios:
1) 71B Brighton Road, Back of Methodist Church, Rathgar, D06Y497

Office Administration Hours:
  • WED 6pm-8pm
  • THURS 12pm - 2pm

Piano Studio:

2) Tennant Hall, Highfield Road,Christ Church, Rathgar

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The mission of the IPAI is to promote and support classical piano music around the world by offering specialized piano education, both online and in-person, to individuals of all ages and skill levels.

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