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Biography


Dara has been playing the piano for almost as long as she can remember and decided as a young girl that she would study music in Trinity College. Her love of learning veered her towards a career as a teacher and so she studied Music Education with History in Trinity and graduated in 2007 with a 2.1. This qualifies her to teach Music and History at second level. Dara has a particular interest in music psychology (her final year dissertation was a guide to teaching sight-reading) and is especially interested in the benefits music instruction and study can have on the development of children and teenagers (socially and educationally among others).

Dara has been teaching music privately since 2005. She teaches or has taught music for varying legnths of time in various different places since then including Wicklow School of Music and Drama, Newpark Music Centre, Foxrock Institute and several different Dublin schools.

Darablack.com was created in August 2009 to be a source of information on Dara's work and publications as well as a hub of information and advice for students, parents and teachers.

In summer 2009 Dara ran her first teacher education course, Music Made Easy in Wicklow. The course was part of the programme of Department of Education Summer Courses for Primary Teachers. The feedback was excellent.

Summer 2009 also saw the beginning of Song and Writing - creative workshops for kids and teenagers run by Dara and her friend, Claire Hennessy. The two met several years ago while working for the Centre for Talented Youth. Song and Writing summer workshops take place every summer. Song and Writing also do visiting workshops.

Dara founded Wicklow Glee Club for kids and teens in February 2010. Kids and Teens met in Wicklow town every Saturday for singing, dancing and drama activities and gave several performances during the school year. The club is currently on hiatus. Dara visits schools for one-off "Glee Club in your school" workshops.

In 2011 Dara wrote and published "Virtuoso: Leaving Cert Music", a 2-in-1 text and revision book.

She currently lives in Dublin with her other-half, Shane, two cats, a giant rabbit and, usually, a foster-cat or two. Hobbies include movies, reading, painting and cardmaking. She strongly dislikes visiting the dentist and cannot stand the thought of cruelty to animals. Dara is a supporter of Dublin SPCA and an advocate for gifted kids and teens in Ireland.