Guitarist/Teacher/Lecturer in Kodály Musicianship

Luke Dunlea has been an active member of the London guitar scene since moving there from his native Cork, in the Irish Republic, in 1980. Since then Dunlea has performed extensively in Britain, Ireland and Europe.

In the 70's growing up in Ireland exposed you to an exciting mix of contemporary folk, although it was often 5 years out of date by the time we heard it, and traditional Irish music which largely flourished in the rural areas. Classical music, however, was outside my orbit except for the many get-togethers organised by my parents where performing of all sorts was expected, both my parents were keen amateur opera and music hall singers and would perform duets from Gilbert and Sullivan or sing arias from the famous operas.

After exploring the many singer-songwriters of the times and after performing widely in a folk duo I felt I had arrived at a dead-end as a guitarist. It was around this time that I heard a classical guitar recording of Julian Byzantine and the English flamenco guitarist Philip John Lee which lead me to explore the guitar as a solo instrument.

Learning classical guitar in Cork was in its infancy at this time with no professional players living anywhere in Ireland. I began to have lessons in the Cork Municipal School of Music with Gary Cronin who was in fact an all-Ireland fiddle champion, however he was/is a very fine classical player. Unfortunately, it has to be noted that the understanding of guitar technique was negligeable which subsequentially I discovered when I attended my first guitar summer school where I meet the above mentioned Julian Byzantine. Following this and other 'awareness' trips I persevered and sorted out my playing to achieve a distinction at Grade 8, the Associate of the London College of Music 1978, and the Licentiate of Trinity College of Music 1979.

Some years after arriving in London I began exploring the Kodaly method and discovered that music could be taught as a subject like any other which really enthused me and lead me to study seriously with the British Kodaly Academy where after 3 years of part-time study I received an advanced diploma with distinction.

Between 1995 and 2006 I was part of a team rewarded the Queen's Award For Innovation In Music Education for a course which combined Kodaly and Dalcroze training to post graduate students at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Currently, I direct The First Guitar Experience at the Royal Academy of Music in London where my guitar method Jigsaw Guitar Course, Musicianship and guitar playing using the Kodaly approach, forms the basis of the programme.