top of page
IBO photo 0034.jpg

Keyboard Technician Apprenticeships

The Irish Baroque Orchestra invites applications for Keyboard Technician Apprenticeships. 

This programme is designed to provide intermediate level training to four successful applicants, with a view to addressing a skills shortage on the island of Ireland. It is geared towards applicants with some prior knowledge of historical keyboard tuning. The course will address a range of key areas relating to keyboard technician work, and aims to develop participants’ skills, knowledge and confidence. 


Person Specification 

As a participant on this course you will have had some prior experience of tuning historical keyboard instruments, and possess awareness of different temperaments. You will have an ambition to work professionally in this capacity in the future, combining the technical skills that you develop with an eye and an ear for detail. 


There is no age limit for applicants. All participants will need to be based on the island of Ireland in line with our vision to develop this work nationally. 


Course Details 

The course will take place over two weekends, in the IBO’s offices at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Successful applicants will not be charged a fee for participating in this course, but will need to arrange travel and accommodation at their own expense if coming from outside of Dublin. 


Course 1:  Mechanics and Practicalities 

Course Leader: Michael Laffan 

Dates: September 28th + 29th 2024 

  • Restringing 

  • Making string loops

  • Replacing and voicing plectra

  • Adjusting dampers 

  • Regulating for stagger 

  • Key levelling

  • Where to get materials such as strings, plectra


Course 2: Tuning in Action 

Course Leader: Simon Neal 

Dates: October 26th + 27th 2024 

  • The history and evolution of temperament, with reference to the details of some well-known examples. 

  • Tuning by ear and by app.

  • Choice of temperament and how to manipulate it. Inputs to consider e.g. repertoire, keys, instrument etc. 

  • After the temperament - tuning the rest of the instrument (Octaves, unisons and checks) 

  • Practical considerations e.g. noise, atmosphere, time 

  • Q+A 



How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and CV marked ‘Keyboard Technician Apprenticeship’ to, outlining their experience of tuning to date and their motivation for applying. The deadline for applications is 5pm on June 4th 2024, and late applications will not be considered. Successful applicants are expected to attend both components of the course. 


This programme is generously supported by Arts Council Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, from whom the IBO receives principal funding. 

bottom of page