In 1990, after extensive private teaching and working in primary and secondary schools, Majella Swan established the Carlow College of Music above her Dad’s shop, Swan’s Supermarket on Kennedy Street, Carlow. Majella taught piano, violin, theory and pre-instrumental music and was assisted by Maggie Brady whom also taught piano and theory. The College began to gain a reputation for high quality music tuition, which meant that a larger premises was required to cope with the increasing demand. A purpose built premises was erected at 1 Larkfield, in the Rathnapish area of Carlow and opened in 1996.
Demand has exceeded the capacity of the college. To cope with this demand, the college uses other venues for teaching within the town, Askea Parish Centre, Presentation College, Cathedral Parish Centre and Gaelscoil Eoghain Ui Thuairisc.
The college produces such a high standard of musicianship that many of the students whom have attended the college as children, have taken up teaching positions within the college, or are teaching music elsewhere or have taken up other careers in the music industry. But most use it to relax, unwind and entertain themselves and their families.