Gráinne O’Rourke LGSM LLSM ARIAM, founded Happy Days School of Performing Arts in 1995, is a Lecturer in Drama in Technological University Dublin, and is an examiner for Graded and Teaching Qualifications for the Royal Irish Academy of Music, (RIAM). Gráinne is a former president of the Association of Speech and Drama Teachers of Ireland, (2013-2015).
Gráinne holds a Certificate in Acting from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, an Associate Diploma from the Leinster School of Music, an Associate Diploma from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, a Licentiate Diploma from the Leinster School of Music; (in teaching of Speech and Drama) and a Licentiate Diploma from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; (in teaching of Speech and Drama).
As director of Happy Days School of Performing Arts, in addition to teaching Speech and Drama classes to children and teenagers, Gráinne provides workplace training in the teaching of Speech and Drama to H. Dip. in Drama and Education students from Griffith College Dublin and Theatre Studies students from Trinity College Dublin.
As a Lecturer in Drama in TU Dublin, Gráinne has developed the Drama element of the Creative Approaches to Social Care module and the Early Childhood Care and Education module. Gráinne lectures students on how they can modify and adapt communication methods and styles, including verbal and nonverbal methods to suit the individual Service Users, considering issues of language, culture, beliefs and health and/or social care needs. She encourages the students to recognise all behaviour, including challenging behaviour, as a form of communication and demonstrate an understanding of the underlying causes in order to apply appropriate strategies.
As an examiner for the RIAM in Graded and Teaching Qualifications, Gráinne examines students in all aspects of Speech and Drama, Public Speaking, Effective Communication, Choral Speaking and Acting, both in the Academy and outside venues. Gráinne has also adjudicated for the RIAM High Achievers Awards.
As a former committee member and president of the Association of Speech and Drama Teachers of Ireland, Gráinne helped develop the position of Speech and Drama teachers and also wrote the Child Protection document on behalf of the Speech and Drama Teachers of Ireland.