Kearns studied classical guitar with Cecile Gormley and composition, harmony, music theory and piano with Elizabeth Shure, daughter of Leonard Shure, herself a noted concert pianist. Kearns spent most of his spare time involved with music. He was a member of several Choirs in and around Dublin and taught classical guitar and music theory in Lucan, Co. Dublin.
In 1990 Kearns went to Cadiz in Spain to further his studies. Whilst there he composed many works including two piano concertos, a guitar concerto, a French horn concerto as well as many studies for piano, string quartet and woodwind quintet. Apart from his own original compositions, Kearns is well known for his variations on works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. He has also composed several pieces for jazz quintet. Kearns returned to Ireland in 2005 and now resides in Ballybofey, Donegal.
In 2007, due to a debilitating illness, Kearns lost the use of his right hand and his left hand is also failing. He is now correlating his life’s work of some 300 pieces for publication under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.
Kearns is a member of The Irish Composers’ Collective.