Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation, has announced that nine new areas of the country will receive philanthropic funding from U2 and The Ireland Funds to create increased access to music tuition for children and young people.
Following an open national call for applications earlier this year, the areas selected for participation are:
- Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
- Galway City
- Galway County
Each area will have its own Music Education Partnership which will manage and deliver Music Generation’s programmes. Operating on a 50/50 matched funding basis, the new Music Education Partnerships will receive an investment of €5m raised by U2 and The Ireland Funds and will also generate a further combined €5m in local investment over the next five years.
The partnerships will be established on a phased basis over the next five years with five areas commencing planning immediately and a further four expected to get underway in 2018. It is anticipated that the new programmes will create substantial employment opportunities for musicians in each area as well as offering access to high-quality, subsidised vocal and instrumental tuition to thousands of children and young people who would otherwise not have the choice of access or the chance to participate.
Music Generation was initiated by Music Network in 2010 and is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and local Music Education Partnerships. It creates access to music tuition for more than 41,000 children and young people annually in Carlow, Clare, Cork City, Laois, Limerick City, Louth, Mayo, Offaly/Westmeath, Sligo, South Dublin and Wicklow.
U2’s The Edge said:
‘This is a really important moment for Music Generation. Our ambition is for every child and young person in Ireland to have access to tuition and this next phase of expansion brings us ever closer. Huge thanks to both the government and The Ireland Funds for their ongoing commitment to a programme of which we, as a band, are immensely proud.’
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, said:
‘I would like to congratulate the new Music Education Partnerships and the various individuals, groups and Statutory Agencies that have come together to support the development of the Music Generation programme within their local areas. My department wholeheartedly believes in the importance of facilitating access to music for children and young people which unlocks their creativity and can help them reach their potential in all areas of their education. Through our ongoing annual €2.5m funding of Music Generation’s first phase and our commitment to co-funding the nine new areas into the future, we will work together with all partners to ensure the continued success of this important non-mainstream music education programme.’
Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO, The Ireland Funds, said:
‘It is wonderful to see the ongoing success of this pioneering programme, which has already had a remarkable impact on the communities in which it operates. We are delighted to be working with U2 and the Department of Education and Skills on this great Public-Philanthropic Partnership to bring the benefits of musical education to thousands of Irish young people.
National Director of Music Generation, Rosaleen Molloy, said:
‘This is another landmark moment for Music Generation and we are thrilled to announce the nine new areas that will join the programme for its next phase of development. We would like to acknowledge the ambition and the vision of these new Music Education Partnerships in seeking truly transformative outcomes for the children and young people with whom they will engage. We look forward to working with them to support their plans for development, building upon the extraordinary success of Music Generation’s story so far.’
Header photo: Music Generation’s Tuned In at The Model, Sligo © Brian Farrell