Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation, has announced an expansion of its work to include Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath and Tipperary as the next five counties to join the programme.
Each of the five new areas will receive funding to create access to affordable performance music education for children and young people in their communities.
Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. welcomed this next big step on Music Generation’s road to nationwide expansion by 2022.
The new Music Generation counties will begin with the recruitment of Music Generation Development Officers in each area, who will then undertake a focussed period of planning for local implementation of the programme.
Music Generation projects are benefitting from €3.485 million funding from the Irish Department of Education and Skills in 2019.
Music and the arts inspire us all
– Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D.
Joe McHugh said:
‘Giving our young people access to high quality musical education is a key element of Creative Youth, part of the Government’s Creative Ireland plan.
‘Music and the arts inspire us all and Music Generation is having enormous impacts in communities, with young people having instrument, ensemble, voice and choral experiences that simply wouldn’t be possible without this programme.
‘It is a fantastic chance to instil a love of music and a lifelong skill and passion or awaken a hidden talent in our young people. I am delighted that today’s announcement brings us even closer to our goal of giving children in every county access to this opportunity.’
Music Generation was originally co-funded with philanthropic donations from U2 and The Ireland Funds, supported by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, along with funding from local partners. Its first two phases, from 2010 and 2017, saw the programme expand into 20 areas, creating more than 48,500 opportunities every year for young musicians to engage in inspiring musical experiences with 400 professional musician educators. During this time, the programme also received the invaluable funding support of the Department of Education and Skills.
We are beyond excited
Responding to the news, U2’s The Edge said:
‘Every milestone reached on this journey is a source of great pride for the band as well as everyone who has worked so hard to make it happen. With this latest announcement, the finish line is firmly in sight and our dream of an accessible music education for every young person in Ireland is getting ever closer. We are beyond excited.’
News of this latest phase of expansion follows the announcement of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., in December 2017 of the Irish Government’s commitment to support the roll-out of Music Generation to all remaining areas of the country by 2022, as part of the Creative Ireland Programme.
Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation, said:
‘This is a hugely significant moment for Music Generation. To be able to announce the programme in a further five counties is a testament to what can be achieved through committed, strategic partnership working between Government, philanthropy and local partners.
‘This is all part of the vision of our parent company Music Network, for a publicly supported national system of local music education services. I look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts to advance the music education movement in Ireland and creating access to transformative musical opportunities for children and young people.’