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Find Your Local Music Generation

Department of Education and Skills confirms support for pioneering music education initiative


Minister Jan O’Sullivan, TD, confirmed Department of Education and Skills support for co-funding a further four Music Education Partnerships in Cork City, Laois, South Dublin and Wicklow at a special event hosted in Portlaoise by Music Generation Laois.

Music Generation, the national music education programme initiated by Music Network following a €7m philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds, has moved another step forward in its vision to become a long-term and lasting part of the national music education landscape. Minister Jan O’Sullivan announced that her Department would commence co-funding of a further four Music Education Partnerships in Cork City, Laois, South Dublin and Wicklow. The funding from the Department is matched by support from local Music Education Partnerships.

The event was held in the recently refurbished Portlaoise Youth Education Centre, now home to Music Generation Laois and Laois School of Music, where the Minister was treated to a live performance by local young musicians from Music Generation Laois’ School of Rock and Pop.

Music Generation provides young people with access to high quality subsidised vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area. Since its foundation in 2009 the programme has established Music Education Partnerships in 12 counties, creating access for up to 20,000 children and young people and providing employment opportunities for over 250 professional musicians.

In January 2013 the Department of Education and Skills announced it would begin the phasing in of its co-funding with local Music Education Partnerships from July 2014, with a view to completely replacing the original philanthropic donation by 2016. The €7m donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) made in 2009 was the largest ever single philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.

Music Generation is one of the initiatives supported by the Department of Education and Skills under the Arts in Education Charter. Speaking at the event, Minister Jan O’Sullivan TD, said: “Music Generation truly is an innovative and pioneering partnership model, which has transformed the landscape of non-mainstream music education in Ireland today. Providing children and young people with high quality music education is an important investment that will pay dividends in many ways for years to come. My Department would like to thank U2, The Ireland Funds and local Music Education Partnerships for their important contribution to this initiative. I wish Music Generation continued success in its mission to provide access to quality performance music education for children and young people of all abilities, a goal my Department is delighted to support.”

Commenting on this next stage of Music Generation’s development, The Edge said: “U2 are very proud of the success of Music Generation and it’s exciting to see the programme continue to expand. We would like to thank all of the partners involved for their commitment to making high quality affordable music tuition available to generations of Irish to come.”

Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said: “We are very proud of our investment in Music Generation and are thrilled that it has exceeded our expectations and established itself as one of our most exciting flagship programmes. Music Generation and the network of local Music Education Partnerships have transformed the landscape of music education in Ireland. We applaud the Government’s commitment to creating a sound basis upon which future generations of young musicians can learn and thrive.”

Rosaleen Molloy, the National Director of Music Generation, thanked Minister Jan O’Sullivan for her Department’s continued commitment and vision in supporting music education in Ireland, commenting: “On behalf of our donors, funders, local music education partners and, most importantly, the thousands of children and young people around the country who have access to music education, I would like to sincerely thank the Minister and the Department of Education and Skills for their ongoing commitment to co-funding of Music Generation, along with the local Music Education Partnerships. The Department’s vital support builds confidence in the achievements of Music Generation and ensures that our work continues into the future.”

Notes to editors

Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme helping children and young people access high quality subsidised performance music education in their local area.

Music Network established Music Generation on receipt of a €7 million donation in 2009 from U2 and The Ireland Funds, following a ten year campaign for the development of a national system of music education services in Ireland.

The first phase of funding by the Department of Education and Skills was committed in 2013, and it began co-funding three programmes (Louth, Mayo and Sligo) in July 2014 with local partners, on a 50/50 basis. The second phase of funding by the Department of Education and Skills will support four further programmes in Cork City, Laois, Wicklow and South Dublin with co-funding by local Music Education Partnerships.