Dublin, 5th May 2011- Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds supported National Music Education Programme, today announced that Louth, Mayo and Sligo have been selected for participation in the first round of the programme. Over the next three years, Music Generation will award a total of up to €1.6 million to these counties to help children and young people access vocal and instrumental tuition in their local areas.
The programme is enabled by a €5 million donation from U2, with a further €2 million being raised by the Ireland Funds, to support the development of a national music programme providing instrumental and vocal music tuition for children and young people up to 18 years of age. Music Generation was formed to roll out the Music Education Partnership model, which was developed by Music Network in 2003. A Music Education Partnership is an interagency structure that is led by a Local Authority or VEC. Music Generation earlier this year put out a call for applications from local Music Education Partnerships across the country seeking to apply for funding.
A spokesperson for U2 said, “The four members of U2 were fortunate to attend a school where there were great music teachers; many Irish schools have none at all and this imaginative national programme is intended to start to correct that unfair state of affairs in our education system. Children and young people will finally have a much greater chance to access music tuition."
Tony Ó Dálaigh, Chairman of Music Generation said, “These three counties rose straight to the top when an independent panel examined the proposals from around the country. These are regions with a strong track record and commitment to music which was reflected in the high standard of their applications. Music Generation will now offer the opportunity for these counties to build on their development and expand provision to new areas of need.
“The standard of applications we received from the rest of the country was very promising and Music Generation will continue to work with them and with other applicants to prepare for the next round of funding which will be announced during the autumn. An important part of the Music Education Partnership model is that the partnerships selected for funding will work with Music Generation and their neighbouring areas to share best practice through a support network.”
Minister for Education and Skills, Ruari Quinn TD said, “We are very grateful to U2 and The Ireland Funds for their support in promoting this visionary initiative. The Government is committed to continuing the music education partnerships with Exchequer funding in future years, when the Music Generation donations cease. Music education plays an important role in promoting creativity and self expression, and in developing children’s cognitive and affective skills. This initiative will enrich the lives of children and their communities in the areas selected for funding.”
“The Ireland Funds are proud to be associated with U2 in supporting Music Generation. Our participation represents the global Irish family’s belief in Ireland’s young people and a commitment to support Irish culture which defined Irish identity abroad,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds.
Music Generation will provide three-year seed funding to establish local services, which will be sustained by Music Education Partnerships on a long-term basis. It is the intention of the Department of Education and Skills that Music Education Partnerships will be continued into the future with Exchequer funding when the Music Generation donations cease. Funding for up to twelve Music Education Partnerships will be awarded on a phased basis from 2011-2015, most likely in three locations at a time. Music Education Partnerships are eligible to apply for 50% funding, up to a maximum of €200,000 per annum over three years.