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Find Your Local Music Generation

Music Generation Announces €1.8 Million Funding Now Available for Music Education Partnerships

U2 and Ireland Funds Supported Music Education Programme Calls for Applications

Dublin, 13 September 2011 - Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds supported National Music Education Programme, today called for applications from local Music Education Partnerships to apply for funding to help children and young people access vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area. A total fund €1.8million is available in Round 2.

The announcement was made at the inaugural Music Generation National Seminar, where a range of individuals and organisations from around the country gathered to participate in Music Generation’s first learning network. The learning network includes parents, performers, teachers, managers, musicians, community development workers and many more with an interest in music education, who will meet to share information and, by working together, establish networks to develop a co-ordinated national approach to improving the infrastructure for music in Ireland.

Young musicians from Louth, Mayo and Sligo, the first three counties to be selected for participation in Music Generation, represented their counties and performed for attendees.

Tony O Dálaigh, Chairman of Music Generation said, “We are delighted to announce the second round of funding available to Music Education Partnerships around the country. Music Generation has helped to build national momentum for music education where communities have been energised and empowered to simplyget behind it. We hope this trend towards a united national initiative for better access to music education for our children and young people will continue.

“Today’s seminar marks an important milestone for Music Generation, where representatives from every city and county have come together united by a common aim. We are very grateful to U2 and the Ireland Funds without whom this new evolution in Irish music education would not take place.”

Music Education Partnerships are eligible to apply for 50% funding, up to a maximum of €200,000 per year over three years. The closing date for Round 2 applications is 5.00 p.m., Thursday, November 3rd, 2011. Detailed guidelines and all application details are available on

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 & Skills that Music Education Partnerships will be continued into the future with Exchequer funding when the Music Generation donations cease.


Music Education Partnership :

A Music Education Partnership is a local or regional group established to develop and improve the infrastructure for music education at local level. It is made up of expert groups and must include at least one statutory agency such as a VECor a Local Authority. The Music Education Partnership works to plan for a music education service in its locality, establish networks and an efficient administrative structure, identify funding and other types of support and manage the development of the service.

Background to the development of Music Generation:

In May 2001 the Departments of Arts, Sport and Tourism and Education and Science commissioned Music Network (a non-profit national music development organisation established by the Arts Council) to produce a feasibility study to examine how an enhanced national system of publicly-supported music education might be provided in Ireland[1].

The Music Network report recognised the existing gaps within music education provision in Ireland, particularly with regard to children’s access to instrumental and vocal tuition. In Ireland, only about 1% of children of secondary school age receive tuition in instrumental or vocal performance: in other European countries, the norm is 6 – 8%[2].

The report recommended a pragmatic model of cost-effective local service provision to address those gaps. The model involves the creation of a national system of local music education services, which are publicly supported, socially inclusive, community focused, multi-genre, and of high quality, to complement the teaching and learning of music in the classroom.

In September 2003, Music Network made a presentation of the Report’s findings to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Arts, Sport and Tourism. The following year the Department of Education and Skills provided funds to pilot implementation models in Co. Donegal and Dublin City VECs. These programmes continue to be funded by the Department.

Reports from the Arts Council[3] and Local Authorities[4] indicate that the scheme has broad acceptance from institutional interests, and a seminar held by Music Network in 2007 reported on the success of the two pilot schemes[5]. An independent evaluation of these pilot schemes, published in April 2009, concluded that “this partnership model provides a workable and replicable framework for development of music education services … on a wider scale throughout Ireland”.[6]

It was announced in July 2009 that a National Music Education Programme would be implemented with the support of donations from U2 and The Ireland Funds in the early years of development, with the intention that the music education partnerships would be continued into the future with Exchequer funding when the donations ceased.

[1] A National System of Local Music Education Services (Music Network, 2003) – see

[2] Statistical data are regularly updated on the website of the European Music School Union – see

[3] Partnership for the Arts in Practice, (Arts Council, December 2005)

[4] Local Authorities and Music: Knowing the Score (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, March 2009)

[5] Striking the right note (Report on a Seminar, Music Network) – see

[6] Karan Thompson Consulting Ltd. Report of the Evaluation of the Music Education Partnerships in County Donegal and City of Dublin (Music Network, 2009).