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Find Your Local Music Generation


Music Generation, the U2 and Irelands Funds’ supported National Music Education Programme, today announced the final call for applications from local Music Education Partnerships across the country seeking funding. The programme, initiated by Music Network and enabled by a €5 million donation from U2 with a further €2 million being raised by The Ireland Funds, provides children and young people with access to subsidised music education in their own community.
This is the third round of funding to be made available by Music Generation to local Music Education Partnerships and completed applications must be received by 5pm Thursday, November 8th. To date, €3 million has been awarded to Music Education Partnerships which are now up and running in counties Laois, Louth, Wicklow, Cork City, Sligo and Mayo.
As it stands, 68 musicians have been involved in delivering a range of tuition programmes to almost 3,400 children and young people around the country. The tuition, which targets the 0-18 age group, includes all genres of instrumental and vocal music - everything from pipes to piccolos, tin whistles to tubas, rock to reggae and beat boxing to busking!
U2’s The Edge said, “It is exciting to see the progress being made by Music Generation. For us Music Generation is about access - working with really committed local and national partners who share our vision for better access to high quality music education for children in Ireland. The terrific progress and involvement of 3,400 participants so far is a testament to the people who are just getting behind it and making it happen.”
“We are delighted to make this new announcement for funding, especially when I see the positive impact Music Generation is having locally,” commented Tony Ó Dálaigh, Chairman of Music Generation. “Without the investment by U2 and The Ireland Funds, along with our local partners, this terrific opportunity for our country would not be happening. This is the final call for applications so we’re encouraging Music Education Partnerships to come forward and apply for funding while they have this chance.”
Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said, “We are thrilled with how Music Generation is mobilising the music education movement in Ireland. Everyday across Ireland, thousands of children and young people who would not otherwise have the opportunity are benefiting from this flagship initiative which we are proud to be supporting with U2 as part of our Promising Ireland Campaign.”
The closing date for applications is 5pm Thursday, November 8th – detailed guidelines and all application details are available online at Music Education Partnerships are eligible to apply for 50% funding, up to a maximum of €200,000 per year over three years. The Department of Education and Skills is committed to continuing to fund Music Education Partnerships into the future with Exchequer funding when the Music Generation donations cease.
Information on how to apply here.
For further information please contact:
Martin Mackin/ Síle Murphy
Q4 Public Relations
Tel: 00 353 1 475 1444
Mob: 00 353 86 0288 132
Note to Editors:
A Music Education Partnership is a local or regional group that develops music education and improves its provision at a local level. It is made up of expert and interest groups and must include at least one statutory agency, such as a VEC or a Local Authority. For further details visit
Background to the development of Music Generation:
In May 2001 the Departments of Education and Science and Arts, Sport and Tourism and commissioned Music Network (a non-profit 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 report recognises the existing gaps within music education provision in Ireland, particularly with regard to children’s access to instrumental and vocal tuition. In Ireland, less than 1% of young people of secondary school age receive tuition in instrumental or vocal performance: in other European countries, the norm is 6 – 8%[2].
The report recommends 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 Music Education Partnerships would be continued into the future with Exchequer funding through the Department of Education and Skills when the donations ceased.
[1] A National System of Local Music Education Services (Music Network, 2003) – see
[1] Statistical data are regularly updated on the website of the European Music School Union – see
[1] Partnership for the Arts in Practice, (Arts Council, December 2005)
[1] Local Authorities and Music: Knowing the Score (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, March 2009)
[1] Striking the right note (Report on a Seminar, Music Network) – see
[1] Karan Thompson Consulting Ltd. Report of the Evaluation of the Music Education Partnerships in County Donegal and City of Dublin (Music Network, 2009).