Music Generation - the U2 and Ireland Funds supported National Music Education Programme - today announced that Laois, Cork City and Wicklow to receive up to €1.7 million in funding.
The programme is enabled by a €5 million donation from U2 along with a further €2 million which is currently being raised by The Ireland Funds. The donation represents the largest-ever single philanthropic gift to music education in Ireland in the history of the state. Music Generation, which is successfully underway in Louth, Mayo and Sligo, is expected to create substantial job opportunities for musicians over the next five years as well as providing access to vocal and instrumental tuition for thousands of children and young people who would otherwise not have the chance of participation.
The Edge stated “Access to music for children and young people is something that is very close to our hearts– we believe that every child should have the choice to get involved in music, irrespective of their background. Music Generation is addressing the gap in individual and group vocal and instrumental music tuition in our education system and we are delighted to be playing a part in nurturing and inspiring Ireland’s young musicians of the future.”
The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn TD joined with Music Generation in making today’s announcement. Commenting at today’s launch Minister Quinn said “I am delighted to see the progress of Music Generation throughout the country which will undoubtedly create better access to high quality music education for thousands of children and young people. The Department of Education and Skills welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the programme’s donors, U2 and The Ireland Funds, Music Network and the range of local agencies and organisations. We all recognise that music can enrich the lives of children and communities and the Government remains committed to developing and sustaining the Music Education Partnerships with Exchequer funding in future years when the donations cease.”
Chairman of Music Generation, Dr. Tony Ó Dálaigh said, “We received applications from over one-third of the country; the standard was exceptionally high in this round, with a significant amount of support and commitment from local Music Education Partnerships.” “Music Generation would not be happening without the contributions made by U2 and The Irelands Funds. In practical terms it means that Music Generation can provide access to music education which is currently unavailable to the majority of children, as well as employment for musicians in their locality” he concluded.
Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds commented, “We are excited to see the fantastic progress that Music Generation has made in less than a year since its launch. The Ireland Funds are proud to support this exemplary initiative, which has the capacity to transform not only the national landscape for music education in Ireland, but the quality of life for so many children and young people - Ireland’s ‘music generation’ of the future.”
Music Generation was formed to roll out the Music Education Partnership model, which was developed by Music Network in 2003. Music Generation earlier this year put out calls for applications from local Music Education Partnerships across the country seeking to apply for funding. Up to twelve Music Education Partnerships will be awarded funding on a phased basis from 2011-2015.
Music Generation Laois: The mission of Music Generation Laois is to deliver a high-quality, relevant, inclusive, integrated and sustainable music education service which is accessible to all children and young people throughout the county. Led by Laois County Council, and building upon the success of the Laois School of Music, over the next three years Music Generation Laois will roll out a series of exciting programmes including:
- Laois School of Rock
- Stampede Drumming Project
- Pipe Up – an uileann piping initiative in partnership with Na Píobairí Uileann
- The Music Box – an inclusive programme designed for young musicians with special needs
- A choral singing programme
- A range of access programmes through primary schools which will provide vocal and instrumental tuition and access to instrument banks.
Music Generation Wicklow: Broadening access to high-quality music education, diminishing the barrier of cost for children and young people and championing music education as a tool for the creative, intellectual and social development of young people – these are among many of the ambitious aims of Music Generation Wicklow. Led by Wicklow VEC and Wicklow County Council, over the next three years over 1,500 children and young people throughout the county will have increased access to music through a variety of programmes including:
- Three new instrumental and vocal tuition main hubs in County Wicklow
- Access to instrument banks
- Music foundation courses and schools choir projects that target rurally isolated schools
- Opportunities for young musicians to interact with high quality national and international musicians.
Music Generation Cork City aims to provide opportunities for more than 3,000 children to access high quality music education in all parts of the City, including key areas of deprivation. Led by Cork City Council and City of Cork VEC with local partners under the City Development Board, this a city-wide quality and access driven initiative aims promote the use of music as a means of tackling social exclusion and equality of opportunity in music-making for all citizens.
Among the programmes that will be rolled out over the next three years are:
- ‘Kickstart’- A flagship Early Years Programme in every childcare facility in the city, laying a foundation for music learning for years to come
- A City Children’s Choir with local feeder choirs in four areas
- An annual calendar of performances in local and city centre performance spaces.
A music education resource base in RAPID communities will also be established to sustain future programmes and provided meaningful and challenging employment and continuing professional development opportunities for musicians.