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Music Generation National Conference spotlights the importance of access to music for all children and young people.

Two young musicians with Minister holding trumpet and maracas

Widening access to music tuition and the powerful impact that music can have on children and young people’s wellbeing were just some of the topics discussed at the conference, which was opened by Minister for Education Norma Foley on Tuesday March 5th at Dublin Castle. Titled ‘Access, Artistry and Advocacy’, the conference examined some of the groundbreaking achievements of Music Generation to date and explored the powerful impact that music can have on the lives of children and young people.

Minister Foley said,

"I am really delighted to have been invited to open the Music Generation National Conference 2024, and to be part of celebrating the collective achievements of all the partners involved in Music Generation in bringing music and music making to our children and young people since its beginnings in 2010."

"Music Generation is a partnership effort at every level and is a real example of innovation and collaboration to identify and meet the needs of children and young people at a local level. As many people will be aware, Music Generation was initially funded by U2 and the Ireland Funds. However, in December 2017, as part of the national Creative Ireland Plan, the Government at that time announced its commitment to support the roll-out of Music Generation nationwide by 2022." Minister Foley
"Fast forward to 2024 and Music Generation reaches over 85,000 children and young people all across Ireland. This year again my Department will provide €7m in funding directly to Music Generation. This will support its mission of empowering children and young people to realise their full potential through access to and participation in, high quality performance music education." Minister Foley
Watch Minister Foley's opening and meet some of the young panellists at the conference here

Established in 2010 by its parent company Music Network, Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships in which Education and Training Boards and Local Authorities play a lead role.

U2’s The Edge said

“Music has always been central to our lives, and Music Generation continues to do a great job in widening the availability of music tuition across the country. The fact that all of the national and local partners, and of course The Ireland Funds, have cooperated to make this such a successful initiative is not only appreciated by us but also without doubt by all the students whose lives are enriched by access to music. Music and creative expression is such a part of who we are, access to music and tuition benefits not just the individual but also the wider community.”

Adam Clayton added

"We wish all the best to the conference in their discussions on the future of Music Generation. I can't imagine a world without music and we in the band continue to be completely supportive of this important initiative.

"Music Generation is a wonderful example of a flagship philanthropic-public partnership initiative which is unlocking creativity in young people, creating employment opportunities and enhancing the cultural life of communities." Executive Director of The Ireland Funds, Siobhán Gallagher

The voices of children and young people were central in the conference which features a youth panel presentation spotlighting the powerful role that music plays in their lives. The young musicians will share stories about their musical journey and openly examine some of the barriers to access and participation in music that many children and young people in Ireland face.

Commenting on the conference, National Director of Music Generation Rosaleen Molloy said, “Today marks an important moment for all partners involved in Music Generation to take stock of all that has been achieved on our journey so far, to celebrate our collective national effort and most especially, to hear the voices of children and young people about their hopes, dreams and aspirations for their musical future”.

Photos taken by Brian Farrell at Music Generation National Conference in Dublin Castle on 5th March 2024.

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