On Thursday, 7th December 2017 An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, T.D., together with the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, T.D., and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., launched Creative Youth – A Plan to Enable the Creative Potential of Every Child and Young Person.
The plan sets out measures to ensure that every child in Ireland will have practical access to tuition, experience and participation in music, drama, art and coding over the next five years, and includes a commitment to support the roll-out of Music Generation nationwide by 2022.
For Music Generation, this means that thousands more children and young people across every city and county will have the opportunity to access and engage in truly transformative musical experiences with inspirational musician educators.
Commenting on the announcement, U2’s The Edge said that - ‘This is a very exciting moment. A huge thanks to the Government for making this commitment. It is a very important milestone for Music Generation and we are thrilled.’
Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO, The Ireland Funds, commented: ‘This is an outstanding outcome of U2 and The Ireland Funds’ investment and belief in Music Generation. It is an excellent example of a Public Philanthropic Partnership, with Government and Philanthropists working together to deliver benefit on the ground across the country. Deep thanks are due to the Government and to the Department of Education and Skills for their commitment, without which none of this would be possible.’
Sharon Rollston, CEO of Music Network, described what this news means for music education in Ireland: ‘The commitment by Government to nationwide roll-out of Music Generation is something truly revolutionary in Ireland’s music education history. Since 2003, when Music Network, as Music Generation’s parent company, published the blue-print document for the programme’s development (A Feasibility Study for a National System of Local Music Education Services), heretofore unimaginable and irrevocable shifts have been made in the music education landscape in Ireland. We look forward to witnessing even further growth over the next five years as even more children and young people have the opportunity to experience inspiring musical encounters.’
Responding to the announcement, Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation, said: 'This is a significant step towards achieving Music Generation’s ultimate vision to create universal access to music tuition for all children and young people, regardless of circumstance. Our heartfelt thanks to U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills, and to the network of Local Music Education Partnerships with whom we work, in which ETBs and Local Authorities play a key role, for continuing to support our mutual aim to enable the creative potential of every child and young person in the country. This is a vision that closely and cohesively aligns with that in the ‘Creative Youth’ plan, and we look forward to working in partnership with Creative Ireland towards that vision into the future.'
Music Generation is Ireland’s national music education programme, initiated by Music Network and co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships.