Find Your Local Music Generation


The establishment of Music Generation in 2010 was a hugely significant moment for music education in Ireland.

For the first time in history, it laid the foundations to build a system that would support equal access for all children and young people to learn to play, sing, create and perform music.

Initiated by our parent company, Music Network, Music Generation is now Ireland’s national music education programme, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships.

History banner

Our story so far


The Arts Council’s Deaf Ears? report states that ‘The young Irish person has the worst of all European musical ‘worlds’’


Music Network begins to investigate how a national system of publicly supported local ‘schools of music’ might be provided in Ireland


The MEND Report is published - a review of music education in Ireland, incorporating the final report of the music education national debate


Music Network publishes its report, A National System of Local Music Education Services – Report of a Feasibility Study, and presents findings to Government

"In the case of vocal and instrumental tuition, despite some excellent provision in various institutions and schemes… Whole regions of Ireland lack appropriate provision and hundreds of thousands of citizens are thereby culturally deprived." Music Network Feasibility Study


Counties Dublin and Donegal are selected to pilot the model with funding from the Department of Education and Science


With support from the Arts Council, Music Network establishes a Music Education Working Group to raise awareness of the value of music education


An independent evaluation of the Dublin and Donegal pilots concludes: ‘this partnership model provides a workable and replicable framework for development of music education services… on a wider scale throughout Ireland’

"There is no doubt that as a country we are out of sync with other comparable European countries in making such music tuition readily available… Clearly a new approach was required to finally initiate sustainable, inclusive and accessible performance music education." Possible Selves in Music, 2016


U2 and The Ireland Funds commit €7 million to enable implementation of the report’s recommendations over the next five years


Music Network establishes Music Generation as a subsidiary company, to execute the donors’ vision

11 cities/counties are selected to participate in Music Generation’s first phase, funded through the philanthropic donations, matched by local investment


The Department of Education and Skills announces its commitment to sustainably co-fund all 11 areas into the future, once the philanthropic donations are spent


Based on the success of its first five years, U2 and The Ireland Funds pledge to support a new phase of growth for Music Generation


The Department of Education and Skills also commits to co-funding the second phase of the programme into the future


U2 and The Ireland Funds confirm a total philanthropic donation of €6.3m to support Music Generation’s expansion into nine cities/counties as part of ‘Phase 2’

Government’s intention to expand Music Generation nationwide by 2022 is announced in December, as part of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth plan

The nine Phase 2 areas are selected, bringing the total number of cities and counties reached to 20


Five more Music Generation counties are established as part of the journey towards nationwide expansion

Planning is now underway to extend Music Generation to all remaining areas of Ireland ahead of the 2022 target.