- 14 Jun 11
Louth, Mayo and Sligo set to receive up to €1.6 million in funding over three years from U2 and Ireland Funds supported venture
Louth, Mayo and Sligo have been selected for participation in the first round of the Music Generation programme. Supported by U2 and the Ireland Funds, the National Music Education Programme is set to shape the musical education of children and young adults across the country. Over the next three years, Music Generation will award a total of up to €1.6 million to these counties to help children and young people access vocal and instrumental tuition in their local areas.
The programme is enabled by a €5 million donation from U2, with a further €2 million being raised by the Ireland Funds. The aim is to support the development of a national music programme providing instrumental and vocal music tuition for children and young people up to 18 years of age.
The initiative offers U2 a chance to embrace their roots and give back to the community that helped form them. A spokesperson for the band explained, “The four members of U2 were fortunate to attend a school where there were great music teachers. Many Irish schools have none at all and this imaginative national programme is intended to start to correct that unfair state of affairs in our education system. Children and young people will finally have a much greater chance to access music tuition."
Tony Ó Dálaigh, Chairman of Music Generation believes they are starting on the right foot.
“These three counties rose straight to the top when an independent panel examined the proposals from around the country", he said. "These are regions with a strong track record and commitment to music which was reflected in the high standard of their applications. Music Generation will now offer the opportunity for these counties to build on their development and expand provision to new areas of need."
Minister for Education and Skills, Ruari Quinn TD hailed the venture as a hugely positive step in the development of children, and revealed that the Irish Government will pick up where Music Generation leaves off at the end of their planned three-year campaign.
“We are very grateful to U2 and The Ireland Funds for their support in promoting this visionary initiative", he said. "The Government is committed to continuing the music education partnerships with Exchequer funding in future years, when the Music Generation donations cease.
"Music education plays an important role in promoting creativity and self-expression, and in developing children’s cognitive and affective skills. This initiative will enrich the lives of children and their communities in the areas selected for funding.”