- 20 Jul 09
Millions are to be spent on nurturing young talent.
U2 and The American Ireland Fund have announced a joint initiative to help children and young people learn a musical instrument and/or avail of vocal tuition.
Money will be provided so that local education authorities throughout the country can afford to engage specialist music teachers.
“Being around music at a young age was important for us and we were lucky to have it at school,” The Edge reflects. “We’d been looking for some time for a way to get involved in music education in Ireland. After talking to various people about what to do, we came to the conclusion that the Music Network scheme is really well thought out and that we, in partnership with the Ireland Funds, should just get behind it.”
Welcoming the move, the Minister for Education and Science, Bat O ‘Keefe, says: “I’m delighted that U2 and The Ireland Funds have agreed to join us as partners in progressing the music agenda in Ireland. We recognised the gaps in music education in 2001 when a feasibility study was commissioned to examine how a national system of publicly supported local music schools might be provided. The pilot schemes, which Government has funded since 2004 will now provide the model to roll the scheme out nationally. We are very grateful for the support of U2 and The Ireland Funds for the programme over the next six years. It has the potential to create a true legacy for music education in Ireland.”
Let’s hope Mr. O’Keefe and his colleagues are equally as supportive of the arts when it comes to considering the next round of government spending cuts.