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U2-backs Music Education

Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds supported National Music Education Programme for young people, was officially unveiled yesterday. The programme, enabled by a €5 million donation from U2 with a further €2 million being raised by The Ireland Funds, gives children and young people across the country access to music education in their own communities.

19th January 2011

Initiated by Music Network, the national agency for music development, Music Generation today put out a call for applications from local Music Education Partnerships across the country seeking to apply for funding.

“Simply put this scheme would never have seen the light of day without U2 and The Ireland Funds."

U2 and The Ireland Funds announced in July 2009 that they would provide funding to offer children and young people in Ireland the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and/or avail of vocal tuition. The donation provided by U2 and The Ireland Funds is to ensure the national rollout on a phased basis to 2015.

“Music is – obviously – the world to us and we were lucky enough to have it at school” said U2’s The Edge. “But even if you choose not to make it your job, learning music is proven to have a hugely positive effect on society in general. It’s exciting that thousands of Ireland’s children and young people will have the opportunity for tuition.”

Chairman of Music Generation, Dr. Tony Ó Dálaigh said, “The profoundly generous funds presented to Music Generation by U2 and The Ireland Funds are wholeheartedly appreciated and cherished. It will without doubt change the lives of thousands of children and young people in Ireland.

“Simply put this scheme would never have seen the light of day without U2 and The Ireland Funds.

“Cutbacks did not allow the promise of the pilot schemes to be realised and a significant opportunity for a breakthrough in music education in Ireland seemed lost.

“However, U2's vision and commitment have now made Music Generation a reality and young Irish musicians will be the beneficiaries.

“Their generosity will enhance and enrich quality of life, nurture the careers of musicians, empower the musical life of communities and energise partnerships among the public, private, community and voluntary sectors in the spirit of making music education happen throughout Ireland,” he concluded.

“Music Generation is a splendid example of philanthropy at work,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO - The Worldwide Ireland Funds. “Through the donations of U2 and our donors, young people across Ireland will be provided with the best in music education. It’s all about investing in the next generation, in our heritage and in access and excellence.”

Rosaleen Molloy, Music Generation Director commented, “This is a wonderful opportunity for thousands of children and young people to access music education. Therefore, we are calling on Music Education Partnerships to come forward and apply for funding to create opportunities for musicians, children and young people alike.”

The Music Education Partnership model, developed by Music Network, has been successfully piloted in Donegal and Dublin. Funding for up to twelve Music Education Partnerships will be awarded on a phased basis from 2011-2015, most likely in three locations at a time. Music Education Partnerships are eligible to apply for 50% funding, up to a maximum of €200,000 per annum over three years.

Music Generation will provide three-year seed funding to establish local services, which will be sustained by Music Education Partnerships on a long-term basis. It is the intention of the Department of Education & Skills that Music Education Partnerships will be continued into the future with Exchequer funding when the Music Generation donations cease.

The closing date for Round 1 applications is Thursday, March 31st, 2011.

Detailed guidelines and all application details are available on: www.musicgeneration.ie. 

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