MUSIC EDUCATION STRUCTURES PLANNED FOR EVERY CITY AND COUNTY FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY OF STATE

05 April 2011

There is now a structure in place or planned for every city and county to deliver music education to children and young people for the first time ever, following the launch of Music Generation. An initiative of Music Network, Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, funded by U2 and The Ireland Funds. It aims to help children and young people to access performance music education (vocal and instrumental) in their own locality. The structural basis for the programme is Music Network’s Music Education Partnership model, which was successfully piloted in Donegal and Dublin. Structures have been established in response to a call made by Music Generation earlier this year for local Music Education Partnerships to apply for funding, which has received a 100% response.

In July 2009 U2 and The Ireland Funds announced a €7 million donation to support the cause when national funding to roll out successful pilot schemes was impacted due to the current economic climate. Music Generation was formed to roll out the Music Education Partnership model, which was developed by Music Network in 2003.  A Music Education Partnership is an inter-agency structure that is led by a Local Authority or VEC.

Even though funding is not guaranteed for every county, every city and county has either put, or is in the process of putting, structures in place to deliver locally available music tuition for children and young people.   

“The response we’ve received throughout the country has been phenomenal,” said Tony Ó Dálaigh, Chairman of Music Generation. “The philanthropic gift from U2 and The Ireland Funds has mobilised the country to get behind music education.  This is philanthropy at work because our donors have empowered the nation to work together to make music education happen.”

Rosaleen Molloy, Director of Music Generation added, “Since Music Generation’s announcement in January, I’ve been working closely with Music Education Partnerships throughout Ireland. The leadership that statutory agencies in particular have demonstrated in galvanising local support has been remarkable.   Uniquely, each county has plans or has put in place a structure without any guarantee of funding and a significant level of momentum has been built up which I would encourage the local Music Education Partnerships to continue.”

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 and Skills that Music Education Partnerships will be continued into the future with Exchequer funding when the Music Generation donations cease. 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.

The first round of selected Music Education Partnerships is expected to be announced during early May. Another round of funding will be announced later in the year.

Further information here.