Music Generation today announced that Leitrim will receive €340,000 in philanthropic funding from U2 and The Ireland Funds over three years to create increased access to high-quality, subsidised vocal and instrumental music education programmes for children and young people throughout the county.
Operating on a 50/50 matched-funding basis, Leitrim Music Education Partnership will also generate a further €340,000 in funding locally over the three-year period. Leitrim Music Education Partnership is among 9 new areas of the country selected for participation in Music Generation’s second phase.
Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation was initiated by Music Network in 2010, and is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships. Already, the programme creates access to music tuition for more than 41,000 children and young people annually across 12 counties, with today’s announcement bringing the total number of areas reached to 21.
The 9 new Music Education Partnerships selected for participation in Music Generation ‘Phase 2’ will be established on a phased basis over the next five years. Planning for the Leitrim set-up process will commence over the coming months, with programming expected to get underway later in 2018.
Leitrim Music Education Partnership’s (MEP) goal is to develop a range of affordable and accessible performance music education programmes for children and young people age 0 to 18. This will include the coordination of music education services within the county, working in partnership with schools, community music groups and centres in the formation of choirs, ensembles, access programmes, and more, across a range of musical genres and styles.
The project is being led by Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim Education and Training Board (ETB) and Leitrim County Council, working with a range of organisations and groups in the county. These include youth and education services, arts centres and organisations, along with a range of music education providers in Leitrim.
Responding to this great news for music education in Leitrim, Shaun Purcell, Chief Executive of Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB, Lead Partner in Leitrim MEP, said, "‘We are delighted to have been awarded this terrific opportunity and to have obtained funding to develop the infrastructure for performance music education in Leitrim. This is in addition to the successful Music Generation programmes already in operation in counties Mayo and Sligo under the leadership of the ETB.
"We have a rich musical tradition, and a great number of passionate and energised partners are to be thanked for their commitment to ensuring the continuation of this tradition into the future. We are enthused about the next steps that we will take as part of Music Generation, and look forward to creating new opportunities for the children and young people of Leitrim to develop their musical creativity. Our enormous gratitude to U2, The Ireland Funds and the Department of Education and Skills, without whose support this would not be possible."
Speaking on behalf of Leitrim County Council, Joseph Gilhooly, Chief Executive, welcomed the announcement saying, "We are thrilled to be rolling out this Music Generation programme here in Leitrim. The programme will be a great addition to the rich culture and tradition of music that we have in Leitrim and a game-changer in terms of access to music education for every child in the county. By offering a diverse range of affordable music education programmes we will help ensure that every young person in Leitrim can have the opportunity to develop their creative capacities and confidence through music. We are very grateful to Leitrim’s music community for their enthusiasm, support and input in developing this exciting and dynamic new programme and we look forward to working with them in its delivery.’
Expansion of the Music Generation initiative into Leitrim was made possible as a result of philanthropic donations by U2 and The Ireland Funds, which will seed fund 50% of the costs of developing the programme during its set-up phase. This matched funding will be sustained on a long-term basis by the Department of Education and Skills once the philanthropic donations cease. In raising the corresponding matched funding, Leitrim MEP is set to invest up to €340,000 in music education programmes over the next three years.
Speaking on the announcement of the Phase 2 expansion, U2’s The Edge said: ‘This is a really important moment for Music Generation. Our ambition is for every child and young person in Ireland to have access to tuition and this next phase of expansion brings us ever closer. Huge thanks to both the Government and The Ireland Funds for their ongoing commitment to a programme of which we, as a band, are immensely proud.’
‘I would like to congratulate Leitrim Music Education Partnership and the various individuals, groups and Statutory Agencies that have come together to support the development of the Music Generation programme within the local area’, said Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. ‘My Department wholeheartedly believes in the importance of facilitating access to music for children and young people, which unlocks their creativity and can help them reach their potential in all areas of their education. Through our ongoing annual €2.5m funding of Music Generation’s first phase, and our commitment to co-funding 9 new areas into the future, we will work together with all partners to ensure the continued success of this important non-mainstream music education programme.’
Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO, The Ireland Funds, said, ‘It is wonderful to see the ongoing success of this pioneering programme, which has already had a remarkable impact on the communities in which it operates. We are delighted to be working with U2 and the Department of Education and Skills on this great Public-Philanthropic Partnership to bring the benefits of musical education to thousands of Irish young people.’
Earlier this week, the members of Leitrim Music Education Partnership (MEP) met with National Director of Music Generation, Rosaleen Molloy, to discuss the set-up process. She remarked, "We are thrilled that Leitrim is joining the next phase of Music Generation, and we would like to acknowledge the ambition and vision of Leitrim MEP in seeking truly transformative outcomes for the children and young people with whom it will engage. Music Generation looks forward to working with Leitrim MEP to progress its plans for development, building upon the remarkable success of Music Generation’s story so far."
Over the coming months, Music Generation Leitrim will begin the recruitment process for a Music Development Officer which will enable programme planning to commence.