Music projects get U2 support


PROJECTS IN Louth, Mayo and Sligo are to receive musical tuition worth €1.6 million from a scheme part-funded by U2.

The three counties were successful in the first round of applications for Music Generation, the €7 million national music education programme, which includes a €5 million grant from U2 with the rest coming from the Ireland Fund.

The money will be used to fund up to a dozen musical partnerships, involving local authorities, schools, individual music teachers and music schools, between now and 2015 when the Government has pledged to continue funding it on a national basis.

U2 agreed to step in after a successful Music Network pilot, which funded an expanded musical education programme in Donegal and Dublin, could not be rolled out nationally because of a lack of funding.

The money will allow structured tuition for thousands of young children who would not otherwise have access to voice or instrument training.

Music Generation director Rosaleen Molloy had described the initial response as “phenomenal” with expressions of interest from all 34 local authorities which translated into 23 bids for funding. Each local authority has to come up with matching funds.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn said the Government was committed to continuing the partnership after the Music Generation money ceases.

He said music education plays a role in promoting creativity and self-expression while also improving children’s cognitive and affective skills.