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The Edge and Bono with Music Generation students.

U2 and Ireland Fund $10 million music program for schools to be permanent

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The Edge and Bono with Music Generation students.

Music Generation, the music education program initiated following a $10 million philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds, is set to become a lasting of the national music education landscape in Ireland.

Since its foundation in 2009 the program has established Music Education Partnerships in 12 counties, creating access for up to 18,500 children and young people and providing employment for some 220 musicians.

In January 2013 the Department of Education and Skills announced it would begin the phasing in of its co-funding from July 2014 with Local Music Education Partnerships with a view to these partners completely replacing the original philanthropic donation by 2016.

The €7m donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) made in 2009 was the largest ever single philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.

Commenting on this next stage of Music Generation’s development, The Edge said; “I believe it's a documented fact that exposure to music makes a better society. We're still practicing but we were lucky enough to attend a school with a great music programme and that is why Music Generation is so important to us. We are very proud of its success and the fact that it will continue into the future.”

Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said: “The Ireland Funds are very proud that the seed capital we committed to in 2009 has helped establish a program that will become part of the very fabric of music education in Ireland.

Music Generation has evolved into a program that has changed the landscape of music education in Ireland and we applaud the Irish Government’s long-term funding commitment to this program while we will continue to support this project through until the end of 2015.”

Music Generation was established by Music Network, Ireland’s national music touring and development agency, on receipt of the €7m donation. CEO of Music Network Sharon Rollston said,

“This transition is a step closer to Music Network’s vision of a national system of local music education services, as outlined in our 2003 report, and is greatly welcomed.’

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