Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds’ supported National Music Education Programme initiated by Music Network, has announced that South Dublin and Clare have been selected for participation in the fourth and final round of the program.

President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds Kieran McLoughlin said, “The Ireland Funds are proud to back Music Generation which has achieved so much so soon.

“In unlocking the creativity of young people, creating employment opportunities for musicians and enhancing the cultural life of communities, it is a testament to the power of philanthropy. Our donors are so impressed by its impact that our goal of raising €2 million for the project was reached two years ahead of schedule as part of our Promising Ireland Campaign.”

Clare and South Dublin Music Education Partnerships will receive over $500,000 each in seed funding, which will enable high quality, accessible music education programs to be provided for children and young people in their local communities. Currently, Music Generation reaches some 15,000 children and young people across 10 counties, with today’s announcement expected to bring a further 5,000 participants into the program over the next three years.
Music Generation was launched in 2009 as a result of a $9m philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds to support the implementation of a national system of local music education services, the framework for which was developed by Music Network. The Department of Education and Skills will continue to co-fund the program with Local Music Education Partnerships when the philanthropic donations cease.

Minister Ruairí Quinn offered his congratulations to Clare and South Dublin saying, “Music Generation is a great example of how when we put our heads together we can deliver really exciting arts in education programs in new and innovative ways through partnership.

“Children and young people’s creativity can be unlocked by music. It is a core element of education, but music also offers much more. The development of musical skills can help young people to achieve their potential in the area of ICT and computer programming. The Department of Education and Skills remains committed to the long-term development of Music Generation and will commence co-funding the initiative with Local Music Education Partnerships from July 2014 beginning initially with Louth, Mayo and Sligo.”

The announcement marks Music Generation's achievement in reaching its target rollout to 12 areas of the country 18 months ahead of original schedule. U2’s The Edge praised the tremendous commitment of all partners involved in enabling the program’s success. "There is music in all of us, but it often takes some lessons from an inspired music teacher to open this World to young people. We are very proud that Music Generation, working with our many crucially important local and national partners, have so far been able to provide high quality music lessons to over 15,000 children across the country."

Music Generation Chairman, Tony Ó Dálaigh took the opportunity to thank the program’s benefactors stating that “Music Generation would not have become the success story that it is today were it not for the visionary philanthropic efforts of U2 and The Ireland Funds to get behind Music Network’s national strategy and the commitment of the Local Music Education Partnerships to simply make it happen. Music Generation is transforming the quality of life for so many children and young people – Ireland’s ‘music generation’ of the future.”