Third class pupil at Scoil Aoife CNS, Shammah, with Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD Picture: Naoise Culhane
Music Generation has announced that Longford is among five new counties in Ireland to participate in its most recent phase of development.
Over the coming years, Music Generation Longford will offer new opportunities for hundreds of children and young people ages 0 to 18 to access high-quality, subsidised vocal and instrumental tuition in their local communities.
Planning for the roll-out of Music Generation Longford is already underway, with the next step in the set-up process involving recruitment of a Music Generation Development Officer to oversee programme development.
Initiated by Music Network in 2010, Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education Partnerships (LMEPs).
Locally, Music Generation Longford will be led by Longford and Westmeath Education and Training Board (ETB) in partnership with Longford County Council and with support from Creative Ireland.
Music Generation Longford’s goal will be to develop a range of affordable and accessible ways for children and young people to engage in performance music education.
This will include the coordination of music tuition services within the county, working in partnership with schools, community music groups and tuition centres in the formation of choirs, ensembles, access programmes, composition projects, songwriting initiatives and more, across a broad range of musical genres and styles.
To achieve these aims, Music Generation Longford will receive up to €200,000 annually from the Department of Education and Skills. This funding will be matched on a 50/50 basis by income generated locally.
Responding to the news Christy Duffy, Chief Executive of Longford and Westmeath ETB, commented:
“We’re delighted to have been awarded this fantastic opportunity to develop the infrastructure for performance music education in County Longford.
“We have a wonderfully rich musical tradition here and a great number of passionate and energised partners are to be thanked for their commitment to working together to ensure that this tradition continues long into the future.
“We’re now very much looking forward to working in partnership with Longford County Council and Creative Ireland in progressing our plans as part of Music Generation, and to realising our ambitions for musical access and creativity for the children and young people of Longford.”
Welcoming the announcement on behalf of Longford County Council, Chief Executive Paddy Mahon, said:
“We look forward to working in partnership with Longford and Westmeath ETB and communities to deliver Music Generation in Longford.
“Music Generation will transform the approach to music education in Longford and is a wonderful opportunity for children and young people to develop their musical potential and innate artistry.
“It will provide access to music for children and young people and create rich and diverse ways for them to engage in vocal and instrumental tuition delivered by skilled professional musicians, across all musical genres and styles.”
Director of Services at Longford County Council Barbara Heslin commented that “the inclusion of County Longford in the Music Generation programme will give the young people of Longford the opportunity to realise their full creative talents and help Longford build on its strong musical tradition”.
“Music Generation is a fantastic initiative that has the potential to transform the lives of young people in particular and Longford County Council is delighted to be a key partner working with Longford and Westmeath ETB and others to help ensure the successful implementation of the programme,” she said.
Already there have been two extraordinarily successful phases of development for Music Generation, enabled through philanthropic donations by U2 and The Ireland Funds and through the ongoing commitment of the Department of Education and Skills and LMEPs.
Since its establishment the programme has grown to reach 25 areas of Ireland and currently creates some 48,500 opportunities annually for children and young people to access music tuition.
In December 2017 Government announced its commitment to support the nationwide roll-out of Music Generation as part Creative Youth – a Creative Ireland plan to enable the creative potential of every child and young person.
Ultimately, this plan will see Music Generation partnerships formed in all remaining areas of the country by 2022, including Longford, where programming is expected to commence later in 2019.
Rosaleen Molloy, National Director of Music Generation, said:
“I’m thrilled that Longford is joining this next phase of development for Music Generation. Longford has demonstrated enormous ambition and great commitment in setting out its vision for music education within the county.
“We look forward to working together over the coming months and years to realise this vision, which will bring about truly transformative outcomes for Longford’s next musical generation.”