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Chairperson of Clare Music Education Partnership George O’Callaghan.

€400,000 to reach out to new music generation

CLARE Music Education Partnership (CMEP) is to receive more than €400,000 in seed funding, enabling high quality, accessible music education programmes to be provided for children and young people in the local community.

The funding was announced as part of Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds’ supported National Music Education Programme initiated by Music Network. Clare was selected for participation in the fourth and final round of the programme.

Chairperson of Clare Music Education Partnership George O’Callaghan said, “It is a great boost in terms of delivering a musical educational programme for those who will find it difficult to access music education in the county.

“Currently, there is great work being done by private providers and this will add to that and will allow other children, who up to now hadn’t been able to access music education. There will be a hub in Ennis and various out-centres across the county,” Mr O’Callaghan added.

He said the funding will be used to make music more accessible to children and it is hoped to establish a Clare Youth Choir and Clare Youth Orchestra.
“Matching funds have to be found within the county and we have set up a music educational partnership involving a number of bodies in the county, including the newly formed Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, which replaced Clare and Limerick VEC, also the County Development Board, County Council, Glór, Clare Education Centre, Clare Refuge Centre, Maoin Cheoil an Chláir and the University of Limerick,” he said.

Other projects the funds will help the county to achieve over the three-year programme will be to provide music tuition and an instrument bank. In addition, there will be a lot of events organised to help promote and showcase the talents of those involved, as well as introducing them to various musical experiences.

The programme provides for children who haven’t been able to experience that as a result of their circumstances. He added that the programme is not intended to replace any existing provisions and is open to those aged up to 18. The next stage of the process is to appoint a coordinator over the programme.

CMEP will work in cooperation with existing providers and will establish the county’s first music education service, with a hub in Ennis and outreach locations in Shannon, Scariff, Kilrush and Ennistymon. The programme aims to create a sustainable education model from nursery school up to post-primary and beyond.

Music Generation was launched in 2009 as a result of a €7 million 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.

It will provide three-year seed funding to establish local services in Clare, which will be sustained by Music Education Partnerships on a long-term basis.

Meanwhile, Music Education Partnerships are eligible to apply for 50% funding over three years, with the remainder of the funding made up locally. The Department of Education and Skills will continue to co-fund the programme with Local Music Education Partnerships when the philanthropic donations cease.

The announcement marks Music Generation reaching its target roll-out to 12 areas of the country 18 months ahead of original schedule.

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