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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

U2 and the Department of Education are teaming up to teach children music

The Edge says that a school with a good music programme helped the band.

The Edge's new side project. Or meets students. Who knows?
The Edge's new side project. Or meets students. Who knows?
Image: Naoise Culhane

THE DEPARTMENT OF Education is teaming up with U2 to teach music to children.

The Department will this month begin co-funding Music Generation’s Local Music Education Partnerships, which had been funded by a €5 million donation by U2 and a further €2 million from The Ireland Funds.

In January 2013 the department announced it would begin, from the end of July of this year, the phasing in of its co-funding of 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.

Since its foundation in 2009 the Music Generation programme 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.

U2 guitarist The Edge said that the band would not have gotten off the ground if not for a supportive school system.

“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.”

The new Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan said that her department is committed to music education.

“My Department would like to thank U2 and The Ireland Funds for their philanthropic donation which has seed funded this remarkable initiative, and to also thank the Local Music Education Partnerships who have provided, and will continue to provide, 50% funding to ensure its success into the future.”

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