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Music Generation Mayo

Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds supported National Music Education Programme, announced in 2011 that Mayo MEP had been selected to participate in the first round of its funding scheme to support the development of a national music programme.  Mayo has been awarded a total of up to €585 thousand to help children and young people access vocal and instrumental tuition in their local areas.  Mayo is one of six Music Education Partnerships in Sligo & Louth (Round 1) and Laois, Wicklow andCorkCity(Round 2) to have been selected for participation. 

The Music Generation Programme is enabled by a €5 million donation from U2, with a further €2 million being raised by the Ireland Funds, to support the development of a national music programme providing instrumental and vocal music tuition for children and young people up to 18 years of age. Music Generation was formed to roll out the Music Education Partnership model, which was developed by Music Network in 2003. 

Mayo MEP, a non-profit, non-political partnership, was established in 2006 to co-ordinate music services within the county, to ensure equity of access and to develop music education opportunities for all young people in Mayo.  The partnership consists of Mayo County Development Board, Mayo County Council Arts Office, Mayo Community Forum, Mayo VEC and Mayo Education Centre.  Mayo VEC is the lead partner for Mayo MEP.  On successfully securing funds the partnership was rebranded Music Generation Mayo. 

In the lead up to the submission of the application to Music Generation extensive consultation was carried out by Mayo Arts Office with stakeholders in the music sector in Mayo. This facilitated the identification of needs and gaps in provision and the compilation of an audit of existing services.  Young people in Mayo also had an opportunity to contribute to the application through a number of focus and discussion groups. 

In March 2011 Mayo Music Education Partnership submitted a far reaching and complex plan, which responded to issues raised in the consultation and endeavoured to set up sustainable supports for music in the long term and to augment strategically that which already existed.

Music Generation Mayo’s remit is music education for 0-18 year olds. As set out by Music Generation nationally, the programme in Mayo cannot replicate the music curriculum and is solely for the implementation / initiation of new initiatives which seek to provide greater access to music for this age group.

The plan submitted by the Mayo Music Education Partnership, outlines a strategy for music development within the county. Briefly, the thrust of this plan is to add value and expertise where possible:

  • To broaden access to music for children in pre-schools, primary schools and post primary schools
  • To provide a number of residencies/ masterclasses / workshops/ other musical training to schools which are already engaged in music education
  • To set up a Youth Music project in Ballina which is a RAPID programme area
  • To provide supports for exceptional music students
  • To create a network of performance opportunities for young musicians across all genres of music
  • To develop an appropriate bank of instruments
  • To provide affordable music classes for youth where no such provision exists
  • To provide workshops and master-classes for existing music groups
  • To develop a library of music resources for everyone in the county
  • To explore the use of online support for music education
  • To build capacity / provide professional development opportunities with music tutors in the county

In September 2011, Music Generation Mayo recruited a Co-ordinator, Kate McKeon, who will oversee the implementation of the plan in the county.   A panel of music tutors have also been recruited to deliver aspects of the programme in Mayo.  In the last month Music Generation Mayo has sought information for the primary schools in relation to the level of music activity in their sector.  This feedback from schools is extremely valuable to Music Generation Mayo and will inform how to best address the needs of individual schools. 

Music Generation will provide three-year seed funding to establish local services, which will be sustained by Music Education Partnerships on a long-term basis. It is the intention of the Department of Education and Skills that Music Education Partnerships will be continued into the future with Exchequer funding when the Music Generation donations cease.

Music Generation funding must be matched locally and Music Education Partnerships are eligible to apply for 50% funding, up to a maximum of €200,000 per annum over three years. Music Generation Mayo is doing this through funding generously supplied by the partner organisations, through invaluable in-kind supports, through actively investigating complementary funding streams and through a modest fee scale. The intention is not to be a profit-making body, but to create an opportunity to establish a programme which will outlast the current three year operational time-frame of Music Generation.

Funding for up to twelve Music Education Partnerships will be awarded on a phased basis from 2011-2015, most likely in three locations at a time.

Further ionformation about the Music Generation Mayo is available at

Mayo Arts Service

Mayo County Council
Top Floor,
Cedar House,
Mooneen Road,
Co. Mayo.
Phone: Mayo Arts Service: 094 9064376 / 094 9064367 Disability Arts Coordinator: 094 9064363
Open: Open Monday - Friday
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