From Gilbert O’Sullivan and Van Doonican to Katie Kim and Wexford Festival Opera, it is fair to say that the Southeast of Ireland already has a distinguished and proud tradition in music. However, this week Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) has revealed an ambitious new plan to seek funding to further develop music in the region, this time to create a whole new world of music performance education opportunities for children and young people right across the two counties.
Music Generation is Ireland’s National Music Education Programme, which was initiated by Music Network in 2010, and is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds and the Department of Education and Skills. There is currently €3 million available nationally to support the development of new exciting and sustainable music performance educational programmes for children and young people from 0-18 years of age. It is a competitive process, but if funding is received, the programmes will be designed to complement and enrich, but not replace, the mainstream music curriculum.
Speaking about this exciting opportunity, WWETB Chief Executive, Kevin Lewis explained: “The core values of the Music Generation initiative are access, quality partnerships, diversity, creativity and sustainability. What that translates into is a really unique opportunity to enhance the musical infrastructure in Waterford and Wexford and make a significant difference to the lives of children and young people. The funding supports initiatives that aim to ensure that as many children and young people as possible, have access to vocal and instrumental performance music education in all styles of music”.
Dr. Karina Daly, WWETB Director of Organisation Support and Development who is co-ordinating the application process elaborated, “We’re looking for new ideas and ways of imagining music provision for children and young people in Waterford and Wexford. This is a fantastic opportunity for the two counties and if funding is received will enable us to deliver programmes that will have a significantly positive impact on the region.”
Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board is partnering with Waterford and Wexford County Councils to develop this proposal. Commenting on the initiative, Waterford Co-Arts Officer Conor Nolan explained: “We will develop a plan for locally based, high quality and sustainable performance music education programmes in response to the local need and context. Surveys have already issued to primary and post-primary schools across the two counties to seek input. We are also looking for the general public to get involved, and we are inviting people to make written submissions to help us shape this application. He added “We will also engage with music providers across the two counties and will seek their expertise in ensuring that we have a really strong and exciting proposal.
The Council will also be holding two Focus Group meetings – the first on Tuesday April 25th in Greyfriars Municipal Gallery, Waterford from 7pm to 8.30pm – the second one being held in the Old Market House, Dungarvan on Thursday April 27th from 7pm to 8.30pm. You are welcome to attend but you must fill in the following survey to confirm your place : Music Generation Survey
HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
You are also invited to submit a short piece to support our application. In preparing your submission, think about the following:
- What would you identify as local needs with regard to performance music education for children and young people in Waterford and Wexford?
- How would you respond to these local needs?
- What would you identify as potential areas for development?
When you’re preparing your submission, remember that it is not to replace what’s already in existence – but to find creative ways to build on what is there and to provide for all children and young people.
Please send email your submission to waterfordwexfordMEP@gmail.com.
Working together, we can ensure that our children and young people in the Southeast are literally hitting the high notes!