U2 to co-fund music tuition for young musicians

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Belfast Telegraph,

Charity began at home today for Irish rock group U2 as it pledged five million euro (£4.3m) towards the next generation of musicians.

The band announced plans to co-fund a scheme that offers youngsters in Ireland the chance to learn an instrument or have vocal tuition.

The Ireland Funds - a fundraising organisation - will raise a further two million euro (£1.7m) for the initiative, to be run by Music Network.

U2 is bringing its 360 world tour to home soil this weekend with three nights in Dublin's Croke Park.

Guitarist The Edge said: "Being around music at a young age was important for us and we were lucky to have it at school.

"We had been looking for some time for a way to get involved in an initiative in music education in Ireland.

"After talking to various people in Ireland about what to do, we came to the conclusion that the Music Network scheme is really well thought out and that we, in partnership with the Ireland Funds, should just get behind it."

The scheme will be phased out nationwide over a five year period from 2010 and support local education authorities throughout the country.

Music teachers will be engaged to provide instrumental and vocal tuition to children and young people.

It follows two successful pilot schemes running since 2004 in Donegal and Dublin.

Irish Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe said the band's support has the potential to create a true legacy for music education in Ireland.

Loretta Brennan Glucksman, of The American Ireland Fund, said the goal is to stimulate philanthropy in Ireland and the scheme falls under two of our funding priorities - education and culture.

"We are thrilled to be part of a project which will bring the Music Network scheme nationwide as it is a proven success and has wide-ranging support from Government as well as the music education establishment," she said.

"We believe that the programme will make a huge contribution to music education in Ireland."

© 2009 belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on July 21, 2009 10:28 AM.

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