Pilot music projects to be introduced in Limerick schools

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

PILOT projects are to be put in place at schools over the next few weeks, after €1m was secured to develop music in the city.

PILOT projects are to be put in place at schools over the next few weeks, after €1m was secured to develop music in the city.

At the monthly meeting of the City’s Vocational Educational Committee (VEC), its chief executive Paul Patton revealed that a working group had been put in place, with a view to ensuring a €1m fund granted under the Music Education Partnership is spent appropriately.

The City VEC has secured €500,000 under the Music Education Partnership scheme - backed by U2 - aimed at tackling disadvantage and ensuring there is more access to musical education for over 10,000 youngsters.

This sum will be backed by another €500,000 to develop and co-ordinate a range of affordable and accessible programmes, including a music bank scheme.

Mr Patton said it is hoped that the City VEC can team up with the City Library in the Granary to offer a music bank.

“This is great news for Limerick City, especially coming at the time of the City of Culture 2014. It is a great achievement. It will be used to promote music across the city, especially those in disadvantaged areas who would not normally enjoy this access,” he told the meeting, “Education gives children more confidence. It improves attendance and retention.”

Fianna Fail councillor Kieran O’Hanlon, a member of the Garryowen Comhaltas group, which provides traditional music teaching to more than 100 people, welcomed the funding.

He said his group provides a rent-to-buy music scheme, with instruments starting at €300.

“I welcome the fact this money is to be available in disadvantaged areas in the city. I hope that everybody who can, can avail of this funding to promote music. It builds confidence and gives everyone an opportunity in life,” he told the meeting.

Southside Fine Gael councillor Maria Byrne said “congratulations are due all around”.