Bono Backs Music Tuition Scheme

U2 frontman Bono today revealed one of the big disappointments of his younger years - when a piano was taken from his grandmother's house.

The Dublin-born rock star praised his school's music facilities for kick-starting his career as a scheme to give every child in Ireland the chance to learn an instrument moved up a notch.

U2 has already pledged €5m to the National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by international charity The Ireland Funds.

 
"One of the big disappointments of my young life was when the piano was taken from my grandmother's house," Bono said at the fund's 35th anniversary celebration in New York.
 
"Luckily for me, I went on to a school with a strong music facility."
 
U2 has already pledged €5m to the National Music Education Programme, which is co-funded by international charity The Ireland Funds.
 
"As a band we believe music tuition should be available to anyone who wants it. It greatly benefits the individual, which in turn benefits the country," Bono said.
 
"We hope the National Music Education Programme will inspire Ireland's young musicians, who might not otherwise get access to such valuable teaching."
 
Bono announced the board's new chair is Dr Tony O Dalaigh - a board member of St Patrick's Festival, the Gaiety School of Acting and the Irish Romanian Cultural Foundation - while Rosaleen Molloy will act as project director with responsibility for rolling out the programme nationally.
 
Ms Molloy has over 15 years experience in the field of music education including leading the County Wexford Children's Choir Programme.
 
The programme, announced in July 2009, supports local education authorities in every part in the country to engage music teachers to provide instrumental tuition to children.
 
The funding from U2 will cover the national rollout of the instrumental and vocal tuition elements by 2016, with The Ireland Funds charity contributing a further two million euro. It will be phased in over the next five years.
 
Dr O Dalaigh said there are serious gaps in music education in Ireland.
 
"The current economic crisis will only widen them," he continued.
 
"On that basis the value of this programme far exceeds the monetary input as it will serve to deliver a musical education to young people who might never get the chance otherwise."
 
Elsewhere, Ms Molloy revealed the interest from music teachers all over the country has been overwhelming.
 
"There is a serious appetite all over the country for a scheme that will deliver opportunities for music education on an equitable basis," she added.
 
"The proven and measurable success of the pilot schemes in Dublin and Donegal, means that we can roll out the programme nationally with confidence over the next five years."