Music Generation Funding Scheme
Music Generation is a funding scheme funded by U2 and the Ireland Funds, which offers funding to support and establish local Music Education Partnerships (MEP) throughout Ireland. 50% funding to a maximum of €200,000 per year over three years. Matching funding generated locally from MEP resources, may be a combination of monetary income and/or support-in-kind.
The Arts Office of Fingal County Council welcomes the opportunities as presented in the Music Generation scheme. We see it as potentially a positive step in supporting not only our arts development programmes in Fingal, but in supporting organisations, schools and individuals involved in music practice. Running in tandem with the potential benefits of the funding scheme, is the reality of that the availability of matching funding has never been more difficult. Our own arts budgets have been drastically reduced since 2008.
The Application form and guidelines were released to the public on the 17th January 2011, previous to that staff from the arts office had attended a briefing meeting in Dublin Castle in October 2010. In May 2010 we notified all primary schools in Fingal to the opportunities presented in the scheme, and requested a response. Following on from that we have met face to face, with ten primary schools. We have also been contacted by individuals, music schools, and others who have expressed an interest in getting involved.
To move things forward we have decided on a number of things, firstly we need to accurately gauge interest towards the scheme in Fingal. To date we have been contacted by nine individuals seeking information. To this end we are now going to commission a music needs assessment study to identify the gaps in music provision countywide. The following approach will be taken;
- Develop data collection & communication strategies
- Gather initial information - who & where, what is happening countywide in Fingal in regard to music education
- Gather relevant details & meet with key stakeholders
- Compilation & quantitative analysis of data
- Review local, national and international models of best practice
- Qualitative analysis of findings
- Draw up & present recommendations with view to making a funding application in September 2011 (second round of applications)
This study will be undertaken by a suitable qualified music advisor, and will present actual evidence on the level of interest and the commitment, financial or otherwise of schools, organisations and individuals. We are obliged to put this out to tender, and are aiming to have this person in place by the end of March, and the consultation and analasis delivered by the end of May 2011.
We have already opened a database on which we have placed the names and contact details of all those who have contacted us. I have been asked about public meetings, if on completion of our needs assesement study it is recommended that we hold public meetings we will do so. I have also been asked about Fingal County Council registering as lead partner for the scheme, this decision is some time off, things may become clearer following a meeting between the arts office staff of Fingal County Council and the VEC (Vocational Education Committee) which will take place with in the next week to ten days.
County Arts Officer.
We would advise all interested parties to log onto Music Generation website www.musicgeneration.ie website to familarise themselves with the detailed criteria and strong commitment required from any potential partners before contacting the Arts Office of Fingal County Council.
Update — 21st October, 2011
In recent weeks, Fingal County Council has met with the representatives’ of the County Dublin Vocational Educational Committee on two occasions. We have also been in correspondence with Music Generation. Two weeks ago confusion arose with the fact that the C.D.V.E.C. had already partnered with another local authority, in the latest round of funding, this begged the question as to whether they could also partner Fingal in the same round of funding.
Fingal County Council requested clarification for Music Generation as to this specific point. On the 20th October, I received correspondence from Rosaleen Molloy (Director , Music Generation), which stated that she would seek a review to the following guideline which states’ Only one application per MEP will be accepted in any single funding round (for example, MEP’s may not submit one separate application as a partner in a city/county MEP and another as part of a regional MEO)’ this will be in the context of the’ population density of County Dublin and the Local Authority Administration areas which incorporate Fingal County, South Dublin County and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’ .
In practical terms this means that we will not have an opportunity to make a funding application or enter a partnership with C.D.V.E.C., until the change to the guidelines for Round 3. In the meantime we continue to develop our plans with the view of making an application sometime in 2012.
County Arts Officer.
Update — 1st October, 2011
Following a meeting of the Community & General Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) and senior staff of Fingal County Council, on the 26th September, it has been decided that we will not proceed with a funding application to Music Generation by the November deadline.
The Staff of the Councils Arts Office has championed this process since January 2011. This involved building partnerships with Music Generation, the C.D.V.E.C, schools and interested individuals. We commissioned the first ever county wide study of music education provision, entitled ‘Sounding out Fingal’. The studies author is music specialist, composer and Arts Council of Ireland advisor, Rachel Holstead.
As the final application date drew closer (Nov.8th) and following discussions and detailed costings, it became apparent that the amount of monies needed to take on this project at the level outlined and recommended in our expert study, and which we believed would make a positive impact in Fingal, was simply not available to us. As this is the final opportunity to make an application, this effectively completes Fingal County Councils involvement with Music Generation.
We would like to thank all those who in whatever capacity contributed to this process, it is our hope that if another music education funding scheme should emerge in the future, that we would hopefully be in a stronger financial situation to take part.
County Arts Officer.
Update — 14th September, 2011
Earlier this year Fingal County Councils’ arts office commissioned a report on the current state of music tuition for young people and children in Fingal. The completed report ‘Sounding out Fingal’ by Rachel Holstead, which took six months to assemble, and involved broad consultation at may levels with , schools, parent groups, music schools, music groups, teachers, music associations and societies, and representative bodies. This report will now be shared with our partners the County Dublin Vocational Educational Committee, and after a period of consultation and reflection, be presented to the elected members of the Council. Staff from the Arts Office, attended a one day Music Generation seminar at the St. Patricks College in Drumcondra, yesterday, 13th September 2011. The information imparted at the seminar, in the form of three case studies from counties who have received funding from Music Generation, Sligo, Mayo and Laois, will be shared with our partners. It is our job in the Arts Office to bring all information relating to Music Generation to the V.E.C. and the elected members of the Council for their final decision.
County Arts Officer
Update — April 2011
Since our last statement there have been developments in relation to Music Generation. Fingal County Councils arts office has undertaken to commission a music needs analysis study of Fingal, as recommended in the criteria for the Music Generation scheme. The Council has commissioned Rachel Holstead to undertake this study; Rachel is a professional composer and a music advisor to the Arts Council of Ireland.
In commissioning this study, Fingal County Council wishes to survey and map existing provision for music education in Fingal. Rachel will be contacting all primary and secondary schools in the Fingal area (including V.E.C. Schools and other relevant groups) and all music groups, music schools, music teachers and individuals who have been in touch with us, to express interest. Finally, contact will be made with all groups which have received music related Arts Grants from Fingal County Council over the past five years. Relevant questionnaires will be posted online for access.
The study began on the 11th April, and will conclude in June. This will allow us to assess the information and plan for the next round of applications in September 2011.The completed study will be placed on this website.
Fingal County Councils Arts Office has met with representatives on the County Dublin V.E.C. to discuss our dual involvement in the Music Generation scheme. It was agreed in principal that we would work together as lead partners, and this partnership will be acknowledged on the Music Generation website. The details of our partnership will be dependant on the findings of the needs analysis study.
Further updates will follow.
County Arts Officer