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U2 have donated €5 million to a new scheme to help make music more accessible to children.
The Irish rock band will be partnered with Ireland Funds who will be donating a further €2 million. Between 2010 and 2015 parents' groups, local authorities and schools will be able to appeal for funding for instrumental or vocal tuition. This will give young people the chance to study music, be it classical, jazz, popular or traditional, which they would otherwise have been deprived of.
The initiative follows the 2003 scheme which highlighted gaps in the music education and it will be administered by the Music Network. Pilot schemes have been run in Donegal and Dublin with the Department of Education and Science.
The Edge, speaking on behalf of U2, explains the idea behind this scheme: '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.'
This is not the first charitable contribution that U2 have made; they have already been involved with Amnesty International, Greenpeace and Make Poverty History.