Kildare and Wicklow ETB Newsletter Issue 11, PARTNERSHIPS - Page 38

Guitars, saxophones, accordions, flutes and other instruments will be available for rental by budding young musicians at Wicklow County Library branches under a new scheme just launched.

The project is a collaboration between Wicklow County Council and Music Generation Wicklow and is intended to encourage young people to start playing a musical instrument.

This project was initiated in 2015 when funding for the musical instrument scheme was announced by Cathaoirleach Christopher Fox and by the elected members of Wicklow County Council, supported by the Wicklow County Arts Office. The funding was granted to acknowledge the huge achievements of the Council and Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board in establishing Music Generation Wicklow at the end of its first phase.

This is a vitally important provision for the county to help Music Generation Wicklow move forward and to engage more and more of our children and young people. The funding was intended to support children progressing onto instrumental learning from choral singing and to encourage new participants to consider picking up an instrument.

Now five years in existence, Music Generation Wicklow delivers diverse and multi-genre music programmes to 4000 young people in the county.

The new music instrument banks will be located in Arklow and Blessington libraries and will be available to rent by families or community music groups providing an opportunity for young people to try out playing an instrument before making a financial commitment.

The collaboration between Wicklow County Council’s Library Service and Music Generation Wicklow will be mutually beneficial to both organisations and they look forward to working together in the provision of instruments and other supports for music development locally. The staff from Wicklow County Council Library Service, together with Ann Catherine Nolan from Music Generation Wicklow joined forces to establish the scheme and its roll-out to young people locally.

The instrument lending scheme was officially launched on Monday, 8th May, by the Cathaoirleach of Wicklow Council, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald and Cllr Nicola Lawless, Chairperson of Wicklow Music Education Partnership at the Council offices. Several young Music

Generation Wicklow students performed at the launch to demonstrate the importance and joy of music education in the lives of young people.

More information will be posted on the availability of the instruments on the libraries websites over the next few weeks.

Music Generation Wicklow is a local partnership between Music Generation Ireland, Kildare & Wicklow Education and Training Board and Wicklow County Council. It is funded by the Kildare & Wicklow Education and Training Board, Wicklow County Council and the Department of Education and Skills.

It is managed and administered by Kildare & Wicklow Education Training Board and its Steering Committee, Wicklow Music Education Partnership.

Wicklow County Council and Music Generation Wicklow Launch Music Instruments in Libraries Rental Scheme