The Non-Mainstream Music Education Bursary scheme provides a means, by way of a small cash grant, to support music education and music initiatives to continue to cultivate the talent of our young musicians. These organisations, groups and individuals provide access to a variety of music education experiences for young people and children in the community outside of school and curriculum provision.

In April of this year, the Department of Education invited applications for grants under the scheme. The total budget available in 2021 is €100,000. A full list of the 39 successful recipients is provided below.

Music is an important way for people to express themselves and show their creativity.  It is vital that we provide these opportunities to our children and young people. I hope that these grants can enable community organisations to continue providing music tuition and classes for the remainder of this year.

Bursaries available under this scheme will help organisations get resources they need to continue working with children and young people in community settings.

Some of the recipients include:

Dublin 12 – St. Agnes’ Community Centre for Music and the Arts CLG (CCMA): Bursary award €12,000

St. Agnes’ Community Centre for Music and the Arts was established in November 2013 by Sr. Bernadette Sweeney. It provides access to music tuition and group classes on an inclusive basis to all young members of the Crumlin community. It currently caters for 350 children and young people per week. The centre is open five days per week and on occasion they have concerts and events on Saturdays and Sundays also. Their musical aims are primarily based on the principle of access to all. Quality of provision is guaranteed by their expert teaching staff and regular participation in the Royal Irish Academy of Music Grade examinations. Performance opportunities include orchestral concerts on an ongoing basis, two summer concerts to showcase CCMA talent and following a summer camp in July each year the week culminates in an orchestral concert in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin. In addition, they have an annual pantomime and musical.

Diarmuid Ó Catháin Cultural Centre, Lixnaw, County Kerry:  Bursary award €4,000

The Diarmuid Ó Catháin Cultural Centre, Lixnaw, County Kerry aims to integrate all families, both locals and migrants, into community through traditional music, song and dance. Founded 1960, it has 310 members of which 180 are under 18 years of age. They have music tutors, 6 dancing tutors, 1 singing tutor and 2 Irish language tutors. The centre applied for the bursary looking to purchase an instrument bank with the intention of establishing an instrument loan scheme.

Dublin 2 – Whitefriar Street String Project: Bursary award €12,000

The Whitefriar Street String Project operates out of the Carmelite Community Centre, Aungier Street, Dublin 2. It is a string programme for children aged 6 – 12 years. The initiative was established 2011. It caters for 96 students across 1st to 6th classes in non-mainstream outside of school times. Musicianship classes take place on Saturdays. Through the initiative it provides free professional string tuition to local children between 6 & 12 years of age – for children who attend local DEIS schools. The programme fosters social inclusion and integration of local children and families.

The programme runs outside of school curriculum and has reached greater than 200 children. Each year 3 students from the project are awarded a scholarship to join the Youth Orchestra Programme (Website) to further advance instrumental training. The strings programme provides free instruments and class tuition. They have performed for President Michael D. Higgins in 2012 and in Temple Bar Trad Fest in 2013. Free rehearsal space is provided by the Carmelite Community Centre. The initiative wants to purchase instruments with the bursary.

Criteria used for evaluation of applications:

  • A well-established track record in music education provision
  • Service provision in the area of non-mainstream music education/community music
  • Delivery of non-mainstream music education for young people aged 18 years and younger
  • Strong learning outcomes for participants
  • Preference was also given to those organisations/groups who can demonstrate that they cater for socio-economically disadvantaged groups.

Full List of recipients:

€12,000 St. Agnes Community Centre for Music and Arts Crumlin, Dublin
€12,000 Whitefriar Street String Project Dublin
€4,000 The Diarmuid O’ Catháin Cultural Centre Kerry
€3,000 Longford School of Rock Longford
€3,000 Autism Support Louth & Meath Youth Clubs Louth
€2,000 Musica Fusion Community Orchestra Cork
€2,000 St. Mary’s Brass and Reed Band Cavan
€2,000 Partry Community Kids Choir Mayo
€2,000 Bundoran Community Music Project Donegal
€2,000 The Training Band of the Stedfast Band Blackrock, Dublin
€2,000 Clew Bay Pipe Band Mayo
€2,000 Drogheda Brass Band Louth
€2,000 Banna Cheoil Chloich Cheann Fhaola Donegal
€2,000 Stedfast Shoes Brass Band Monaghan
€2,000 Kilmuckridge Monamolin CCE Wexford
€2,000 Ballymore Eustace Concert Band Kildare
€2,000 Association of Irish Musical Societies Dublin 8
€2,000 Gaillimh Theas Comhaltas Galway
€2,000 Wicklow Miners CCE Wicklow
€2,000 Kilrush Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Éireann Clare
€2,000 Freemont Comhaltas CeolTóiri Éireann Cork
€2,000 NYAH Comhaltas Cavan
€2,000 City of Waterford Brass Waterford
€2,000 Mullingar Town Band Westmeath
€2,000 Tuaisceart Loch Garman, CCE Wexford
€2,000 Loughmore CCE Tipperary
€2,000 Craobh Phiarais Uí Ghréagáin Dublin
€2,000 Bofield CCE Mayo
€2,000 CCE Pheig Uí Riain Limerick
€2,000 Ardee Concert Band Louth
€2,000 Cavan Town Branch CCE Cavan
€2,000 Fermoy Concert and Youth Band Cork
€2,000 Clara Town Band Offaly
€2,000 Cork Youth Orchestra Cork
€2,000 Carlow Youth Orchestra Carlow
€2,000 Dundalk Branch of CCE Louth
€2,000 Navan Comhaltas Meath
€1,000 Irish Pipe Band Association Kerry
€1,000 Kiltra School of Music Wexford