Music Generation, the music education programme for young people, has announced it is expanding its programme to include Kerry, Kildare, Longford, Meath and Tipperary.

Each of the five new areas will receive funding to create access to affordable performance music education for children and young people in their communities.  

Music Generation is co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, the Department of Education and Skills and Local Music Education partnerships.

Classes are already under way in 20 areas across the country and the Government has made a commitment to roll it out to all parts of the country by 2022 under the Creative Ireland programme.

The new Music Generation counties will begin with the recruitment of Music Generation Development Officers in each area, who will then undertake a focused period of planning for local implementation of the programme. 

Launching the expansion of the programme, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh said: "Giving our young people access to high quality musical education is a key element of Creative Youth, part of the Government’s Creative Ireland plan.

"Music and the arts inspire us all and Music Generation is having enormous impacts in communities, with young people having instrument, ensemble, voice and choral experiences that simply wouldn’t be possible without this programme.

"It is a fantastic chance to instill a love of music and a lifelong skill and passion or awaken a hidden talent in our young people.

"I am delighted that today’s announcement brings us even closer to our goal of giving children in every county access to this opportunity."