26 April, 2021 – Minister Foley announces €100,000 fund for grants to organisations delivering music education

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today invited applications for grants under the €100,000 Non-Mainstream Music Education Bursary Scheme 2021.

Minister Foley said: “The last year has been an extremely challenging time for our children and young people. During the periods of remote learning, they were unable to engage in many in-person group activities such as music classes in the community.

“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.

“Community organisations that provide music lessons to children and young people have also had a challenging time. I hope that these grants can enable them 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.”

The purpose of the scheme is to provide support by way of a cash grant to established, smaller-scale, non-mainstream music education/community music initiatives with limited or no access to other forms of public funding. Grants can be used to purchase instruments, other musical equipment and tuition. Grants are not intended for use on capital expenditure such as structural or building costs. The total budget available in 2021 is €100,000.

Interested parties can find the application form on the Department’s website at the following link - https://www.gov.ie/en/service/1a8cf1-non-mainstream-music-education-bursary-scheme/#criteriaguidelines

Applications will be considered by the Committee for Non-Mainstream Department of Education Funded Non-Mainstream Music Education.

Notes for Editors

An application form is available on the Department’s website at the following link -


Please download and ‘save as’ the application form to your own computer, type and complete all of the sections. Applications must be submitted as an attachment by email only to the following email address – nmmebs@education.gov.ie.

Closing date for applications for 2021 is 7 May 2021.

Criteria for selection of Applications

Applications will be considered from organisations/groups that demonstrate the following:

  • 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 will be given to those organisations/groups that can demonstrate that they cater for socio-economically disadvantaged groups. Preference may also be given to organisations/groups that are eligible and may not have received funding from this initiative previously.

The selection of proposals will also be informed by a desire for:

  • Geographic national spread, where possible
  • A range of music genres
  • A balance of practical and theoretical approaches

Ineligible groups

Funding will only be provided for non-mainstream music education initiatives outside of normal school hours and school curriculum.

The following categories of organisations are ineligible to apply:

  • For-profit companies
  • Schools and other educational institutions
  • Music Education Partnerships in receipt of Music Generation funding at time of application
  • Individual minors under the age of 18
  • Professional performing groups