THE sound of music will be ringing in two more counties thanks to the spread of a U2-backed programme that supports young vocal and instrumental talent.
South Dublin and Clare are the latest, and final, beneficiaries of the Music Generation scheme that provides affordable music tuition to babies, children and teenagers.
It brings to 12 the number of areas to be included in the scheme that was started thanks to a €5m donation from U2 and €2m from the international charitable network, The Ireland Funds.
Music Generation already reaches over 15,000 children and young people across 10 counties and the latest announcement is expected to bring in a further 5,000 participants over the next three years.
The programme provides seed funding to run high-quality, free or affordable music tuition.
The partnerships in south Dublin and Clare will receive over €400,000 each. They join Carlow, Limerick City and Offaly/ Westmeath, Cork City, Laois, Louth, Mayo, Sligo and Wicklow.
Music Generation has reached its target roll-out 18 months ahead of its original schedule.
U2's The Edge praised the commitment of all partners involved in enabling the programme's success.
He said: "There is music in all of us but it often takes some lessons from an inspired music teacher to open this world to young people."