Sligo Music Education Partnership (SMEP) was established in 2007 by Sligo Arts Service, Sligo Education Centre, Musicians and Teachers following the success of the Vogler Quartet in Sligo Residency Programme and the publication of the Live Music in the Classroom report on the work of the residency in the education field. A range of curriculum-support education and activity programmes were devised and delivered in primary schools.

The opportunity afforded by the announcement of the Music Generation fund in 2010, provided the impetus for the SMEP steering committee to advance plans to build on current provision and work to consolidate current services and facilities in a wider community context in partnership with Sligo VEC (now Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board).

Following a successful application co-ordinated by Sligo County Council Arts Service in 2011, Music Generation Sligo was one of the first three counties awarded funding and established under this programme.