Pop Music Academy Opens its Doors | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 18.04.2003
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Pop Music Academy Opens its Doors

Yearning for your five minutes of fame? Fancy studying pop music? The Pop Academy opens next week in Baden-Württemberg.


Fame? You can learn it now in Mannheim

Germany's first ever pop academy will open next Tuesday in Mannheim in the state of Baden-Württemburg in the hope of reversing the dire straits in the German pop music industry.

More than 1,000 potential German Britney Spears and Justin Timberlakes have applied for the 55 spots on the two courses on offer at the Pop Academy, where classes will begin in October.

For €500 ($545) per semester, potential musicians, managers and pop promoters can take a three-year degree course in pop music design and "music business," which mix theory with practice. Alongside classroom-based lectures, students will have the opportunity to undertake internships in music firms.

At the end of the course, students will receive the state-recognized qualification "Bachelor of Arts."

A music industry in crisis

With it's penchant for middle of the road pop anthems and manufactured teenie pop bands copied from British and American formats, the German music industry has long been in crisis. In 2002 alone, profits plummeted more than 11 percent.

But the new academy -- a state-funded offshoot of Mannheim's Rock Foundation, which was started in 1996 -- is hoping to fix all that, not only giving its students music lessons but also schooling them in how to deal with record companies.

Still the academy doesn't see its task as perpetuating the current rash of here-today-gone-tomorrow manufactured artists.

"It's really less about preparing plastic artists for their five minutes of fame, than giving people the know-how they need to be able to make the kind of music they want to," academy spokesperson, Isabel Palmtag told DW-WORLD.

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