Germany’s first Pop Music Academy

The Mannheim Pop Academy was opened in autumn 2004. It is the first institution of this kind in Germany. The six term study leads to a "Bachelor of Arts" degree. KuBus interviews future professors and students, producers and musicians and sheds a light on the German music market for which the future "doctors of pop" are being educated.

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Autor: Dirk Kämper
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The newly founded Mannheim Pop Academy is to be supported by, among others, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the city of Mannheim, Südwestrundfunk, Universal Music and other private business concerns.

The idea behind it is the foundation and establishment of medium -sized enterprises in the music business in and around Mannheim for Mannheim is thought of as the secret capital of German pop music, not only because of Xavier Naidoo and the "Söhne Mannheims", but also because of the fact that lots of musicians and other successful bands as well as producers and recording companies are based there.

The music business in Germany is perhaps one of the largest employers but at the same time there's no corresponding education apart from singular initiatives by music companies. Now Universal Musik Deutschland is going to transfer its entire trainee manager program to the Mannheim Pop Academy

Film schools can be seen as the main model for the Pop Academy. This can be seen by the fact that the main emphasis of the studies willbe on practical project work. The focus of the work will be in the production of "real goods", i.e. the planning, design, manufacturing and selling of pop music. Thus it is very helpful that the music industry is in such close proximity, for, besides being sponsored by one of the world's largest music companies, Universal, all the most important institutions which one needs for successful pop music production are there ready to co-operate: production studios, radio stations, record labels, television stations (SWR and MTV) as well as colleges for media studies and video production.

Accordingly there will only be a very small permanent teaching staff: the majority of the lecturers will only be employed for the duration and appropriate requirements of particular projects.

Also new for an academy which is partially publicly sponsored is the fact that the students have to pay 500 Euro per term. The initiators of the college see this not as a financial contribution to the upkeep of the academy but as an indication of the commitment of the students for this unique form of education in Germany.
Goethe-Institut e. V. 2004

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