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Vienna's first pop academy opens

By Rachael Williams

Vienna's first pop academy has opened despite delays but there is still much work that needs to be done.

Three months later than planned and only partly finished, the POP-Akademie has finally opened its doors to aspiring popstars. The academy will provide 140 young people with the opportunity to learn and practise singing, song writing and playing musical instruments.

The school office has been up and running since Autumn but the students will have to wait until January for their main performance area, "The Cube", in Gasometer to be finished.

Project leader Hans Christian Stekel said: „Our target group are young people between 12 and 18 years old who want to play in a band or learn how to write songs."

In addition to instrumental lessons and studio work there will also be workshops on offer where students will have the opportunity to work with well-known musicians. Singing courses and electric guitar lessons have already proven popular after the academy was advertised on the radio station Radio Wien.

The boys and girls of the „POP-Akademie" are between 12 and 18 years old. The privately operated pop academy is a significant part of the new concept for a flailing shopping centre. The building’s one tower will be developed into an 8,000 square metre Music City and a small stage will also be used by the Institute for Jazz and Pop.

The city of Vienna will contribute 1.2 million Euro to support the construction of the Education Centre for Popular and World Music. It will also be possible for students to apply for education grants as the musical education will cost between 810 and 950 Euro per year.

The official opening of the academy will take place in February.

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