City to establish a school for pop music

New dean says the institute aims to become a Chinese "Berklee College of Music." Its first students will arrive in September.

An institute was set up in Shanghai at the weekend to promote education in popular music.

The Pop Music School, the first of its kind in the city, was co-founded by Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts and Shanghai Canxing Culture and Broadcast Co.

It will welcome its first batch of students majoring in singing and dancing in September and plans to build the country's first artificial intelligence music lab.

Chinese singer Na Ying, music critic Jin Zhaojun and British theater director Ian Kellgren have been hired as visiting professors. Chinese musicians Zhou Bingqian, Li Quan and Lin Lung Hsuan, along with Chinese dancer Fang Jun and American dancers Russell Ferguson and Phillip Chbeeb will be student mentors.

Tian Ming, chairman of Canxing, which has run a variety of musical and dancing shows, such as the Voice of China, Sing! China, China’s Got Talent and the Dance of China, was appointed dean.

“Our company has successfully run numerous artistic shows and performances in line with international standards, and it’s the first time for us to participate in education,” he said, adding that the school aims to become a Chinese “Berklee College of Music.”

He said the company will provide resources, including the entire production process of its musical and dancing shows, a network of mentors, singers, dancers and critics, and other online and offline materials, to the pop music school to cultivate high-end talent to meet the demand of the market and the pop music and dance industry.

“Pop music has been the mainstream in China but related talent is out of stock,” said Jin Zhaojun. “In the new era, Chinese pop music needs to have a complete ecological chain with education, promotion and communication.”

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