Chinese music talent school fuels superstar dreams
By Royston Chan
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A love for singing and a lust for stardom pushed 20-year-old Qian Yue to take a break from her university studies to learn music full time at the Lee Wei Song School of Music in Shanghai.
For almost a year, the cheerful Yunnan native from the southwestern city of Kunming has been taking a combination of voice, dancing, and keyboard lessons to fulfil her dream of becoming a singer, inspired by a recent flood of TV talent shows.
"I lived in a small place and I felt a lot of recognition when I participated in a few singing competitions," Qian said.
"I watched those talent shows in the past and I always had a favorite contestant. So after a while I thought that was quite good and I wanted to give it a try myself."
Talent shows have been the rage in China since the success of the "Super Girl" national singing competition organized by Hunan satellite television from 2004.
The musical talent show was basically a Chinese copy of the popular UK show "Pop Idol" and has since spun off other forms of singing and dancing competitions on local and national TV.
The music talent school offers a full time course for its "Asian Music Artist" class, with students taking in about four hours of different classes every day including voice training, studio recording, keyboard skills and dancing.
As Qian works hard with her vocals at the recording studio in the school, more than ten other students are spread out in classrooms throughout the day, picking up the necessary repertoire in their pursuit of becoming a music artist. Continued...