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Get involved / Pop macht Schule

Visit the Popakademie with your school

What is Pop macht Schule? The Popakademie Baden-Württemberg's "Pop macht Schule" support program has set itself the task of introducing pupils to the topic of pop music. The senses are sharpened at an early stage for the creative use of popular music - because making music together promotes creativity and one's own aesthetic judgment and teaches social skills such as teamwork, self-confidence, patience, respect and reliability.
The project takes place at the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg in Mannheim. Every year in February, four schools have the opportunity to take part. They each come to the Popakademie for one morning (8.30 am to 12.30 pm) with up to 60 pupils and are coached by Popakademie students in various workshops. At the end of the morning, the students present their own small concert.

Which workshops are offered? During the band workshops, students get to know the typical pop music instruments drums, electric guitar, electric bass and keyboard. They can also try out instruments from global music: Bağlama, oud, kanun and darbuka. Of course, they can also sing, write lyrics, make their own beats and produce songs.
The coaching teams consist of students from the Pop Music Design and Global Music bachelor's degree programs.

Want to join? All types of schools are welcome, e.g. Grundschulen from grade 3, Realschulen, Werkrealschulen, Realschulen Plus, Gesamtschulen, Gemeinschaftsschulen,
Sonderpädagogische Einrichtungen, Förderschulen from grade 5 and Gymnasien from the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region.
Each school should aim to organize school clubs in the areas of music, creativity and/or technology (school band, choir, computer club, etc.). Several classes and/or school bands should participate per school (approx. 50-60 pupils).

Participation in Pop macht Schule is free of charge.

It is possible to have lunch in the Popakademie canteen by prior arrangement. The cost of the meal and travel expenses must be covered by the students themselves.
Schools interested in taking part in February should contact Stefanie Bub informally by email via by September 30th of the previous year. Please let us know what your motivation is for taking part in Pop macht Schule, whether there is a school band (and if so,
how big is it and what is its approximate line-up) and what else you would like to say about your school. The Popakademie is responsible for selecting the participating schools. We endeavor to enable as many schools and different types of schools as possible to participate in Pop macht Schule. We will let you know at the beginning of the new school year whether you have been selected.

The coaching team in the schools consists of students in the bachelor programmes Pop Music Design and World Music who are focussing on band training and ensemble direction. "Pop macht Schule" is expected to visit each selected school for two consecutive days in February and March 2023 and offers two teacher training sessions in the spring of 2023 as well as counselling appointments for the schools. On May 5th, there will be a joint final concert at the BASF Feierabendhaus, where you will share the stage with a well-known band.

Information on data protection:

For the application, we need the name and address of your school as well as the contact details of a contact person. The contact details of the contact person are used exclusively for correspondence with the Popakademie and are treated as personal protected data under the German DSGVO.

History and achievements Since 2005, "Pop macht Schule" has been implemented as a very successful concept of cultural education in schools in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. In 2009, the project received the State Teaching Award in the Art and Music Colleges category from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. In 2010, it was honored as a "Selected Landmark" as part of the "Land of Ideas" campaign. "Pop macht Schule" was supported by BASF SE from 2005 to 2023.

The music education concept for "Pop macht Schule" is now the basis of various training courses for prospective teachers and can be found in

- Schwarz, Axel. 2015. Pop macht Schule - Neue Wege zur Vermittlung von Popmusik. Mainz: Schott.


- Schwarz, Axel, and David-Emil Wickström. 2017. Artists to teachers – teachers to artists: providing a space for aesthetic experience at secondary schools through popular music. In The Routledge Research Companion to Popular Music Education, edited by Gareth Dylan Smith, Zack Moir, Matt Brennan, Shara Rambarran, and Phil Kirkman, 217-30. London, New York: Routledge.