The Straits Times
Published on Jan 30, 2013

Call it the University of Rock: Young pop-rock musicians here are studying for degrees


Drummer Er Chow Kiat, 23, beat aspiring musicians from around the world to win a US$48,000 (S$59,000) scholarship to study at Hollywood music school Musicians Institute.

Singer Sheena Hong, 22, left behind a background in classical piano to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, in the hopes of becoming a pop singer.

They are among young musicians here who are getting serious about pop and rock music and are heading overseas, aiming for a higher education to deepen their skills in contemporary music.

Because the fees are not cheap - a semester at Berklee can cost as much as US$15,000 (S$18,500) to US$17,000 - some of them turn to government bodies such as the National Arts Council and the Media Development Authority for scholarships.