In 2009, Robert Lingnau
, along with three academic colleagues at that time, had the chance to develop and found a school that is now the School of Popular Arts
(SOPA) within the SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences
. Beginning as a small institution with 24 students and two degree programs, the school now has about 750 students in the area of cultural and creative industries, and the SRH Berlin University has about 2500 students in total from 100 nations.
"I wanted to develop a realistic and contemporary approach to how music production was handled with a focus on popular music," he explains, talking about how while Germany has a lot of degrees geared towards classical music and jazz, there is still a palpable lack of emphasis on popular music.
A key feature of an SRH education is that the institution constantly adapts their curriculum. The students play a big part in this: a mandatory survey is done every two years by professors, who are also required to reflect on their own study programs, where the young musicians give their feedback on each course.