Colleen Livingston talks about taking part in Eventim’s Popkurs

21 January, 2021

Colleen Livingston, a second-year Songwriting student at BIMM University Berlin Hamburg, took part in last year’s prestigious Popkurs.

The Popkurs is organised by the HfMt (Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg) and took place from the 2nd March to the 21st August 2020. Each year, 50 young musicians are selected for the programme, taking part in exclusive lessons and workshops. They are taught across a variety of subjects such as performance, stage presence, songwriting and improvisation. Famous alumni include Peter Fox, SEEED, Wir sind Helden, BOY, Rosenstolz and Frida Gold.

Colleen Livingston on stage with a microphone

We caught up with Colleen to talk about her experience at the Popkurs.

What motivated you to apply for the Popkurs?

I have known about the Popkurs for some time as I am a fan of Peter Fox, Johannes Oerding and Bodo Wartke, and they are all course alumni. This was why Hamburg was so interesting to me (besides BIMM University Berlin of course).

When I took part in the RockCity Hamburg PopInstitut Songwriting Masterclass  2019 (thanks to the Wildcard from BIMM), I met a lot of musicians who were talking about the amazing experiences and networks they gained at the Popkurs. Eventually, I applied as well.

Can you explain the Popkurs programme? What is the course about? 

The courses cover everything from private coaching in a main subject (for me this was Vocals and Guitar), harmonics, songwriting, performance, stage presence, improvisation, rhythm and groove in rock, pop, and jazz, through to a concert at the end where everyone presents their work.

What makes the Popkurs special?

What makes the Popkurs so special is that it is a form of ‘boot camp’ for musicians. In the shortest possible time, they will provide you with all the necessary tools needed to be a successful musician.

What was your highlight, and what experience did you gain at the Popkurs? 

I have learned a lot about myself. During the Popkurs, I had the opportunity to experiment and try everything (from all genres and styles). Through that, I found new ways to make music. I am very thankful for this great experience!

A special thank you goes to Katja Kaye. Despite all the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, Katja managed to organise the second phase of the course and pull together a live concert with strict hygiene rules!


Check out Colleen’s live performance of her song “Dead Girl Walking”  at the Popkurs:

Alongside taking part at the Popkurs and studying at BIMM University Berlin Hamburg, Colleen also writes, records and produces music for her project Lleen. She also works as a songwriter, vocalist and recording engineer at Colleen has just released a new song with Jonas Eb – listen to it here.

If you’d like to join BIMM University Berlin’s vibrant music community, you can order a prospectus, book to attend an Open Day or contact our Admissions Team on +49 30 311 99 186 (Berlin) or +49 40 874 09 632 (Hamburg).


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