Popstar turned TV talent show judge Una Healy has announced details of her new music scholarship programme at Ireland’s ‘school of rock’.

The Saturdays star and Voice of Ireland judge has launched the Una Healy Scholarships at the Academy of Popular Music, based in the CIT Cork School of Music in Cork City, and said she will help handpick the lucky winners.

Five full-year scholarships — in voice, drums, bass, guitar, and keyboards — are up for grabs for aspiring musicians and instrumentalists, aged between 10 and 20. The scholarships, worth over €800 each, will cover full-time tuition fees for instrument and theory classes for a year.

“I’m thrilled to be working with the academy on these exciting scholarships. The academy is an amazing school and I would have loved something like this when I was starting out,” said Una.

She urged young singers and musicians to record a performance, upload it as part of the application process, and demonstrate why they deserve to win. Winners will be chosen quickly and will start their courses next month.

Academy director Trish Rooney, who met Una during her stint as a vocal coach on the Voice of Ireland show, said she is delighted that Una has endorsed the scholarships.

“I just ran the idea by her and she loved it and said yes to getting involved. I am thrilled that she is endorsing the academy and helping us to provide this wonderful opportunity for young musicians,” she said.

“All of our teachers take into account the interests, abilities and needs of each student.

“Students will achieve musical excellence in an environment that is fun, encouraging, and positive.”

The academy was established five years ago and has about 180 students.

Following huge demand, singing classes have been opened to children aged from six up, and instrument classes are available to children aged nine and over.

The academy also plans to start music technology and songwriting courses this year.

The closing date for scholarship applications is September 5, with details on the academy’s courses, as well as scholarship applications, available online at theacademyofpopular music.ie.


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