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Music talent shows have become very popular in China in recent years. Chinese versions of overseas talent shows have pushed TV ratings through the roof. Young Chinese looking for fame and fortune are enrolling in music talent schools to hone their skills for stardom.
A love for singing and a lust for stardom pushed 20-year-old Qian Yue to take a break from her university studies to learn music full time at the Lee Wei Song School of Music in Shanghai.
For almost a year, the cheerful Kunming City native has been taking a combination of voice, dancing, and keyboard lessons to fulfill her dream of becoming a singer.
Qian says she was inspired by the rash of talent shows on Chinese television in recent years.
Talent shows have been the rage in China since the success of the "Super Girl" national singing competition which started in 2004.
The musical talent show was basically a Chinese version of the popular UK show "Pop Idol."
And 21-year-old Ren He is one of those who took the plunge despite opposition from his parents.
Ren closed a small restaurant he owned in his hometown in Inner Mongolia and took a big part of his savings to pay for the course here at the school.
[Ren He, Student]:
"Before I came here, I felt I sang quite well. After coming here and getting professional training, I found that I was such an amateur. After all, this is very professional training and after learning more, I completely changed some of my methods and I have improved a lot."
A full time course costs 3,600 U.S. dollars for half a year.
There are now more than a dozen similar professional singing schools in Shanghai alone, offering music courses to wannabe singers looking for a shot at fame.
Han hopes to enroll more students in the future as his school provides an all-round education for students looking for a career in the bubble-gum world of Mandarin pop music.