Oficina de Música de Aveiro: Bringing music closer to people
Music is an outburst of the soul. In the Portuguese city of Aveiro, José Rodrigues is mostly known to the locals as ZéTó. He is the current owner of the music school Oficina de Música de Aveiro (OMA). His passion for music accompanied him all his life.
Nearly three decades ago, ZéTó was a pupil in Aveiro’s music conservatory, playing bass and both electric and traditional guitars. His teacher at the time, Fernando Valente, a renowned Portuguese composer and musician, founded OMA with the aim to make up for the lack of teaching modern music in Aveiro, besides the classical education offered by the conservatory. Hence, OMA became the first music school in the region to offer courses in jazz and pop rock.
From pupil to teacher onto pedagogical director, ZéTó built up his career in OMA. When OMA’s owner, his former teacher Fernando, passed away, the school was put on sale. ZéTó found this a good opportunity to pursue his vision and bought the school together with some friends: “We wanted to give young people the chance not only to learn how to play an instrument, but to be able to become professionals and thrive in the music industry”.
OMA was initially located in a basement but the demand for classes and the storage of music materials increased over the years. In 2014, ZéTó sought financial support in order to expand the music school’s capacities. Thanks to the Portuguese bank MiIllenium, an EIF financial intermediary, he received an EU-supported microloan that helped him materialise his plans. OMA relocated into a bigger house in a quiet neighbourhood by the river, allowing students to get inspired and play in a stimulating scenario.
Besides the renovation and expansion works, the microloan also helped ZéTó to hire teachers and buy new equipment. OMA employs 15 teachers and has about 150 regular students. In addition, the school has recently developed special classes for the elderly and people with disabilities.
Company: Oficina de Música de Aveiro (Portugal)
Type of business: Music school
EU-supported guarantee: EPMF
Supporting institution: Millennium BCP
For further information about EIF intermediaries in Portugal, please refer to: