Music and Poetry

Ref: C3125135

This course will explore how music and verse can enhance each other, creating sublime works of art, especially when composers are bold enough to set works by great poets such as Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, Hardy and Owen. The composers will include Parry, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Britten and Dove. All the poetry studied will be in English and the settings will include both songs and larger choral works, including some commemorating the First World War.

Course aim

To study great poetry set by English composers and to enjoy both music and verse. The course will include works commemorating the First World War.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • understand better some of the poetry composers choose to set to music;
  • appreciate better the ways in which composers set words;
  • enjoy some beautiful vocal and choral music.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Copies of the poetry set to music will be provided and discussed, and then recordings of the music will be played and discussed.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No preparation is required, but if possible listen to some English vocal or choral music before the course begins.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full Course information sheet

Music and Poetry


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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