The Life, Times and Music of Dimitri Shostakovich

Ref: C3671087

This course will investigate the chronological study of the life, times and music of Shostakovich. Particular attention will be given to understanding the extraordinary political and historical circumstances under which this composer worked , and how these factors influenced his music.

Course aim

The purpose of this course is to enlarge the students knowledge of one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and to listen to music composed by this composer and understand the circumstances under which D.Shostakovich composed his music.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners

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

  • Recognise the basic elements bound within music.
  • Be able to describe music heard correctly , using musical terminology.
  • Brief recall of the life and times of Shostakovich.
  • Have an understanding of the wide variety of musical compositions which D.Shostakovich composed.
  • Be encouraged to listen to more music composed by D.Shostakovich , live at concerts, or on Radio3 or Classic FM.

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

The Life, Times and Music of Dimitri Shostakovich Course Outline


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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