Day School: Essentials of Music

Ref: C3742963

This course explores some fascinating aspects of the boundlessly rich world of classical music and how the great composers communicated their ideas in works of enduring appeal. There will be four sections: i - the essential ingredients of music (melody, harmony and rhythm); ii - opera and song; iii - orchestral music; iv - chamber music. Underpinning these elements, the study day will also focus on how we as listeners can enhance our enjoyment of classical music through an increased appreciation of the glory of the human voice, the kaleidoscopic colours of the orchestra and the subtle pleasures of chamber music.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by The Education and Skills Funding agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available. Contact the branch for further details.

Course aim

To provide a comprehensive and engaging introduction to the world of classical music, especially for the newcomer. It will be a guide to enhancing one’s listening experience.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • The course is also suitable for anyone who wants to widen their appreciation of music by the great composers.

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

  • Identify contrasting types of classical music.
  • Recognise the different sound colours of orchestral instruments.
  • Appreciate the stylistic differences in music from different periods (e.g. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, etc.).
  • Use my enhanced understanding of the elements of music to develop my listening skills.
  • Build a more varied and challenging collection of classical 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

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
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • A useful companion is: The Rough Guide to Classical Music, ed. Joe Staines, 5th edition, 2010, Rough Guides, London

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
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Day School: Essentials of Music

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course has been cancelled.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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