Further Exploration in Jazz

Ref: C2226599

From British Trad Jazz of the ’40s and ’50s to the bands of Kansas City and beyond, the influence of the blues on jazz and the later development of jazz singers, this course provides ten explorations into various aspects of the music. Other topics and themes include ‘’Jazz and the Classics’, ‘Jazz in Britain from the 1950s to the 1990s’ and ‘Humour in Jazz’. We also commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of ‘Kind Of Blue’, one of Miles Davis’ greatest achievements. Through commentary and numerous recordings, we increase our understanding of the way jazz developed and the legacy of individual musicians, sometimes in celebrated collaborations. We end by considering some musicians who contribute to ‘Contemporary Jazz’ and reflect on its future. A course for anyone interested in popular music in the twentieth century.

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 30/10/2019

Course aim

To explore ten case studies focusing on different aspects of jazz to enhance students' knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the music.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Students need a level 2 qualification in English to join this course
  • This course is for students who attend a specific centre only. For more information please call 0300 303 3464
  • An interest in jazz (however uninformed) is desirable as is an openness of mind to new and (sometimes) unconventional sounds.

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

  • Describe how 'the blues' influenced the origins of jazz and its later development.
  • Explain why jazz musicians were often interested in the European classical music tradition and how they showed this.
  • State the main differences between the types of jazz in Britain from the 1940s and the way these different styles developed later.
  • Name some of the singers who contributed to the development of jazz from the 1950s, describing some of their stylistic characteristics.
  • Identify some of the ways in which jazz performers introduced humour into their 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
  • 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 be encouraged to share your thoughts and ideas with others in the class and consider others' understanding of aspects of the course.

What else do I need to know?

  • You will be expected to bring a notebook and pen or pencil to each session. - the tutor might suggest you download hand-outs to your desktop computer or laptop in support of your learning during the course.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Reading (and listening to jazz) in preparation for the course is desirable and a booklist with up to about thirty titles will be sent to the Branch in advance.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • 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
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Further Exploration in Jazz


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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