Ref: C3127051

Discover the musical worlds of the two English composers - Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. There is a wealth of music other than "The Lark Ascending", "Linden Lea" or "The Planets Suite". They were friends and contemporaries who contributed much to the musical trends in England in the early decades of the twentieth century. Both were influenced by English traditional folk music and at the same time did not shy away from contemporary styles within Europe and beyond.

Course aim

“Heirs and Rebels” - Discover the music of Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. There is much more to them than “The Lark Ascending” or “The Planets”.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • The course is open to all. You simply need to wish to know more about classical music, the social and cultural background of the composers and their musical worlds.

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

  • Know more about the life and works of Holst and Vaughan Williams.
  • Be able to name at least 5 works by Holst other than The Planets.
  • Be able to name at least 5 works by Vaughan Williams other than The Lark Ascending and Linden Lea
  • Identify the different musical styles in which they wrote and have an increased awareness of the influences.
  • Form an idea of both similarities and differences of the composers studied. Were they "heirs" or "rebels" or both?

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
  • Students will be encouraged to access on-line tools such as podcasts and YouTube downloads for individual follow-up activity. Appropriate sources will be identified.

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
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • 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 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?

  • 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



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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