Music Appreciation: Music in Context

Ref: C3844648

This course will encourage students to enjoy and actively critically engage with new and familiar classical music through focused listening and by thinking about artistic, social and cultural context. Each session will revolve around pieces drawn from traditional concert repertoire, newer, perhaps unfamiliar and more challenging works, and music from other genres. The classical music we will hear will be drawn from the early period, the common practice period and the 20th/21st Centuries; we will explore well-known composers as well as more neglected figures from each of these. We will consider such issues as style, form, history, race/ethnicity, gender, aesthetics, tradition/progress, and composers' lives. Classes will include listening time and friendly but critical discussion built around that. Topics may include British & Irish music, C20th/21st Eastern European composers, classical music and literature, polystylism & progressive music, jazz and its sub-genres, film and world music.

Course aim

To explore familiar and new classical music through issues such as history, repertoire, culture, politics, form and aesthetics; students will enjoy a wide range of music and be encouraged to expand their knowledge and understanding of its development

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Recognise some of the important artistic, social and cultural forces that have shaped classical and other forms of music
  • Critically engage with different kinds of music and composers, broadly and specifically
  • Actively explore music through issues such as gender, ethnicity, accessibility, identity, metaphor, nationalism and interdisciplinarity
  • Use a range of skills relating to researching, thinking and writing about music and its artistic, cultural and social contexts
  • Demonstrate confidence to progress to further study in both music appreciation and the fields of musicology and history of music

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • Most of your learning will take place in your class, but one or two sessions will be online using WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, working by yourself or engaging with other students. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • 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?

  • You will be able to keep a record of your progress and achievement using photos, audio, text or documents uploaded into the WEA’s digital learning platform, WEA Canvas.
  • Your tutor will provide written, text and audio feedback recorded in WEA Canvas, WEA’s digital learning platform.
  • You will be able to keep a digital portfolio of your work on WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas.
  • 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
  • A file of work will be kept which will help to record your progress

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will also need access to the internet outside of your sessions. You could do this using a smart phone, tablet, laptop or a desktop computer (at home or through a library etc.).
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • 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

  • You will have access to course resources and links to wider learning through the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • You may wish to consult books and online resources on the history of music, or look into terminology, theory and style, guides to classical music, or composers. Listening, reading and research for learning, intellectual development and pleasure around all aspects of music are very much encouraged.

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
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Study of an instrument, theory, or a related area of music academically

Download full course information sheet

Music Appreciation: Music in Context

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2020
  • 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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