Music Appreciation Online

Bestseller On Sale Now

Adult Learners | 4-Week Courses, Beginning in October 2021

Join us for engaging and lively series of music appreciation courses, taught by members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Winspear Centre staff. Classes feature a variety of topics and genres that will be offered live online via Zoom.

Registrations start at $99 per course (8 classes) or $120 (10 classes)
75-minute sessions (on Zoom)
Class size is limited

Meet The Instructors:

Click on an instructor photo or name to access biography.

Fall Semester Courses:

Pops, Politics & Protest

with D.T. Baker | Starts November 8
Bestseller 10 classes

When most people think of "protest songs," they think of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and the rebellious 60s. But protest songs date back as far as the troubadour tradition of the middle ages, and are still powerful and relevant today. What's changed is the way they're packaged - but the intent has always been the same: "A Change is Gonna Come."

Pops, Politics, & Protest examines the stories of protest songs, from complaints of enforced conscription by King George III to the 60s radicals doing the same thing - and onto how hip hop has taken on the role of the protest song today.

Starts November 8, 2021
7:00 - 8:15 PM | Mondays & Thursdays
$120 for 10 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom)
Class size is limited


Video Teaser:

Audio Primer:

Clean version below. Click here for the explicit version.

Image of a conductor's hands and a close up of a guitarist performing. Image promoting Symphonic Collaborations from Adams to Zappa.

Symphonic Collaborations from Adams to Zappa

with Lucas Waldin | Starts October 13
New Course 8 classes

Today's professional orchestras are more adaptable and flexible than ever, with new and colourful collaborations debuting on the symphony stage every season. Conductor Lucas Waldin leads this survey of unusual and interesting projects that have pushed the boundaries of the traditional symphony, taking you behind the scenes to discover the challenges and rewards of creating, developing and producing concerts with such diverse artists as rock bands, circus actors, and speed painters.

Starts October 13, 2021
2:00 - 3:15 PM | Mondays & Wednesdays
$99 for 8 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom)
Class size is limited

Registrations closed - Classes in session

Video Teaser:

Past Courses:

Strength in Numbers - The Story of the Orchestra, and Those Who Lead It

with D.T. Baker

Audio Primer for this course:

French composer Hector Berlioz dreamed of an orchestra that numbered in the hundreds, and included 30 harps! But he didn’t have to pay for his dream. Orchestras have ever been part of the greatest achievements in western art music, while those who have led them have provided some of the most colourful, creative, and controversial figures during that history. This course follows the trail from small ensembles to the grand collectives of today, with music excerpts all along the way.

A History of the Broadway Musical

with D.T. Baker

The Broadway musical traces its roots to colonial America, and came fully into being in the early 20th century. At its height, it was a part of the cultural fabric – its creators and stars were well-known celebrities, and its scores have given us some of the most treasured songs ever written. Today, its relevance can be called into question, although shows such as Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen have shown there is still plenty of life in the genre. Explore it all in the stories, and so much of the amazing music in this course.

Audio Primer for this course:

The Music of Latin America

with Cosette Justo Valdés

South and Central America have a rich body of music that has been and continues to be composed. Throughout the course, we will explore great pieces that have not received the same amount of attention as its contemporaries in Europe and North America. We will get to know some exciting pieces, discover some amazing composers, and learn more about composers you already know! Get ready to groove as we go on this journey together, exploring classical music from Latin America from the 18th century to the most relevant popular genres.

Innovation & Inspiration: New Music of the Last Century

with Alex Prior and Megan Evans

This course will explore the profoundly human soundscapes and emotional worlds of music written in the last century. This music is pioneering and often challenging, and our goal is to make listening to it easier and even more enjoyable.
Presented by Chief Conductor Alex Prior and Assistant Principal Horn Megan Evans, the duo will put a friendly face on music that they are passionate about and that you’ve always wanted to get to know better but weren’t sure where to start. Musical storytelling, listening strategies, historical context, and the composers’ personalities will be explored with the specific aim of opening up this music and starting a journey of immense reward and pleasure with what is sometimes dubbed “modern'' music.

2:00 – 3:15 PM | Mondays & Wednesdays
$99 for 8 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom)
Class size is limited

Meet the instructors:

Lucas Waldin

Formerly Artist-in-Residence and Community Ambassador of the ESO, Lucas is a frequent guest conductor for orchestras across North America. He has debuted numerous symphonic collaborations with artists such as Buffy Sainte-Marie, Carly Rae Jepsen, Jeremy Dutcher, Dvsn, Royal Wood, and more.

D.T. Baker

D.T. Baker is well known to Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Winspear Centre audiences through his program notes, and popular pre- and post-concert presentations, as well as his 10 years as classical music writer for the Edmonton Journal. A 42-year veteran of the music industry, he has worked in many aspects and in nearly all genres of music. Presently Musicologist for the ESO/Winspear Centre, Mr. Baker is also a popular lecturer and instructor on music throughout the community.