Music Appreciation Online

  New Program     Winter Semester On Sale Now  

Join the Winspear Centre and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s Musicologist, D.T. Baker for an engaging and lively series of music appreciation courses. Classes feature a variety of topics and genres that will be offered live online via Zoom.

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


Winter Semester Courses:


A History of the Broadway Musical

with D.T. Baker | Starts January 18th
  Back by Popular Demand     Evening Classes  

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.


Register    7:00 - 8:15 PM | Mondays and Wednesdays


$99 for 8 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom) | Class size is limited



Audio Primer for this course:




Pops, Politics, & Protest

with D.T. Baker | Starts February 9th
  10 classes     New Course  

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."

Pop, 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 on to how hip hop has taken on the role of the protest song today.


Register    2:00 - 3:15 PM | Tuesdays and Thursdays


$120 for 10 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom) | Class size is limited



The Beautiful Machines – A History of the Keyboard

with D.T. Baker | Starts March 1st
  New Course  

Keyboard instruments dominate much of music history and have been at the forefront of evolving musical technology throughout. Their origins lie in the pre-Renaissance, and embrace so much of what we call classical music, from the harpsichords of Bach and Handel to the utter dominance of the piano from Mozart to Beethoven to Chopin to Busoni, and the more modern marvels of computer-assisted synthesizers that define so much popular music, the story of the evolution of the keyboard, and the artists who mastered them, is the story of western art music itself.


Register    10:00 - 11:15 AM | Mondays and Wednesdays


$99 for 8 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom) | Class size is limited


Past Courses:

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

with D.T. Baker | Starts November 10th

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.


Register    10:00 - 11:15 AM | Tuesdays and Thursdays


$99 for 8 classes | 75-minute sessions (via Zoom) | Class size is limited




The Music of Latin America

with Cosette Justo Valdés | Starts October 19th

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.


2:00 - 3:15 PM | Mondays and Wednesdays

This course has begun! If you missed registering for it, stay tuned for when it might be offered again.


Meet the instructor:

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.