The Enquiring Listener Conservatorium Open Academy

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The Enquiring Listener

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

Have you ever heard a piece of music and been captured by it, but not been able to say why?

Have you ever tried to learn to play or sing a piece of music, but struggled to understand what makes it tick?

Want to know more? Then this unique course is for you!

In this course you will learn to be more discriminate and curious in your approach to music, both aurally and in the written form. Recordings will become full of familiar touch points and music scores will become treasure maps, full of clues and meanings.

Each week the class will focus on a different aspect of music: melody, harmony, tonality, rhythm, texture, structure, dynamics and even the instruments and / or voices performing. Week by week, we will examine the theoretical mechanics of music by exploring a wide range of musical styles and genres – everything from a Classical symphony through to popular music, film music and folk songs. We will listen to recordings and explore scores, and even sing some music ourselves!

In the last class of the course, there will be an opportunity for members of the class to bring in music, either scores or recordings, that they would like to explore and share with the class. This gives us a chance to put into practice all you have learnt and bring it all together.

Developing your listening and analytical skills will enhance and inform your music appreciation as well as your skills as a musician. Approaching new music will become exciting as you bring your newly enhanced analytical skills into play.

Entry: This course is an excellent extension from the theory skills learnt in Vocal Fundamentals. It would also be suitable for those with some skills in reading music, both singers and instrumentalists.


Cathy is a teacher who goes way beyond the call of duty. Her teaching is inspired, and she is absolutely thorough, punctual and engaged in both her subject and her students. I would recommend her course for EVERYONE who wants to enlarge their appreciation of music.

Cathy is one of the most passionate and professional teachers I have met. Her course was a delight. I will now listen to music with an enlightened ear. I know I will enjoy my music more.

Cathy is enthusiastic, knowledgeable and teaches to all levels. The fact we cover so many areas of musical style is very interesting. There is something for everyone. Also one comes away from class and when listening to music live or otherwise – one can apply what one has been taught. The aim of the course does indeed meet its criteria.

Marvellous course and passionate teacher. Have recommended to all friends. Just what so many music lovers need to help understand how a piece of music works to produce its effects.

Cathy is an extraordinarily fine teacher. She has the knack of involving everyone – and participants in our group varied in knowledge/tastes/experience. I got a lot out of the course, more than I expected indeed. And I can still revise from the excellent class notes and scores we were given.

I rate very highly: Cathy’s concept of her course, personal preparation, effective facilitation of students' active participation, systematic and graded selection of material, highly relevant selection of examples, timekeeping, follow up on questions and homework