-to heighten your enjoyment of music by
-improving your listening skills,
-increasing your knowledge, and
-exposing you to new styles and forms of music.
Most courses concentrate on what is commonly known as "classical"
music; symphonies, sonatas, chamber music, opera, and other forms of art music. Many course, though, also introduce music
from different parts of the world as well as more "popular" music styles like jazz, rock, or musical theater.
Why do I need to learn about music in order to enjoy it?
Music listening is
a skill, and some kinds of music are an acquired taste. In a sense music is like wine. Your first few sips might not be enjoyable,
but as your experience grows you find your palate growing more and more discerning. Eventually, you develop your own taste
In music appreciation, your
listening palate will become more discriminating as well. You may learn that you like some kinds of music that didn't previously
appeal to you. You may also learn to hear much more in the music you already know and enjoy.
What is the difference between listening and hearing?
Hearing is an involuntary
activity that requires no active participation on your part. If you're awake and your ears are exposed to the air you WILL
hear the sounds around you. When you start to pay attention to those sounds, you move from hearing to listening.
Listening itself can
happen at different levels of intensity. You may carry on a conversation with a friend while still listening to music or the
television. However, the amount of information or satisfaction you get from either activity is directly related to the amount
of focus you give to it.
In the same way, listening to music can provide many different kinds
of experiences. Listening to the radio as a background to study is much different that listening to a recording through headphones
or attending a live concert.