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RCM Music Appreciation Classes

By Musical Toronto on March 7, 2016




The Royal Conservatory

TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning

273 Bloor St W

Toronto, ON M5S 1W2

(416) 408-2825




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The Royal Conservatory offers an unsurpassed breadth of music appreciation courses taught by experts in a welcoming and collegial environment. Build new contexts for your musical experiences as you deepen your understanding and enjoyment of music across genres and historical periods, from the rich traditions of the past to the exciting frontiers of the present. With courses offered in the morning, afternoon, and evening, you’re sure to find something in our selection of offerings that sparks your curiosity and fits your schedule!




Keys Composers Choose: An Exploration

5-week series
Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
April 13 to May 11
Course fee: $245

Instructor: Clayton Scott

Have you ever wondered why composers choose the keys they do?  This course will immerse you in the sound and meaning of individual keys.  You will learn to “tune” your ears to the sparkle of G major and the sorrow of F minor. This series will guide you through the keys special to Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and many more.  Some classes will feature live performances by students of the Glenn Gould School.

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Mozart: The Mass in C Minor – Unfinished but not Incomplete

2-week series
Thursdays, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
April 13 to April 20
Course fee: $99

Instructor: Rick Phillips

There are unfinished works in all genres of art, such as the statue of “Venus de Milo” or the novel “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” by Charles Dickens. Although the Mass in C Minor by Mozart was left unfinished, it remains a frequently-performed choral work, containing a wide range, variety and depth of musical expression. This 2-week series, uncovering this masterpiece, is linked with the concerts in May, 2017 at Koerner Hall when Tafelmusik will be presenting the Mozart Mass in C Minor conducted by Ivars Taurins. All participants will receive 15% off their tickets to this spectacular concert!

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Simply Brill’: Great Songs of the 1960s

4-week series
Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
May 11 to June 1
Course fee: $195

Instructor: Jordan Klapman

Simply Brill’ is an eight-week musical lecture series celebrating the popular hit songs created by young Jewish-American songwriters working in and around Manhattan’s famous Brill building.  We’ll enjoy listening to dozens of their hit recordings, including: Hound Dog, Stand By Me, Love Potion #9, Up On The Roof, On Broadway, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow… and many more chart-topping Brill songs that have become an integral part of the popular soundtrack of the 20th century– and our lives!

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Joyful Noise: The Sacred Choral Works of Antonin Dvorak

5-week series
Fridays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
April 21 to May 19
Course fee: $245

Instructor: John Holland

The music of Antonín Dvořák contains some of the most beautiful melodies of all time, but the melodies of his vocal, choral, and operatic works are virtually unknown to North American listeners. As a founding composer in the Czech Nationalist movement, Dvořák was instrumental in helping to establish music in the Czech language. Join Dvořák scholar John Holland as you delve into the sacred music of Dvořák, including the Stabat Mater, Requiem, Te Deum, Biblical Songs, and some unknown gems! Discover Dvorak’s sacred music through recordings, score examples, and live performances in class.

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The Roots of Venetian Opera

2-week series

Fridays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
May 2 to May 23
Course fee: $195

Instructor: Katherine Hill

Our friends at the Toronto Consort return to present this series on the music of early Venetian opera. Registration for the series also includes a ticket to the Toronto Consort’s production of Cavalli’s Helen of Troy, from May 12 – 14th at the Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, Jeanne Lamon Hall.

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Frederic Chopin: Polish Patriot, Passionate Pianist

3-week series

Wednesday 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
May 10 to May 24
Course fee: $150

Instructor: Rick Phillips

It is the rare piano recital today that does not include a work by Frederic Chopin.  Composing and performing just as the piano was coming of age, the piano music by Chopin clearly expressed the ideals of the burgeoning 19th-century Romantic period – passionate, dramatic, and virtuosic. And, at a time when nationalism and patriotism were rife, Chopin’s Polish blood coursed thick through his veins with stylized Polish dances like the Mazurka and the Polonaise. As Robert Schumann claimed when he first heard the music of Chopin, “Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!”


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Explore 21C with Brian Current

Wednesday, May 17, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets: $ 150
Venue: Temerty Theatre

In anticipation of this year’s 21C Music Festival, hear Brian Current, 21C Music Festival’s Artistic Advisor, discuss the composers and performers at this year’s festival! Tickets include the talk, a live performance by pianist, Morgan-Paige Melbourne, and a reception.


* A 10% discount will be applied automatically at checkout for students who are enrolled concurrently in any of the following Royal Conservatory School music classes: Individual Instruction, Group Classes, Learn to Play/Sing, Small Ensemble, Theory and History.

Photo credits: Introduction to Opera: Opera Bastien und Bastienne; Jazz in Canada: Michael Pardo; How Music Works: Epic Fireworks; The Art of Opera: Joe Wolf; Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach: Pennine Photography; Eight Great Composers: Zach Flanders; The Italian Queen of France: Dennis Jarvis; Joyful Noise: Quinn Dombrowski; Discover Jazz: BBC Big Band, Birmingham, England; Learn to Sing Opera: Bo Huang; Outside-the-Box Baroque: Menglin Gao; The Unknown Vivaldi: Scott Rettberg.

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