Music Appreciation: Learn more about the music you love

The Royal Conservatory offers a diverse variety of Music Appreciation sessions with world class leading musical experts. Join our students and explore many musical genres in a fun and engaging environment. Select sessions include live performances and special ticket offers. For additional information and to register, click the links below or call (416) 408-2824 x363.

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Winter Sessions | Spring Sessions


Upcoming Music Appreciation Events


Oscar PetersonOscar Peterson: Concert and Discussion

Wednesday March 1st
7pm - 9pm
Mazzoleni Hall
The Royal Conservatory of Music
Fee: $35 in advance.

Take in an evening of jazz music with Mark Micklethwaite, Mark Eisenman and Pat Collins! Enjoy and learn about selections by Oscar Peterson as well as music from the standard jazz repertoire.

More info or to register.


Women Who WriteWomen Who Write
A special Music Appreciation Event in celebration of International Women's Day

In collaboration with The Canadian Music Centre
Wednesday March 8th
Mazzoleni Hall
The Royal Conservatory of Music

Tickets: $15
Reception to follow
Tickets available in advance and at the door


Join us for a live round-table discussion with three eminent Canadian women composers; Norma Beecroft, Juliet Palmer and Tara Kannangara. Hosted by flutist and Wholenote author Sara Constant, the round-table will reveal the joys and triumphs of each composer as they find their voices in the Canadian music scene. Featuring live music from Juno-nominated jazz artist Tara Kannangara, this evening of discussion, performance, and refreshments is one that should not be missed!

More info or to register.


NCGMOExplore the 21C Festival with Brian Current
Wednesday May 17th
6:30pm, Reception to follow
Temerty Theatre The Royal Conservatory of Music
Tickets - $21

Join us for the launch of the 21C Festival with Artistic Advisor, Brian Current! Hear the insights into this year's performances, and enjoy a sneak preview performance by pianist Geoffrey Conquer.

For more info or to buy tickets.


Winter 2017 Music Appreciation Sessions


How Music Works: Part 1 How Music Works: Part 1
Instructor: James Stager
Fridays, 12:00pm -1:30pm
Jan 13 - Mar. 31
Fee: $375 (10-week series)

If you've always wanted to understand how music "works," this practical series combining guided listening and active participation in basic musicianship exercises is for you. Explore the building blocks of music and how they create the magic of the music you love! For those who have taken this course, check out How Music Works: Part 2 !
More info or to register.


How Music Works: Part 2 How Music Works: Part 2
Instructor: James Stager
Fridays, 10:00am -11:30am
Jan. 13 - Mar. 31 (10-week series)
Fee: $375

A continuation of How Music Works, this series will explore a wide variety of musical genres spanning the centuries. This course will draw connections between these diverse genres by looking at works by an eclectic list of composers and groups from Monteverdi, Bach and Mozart to Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein and Radiohead.
More info or to register.


I Play As I Feel: The Music of Oscar Peterson "I Play As I Feel": The Music of Oscar Peterson
Instructor: Mark Micklethwaite
Wednesdays, 7:00pm -9:00pm
Feb. 8 - Mar. 15 (6-week series)
Fee: $295

The series is endorsed by the Estate of Oscar Peterson.

Join instructor Mark Micklethwaite as he uncovers the creative life of Canadian music legend, Oscar Peterson. One lesson will be comprised of a concert featuring Micklethwaite and other Canadian jazz artists.
More info or to register.


The Franco-Flemish Golden AgeThe Franco-Flemish Golden Age: The History and Art of Polyphony
Instructor: Katherine Hill
Tuesdays, 10:00am -12:00pm
Feb. 7 - Feb. 28 (4-week series)
Fee: $195

In collaboration with The Toronto Consort, this four-week series will explore the origins and development of part-music, or polyphony, in western Europe, allowing participants to gain deeper insight into the forms, functions and undeniable glories of the Franco-Flemish style. Fee includes a ticket to the Toronto Consort's production of Triptych on March 3rd and 4th, 2017. This concert will uncover the musical world of Hieronymous Bosch and it features guest ensemble, Capella Pratensis from Belgium.
More info or to register.


The Music of the Russian BalletThe Music of the Russian Ballet
Instructor: Rick Phillips
Wednesdays, 10:00am -12:00pm
Feb. 8 - Mar. 1 (4-week series)
Fee: $195

When we think of great ballet music, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet and the Firebird come easily to mind. These masterpieces are often staged by major ballet companies around the world. Join Rick Phillips as he explores the artistry and composition behind some of the greatest ballet music written by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.
More info or to register.


The Piano Sonatas By Beethoven The Piano Sonatas by Beethoven
Instructor: Rick Phillips
Wednesdays, 1:00pm -3:00pm
Feb. 8 to Apr. 19 (10-week series)
Fee: $445

Join Rick Phillips on a detailed guide through Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas. Discover how Beethoven used his compositional skills to push the limits and boundaries of the instrument.
More info or to register.


Score to Sound: The Brandenburg Concertos Score to Sound: The Brandenburg Concertos
Instructor: Dr. Hannah French
Tuesdays, 7:00pm -9:00pm
Mar. 7 - Apr. 11 (6-week series)
Fee: $295

Each week of this series will focus on a specific concerto introducing basic elements of the score (whether you read music or not), recorded performances, and discussion on both the historical context and the challenges they pose for performers and listeners today.
More info or to register.

Spring 2017 Music Appreciation Sessions

The 10-Minute Musical The Ten Minute Musical
Instructors: Kyra Millan & Cathy Nosaty
Mondays, 7:00pm-9:00pm
Mar. 20 - May 8 (8-week series)
Fee: $395

Learn how to create, rehearse, and perform an original musical! In this series, participants will work to make their own production of approximately 10 minutes with 3 -6 original songs. This series will contain all of the aspects of the creative process including drama exercises, improvisation exercises, vocal warm-ups, story creation, character development and music composition techniques.
More info or to register.


The Music of Gustav Mahler "My Time Will Come": The Music of Gustav Mahler
Instructor: Rick Phillips
Tuesdays, 1:00pm -3:00pm
Mar. 21 - Apr. 25 (6-week series)
Fee: $295

The music of Gustav Mahler was not appreciated during his lifetime, causing him to remark "My time will come." This series will serve as an introduction to Mahler's musical world.
More info or to register.


The Great North American Popular Songbook The Great North American Popular Songbook

Instructor: Peteris Zarins
Thursdays, 10:00am -12:00pm
Mar. 23 - April 20, omitting April 6th (4-week series)
Fee: $195

What constitutes a great song? And what then constitutes a Great North American Popular Song? Learn about the influences from the remarkable tunesmiths and witty lyricists of Tin Pan Alley and Broadway in this fascinating series on the history of popular music and song.
More info or to register.


Harry Somers: Louis Riel Canadian Composers: Harry Somers' Louis Riel
Instructor: Dr. Rea Beaumont
Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Mar 23 - Apr 13 (4-week series)
Fee: $215

Gain insight into Canada's most important opera Louis Riel, written by twentieth-century Canadian composer Harry Somers with libretto by Mavor Moore and Jacques Languirand. Discover the composer's unusual approach to the opera idiom, the structure and purpose of the work, its history, and the controversies surrounding it. This series includes a ticket to the Canadian Opera Company dress rehearsal of Louis Riel on Monday April 17th at 7:30pm at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
More info or to register.


How Music Works: Beatles How Music Works: The Beatles
Instructor: James Stager
Tuesdays, 7:30pm-9:00pm
Mar. 28 - May 16 (8-week series)
Fee: $300

The Beatles were perhaps the most influential popular music group of the twentieth century, providing not only the soundtrack to the 1960s but producing an output that continued to reverberate long after their final work in 1970. From Please Please Me to Let It Be, this series will examine iconic songs from throughout the group's career from the standpoint of melody, harmony, arrangement, lyrical content and studio production.
More info or to register.


Mozart: Mass in C Minor Mozart: The Mass in C Minor - Unfinished but not Incomplete
Instructor: Rick Phillips
Thursdays, 1:00-3:00pm
Apr. 13 - Apr. 20 (2-week series plus concert)
Fee: $99

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, and illustrating the skill and craft of Mozart at the peak of his creative powers. This 2-week series, uncovering this masterpiece, is linked with Tafelmusik's production of the Mozart Mass in C Minor conducted by Ivars Taurins in Koerner Hall from May 4 - 7, 2017.
More info or to register.


Keys Composers Choose: An Exploration Keys Composers Choose: An Exploration
Instructor: Clayton Scott
Thursdays, 10:00am-12:00pm
Apr. 13 -May 11 (5-week series)
Fee: $245

Have you ever wondered why composers choose the keys they do, or why they continually return to the same keys? What do composers want to express by using their favourite keys? What does it mean when Beethoven writes in E flat major, C minor or C major? Or Mozart in G minor? This series will immerse you in the sound and meaning of individual keys. You will learn to "tune" your ears to the sparkle of G major, the tenderness of D flat major, and the sorrow of F minor. Each week will be an exploration and celebration of a particular key or keys, and of the composers who loved to use them.
More info or to register.


Simply Brill Simply Brill': Great Songs of the 1960s
Instructor: Jordan Klapman
Thursdays, 7:00pm -9:00pm
Apr. 13 - Jun. 1 (8-week series)
Fee: $395

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 will enjoy listening to dozens of their hit recordings, and learn about the fascinating background of many of the great Brill songwriters of the Sixties: Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Burt Bacharach, Leiber and Stoller, Phil Spector, Doc Pomus, Barry Mann, Ellie Greenwich... and many others who launched stellar careers from the cramped cubicles of the Brill Building.
More info or to register.


Score to Sound: The British Proms Score to Sound: Discovering the BBC Proms
Instructor: Dr. Hannah French
Tuesdays, 7:00pm- 9:00pm
Apr. 18 - May 23 (6-week series)
Fee: $295

Explore the colourful history of "The World's Greatest Classical Music Festival" with BBC Proms TV presenter, Dr Hannah French. How did the Proms start, and why is it still going strong more than 120 years later? From the premieres of new works, to iconic conductors, and of course the famous Last Night of the Proms, this six-week series will delve into the social and musical history of the institution through objects, photographs, eyewitness accounts, programmes, scores, and recordings.
More info or to register.


Canada's Music Mosaic The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra: Canada's Music Mosaic
Instructor: Members of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra
Thursdays, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Apr. 20 - May 25
Fee: $295 (6-week series)

What is Canadian music in 2017? Who are the musicians who create and perform it? In collaboration with The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra, this series aims to explore and celebrate the cultural diversity of musicians in Toronto, and the challenges they face in today’s world. The New Canadian Global Music Orchestra is an ensemble of 12 musicians. Eleven members of the ensemble have immigrated to Canada from various parts of the world, and one member is a Metis artist, who represents the bridge honoring the Indigenous Canadian musical traditions and welcoming new ones. Together they are creating brand new works for their unique assortment of traditional instruments from their countries of origin, and on June 2nd they will be performing in Koerner Hall. This six-week series will include an interview of two musicians from the ensemble each week, along with musical demonstrations. Tuition includes a ticket to the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra concert on June 2, 2017.
More info or to register.


Joyful Noise: The Sacred Choral Works of Antonin Dvorak Joyful Noise: The Sacred Choral Works of Antonin Dvorak
Instructor: John Holland
Fridays, 10:00am-12:00pm
Apr. 21 - May 19 (5-week series)
Fee: $245

The music of Antonín Dvorák contains some of the most beautiful melodies of all time within works such as the Slavonic Dances, New World Symphony, and Cello Concerto, 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, Dvorák was instrumental in helping to establish the Czech National Opera program. Join instructor John Holland as you look beyond the "Song to the Silver Moon", and explore the sacred choral works of Dvorák. Discover these musical gems through recordings, score examples, and live performances.
More info or to register.


The Roots of Venetian Opera The Roots of Venetian Opera
Instructor: Katherine Hill
Tuesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm
May 2 -May 23
Fee: $195 (4-week series)

This four-week course will first trace the initial conditions and innovations that brought opera into being, including the influence of the Florentine Camerata and the genius of Claudio Monteverdi. This background will permit a more in-depth look at the artists (particularly composer Francesco Cavalli), impresarios, sub-cultures and politics which contributed to the grandeur and immense popularity of mid-seventeenth-century Venetian opera.
More info or to register.


Frederic Chopin Frederic Chopin: Polish Patriot, Passionate Pianist
Instructor: Rick Phillips
Wednesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm
May 10 - May 24
Fee: $150 (3-week series)

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, emotional and virtuosic. Join Rick Phillips for an in-depth study of Chopin's greatest works for piano.
More info or to register.

* 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:  The Unknown Vivaldi: Scott Rettberg; The Music of The Russian Ballet: Public Domain; The Art of Opera: Wagner: Josef Hoffmann; The Nuts and Bolts of Music Theory: Rachel Johnson; How Music Works Part 1: Stuart Lowe; How Music Works Part 2: Stuart Lowe; The Music of Oscar Peterson:Public Domain; The Great North American Popular Songbook: Ellgaard Holger; The Franco-Flemish Golden Age: WGA; The Piano Sonatas by Beethoven: Elliott Billings; The Music of Mahler: Walter Anton; Score to Sound: The Brandenburg Concertos: Nobbi P.;The Ten Minute Musical: Randy Lemoine; Harry Somers' Louis Riel: Public Domain; How Music Works-The Beatles: Public Domain; Mozart- The Mass in C Minor: Pedro Sanchez; Keys Composers Choose: Rachel Johnson; Simply Brill- Great Songs of the 1960s: American Studio, 1960; Score to Sound-Discovering the BBC Proms: Amanda Slater; Canada's Music Mosaic: Nicola Betts; Joyful Noise: The Sacred Choral Works of Antonin Dvorak: Public Domain; Roots of Venetian Opera: Public Domain; Frederic Chopin- Polish Patriot, Passionate Pianist: Elliot Billings