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Find out what participants thought of recent courses


These are genuine comments from participant evaluation forms, letters and emails.
   
Understanding the Concerto

Understanding the Concerto (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 27 May 2017

Since the 17th century, the concerto has been one of the most popular genres of classical music, combining the virtuosity of a soloist with the power of an orchestra. This study day examines the structure and development of the concerto, with musical examples from such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and others.
"Excellent course. Well presented. Very interesting. Great love of music"
"No superlatives are enough. A perfect course"
   
Chopin

An Evening with Chopin (1 evening)


Held at WEA Sydney, Friday 5 May 2017


Chopin’s music has delighted us for nearly two hundred years. Perhaps no other composer is so closely associated with the piano, which in his time was newly finding its voice. His too-short life had its own drama and turmoil, with his exile from Poland, his relationship with French authoress George Sand, and his battle with tuberculosis. Join us to spend an evening with this great composer, listening to his music and exploring his life. No prior musical knowledge is necessary.

"An interesting and enjoyable evening. Susan knows her subject, presents well, uses multimedia competently and is always interesting.  The slides providing progressive identification and description of themes as the music is played through are particularly useful"
"Susan was a very engaging tutor. I enjoyed the evening very much"
"As a non music person, I found it helpful, in understanding the composer"
"I thought it was particularly good. Susan's love of music and enthusiam permeates the audience. I would have loved more details about lots of many aspects of the evening - but time would not allow"
"Susan is an excellent teacher in her chosen field. Always well prepared and knowledgeable. A delightful evening listening to Chopin's music"
"A very interesting and informative evening"
"Well prepared by Tutor with no hiccups in presentation and sound quality of musical excerpts was very good. Pleasing handout regarding Chopin and one could not help but love his music. Thank you"
"Very good , concise and well presented"
"This is the first talk I have attended with Susan. I found her very personable, interesting and knowledgeable. Evening was very interesting and I'm very please I signed up for the topic"
"Well presented by a Tutor who knew the topic and details of composer with sufficient musical excerpts to add to the interest"
"A reawakening to the beauty of such a genius as Chopin. Very well presented and good selection of music to showcase his work"
"An enthusiastic, well prepared presentation. A knowledgeable lecturer with a good sense of humour and variety of pace and materials"
   
The History of Opera

The Story of Opera Through History (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, 25 March 2017


An exploration of the history of opera is the telling of its own story. Its development from late Renaissance attempts to revive Ancient Greek theatre to the lavish and dramatic productions of today leads to a greater appreciation of how the genre moves and enthralls us. This music appreciation course explores the history of opera, and the great composers who contributed to its journey. We will explore the great moments in opera history, listening to the wonderful music of such composers as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"I enjoy your organisation, preparation, enthusiasm and energy. It was highly enriching and informative. I feel as if I learnt and understood a good deal and loved the overview and having a wide frame to fit things in" - Diana, Bondi Beach
"A good mix of history and appreciation, presentation friendly and accessible, and appropriate for someone like me, who has a love of opera, but not a lot of knowledge, filled in lots of gaps. I feel it successfully built on what knowledge I started with. A clear picture of development of opera nd subsequent changes" - Barbara, Mittagong
"Really enjoyed. I like “potted” history and it filled a gap. The notes placed world events with music of the time, which was great"- Richard, Sydney
"Worked well as a stand alone or extension course. Very enjoyable – learned a lot" - Jennifer, Milsons Point
"I found the course very expanding of my understanding of opera" - Morris, Bondi
   
A Beginner's Guide to Opera

Understanding Opera (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, 4 March 2017


Opera has been described as a merging of all forms of art: music, literature, poetry, storytelling, dance, costumes, painting for scenery, sculpture for set design, and of course drama. This opera course provides a guide to the appreciation and enjoyment of opera for the beginner, as well as a deeper exploration of the elements of opera for the more experienced listener. We explore the forms and structures of opera, considering the work of composers such as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, and listening to performances by some of the great singers.

"I enjoyed the course and found it very informative as usual. I came not knowing much so it’s wonderful to get much more information. I aslo like the way you prepare and are well-organised and thought-through" - Diana, Bondi Beach
"Very useful and fun. I am a beginner although I have been to many performances. A real ‘teaser’ to going on to lear more. Susan is very knowledgeable and passionate about the topic which is very infectious" - Jennifer, Milsons Point
"Very informative, well presented and enjoyable. I appreciated the clarity with which the various voices were presented" - Morris, Bondi
   
Understanding the Symphony

Understanding the Symphony (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 72 Bathurst St Sydney, 25 February 2017


For two centuries the symphony has represented the summit of a composer’s ambition. But what actually is a symphony? This course guides you through what to listen for and how to get more out of your listening, and introduces you to the structure and development of the symphony. It is illustrated with music from some of the greatest symphonies of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Loved it all. Very thorough, moved at a good pace. I feel as though I now have a broad understanding of symphonies through the ages, I will now ‘get more’ out of listening to symphonies" - Mary, Mosman
"The course was great. The presenter spoke very well and was engaging. Listening to music a lot and the use of video were great"
"I found this session thoroughly engrossing, a lot information delivered in a delightful way"
"Well qualified presenter. Organised with excellent a/v materials and notes"
"very informative and enjoyable Enthusiasm of the presenter was contagious"
"The one day course was excellent for providing an overview of what is a symphony and the history of the symphony over the last 300 years. Susan also had many aural clips as well as a video clip which were an important component in assisting us with our understanding - theory alone would not have been as effective"
"This course and tutor was exactly what I was looking for. Course notes are wonderful too"
 
A Beginner's Guide to Opera

Understanding Opera (1 day)


Held at Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, 4 March 2017


Opera has been described as a merging of all forms of art: music, literature, poetry, storytelling, dance, costumes, painting for scenery, sculpture for set design, and of course drama. This opera course provides a guide to the appreciation and enjoyment of opera for the beginner, as well as a deeper exploration of the elements of opera for the more experienced listener. We explore the forms and structures of opera, considering the work of composers such as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, and listening to performances by some of the great singers.

"Very informative, well presented and enjoyable. I appreciated the clarity with which the various voices were presented" - Morris, Bondi
"I enjoyed the course and found it very informative as usual. I came knowing not much so it’s wonderful to get much more information. I also like the way you prepare and are well organised and thought through" - Diana, Bondi Beach
"Very useful and fun. I am a beginner although I have been to many perfomances. A real ‘teaser’ to going on to learn more. Susan is very knowledgeable and passionate about the topic which is very infectious" - Jennifer, Milsons Point
   
Musicianship

Music Theory Class for Adults, Grades 1-2 (8 weeks)


Held at Susan Deas Music, Jarrett St Leichhardt, Spring 2016


These intensive courses will take you through the grades of AMEB Musicianship, an internationally-recognised music theory syllabus. Added course material shows you how the theory applies to both classical and contemporary music. Learn the secrets of music, and how to use them. You may take the exams through AMEB after each grade if you wish. The courses provide an excellent background to the understanding of music for adults who are learning to sing or play a musical instrument, and lay foundations for courses in higher grades. An excellent opportunity to cement new skills or refresh old ones.
"I have enjoyed every single lesson. It really helps my understand my piano playing and reading music. Nice to meet with other people in the group lesson" - Lily, Freshwater
"Excellent, thorough with lots of explanations to help understanding. Musical examples, both recordings and impromptu piano demonstrations were very helpful. Provided notes are of excellent quality and allow you to focus on the explanations rather than making notes. Although I had covered much of the material before many years ago, this course filled the gaps, added explanations, and provided a solid foundation for further study" - Claire, Hornsby
   
Handel composing

Another Eight Great Composers (8 weeks)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Spring 2016


What makes a composer ‘great’? Why does the work of some composers still resonate, delighting contemporary audiences? In this series we look at Handel, Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Puccini, Vaughan Williams and George Gershwin – eight more of the greatest composers of classical music. Each week we’ll examine the historical and social background and musical style of one composer in detail, and consider some of their greatest works. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Great variety of visual stimuli to augment aural exploration and demonstration. I really enjoyed the use of art works to illustrate aspects of historical musical periods. I really like the pattern of the sessions being the same, helps my understanding. I have also enjoyed being taken out of my comfort zone and learning about composers that aren’t on my own personal ‘play list’ "- Lindy, Erskineville
"Enjoyed it thoroughly. Balance of talk, music to listen to, really good balance. Level and pace very good. Visual material very good and generally quite appropriate" - Roslyn, Five Dock
"I enjoyed the course and learnt a great deal. Good content, material, etc. Every session well presented. Very thorough research and preparation" - Margaret, Ashfield
"Excellent – well researched and presented course. Handout booklet best ever!" - Richard, Lane Cove
   
Music of the Impressionist Period

Music of the Impressionist Period (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 5 November 2016


The period from around 1880 to 1920, sometimes described as Impressionism, elicited some of the most beautiful and bewitching compositions of western music history. Composers such as Sibelius, Elgar, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel gave the world exotic and rich new sounds, in the last moments before many composers abandoned ‘normal” music and went atonal. This study day examines the music of this period in its historical and social context. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"This course, and indeed the entire series, has considerably increased my musical knowledge and appreciation. Comprehensive, insightful and entertaining (including some interesting gossip!), however very accessible to those with little prior musical education" - Selwyn, Balgowlah
"Excellent as usual. Apreciate the preparation, detail, organisation and structure of course. As a retired teacher, I appreciate the effort and professional skills as well as depth of knowledge that went into the construction and presentation of the course" - Ann, Lane Cove
"Very good, lively, informative. Excellent teaching methods, good range of mateial. Imaginative use of illustration" - Margaret, Ashfield
"Excellent in every way" - Arthur, Coogee
"As always with Susan’s courses, a wonderful day, stimulating, amusing, with a wealth of musical knowledge" - Chris, Vincentia
   
Understanding the Concerto

Understanding the Concerto (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 22 October 2016


Since the 17th century, the concerto has been one of the most popular genres of classical music, combining the virtuosity of a soloist with the power of an orchestra. This study day examines the structure and development of the concerto, with musical examples from such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and others. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"What I enjoy most is your energy and enthusiasm and clear enjoyment and love of the music. A wealth and depth of knowledge" - Diana, Bondi Beach
"Another excellent course. Thank you. I have learned so much about Classical Music from your courses. The course is filled with information well presented and organised and the day is made enjoyable with the music that is played to demonstrate the theory" - Felicity, McMahons Point
"Doing this course will enhance my listening to live performances at concerts" - Morris, Bondi
"Always clear, interesting and well composed (pun not intended!) lectures; well structured and lots of into, but also pointers for more home study. Learn lots, and opens doors for further study. Incredible depth of musical knowledge. I like the feel that even though I don’t have a huge musical knowledge, I can participate and not feel left behind! Great that theory is well illustrated with musical samples" - Batta, Manly Vale
   
What is a Symphony?

Understanding the Symphony (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 3 September 2016


For two centuries the symphony has represented the summit of a composer’s ambition. But what actually is a symphony? This course guides you through what to listen for and how to get more out of your listening, and introduces you to the structure and development of the symphony. It is illustrated with music from some of the greatest symphonies of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"The course was most enjoyable, thank you Susan, and up to your usual excellent standard" - Felicity, McMahons Point
"I came with little knowledge, learned some but gained an enormous amount of information that I hope to consolidate over the next few months. It has been a wonderful day. Thank you" - Peter, Watstons Bay
"Very good" - Ned, La Perouse
"Excellent. Well structured and presented with passion and knowledge. Using the notes to describe the music layout was invaluable (as a roadmap). Many 'ah ha' moments. Thank you” - Lis, Watsons Bay
   
The Mass in Music

The Mass in Music (1 evening)


Held at WEA Sydney, 19 August 2016


The words of the Mass have been set to music by countless composers for hundreds of years. Composers as diverse as Mozart, Puccini, Stravinsky and Palestrina have all taken the same words and given us a glorious variety of musical settings. Join us as we explore the structure and history of this wonderful genre.

This lecture is scheduled for the Northside Opera Study Group in 2017.
"Fascinating and informative talk. I have sung in Masses and Requiems all my life but did not know the background information provided by the tutor. This makes a performance so much more meaningful"
" Enjoyable, informative, interesting, well presented"
"This course was excellent for filling in gaps in my knowledge. Having been brought up as a Presbyterian Protestant, I was ignorant about the structures & dogmas of the Catholic Church, despite having sung many Masses in choral performance throughout my life. It was great to learn of the structure and history of the Mass"
"Interesting,comprehensive and enjoyable"
"I have sung in a large choir for over 50 years and have sung in  performances of many of the masses she played for us. She gave us a very scholarly analysis of the history of this genre of music and of choral music generally. She was able to explain how the composer created music which complemented the liturgical structure and text of the mass to produce a sensitive and powerful work to enhance worship"
   
Music of the Romantic Period

Music of the Romantic Period (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 29 July 2016


"Who can do anything after Beethoven?" Composers in nineteenth century Europe had a daunting predecessor, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. Examining the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, we look at the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. No musical knowledge is necessary.
This course is the third of a series of four one-day music history courses. Over four Saturdays we explore the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Impressionist periods.

More about this course
"An informative and interesting course. Susan is a very engaging and knowledgeable presenter. I learnt a lot, which will enhance my enjoyment of music. Susan used effective teaching strategies: integrating technology and the use of the piano skilfully. Delivery of the material was well-paced. No part of the the day dragged - I enjoyed each session. Thank you. Highly recommended!!" - Christine, Freshwater
"Brilliant presentation - informative, entertaining. How music can be used to express any emotion from the lament to morale uplifting bliss and how various composers achieve this" - Arthur, Coogee
"Excellent! Interesting, lively and educational, well-paced with sufficient depth without being too technical. Information about the composers’ lives gave a human touch" - Selwyn, Balgowlah
   
Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music

Tchaikovsky (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 14 May 2016


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most well-loved music of the classical repertoire. Yet the man was haunted by self-criticism and the criticism of others all his life. This course examines the troubled life of this great composer and the passionate, intense music which came from his struggle.
More about this course
"Thank you for another enjoyable day exploring Tchaikovsky’s significant contributions to symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, choral and chamber music. The variety of media utilised during theday engaged our senses and emotions, with stories of his personal life rounding out the day" Louise, Lilyfield
   
Handel

Handel (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 19 March 2016


"Handel is the greatest, ablest composer that ever lived." Thus said Beethoven of the composer best-known for his choral music, particularly the Messiah. But in his own time Handel was known as a German who wrote Italian operas for English audiences. This study day examines the whole range of Handel’s music, as well as the highs and lows of his life and career.
More about this course
“I enjoyed it immensely. I appreciate how well prepared, knowledgeable, informative and energetic and enthusiastic you are about the subject. I have leart a lot. Thank you” - Diana, Bondi
“Susan has a warm and knowledgeable approach to the day course. I think the day was well contructed with a great finish of Messiah” - Lynne, North Sydney
“Well prepared. Good timing. Good clear voice. Presentation excellent, enthusiasm catching! Well supported with text and pictures” - Elisabeth, Mascot
   
Understanding the Orchestra

Understanding the Orchestra (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 20 February 2016


The sound of a great symphony orchestra in full flight is one of the most thrilling sounds in all of western classical music. This course explores the instruments of the orchestra and the variety of sounds they can achieve, and examines the growth and development of the symphony orchestra. It also explores the kind of music written for the orchestra, by examining some of the greatest composers and compositions of all time. No prior musical knowledge is necessary.
More about this course
"I loved the course. It’ll make a difference, positively, at my next concert. Very helpful in ‘isolating’ instruments and sections of the orchestra. What I’ve learned will enhance my musical, emotional and spiritual experience at my next concert. Appreciation of depth of knowledge of subject matter. A large subject covered very well" - Britta, Manly
"Susan has an immense store of musical knowledge which she presents by her command of technology ina most accessible and enjoyable way. A most enjoyable day" - Pam, Cammeray
"Informative and entertaining. The material was very well researched and perfect to demonstrate the subject. A really well delivered course which covered a large subject very efficiently" - Zandra, Elizabeth Bay
"Thank you Susan. The course today has helped me to understand more fully what I hear when I attend a concert. I particularly appreciated the explanation about the range of the instruments. These courses that you conduct are thoroughly prepared, have material and content helpful to both the beginner to classical music and to those with a little more knowledge keen to improve that knowledge. I really enjoy the analysis of the different pieces. Themes, forms etc all aid my appreciation of the music" - Felicity, McMahons Point
   
Music appreciation in Fiji

Classical Music: Enhance Your Listening - 6 days in Fiji

Held at Daku Resort, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji, 9 - 16 January 2016


Read the Daku Resort blog about the course
Spend your mornings exploring classical music, and your afternoons exploring Fiji! In this course we explore the delights of classical music, learning how to get more out of your listening. Susan will guide you through a different kind of classical music each day, covering orchestral, choral, chamber music and symphonies. She will help you to understand their structure, show you what to look for in their arrangement, and give you an insight into their history and place in musical development. She will guide you through a special ‘how to listen’ session each day, and by the end of the week you will have developed a richer enjoyment and a deeper appreciation of the music you love. For beginners and experienced listeners alike.
More about Paradise Courses   More About Daku Resort
"This course far exceeded my expectations being both very educational and enjoyable. As a relatively uneducated and irregular listener to classical music I was unsure whether this would be suitable for me but Susan's style is very accessible to all regardless of existing knowledge - the more knowledgeable attendees said they got as much from it as I did - so I thoroughly recommend it. Susan combines comprehensive notes with numerous relevant musical examples and many interesting asides while always being happy to answer questions. I have come away with a significantly better understanding of what different types of music are trying to do and undoubtedly this will enhance and encourage my future listening. I expect to be going back to my notes many times in the future as Susan has provided such insightful comments" Andrew, Mosman
"The course was excellent - 10/10! comprehensive, well-structured, paced to allow questions, comments and clarifications, above all really enjoyable. Susan’s knowledge enables her to provide examples, illustrate content with relevant anecdotes – she makes learning fun. Above all Susan has the ability to assist course participants to experience music. As someone at a beginner’s level, I felt encouraged to continue exploring classical music while enjoying the learning journey. I found the line-by-line analysis of selected works very helpful, it allowed me to apply new knowledge gained from the presentation to the experience of a specific piece. The setting for the classes was beautiful!" Beatriz, Enmore
"Susan is a great communicator on music. Her course was meticulously prepared and enjoyably presented. Her outstanding asset for me was the way she made all aspects of the music so approachable. Music is supposed to be fun and inclusive and she was just that" - John, Savusavu

   
The Joy of Choral Music

The Joy of Choral Music (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 17 October 2015


From Handel’s Messiah to Orff’s Carmina Burana, choral music has always thrilled and inspired us. This course provides a guide to understanding and enjoying Western choral music, with a look at its history and its most common forms, including the Mass, the Requiem, the oratorio and the cantata. For beginners and experienced listeners alike.
More about this course

"Excellent course - very professional - interesting and beautiful music. Always learn so much from your courses" - Chris, Vincentia
"Good variety. Great historical background. Pace is good - a lot to get covered. The notes and timeline are always welcome. Very helpful. I like the openness of the day. Not just a lecture – but some questions and feedback. How delightful. I was introduced to new pieces by favourite composers. A great range of music was offered Thanks" - Janet, Seaforth
"The content was very thorough and the balance between historical information and particular genres of choral music was very good. I really like your combination of teaching methods, interspersing your explaining/describing with audio examples plus involving students (eg when do we sing?) and allowing for questions at any time" - Penny, Annandale
   
Miraculous Mozart

Miraculous Mozart (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 19 September 2015


In his short life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote over six hundred works, many of which are among the most-loved in the classical repertoire, including the Clarinet Concerto and the Requiem. He also dealt with personal tragedy as well as career trials and triumphs. This course will examine the life and music of Mozart, with many musical examples. No musical knowledge is necessary.
More about this course
"Excellent course. Very professionally run with a good range of mediums (slides of portraits, of people involved and places; of music and a video, plus Susan herself playing the piano) to deepen our historical and musical knowledge of Mozart. Very rewarding" - Pam, Neutral Bay
"The course was as usual excellent. Absolutely can not think of an improvement" - Gina, Balgowlah Heights
"Loved the course – content, pace, choice of music" -Helen, Northbridge
"Great content. The notes and history aspect were really good. I also like the fact that you can go over to the piano to demonstrate ideas. I like the real letters read out. I like the combination of info and then active listening. I also like the art and architecture period comparisons" - Janet, Seaforth
"Loved it. Entertaining, informative. Well-researched. Well structured. Listening examples illustrative" - Keren, Fairlight
   
Concerto

An Introduction to the Concerto (1 evening)


Held at WEA Sydney, 11 September 2015


The concerto has long been one of the most popular genres of classical music, combining the virtuosity of a soloist with the power of an orchestra. This lecture will show you to what to listen for and what to expect in a concerto, and how to get more out of your listening. And when to clap! We will listen to excerpts of some wonderful concertos through history.
More about this course

"Informative and enjoyable Now have a much greater knowledge of the concerto and will hear them now with better ears!"
"Excellent - she made it really enjoyable, informative and educational"
   
A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (8 weeks)

Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, Winter 2015


Interested in classical music but don’t know how to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music of the great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You will be able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like. No musical knowledge is necessary.
More about this course
"Great course, loved every minute" - Katja, Bondi Junction
"I enjoyed the course - liked the structure ie history and extended listening. Liked relaxed atmosphere and ability to ask questions" - Kerin, Greenwich
"Loved it all. Suited my learning style. Excellent future reference booklet to keep" - Karen
"Very interesting course - covered all things I wanted to know. Also inspiring me to learn more about the different genres of music" - Ruth, Edgecliff
   
Glorious Gershwin

Glorious Gershwin (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 29 August 2015


One of the few composers who successfully blended the jazz and the classical traditions, George Gershwin left a music legacy that ranges from the popular song to the classical concerto. Join us as we discover the life and music of an American genius who tried to 'make a lady out of jazz'.

“Music to him was the air he breathed, the food which nourished him, the drink that refreshed him. Music was what made him feel, and music was the feeling he expressed. Directness of this kind is given only to great men, and there is no doubt that he was a great composer.” – Alban Berg

More about this course
"Really enjoyed it! Loved it! I learnt so much. I am truly impressed with your research and presentation. It made me love Gershwin more (if that’s possible). Thank you so much" - Lea, Queens Park
"Great, do you a lot of preparation" - Margaret, Woodford
"Love the historical contextualising - made the music and man live - put the music in context of the times - loved the images and examples of his music in the wider world and his life - loved the succinct notes" - Katja, Bondi Junction
"A wonderful insight into Gershwin the musician and the man as well as the composer with great often lesser known pieces of his music" - Nick
"The course was very interesting, informative and enjoyable. Thank you" - Rosemary, Northwood
   
How Music Works: A Beginner's Guide

How Music Works: A Beginner's Guide (8 weeks)

Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, Autumn 2015


Why are some piano keys white and some black? What does ‘A major’ actually mean? What is harmony, and how does it work? How do you read music? The answers to these questions hold the key to a deeper and more rewarding understanding of music. Designed for absolute beginners, and taught in a practical and down-to-earth way, this course explores and demystifies the inner workings of music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
More about this course
"Course is well structured to provide an overview of many aspects of Western music. The use of many and varied musical examples gives a good balance to the theory. Well worthwhile, it is making me listen more closely to music" - Tyrone, Breakfast Point
"Fabulous course – I hope to learn more with you, Susan. You made the course interesting, and are a really inspirational teacher, and obviously concerned and interested that we understood what you were conveying. I learned so much in this course, that I now know how much I don’t know, and what a huge amount there is to learn in music theory. Course notes were clear and invaluable. I’m sure I shall refer to them, and hope to take up your suggestions of following scores while listening to music. May even take up an instrument" - Margie, North Turramurra
   
What do conductors do?

What Do Conductors Do? (1 evening)


Held at WEA Sydney, 5 June 2015


Classical music conductors: we've all seen them, waving their arms around and looking intense. But what are conductors actually doing? What would happen if they stopped conducting? Would the music really fall apart? Why are some conductors more famous others? In this lecture we explore the world of conductors and conducting - the facts and myths about conducting classical music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Tutor conveyed central idea of topic very well, including critical role of a conductor in making a good orchestra great"
"Answered everything I wanted to know and then some. Excellent tutor, so easy to listen to and very enjoyable"
"Excellent course. Learned a lot - very interesting. Very enthusiastic tutor"
   
Music of the Romantic Period

Exploring Music III: Music of the Romantic Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, 23 May 2015

"Who can do anything after Beethoven?" Composers in nineteenth century Europe had a daunting predecessor, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. Examining the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, we look at the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. No musical knowledge is necessary.

"As with all the three other courses on the classical music periods, this course today was informative and enjoyable. In all areas, content, teaching methods, materials, level and pace - I have no negative, only positive comments. Don’t change a thing!" - Felicity, McMahons Point
"This is my third course and it is still excellent. Very informative, well organised, beautiful music selections, and well taught, intelligent, witty" - Chris, Jervis Bay
   
What is it About Mahler?

What is it About Mahler? (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 2 May 2015


Like many great composers, Gustav Mahler was not fully appreciated in his own lifetime. Yet since his death, his rich and inspiring music has moved the emotions of millions of admirers. This study day examines the life and music of Mahler: a composer who formed a bridge between the lush romanticism of the 19th century and the innovation of the twentieth.
"Excellent, appreciate the preparation, content and teaching methods, inviting class participation. Excellent organisation and material. Clearly and engagingly presented" - Ann, Lane Cove
"Hello Susan, I am writing this listening to Mahler’s 1st Symphony, bought after your course. So thank you for igniting an “old” love of Mahler’s music and for making it so full of interest about him and his times" - Carole, Elizabeth Bay
"Very interesting course and well-paced. Quite a feat to cover so much material in a day. Very good use of AV materials. Well pitched for the general student. Thank you" - Tony
   
James Wyatt's Pantheon, London, built 1772

Exploring Music II: Music of the Classical Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, 28 March 2015


Eighteenth century composers believed that music should be understood and appreciated by all, regardless of class or education. It’s little wonder then that the music of this period, composed by such greats as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, is so popular. This day examines the music of the classical period, its structures and forms, its historical and social context, and its principal composers.
"Excellent course. Very good notes. Perfect level for my current knowledge. Placing music in context of other world events, art etc is most helpful" - Denis, McMahons Point
"Course was very good. Presentation excellent. Printed material very valuable. Thank you" - Mark, Punchbowl
"Fantastic course notes! Thank you! Lovely correlation with pictures and discussion about history. Made the lessons very interesting and engaging" - Bernie, Ultimo
"Very good, good pace, interesting content – just right – not too much or too little. Good depth and dimension. Great teacher. Very knowledgeable, passionate, patient and pleasant" - Andrew, Manly
"This is the 3rd of the 4 courses that I have attended. As before I cannot fault the teaching of this course. I have learned so much about classical music from Susan Deas. She combines a solid knowledge of music with humour and a very easy style of teaching" - Felicity, McMahons Point
   
Puccini

The Great Puccini (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 28 February 2015


La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Tosca - Puccini’s operas are performed more often than any other composer’s, and loved by millions of listeners worldwide. As well as opera, Puccini loved women, shooting, fishing, and sports cars, and lived a life that occasionally matched the drama and scandal of his opera plots. This study day examines the life and music of Puccini, with lots of musical examples from some of the greatest operas of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Excellent content and presentation. Difficult to improve" - Arthur, Coogee
"Excellent content, organisation and presentation. Informality allows for class interaction – level and pace appropriate. Hand out was excellent – reflecting great effort and thought. Compares very favourably with other music presenters who don’t make such an effort and appear lazy in comparison. Really enjoyed it" - Ann, Lane Cove
"Very thorough. I liked the booklet – time line wa great. Good to have visuals as well as listening and I really loved the opera DVDs. I like the fact that you can go to a piano to illustrate an item" - Janet, Seaforth
"I had no previous knowledge of this composer’s life and was keen to learn as much as possible of his life and times and background. I was not disappointed. The speaker was obviously well practised in lecturing and had done a huge amount of research on the man and his music. She took us through the journey step by step, her style was warm and friendly with the occasional joke. The level of knowledge rquired by the audience was certainly in the comfortable range. All delivered at a swinging pace to fit in the time frame. Excellent" - Marjory, Kirrawee
   
Music of the Baroque Period

Exploring Music I: Music of the Baroque Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 21 February 2015


Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, Handel's Messiah, Vivaldi's Four Seasons - the Baroque period has given us some of the most dramatic and beautiful compositions of music history. This study day unravels the rich complexity of Baroque music, providing insight into the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi and their contemporaries, in their social and historical context. Learn what makes Baroque music sound Baroque, and what the great composers were striving to achieve.
This course was the first of a series of four one-day music history courses. Over four Saturdays throughout 2015 we explore the Baroque, Classical,
Romantic and Impressionist periods.
“For me it crystallised a lot of snippets I had in my head about Baroque music. Now I have a greater understanding and a bigger passion for it. The presentation of course was lively, pacey and energetic and most of all it was a joy to listen to and be involved in. I came away with so much more knowledge” - Penny, Crows Nest
“Very informative, good use of examples, demonstration of passion for the subject, useful notes in notebook” - Danielle, Thornleigh
“Well organised. Impressive use of technology. Thorough knowledge of period covered” - Jill, Lane Cove
   
Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music

Tchaikovsky: Turmoil and Triumph (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 22 November 2014


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most well-loved music of the classical repertoire. Yet the man was haunted by self-criticism and the criticism of others all his life. This course examines the troubled life of this great composer and the passionate, intense music which came from his struggle.
"A highly enjoyable and informative day. Susan has a vast knowledge of the subject and an entertaining presentation style" - Steve, Wahroonga
"Excellent preparation. Very good integration of music, video, slides and chat. Very friendly preparation. Good explanation of terms and concepts" - Heidi, Naremburn
"Very informative and enjoyable - lovely music" - Nick, Ryde
"Absolutely enjoyable. Susan, you bring the music alive, makes one want to listen more and more to this beautiful music. The course content, your knowledge of the subject, presentation are excellent. I look forward to more of your courses" - Felicity, McMahons Point
"Very good. Content was expected and more. I loved the detail given. I liked to hear about the background of the composer – title of the course was most apt. Good how Susan used materials such as the piano, the screen to highlight the content. I liked how text was sometimes used to indicate the involvement of various instruments, themes when music was played" - Lynne, North Sydney
"Piano Concerto No. 2 reduced me to tears. A very special day" - Pat, Neutral Bay
   
Polyphonic music

Music Theory: The Craft Behind the Magic (1 evening)


Held at WEA Sydney, 72 Bathurst St Sydney, Friday 31 October 2014


Music is not magic. Well, sometimes it is, in the hands of a great genius, but behind the magic is a craft that can be explored and appreciated by us lesser mortals. This lecture introduces some of the basics of the theory of music, for the benefit of people with no technical knowledge of music whatsoever.
"Excellent. This was a very well-prepared and well-presented course. Very good use was made of technology and Susan's excellent musical training"
   
Music of the Impressionist Period (Monet: Japanese Bridge)

Music of the Impressionist Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, 11 October 2014


The period from around 1880 to 1920, sometimes described as Impressionism, elicited some of the most beautiful and bewitching compositions of western music history. Composers such as Sibelius, Elgar, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel gave the world exotic and rich new sounds, in the last moments before many composers abandoned ‘normal” music and went atonal. This study day examines the music of this period in its historical and social context. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Very thorough and interesting. Susan is excellent, balancing participants’ knowledge/ignorance with her responses and being very encouraging. I learnt a lot. Bringing music and art and history together is great" - Glen, Randwick
"Fascinating, informative and very enjoyable" - Steve, Wahroonga
"Just what I needed. I had studied these periods in a crash course and jammed bits in. I hope to re-visit the different periods like this in a leisurely manner and get to love it. This period is a real favourite" - Andrew, Cammeray
"All good, well delivered, well prepared, good use of media and good use of humour" - Harlene and Peter
"Very good as is usual and I will continue to come to your courses. I do appreciate your documentations" - Gina, Balgowlah Heights
"Very good. Lots of stuff I never knew! Media coordination and presentation very well done. The notes included reference to music and books which will be appreciated" - Mark, Punchbowl
   

The Romantic Brahms (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 6 September 2014


In 1897, a month before his death, shrunken and ill, Johannes Brahms stood before his audience, the thunderous applause for his last symphony seemingly endless: he had come a long way from his beginnings playing piano in a tavern. This one-day course examines the life and works of this great composer, whose music combined the formal elegance of the 18th century with the rich Romanticism of the 19th century.
"A most relaxing and informative day. Such beautiful music. Thank you" – P. Mudie, Neutral Bay
"Most enjoyable review of a composer I have long listed in my top 3 favourites! I especially appreciate the illustrative analysis of (sections of) major works" - Peter, East Ryde
" Really informative. Good balance between talk/music/history/analysis/photos. Comprehensive notes" - Paul, Frenchs Forest
   
Turner: Music Party at Petworth

Music of the Romantic Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, 2 August 2014


"Who can do anything after Beethoven?" Composers in nineteenth century Europe had a daunting predecessor, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. Examining the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, we look at the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"This was a very well prepared and interesting course. I found the content to be comprehensive and detailed. Susan is an excellent presenter - clear, articulate and intelligent, with an excellent sense of humour"
"All very good"
" Really interesting - I learnt more about music I have been listening to for years. I liked the unfolding analysis of pieces on the screen as a way to help listen more intelligently/carefully to pieces to understand better what composer was trying to achieve"
Excellent as usual"

   
Franz Liszt

The Flamboyant Liszt (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 14 June 2014


Flamboyant virtuoso, pop star, generous friend, lady’s man, destroyer of pianos and Catholic acolyte: Franz Liszt was all of these and more during his long and varied career. His virtuosic and deeply emotional music has had a lasting influence on other composers and performers. In this one-day course we examine the life and works of this great composer, illustrated with music, paintings and photographs.
"An excellent course, prepared with great detail and thought by Susan" - Pamela, Potts Point
"The screen work highlighting segments of the music pieces is very helpful. Very good notes" - Rhiannon, Erskineville
   
A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (8 weeks)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, Autumn 2014


Interested in classical music but don’t know how to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music of the great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You will be able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Truly outstanding – wonderfully comprehensive overview. Wish I’d had the opportunity of Susan’s teaching in my youth! I would have enjoyed and appreciated so much more my years of listening to music. This class has added much value to my life!" - Brenda, Glebe
"Excellent. Fabulous subject knowledge. Well structured, clear, informative, well balanced between theory and practical." - Carol, Mosman
"The course gave me the insight and range of knowledge I had been hoping to gain as a foundation to future learning." - Alexandra, Darling Point
"Excellent – a good balance of “theory” and practical examples. The inclusion of the broader social context provided a good link to world events respecting the various periods and adds to the understanding of the drivers of the music. An enjoyable and informative interlude in the week." - Max, Mosman
"Everything about this course is fantastic!" - Claire
   
Music of the Classical Period

Exploring Music: The Classical Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 17 May 2014


18th century composers believed that music should be understood and appreciated by all, regardless of class or education. It’s little wonder then that the music of this period, composed by such greats as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, is so popular. This day examines the music of the classical period, its structures and forms, its historical and social context, and its principal composers.
This course is the second of a series of one-day music courses that will guide you through the main periods of classical music history. Later in the year we will see the passion and drama of the Romantic period and the mysterious beauty of the Impressionist period.
"Excellent course again following the Baroque. I really enjoy the level, pace and find your illustrations so well chosen. I also really appreciate your notes given to us and the bright, amusing way you present it" - Chris, Vincentia
"Very clear, very thorough, great use of resources. Very organised" - Ruth, Kogarah
"Interesting mix of music, stories, pictures and facts. Enjoyable and easy to follow. Definitely walked out knowing a lot more than when I started this morning. Susan knows how to impart her knowledge with humour" - Harlene, Double Bay
"Enjoyable and informative, well paced, good structure to overall day, and each section well-structured. The demonstration of elements of the music was very clear and effective" - Phillip, Randwick
"I love your courses Susan. They locate “the music” in the historical context and events of the period" - Lindy, Annandale
"Excellent all the way" - Antonella, North Bondi
   
Opera singer

The Magic of Text Setting


Held at the Northside Opera Study Group, Lindfield, Monday 14 April 2014


How does the music enhance the text? Susan talks about aspects of text setting in opera, and in other vocal contexts. Hear how composers take great words (and sometimes not so great) and make them better

More information about the Northside Opera Study Group
"Thank you so much for the wonderful start to our week!  Your presentation this morning was absolutely riveting and lots of fun, as well as well as being very informative. There is great diversity in the members of Northside – some people are absolute beginners regarding music and opera, while others are musically literate, but you were able to bridge the divide to give us a memorable morning!"
   
Beethoven in 1820

The Legend of Beethoven (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 29 March 2014


For two hundred years, Beethoven’s music has spoken to us and moved us in ways no previous composer had ever achieved. Born at a pivotal point in European social and musical history, he took the conventions of the classical period and moulded them into the beginnings of Romanticism in music. This study day will tell the tragic and inspiring story of Beethoven’s life, richly illustrated with slides, readings, and the music of this great composer.
"Beethoven – my favourite composer. His music just takes me to another place. I’m not a musician and your presentation helped me to understand some of the technical parts of music, and how music can touch our emotions. Such a well prepared presentation - thank you" - Margot, Rozelle
"Very enjoyable" - Prue, Cremorne
"Excellent! You brought out all the emotions befitting the subject. Very professional use of the electronic devices" - Ross, Turramurra
"Very interesting. Slides, music very good. Susan very well versed in the subject" - Margaret, Ashfield
   
Beethoven composing

Eight Great Composers (8 weeks)


Held at WEA Sydney, 72 Bathurst St Sydney, Autumn 2014


In this course we examine the lives and music of eight of the greatest composers of classical music. Each week we will examine biographical details, historical and social background, musical style and the great works of a composer. The eight studied will be Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Ravel. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"I had very little knowledge of classical music and found the course very informative and interesting. I enjoyed the combination of historical, musical and personal details relevant to each of the composers and the selection of pieces. The course was both professional and fun" - Lorraine, Glebe
"Love the course. Very informative and fun. Found Susan to be very knowledgeable on the subject" - Lana, Cremorne
"Excellent!! I am a complete novice but I am now very interested in learning more about the composition of classical music" - Sandra, Longueville
"Loved all aspects of the course. Found the notes really helpful. Liked the historical context and linkds to other art forms. Would highly recommend course to others" - Carolyn, Annandale
"Thoroughly enjoyed it. Well researched and presented" - Warwick, Longueville
"The course is well planned and very well presented - has a great deal to interest both novice to classical music and those with experienced musical background – great balance between style of music, composer’s life and history of the period" - Val, Crows Nest
   
Music of the Baroque Period

Exploring Music: The Baroque Period (1 day)


Held at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 15 February 2014


The Brandenburg Concertos, Messiah, and the Four Seasons: the Baroque period has given us some of the most dramatic and beautiful compositions of music history. This study day unravels the rich complexity of Baroque music, providing insight into the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi and their contemporaries, in their social and historical context. Learn what makes Baroque music sound Baroque, and what the great composers were striving to achieve. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Absolutely wonderful... fantastic. I really appreciated your depth of knowledge which you portrayed in accessible language with no arrogance! Breadth of course also very interesting. Visual aids very helpful, especially Vivaldi’s sonnet and colour-coded music score. Notes great." - Kate, Leura
"Exceeded my expectations." Antonella, North Bondi
"Good overview and intro. Well presented, ineresting, methods and pace good. Bernadette, Mosman
Fabulous! Great to learn about the structures of Baroque music and the terms used to describe it. Now I have the ‘language’ to describe and discuss what I can now ‘hear.’ - Lindy, Annandale
"Enjoyed this course immensely – thank you for such a clear overview, the rigorous research and years of experience you bring to us. The examples, the video of Vi Hart, the understanding of how to pace and animate the information was much appreciated." - Ivana, Potts Point
"A perfect day! Congratulations." - Felicity, McMahons Point
   
Ancient Greek musicians

A Brief History of Music (8 weeks)


Held at WEA Sydney, 72 Bathurst St Sydney, Spring 2013


How do the great composers fit into history? How are they influenced by their times, and how do they influence those who come afterwards? This course explores the history of Western music, from medieval times to the 21st century, by linking musical examples to the art and society of their times. Whether you are a long-term listener or a classical beginner, this course will provide a framework for understanding the music you love.

"Revelatory. Now I can go to a concert without feeling a Philistine. Enjoying a much wider range of music and at a deeper level. Susan’s encyclopaedic knowledge, shining intellect and engaging personality made the course a sheer joy. Will be back" Bill Fulton
"Very well research, and structured. Excellent choice of examples of music from the periods. Employed great mix of slides, music recordings and performing on the piano, to fit in with well thought out dialogue. I thoroughly enjoyed the course. It greatly enhanced my knowledge of different periods" Warwick, Longueville
"Was stuck in Baroque and Classical periods litening to CDs, radio in car, avoiding Romantic as too dense. Your guided listening activities are revelations, and bringing in what happened in art very useful - now can listen to much broader range with real pleasure (and some understanding at last). Had no previous musical knowledge but your teaching allowed for novices" Mark, Sutherland
   
Violinist

Understanding the Concerto (1 day)


Hosted by Willoughby Symphony, Chatswood, on Saturday 16 November 2013


Since the 17th century, the concerto has been one of the most popular genres of classical music, combining the virtuosity of a soloist with the power of an orchestra. This study day examines the structure and development of the concerto, with musical examples from such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and others.

Thanks to Willoughby Symphony for hosting this course.

"Wonderful overview of the concerto with some familiar examples and some new to me" - Anne, Turramurra
"Came away having learnt a great deal, particularly the illustration with recordings of the concertos discussed" - Abby, Strathfield
"An excellent day. It was quite a difficult undertaking to cover so much ground. The content was always interesting - great notes and lovely music choices. Thank you!" - Margaret, Chatswood
"Excellent content, clear concise presentation. Great audio clips, and audio-visual cues" - Yugan, Strathfield
   
George Gershwin

Glorious Gershwin (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Newtown, 9 November


One of the few composers who successfully blended the jazz and the classical traditions, George Gershwin left a music legacy that ranges from the popular song to the classical concerto. Join us as we discover the life and music of an American genius who tried to 'make a lady out of jazz'.

"Fantastic - great content. Variety of songs, I like the way you incorporate history and art etc plus personal life (like women!). Great to see the film clips too. Very impressive technology!" - Janet, Seaforth
"Excellent - very informative, accessible whilst remaining stimulating" - Greg, Fairlight
"Very interesting. Covered all aspects – music, history, etc. Very high level. Very enjoyable – came away feeling satisfied" - Joy, Castle Hill
   
Mozart

The Miracle of Mozart (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 19 October 2013


In his short life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote over six hundred works, many of which are among the most-loved in the classical repertoire, including the Clarinet Concerto and the Requiem. He also dealt with personal tragedy as well as career trials and triumphs. This course will examine the life and music of Mozart, with many musical examples. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Very informative and interesting. Good resource material. Susan is very knowledgeable in her subject, and imparts that knowledge in a great way." - Lana
   
Conducting hands

Understanding the Symphony (1 day)


Held at Willoughby Symphony, Chatswood, Saturday 28 September 2013

For two centuries the symphony has represented the summit of a composer’s ambition. But what actually is a symphony? This course guides you through what to listen for and how to get more out of your listening, and introduces you to the structure and development of the symphony. It is illustrated with music from some of the greatest symphonies of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.

Thanks to Willoughby Symphony for hosting this course
"Everything was excellent. I appreciated all the preparation, presentation and the notes. As I don’t know a great deal about classical music I learned a lot today" - Margaret, Chatswood
"Excellent! Have looked for such a course for many years" - Stan, Balgowlah Heights
"Very informative" -Terry, Mascot
"This course gave me vocabulary to express aspects of the symphony. My listening skills will improve after today" - Penny, Balgowlah Heights
"All aspects were interesting, well presented and informative. I will enjoy listening to symphonies with a different ear. A wonderful chance to hear a range of music" - Anne
"Beautifully done in the given time. Love Susan’s sense of humour. Kept the class light-hearted and not too serious and therefore enjoyable" - Betty, Northwood
   
Concert hall

Classical Sampler (8 weeks)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Newtown, Winter 2013


Ever wondered what a symphony actually is? Can’t tell a suite from a sonata? This course is designed for classical music beginners who want to know how to better appreciate the music they listen to. Several common types of classical music will be explored, including symphony, concerto, sonata, suite, opera and oratorio. Each week will begin with a simple explanation, move into a deeper exploration of examples by great composers, and finish with guided listening through a full example. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole course" - Judy, Cammeray
"I really enjoyed the 'guided listening' for each of the genres - that really helped my understanding and appreciation of each form" - Michelle, Vaucluse
"It was very good. I learnt a  lot and really enjoyed it. The course has enhanced my appreciation of classical music" - Ralph, Mosman
   
Understanding Choral Music

Understanding Choral Music (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 27 July 2013


From Handel's Messiah to Orff’s Carmina Burana, choral music has always thrilled and inspired us. This course provides a guide to understanding and enjoying Western choral music, with a look at its history and its most common forms, including the Mass, the Requiem, the oratorio and the cantata. For beginners and experienced listeners alike.
"Extremely well researched, intelligently packaged and delivered brilliantly" - Ken, Surry Hills
   
A Beginner's Guide to Opera

A Beginner's Guide to Opera (8 weeks)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Newtown
Tuesday mornings from 7 May 2013


“Opera is about life and everything that entails – love, hate and passion.” – Lesley Garrett.
This course provides a guide to the appreciation and enjoyment of opera for the beginner, as well as a deeper exploration of the history and elements of opera for the more experienced listener. We explore the history, forms and structures of opera, considering the work of composers such as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, and listening to performances by some of the great singers. No musical knowledge is necessary.

"Very informative, well presented. I enjoyed the diversity of presentation including multimedia input. Susan’s presentation is friendly and enjoyable" - Christine, Kirribilli
"I enjoyed the course very much. I think the content was interesting and just detailed enough without being too detailed. Thought the book was excellent and will definitely use it for reference later. Level and pace suited me" - Lindy, Darlinghurst
"For me this is all a steep learning curve. All of the sessions have been informative" - Naomi, Croydon Park
"Excellent and entertaining. Great multimedia presentations. The parallel translations were particularly enjoyable and added another dimension. I learned a great deal" - Heather, Randwick
   
Handel

The Magnificent Handel (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 72 Bathurst St Sydney, Saturday 22 June 2013

"Handel is the greatest, ablest composer that ever lived." Thus said Beethoven of the composer best-known for his choral music, particularly the Messiah. But in his own time Handel was known as a German who wrote Italian operas for English audiences. This study day examines the whole range of Handel’s music, as well as the highs and lows of his life and career.
"Very comprehensive. I learnt more about Handel and his life/career, having enjoyed his music for quite along time!" - Christine, Cremorne
"Structure and content were excellent. Good balance with selection of examples and comparisons. Level of course was judiciously thought out" - John, Naremburn
"Well planned, well set-out, well sourced, well presented" - Ian, Mortdale
"I enjoyed it very much and thought the layman’s descriptions of musical terms very clear and including them is useful for an audience who are generally not musicians" - Nora, Naremburn
"Handel was brought to life" - Prue, Cremorne
   
Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music (1 day)


Hosted by Willoughby Symphony on Saturday 15 June 2013


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most well-loved music of the classical repertoire. Yet the man was haunted by self-criticism and the criticism of others all his life. This course examines the troubled life of this great composer and the passionate, intense music which came from his struggle.
"Enjoyed it thoroughly. Learned many things about Tchaikovsky but also about music in general" - Anne, North Turramurra
"I thoroughly enjoyed the course. Susan is an excellent presenter: she enjoys teaching and she knows her material so well. I really love the way she gives the general picture with a great balance between historical context and musical appreciation. Keep it up Susan!" - Fernando, Randwick
"Extremely interesting and informative. Susan made it easy to understand; she obviously enjoys what she is doing" - Lana, Cremorne
"This course was excellent. I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole day" - Gayle, Turramurra
   
A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (2 Saturdays)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Saturdays 18 and 25 May 2013


Interested in classical music but don’t know how to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music of the great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You will be able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like. No musical knowledge is necessary.

"A happy blend of analysis of particular pieces of music with general periods of listening. I like the content of the notes provided. Highly recommended by me" - Trevor, Pennant Hills
"Very professional but very entertaining and friendly. Please keep up the good work" - Fernando, Randwick
"I felt comfortable participating in the class. Very enjoyable. I will recommend the course to others" - Emma, Ashfield
"Wonderful assemblage of information. Great journey through culture of the ages. You are very well informed! A great guide into the world of music" - Katrina, Manly
"I admired your command of the subject and musical talent and your simple way of transmitting it to the class. It was fun and so encouraging" - Beth, Pennant Hills
"Perfect! Your knowledge of history, art, music and how they relate is exceptional. Thank you for such a valuable experience" - Greg, Concord
   
Beethoven in 1820

The Legend of Beethoven (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Saturday 2 March 2013


The composer of some of the most famous works of the classical repertoire, Johann Sebastian Bach has influenced perhaps more composers than any other figure in classical music. But he lived a quiet life, surrounded by the family he loved, and little-known in greater musical circles. This study day examines Bach’s life and music, illustrated by portraits, readings from his letters, and examples of his music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Thoroughly enjoyed it. Very informative and could be easily followed and understood by an absolute beginner in Classical music such as myself" - Smitha, Glebe
"The course makes good use of various types of media, keeping it very interesting and engaging" - Riaan, The Rocks
"Beautifully presented with great materials" - Nadia, Greeacre
Fabulous, really learnt a lot" - Sandra, Moorebank
   
Portait of J. S. Bach

The Genius of J. S. Bach (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 16 February 2013


The composer of some of the most famous works of the classical repertoire, Johann Sebastian Bach has influenced perhaps more composers than any other figure in classical music. But he lived a quiet life, surrounded by the family he loved, and little-known in greater musical circles. This study day examines Bach’s life and music, illustrated by portraits, readings from his letters, and examples of his music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Your classes are always the richest of pickings. Thank you. You are able to deconstruct music without taking away its soul! Placing works in an historical social and musical tradition deepens my understanding"
"Interesting and detailed course, well illustrated with slides and piano"
"I enjoyed your course “Genius of J.S. Bach” which gave a good coverage of his life and work. Your treatment of his “Inventions” gave those of us without musical expertise(eg myself) a better insight into how his mind worked than any other approach"
   
Understanding the Concerto

Understanding the Concerto (1 day)

Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 17 November 2012


Since the 17th century, the concerto has been one of the most popular genres of classical music, combining the virtuosity of a soloist with the power of an orchestra. This study day examines the structure and development of the concerto, with musical examples from such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and others.
"All that I should have learned at school! Comprehensive coverage of concerto and all its variations"
"Susan is so well-prepared and a great communicator"
"Great selection of music to illustrate her very well-structured lectures"
"This series - for me - has been exceptionally rewarding and beautiful. A day of beautiful music. Thank you Susan"
"Music choice admirable. Exposition excellent. I wafted out on a pink cloud"
   
Monet: Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, 1899

Music of the Impressionist Period (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Saturday 13 October 2012


The period from around 1880 to 1920, sometimes described as Impressionism, elicited some of the most beautiful and bewitching compositions of western music history. Composers such as Sibelius, Elgar, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel gave the world exotic and rich new sounds, in the last moments before many composers abandoned ‘normal” music and went atonal. This study day examines the music of this period in its historical and social context. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"You made the music much interesting and easy to understand, I learned and enjoyed a lot"
"I like the way you incorporate art etc to get an idea of the history of the period"
"It filled in gaps in my knowledge, brought together musicians and music of early 20th century"
"Excellent, as usual. I expect nothing less from Susan"
   
Music manuscript

How Music Works: A Beginner's Guide (8 weeks)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Winter 2012


Why are some piano keys white and some black? What does ‘A major’ actually mean? What is harmony, and how does it work? How do you read music? The answers to these questions hold the key to a deeper and more rewarding understanding of music. Designed for absolute beginners, and taught in a practical and down-to-earth way, this course explores and demystifies the inner workings of music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"This is an excellent course. The structure of the sessions and the comprehensive notes provided, the tutor's knowledge and accessibility facilitated learning and maintained focus on the process; a truly enriching experience"
"She is a such great teacher and made the course much easy to understand, I learned and enjoyed a lot"
"Susan was an excellent presenter. I found the structure of the course was very good and appreciated the week between each session to absorb the information"
   
Turner: Music Party, Petworth, 1835

Music of the Romantic Period (1 day)

Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, University of Sydney, Saturday 25 August 2012


"Who can do anything after Beethoven?" Composers in nineteenth century Europe had a daunting predecessor, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. Examining the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, we look at the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Very good content and very engaging presentation of a great deal of knowledge"
"I really enjoyed the course and it exceeded my expectations. I now have a much clearer understanding of all musical periods, even though the emphaisis was on the Romantic period. The course had a good balance of aural visual and spoken content and covered a lot of material in a relatively short time"
"A worthwhile course. I learnt a lot"
"Very interesting content. I particularly enjoyed the teaching methods for opera and song. Level and pace were just right for a full day course"
"Another informative and pleasurable day delivered with such energy and personality. Thank you"
   
Conducting hands

Understanding the Symphony (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on Saturday 18 September 2012


For two centuries the symphony has represented the summit of a composer’s ambition. But what actually is a symphony? This course guides you through what to listen for and how to get more out of your listening, and introduces you to the structure and development of the symphony. It is illustrated with music from some of the greatest symphonies of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary'.
"Exactly what I wanted to know. Excellent communicator"
"Susan delivers her subject with 100% interest and enjoyment. Susan gives her all"
"Very good presentation, very approachable and organised"
"Enjoyed it all – including the humour"
"Very informative and enjoyable. Beautiful music"
"From a zero knowledge base learnt a great deal"
"The tutor creates a very relaxed and natural learning environment for adult students"
"As always, Susan’s classes are both informative and enjoyable"
   
A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (8 weeks)


Held at WEA Sydney, Autumn 2012
Tuesday mornings, 10:45 am - 12:45 pm from 8 May 2012


Interested in classical music but don’t know how to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music of the great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You will be able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Susan Deas is an excellent teacher and knows how to facilitate learning. Her content, stories, humour, piano and CD examples and stories all combine to make an enjoyable and interesting experience. Asking students to bring a favourite piece of music to the last class ensured class contribution was valued - and celebrated. Thank you"
"I have learned so much about the music in this course, I enjoyed it very much"
"I was impressed by Susan’s delivery and pace of imparting knowledge. She knows her topic thoroughly, and obviously loves it. Well prepared, interesting, and the course handout is an excellent reference for future listening"
"Susan is an excellent tutor who conducts interesting sessions. She is very focussed and delivers on the course objectives. She is also very pleasant and has a good sense of humour. I will listen to classical music with a greater understanding and interest"
"Superb in every way- thank you"
   
James Wyatt's Pantheon, London, built 1772

Music of the Classical Period (1 day)

Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 23 June 2012


Eighteenth century composers believed that music should be understood and appreciated by all, regardless of class or education. It’s little wonder then that the music of this period, composed by such greats as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, is so popular. This day examines the music of the classical period, its structures and forms, its historical and social context, and its principal composers.
"Loved it. Plenty of time to listen to and discuss the various topics. A friendly atmosphere" - Clare, McMahons Point
"Susan helped set the scene historically which is critical to understanding how and why composers wrote the way they wrote (which makes the music far more approachable)" - Diane, Manly
"The manner and delivery was accommodating for all levels of musical knowledge" - Ben, Randwick
"I really liked the way you draw down the complex to a simple parallel example. Very accessible to the ignorant! Thanks so much, very informative and enjoyable" - Eleanor, Randwick
"I really enjoyed the course. The content, teaching methods and take away notes were great" - Marian, Kirribilli
   
Puccini

The Great Puccini (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on Saturday 26 May 2012


La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Tosca - Puccini’s operas are performed more often than any other composer’s, and loved by millions of listeners worldwide. As well as opera, Puccini loved women, shooting, fishing, and sports cars, and lived a life that occasionally matched the drama and scandal of his opera plots. This study day examines the life and music of Puccini, with lots of musical examples from some of the greatest operas of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"The whole course has been really excellent. I’ve enjoyed it very much and have learned a lot. I would strongly recommend it to anyone else. The course has far exceeded expectations!"
"Great course, excellent lecturer"
"Excellent preparation and presentation. Great selection and use of resources. Very pleasant manner. Thoroughly enjoyable"
"Susan was excellent, one of the best tutors I have experienced"
"Very informative and most enjoyable"
"I particularly appreciated the comparisons with other composers, and the discussion of context of Puccini’s work"
   
Baroque architecture

Music of the Baroque Period (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 5 May 2012


How do the great composers fit into history? How are they influenced by their times, and how do they influence those who come afterwards? This course explores the history of Western music, from medieval times to the 21st century, by linking musical examples to the art and society of their times. Whether you are a long-term listener or a classical beginner, this course will provide a framework for understanding the music you love.

* Special thanks to the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra for their help promoting this course.
"Excellent from beginning to end. Very accessible by people with no musical knowledge. Has already changed the way I listen to Baroque music"
"The course was wonderful, particularly the session on characteristics of Baroque Music – nice to find out the things that “make” Baroque"
"Each of the 4 sessions greatly planned. Use of demonstration material made understanding so easy. Exciting. Great presentation!"
"Excellent. Good choice of material and well-presented"
"You are obviously enjoying teaching this course as much as I enjoy being taught. Very friendly atmosphere, most conducive to learning"
   
Ancient Greek Music

A Brief History of Music (8 weeks)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Summer 2012


How do the great composers fit into history? How are they influenced by their times, and how do they influence those who come afterwards? This course explores the history of Western music, from medieval times to the 21st century, by linking musical examples to the art and society of their times. Whether you are a long-term listener or a classical beginner, this course will provide a framework for understanding the music you love.

"Really top notch. Cannot fault it. Notes were thorough. I loved the guided listening – comparing same pieces on different instruments etc. I am very impressed with your musical selections – with how you actually can pinpoint certain passages – even little snippets. I listened to things I have never heard before – and liked it!"
"Thank you for an enjoyable and informative course – your organisation, content and attention to detail are excellent"
"Outstanding! I loved the inclusion of art, literature, history, etc. You have obviously put a huge amount of work into this course and it is greatly appreciated"
"Very well put together and intelligently presented – shows your dedication, enthusiasm and knowledge"
"I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. It has given me a framework in my understanding of the music I like and enjoy. The content was exactly what I needed – the notebooks were excellent as a basis – clear and well presented – I loved the illustrations and use of pictures during the lecture – and I really liked the playing of music examples to illustrate the historical evaluation of music. I needed (as a real beginner) a full-broad approach (with visuals and sound) rather than a plain lecture. Brava!"
   
George Gershwin

Glorious Gershwin (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on Saturday 24 March 2012


One of the few composers who successfully blended the jazz and the classical traditions, George Gershwin left a music legacy that ranges from the popular song to the classical concerto. Join us as we discover the life and music of an American genius who tried to 'make a lady out of jazz'.
"Much more than I had anticipated – Susan Deas delivers her subject with a very genuine enjoyment of her area. I should attend more of her courses"
"Very well structured and run to time, good use of powerpoint, with appropriate mix of recorded music, DVD and piano to illustrate lecture. Enjoyed course very much – thank you!"
"A very rich and generous presentation"
"Magnificent: research and presentation could not be better"
   
Opera mask

A Beginner's Guide to Opera (2 days)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Saturdays 3 and 10 March 2012


“Opera is about life and everything that entails – love, hate and passion.” – Lesley Garrett
This course provides a guide to the appreciation and enjoyment of opera for the beginner, as well as a deeper exploration of the history and elements of opera for the more experienced listener. We explore the history, forms and structures of opera, considering the work of composers such as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, and listening to performances by some of the great singers. No musical knowledge is necessary.

* Special thanks to the Opera Australia for their help promoting this course.
"First class course....excellent lecturer, excellent notes.... I enrolled because of the word Beginner as I knew very little about Opera.....I so enjoyed the course that I will be purchasing a package of 5 tickets for this Opera season"
"Excellent, it is great to have a greater appreciation to opera through understanding the theory behind the diffferent eras. Also to understand more about an opera singer’s voice and range and styles"
"Very good. Excellent content. Good notes can be used for future reference. Level and pace were just right for beginner"
"Really enjoyed the course and the accompanying sound and visual material"
"I appreciate the effort put in preparing these notes. They are a very good reference. Thanks Susan"
   
Mozart

Mozart's Genius (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 4 February 2012


In his short life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote over six hundred works, many of which are among the most-loved in the classical repertoire, including the Clarinet Concerto and the Requiem. He also dealt with personal tragedy as well as career trials and triumphs. This course will examine the life and music of Mozart, with many musical examples. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Well presented, informative and entertaining"
"I really enjoyed it. You covered a lot in one day. The use of the visuals really enhanced the course. Thank you. It’s clear you put a lot of effort and thought into your courses"
"Enjoyed course. Course handout is comprehensive. Useful to have the life and work of Mozart placed in context of philosophical and music periods. Hearing a range of his music was enjoyable and helpful for further reference. Well paced mix of music and biography"
"I thoroughly enjoyed the day. A very efficient blend of talk, slides, recorded music and occasional illustration with the piano"
   
Concert hall

Classical Sampler (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Spring 2011


Ever wondered what a symphony actually is? Can't tell a suite from a sonata? This course is designed for classical music beginners who want to know how to better appreciate the music they listen to. The most common types of classical music will be explored, including symphony, concerto, sonata, suite, opera, oratorio, masses and requiems. Each week will begin with a simple definition, move into a deeper exploration of examples by great composers, and finish with guided listening through a full example. No prior musical knowledge is necessary. 
"I loved this course. I really looked forward to it each day. The overview of western music gave me a much better understanding of all the forms, and an enhanced ability to appreciate music that I had loved."
"I also really enjoyed your teaching manner, Susan. I found your approach warm and encouraging. Thank you very much for this great experience."
"As a beginner, I found the course made classical music accessible. It gave me information and concepts to enhance my enjoyment of classical music."
"I liked the way Susan suses the piano often to illustrate aspects of her explanations - to very good effect."
"I could become a “Susan groupie” - she is a wonderful teacher and I have learnt so much"
   
Violinist playing a concerto

Understanding the Concerto (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, Saturday 3 December 2011


Since the seventeenth century, the concerto has been one of the most popular genres of classical music, combining the virtuosity of a soloist with the power of an orchestra. This study day examines the structure and development of the concerto, with musical examples from such composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky and others. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Very interesting and enjoyable. Just the right level for what I wanted"
"A very good balance of music history, art, current historical events, composers’ personal history. All points and discussions are reinforced with musical examples"
"Very enjoyable. Good mix of background and detail"
"Brilliant as usual"
   
The young Johannes Brahms

The Romantic Brahms (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 19 November 2011


In 1897, a month before his death, shrunken and weeping, Johannes Brahms stood before his audience, the thunderous applause for his last symphony seemingly endless – a long way from his beginnings playing piano in a tavern. This study day examines the life and works of this great composer, whose music combined the formal elegance of the 18th century with the rich romanticism of the 19th century.

"Excellent speaker, knowledgeable and logical in presentation. Well-prepared"
"I am familiar with Susan Deas’ style of lecturing and find it helpful and instructive. Her interpretations of musical examples are particularly good"
"The tutor is well organised so that the course flows seamlessly and more extensive than may be expected. She does her homework so you get much more than you anticipate. Thoroughly informative and enjoyable"
   
Franz Liszt

Happy Birthday Franz Liszt! (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 22 October 2011


Flamboyant virtuoso, pop star, generous friend, lady’s man, destroyer of pianos and Catholic acolyte – Franz Liszt was all of these and more. On the day of his 200th birthday, we examine the long and varied career of this great composer, whose technically brilliant and deeply emotional music has had a lasting influence on other composers and performers. We examine his amazing life and beautiful music, illustrated with recordings, paintings and photographs.No musical knowledge is necessary.
"You are an excellent teacher. Generous with information, giving a very good overview of the life, times and music of Franz Liszt"
"A good combination of personal history, history of the period, with supporting musical examples. The explanations of the musical styles was very appropriate. The photos and the analysis are also very good"
"My congratulations on yet another well-prepered and presented course. As I usually do, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Many thanks"
   
French horn

A Beginner's Guide to the Orchestra (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education in Winter 2011


The sound of a great symphony orchestra in full flight is one of the most thrilling sounds in all of western classical music. This course explores the instruments of the orchestra and the variety of sounds they can achieve, and examines the growth and development of the symphony orchestra. It also explores the kind of music written for the orchestra, by examining some of the greatest composers and compositions of all time.
"I looked forward to each night and was able to learn something each night. One of the most successful courses I have attended.
I admire the presenter’s breadth of knowledge on the course material. Thank you."
"Thoroughly enjoyable. One of the few courses that I haven’t been tempted to skip classes. The course and content has enhanced my enjoyment of music and performance."
"This was one of the most well organised and thorough courses I have done through CCE. It really surpassed my expectations!
I particularly liked the DVDs showing orchestras/conductors working. Also listening to comparisons of same work (different composers [conductors] and orchestras). And listening with commentary on slide projector. Enjoyed the variety – pace good."
"The course was fantastic and Susan was very knowledgeable! The course was great with regards to using different teaching materials eg. video, audio, piano demonstrations. Thank you Susan for a great course!"
   
Conducting hands

Understanding the Symphony (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 10 September 2011


For two centuries the symphony has represented the summit of a composer’s ambition. But what actually is a symphony? This course guides you through what to listen for and how to get more out of your listening, and introduces you to the structure and development of the symphony. It is illustrated with music from some of the greatest symphonies of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"So enjoyable, did not realise how much I learned. Presentation was lively – great visuals and audio component. Printed notes good – easy to follow, like the list at the back of the booklet, and ideas for easy listening. Enthusiastic presentation. Your love and comfort level about this topic comes through and becomes quite contagious – as a participant I want to know more and more. Fantastic day."
"Thoroughly enjoyable"
"Excellent – enjoyable – timeless music – symphony explained in an easy to understand way"
"Always enjoy Susan’s witty and vocal style. Excellent audio-visual equipment. Very strong intellectual grasp of topic but fun too. Learnt a lot."
   
Mask

A Beginner's Guide to Opera (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Winter 2011


"Opera is about life and everything that entails - love, hate and passion." - Lesley Garrett.
This course provides a guide to the appreciation and enjoyment of opera for the beginner, as well as a deeper exploration of the history and elements of opera for the more experienced listener. We explore the history, forms and structures of opera, considering the work of composers such as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, and listening to performances by some of the great singers. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Susan makes music live. Her knowledge and demonstrations are excellent. Course notes are best of any tutor I have had at WEA.
Most enjoyable, very informative. Susan is an excellent tutor who is passionate about her subject. I really appreciated learning more about something I knew little about."
"It has been great. I loved it. Could listen all day."
"Thank you Susan – you are a legend. I feel that I have a general grasp/overview of a big area and this gives confidence, sense of control"
"Excellent! As a true beginner to opera the course really gave me a good start. Enjoyable – accessible to newcomers to opera. Excellent structure and notes. Tutor managed the various levels of knowledge and experience of opera within the group in an excellent way (important to encourage beginners). Thankyou."
   
Gustav Mahler

What is it about Mahler? (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 27 August 2011


"The symphony is the world. The symphony must embrace everything."
What is it about Mahler’s music that attracts deep devotion in some, and general confusion in others? Mahler’s rich and inspiring music has moved the emotions of millions of admirers, and doesn’t have to be difficult to explore. This study day opens up the life and music of Mahler: a composer who formed a bridge between the lush romanticism of the 19th century and the innovation of the twentieth.

"I have had a wonderful day. I knw very little about Mahler at the beginning of the day. Now feel a lot more informed. Loved the way Mahler’s life and works were in context with the prevailing times. His human frailties were explained and how they influenced his works"
"Susan Deas presents her courses with some authority, much confidence and in both a lively and intense manner. Course notes were excellent"
"Very well prepared and presented. A lot of worktime put into these courses. Much appreciated and enjoyed"
   
Curtains opening

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (2 days)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 30 July & 6 August 2011


Can’t tell a concerto from a cadenza? Understanding what you are listening to will add to your enjoyment and appreciation of classical music. This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history from the Middle Ages through to the twentieth century. Selected works from the great composers, examined in their historical, social and musical context, will help you explore your own taste in music and find more of what you like. No prior musical knowledge necessary.
"The content was excellent, I loved the structure to help us understand the music."
"Excellent. Extremely well structured, great coverage of the history of the time and how this may have influenced the music of the time. Great coverage of the 'basics' and as an aid for the beginner to become introduced to musical periods and where they might like to start in terms of their listening pleasure."
"Varied and very informative and interesting - I liked the examples played to illustrate the segments."
"I really enjoyed it."

   
Handwritten manuscript by Robert Schumann

Musicianship for Adults, Grades 1 and 2 (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at Millers Point in Winter 2011


Musicianship is a music theory syllabus from the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB), in which graded exams lead to internationally-recognised qualifications. This intensive 8-week course will take you through the material of both First and Second Grades Musicianship, in a friendly environment tailored to adult-learning. You will be able to take the Second Grade exam online through AMEB by the end of the course. The course will also provide an excellent background to the understanding of music for adults who are learning a musical instrument, and will lay foundations for future courses in Grades 3 to 6. An excellent opportunity to cement new skills or refresh old ones.
"I found it very interesting and informative. Susan's easy teaching style along with a comprehensive work book and supported by many aural examples made it easy to grasp and cement the musical concepts in this course. I particularly liked the use of the many contemporary music examples Susan incorporated."
"It was good to refresh my memory and improve my understanding of some of the material that had become a little hazy."
"Excellent! Appreciated handouts, contents invaluable, instructive and extremely informative."
   
How Music Works

How Music Works: A Beginner's Guide (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Autumn 2011


Why are some piano keys white and some black? What does ‘A major’ actually mean? What is harmony, and how does it work? How do you read music? The answers to these questions hold the key to a deeper and more rewarding understanding of music. Designed for absolute beginners, and taught in a practical and down-to-earth way, this course explores and demystifies the inner workings of music.
"This is the best ever Adult Ed course I have ever done (since 1964). Tutor passionate about music and very good at presenting and explaining music for beginners"
"I loved the balance of simple/basics with sophisticated/advanced. I was amazed at what I could understand and hear. Susan worked hard to make us “get it” – her confidence in us was inspiring. I loved coming to the course"
"Susan is an excellent teacher. Communicates very well, is engaged and very well prepared. Excellent use of teaching aids. This course meets all my expectations and more. We have recommended it to others"
"Consistent and high quality teaching methodology. Susan is a most able, resourceful and knowledgeable teacher"
"Excellent teaching methods – very organised – excellent use of piano and tapes to illustrate points. Very enthusiastic and bubbly personality. Enjoyable and informative – an unbeatable combination!"
   
Franz Liszt

The Flamboyant Liszt (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, Saturday 28 May 2011


Flamboyant virtuoso, pop star, generous friend, lady’s man, destroyer of pianos and Catholic acolyte: Franz Liszt was all of these and more during his long and varied career. His virtuosic and deeply emotional music has had a lasting influence on other composers and performers. In the year of the 200th anniversary of Liszt’s birth, we examine the life and works of this great composer, illustrated with music, paintings and photographs.
"Thoroughly enjoyed course. Well presented – various modes of presentation slides and music samples. Susan engages with the class v. well and encourages participation. Very informative in regard to personal lives, musical period and events of the times."
"Very impressive – I’ve learned a great deal which will help me appreciate even more Liszt who has been a lifelong interest and will continue to be even more so, thanks to this course. I look forward to taking more of Susan’s seminars in future. This is the first I have attended. Thankyou for all your research to prepare the presentation."
"Most interesting day – lots of information well presented and illustrated by sight and sound."
"Susan’s courses are always most interesting and enjoyable. Her hanout notes are a treasure."
"Terrific as usual. Informative, entertaining and inspirational.Really Excellent day!! Thanks Susan!"
   
Mahler

What is it about Mahler? (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 9 April 2011


"The symphony is the world. The symphony must embrace everything."
What is it about Mahler’s music that attracts deep devotion in some, and general confusion in others? Mahler’s rich and inspiring music has moved the emotions of millions of admirers, and doesn’t have to be difficult to explore. This study day opens up the life and music of Mahler: a composer who formed a bridge between the lush romanticism of the 19th century and the innovation of the twentieth.
"I enjoyed the course very much. I liked the way that we not only learned about Mahler and his music, but also in relation with other things happening at the same time. The choice of slides etc. was well done too. Attending this course makes me want to attend other similar courses"
"I think it was a very interesting and informative day. It must have been hard for the lecturer to fit all of her information into such a tight schedule, but she managed it well. I especially liked the electronic aids – both visual and audio"
"Appreciated pace, content and teaching style. Enjoyed the balance of narrative and recordings, and the selection of visual media (not excessive ppt); excellent selection of photographs. Overall - a most enjoyable course. Great research and preparation"
   
Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky: Turmoil and Triumph (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney, 5 March 2011


Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most well loved music of the classical repertoire, including the Nutcracker Suite, the 1812 Overture and Swan Lake. Yet the man was haunted all his life by self-doubt and the criticism of others. This course examines the troubled life of this great composer and the passionate, intense music which came from his struggle.
"Learnt much information about Tchaikovsky and the course was enjoyable and satisfied my expectations."
"Presentation very interesting and warm. Information – excellent. Music excellent"
"Excellent, very well organised, easy to listen"
"Very enjoyable course"
   
Johann Sebastian Bach

The Genius of J. S. Bach (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 19 February 2011


The composer of some of the most famous works of the classical repertoire, Johann Sebastian Bach has influenced perhaps more composers than any other figure in classical music. But he lived a quiet life, surrounded by the family he loved, and less well-known in his time than many of his contemporaries. This study day examines Bach’s life and music, illustrated by portraits, readings from his letters, and examples of his music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"We immensely enjoyed your presentation on Bach last Saturday. It was fascinating in all its aspects, and the use of visual and sound effects, as well as examples on the piano, was outstanding."
"Susan Deas is always very good and communicative presenter, making the day very interesting and entertaining"
"A lovely day"
   
Handel composing

Another Eight Great Composers (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Summer 2011


What makes a composer great? Why does the work of some composers still resonate, delighting contemporary audiences? In this series we look at Handel, Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Puccini, Vaughan Williams and George Gershwin – eight more of the greatest composers of classical music. Each week we’ll examine the historical and social background and musical style of one composer in detail, and consider some of their greatest works.
"What a great way to learn Listen to music for 2 hours and leave with a head full of new knowledge. Look forward to Susan’s course next term"
"I found Susan to be an extremely personable teacher who is technically adept and able to get across (even to classical music dummies like me) knowledge and appreciation of music. Enjoyed her piano playing excerpts and her informative style of imparting facts.Loved the biographical details of each composer"
"A new area of education for me. Very professionally conducted. Used a variety of media, technology, demostration as well as lecture format. Recommended."
"Susan is an excellent lecturer. Her manner is warm and open, her material is well researched and very interesting. I have absolutely no criticism to make – I only wish her classes were 3 hours long and the course about 12 weeks. She’s perfect"
   
Curtains opening

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education in Summer 2011


Interested in classical music but don’t know how to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music of the great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You will be able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"All I was wanting and more - exactly at my level of interest and knowledge - Susan is a great teacher and places music in its historical context through art and thought of the period. Fascinating anecdotes and demonstrations to explain ideas/music on keyboard. Extended listening at end of each session was challenging and a great learning experience"
"I loved it! I feel I have learnt so much; not only about music, but also history and art. Susan makes the content very accessible and is incredibly well-prepared. I have wanted to do this for years, and it has made my life richer. Terrific. Thankyou. I would like more of this"
"Susan Deas is an excellent teacher, catering for a range of learning styles as well as prior knowledge"
   
Beethoven composing

Eight Great Composers (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Spring 2010


In this course we examine the lives and music of eight of the greatest composers of classical music. Each week we will examine biographical details, historical and social background, musical style and the great works of a composer. The eight studied will be Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Ravel. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Susan is an excellent communicator.Two hours has never passed so quickly. This course has been a real joy. I have a much greater appreciation of these composers."
"This was an excellent course. Susan Deas is a very good lecturer - she brought these composers to life. She presented us with very comprehensive notes on each compsoer – something to keep and look back on. Her overheads and music to illustrate the course - very good. I look foward to doing other courses with this lecturer."
"A most interesting course with wonderful music and history. Music selection was excellent coupled with the composers’ stories made it a delight to attend each week."
"Susan is a terrific presenter. She is knowledgeable and passionate about music and imparts that knowledge and passion to us. She has improved my listening skills."
   
Puccini

Puccini (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 4 December 2010


La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Turandot, Tosca – Puccini’s operas are performed more often than any other composer’s, and loved by millions of listeners worldwide. As well as opera, Puccini loved women, shooting, fishing, and sports cars, and lived a life that occasionally matched the drama and scandal of his opera plots. This study day examines the life and music of Puccini, with lots of musical examples from some of the greatest operas of all time. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"An excellent course run by a knowledgeable and well informed presenter."
"Clear information, interestingly presented and well-prepared by a professional. Keep 'em coming!"
"Thankyou Susan. As usual a most enjoyable and informative day."
   
Statue of Beethoven

The Legend of Beethoven (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on 20 November 2010


For two hundred years, Beethoven’s music has spoken to us and moved us in ways no previous composer had ever achieved. Born at a pivotal point in European social and musical history, he took the conventions of the classical period and moulded them into the beginnings of Romanticism in music. This study day will tell the tragic and inspiring story of Beethoven’s life, richly illustrated with slides, readings, and the music of this great composer.
"Susan’s music courses are like attending a wonderful concert and leaving with so much more knowledge of a composer or music."
"As always, informative and strectching musically. It is such a privilege to sit and listen to an expert who has worked so hard to find really appropriate and engaging material. Analysis on while board just brillant. THANKS."
"Meticulous preparation and excellent presentation with interesting historical background and delightful musical interludes."
"Susan is consistently well prepared, extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic. It is always a pleasure to attend her classes."
   
George Gershwin

The Glorious Gershwin (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education, 16 October 2010


One of the few composers who successfully blended the jazz and the classical traditions, George Gershwin left a music legacy that ranges from the popular song to the classical concerto. Join us as we discover the life and music of an American genius who tried to ‘make a lady out of jazz.'
"Most enjoyable – keep up the good work"
"Very Good. All I needed to know about Gershwin and music."
"FAB"
   
Close up of French horn

A Beginner's Guide to the Orchestra (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Winter 2010


The sound of a great symphony orchestra in full flight is one of the most thrilling sounds in all of western classical music. This course explores the instruments of the orchestra and the variety of sounds they can achieve, and examines the growth and development of the symphony orchestra. It also explores the kind of music written for the orchestra, by examining some of the greatest composers and compositions of all time. No prior musical knowledge is necessary.

"This was superb, truly superb – details were appropriate – so well chosen to illustrate important aspects. Examples of music analysis of the extended piece is so helpful. The knowledge of the tutor is conveyed with enthusiasm – but it is the knowledge that is so appreciated. Am happy to keep taking these kinds of music courses. Thank you for 2 hours of inspiration and glorious music."
"Susan’s courses are always first class – this one surpassed them. Her presentation and course notes are excellent – I enjoyed every minute."
"My most enjoyable WEA course ever! It has completely changed the way I listen to music. Brava Susan! Your courses are so interesting, informative and educational."
   
Mozart

Mozart: His Life and Music (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on 14 August 2010


In his short life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote over six hundred works, many of which are among the most-loved in the classical repertoire, including the Clarinet Concerto and the Requiem. He also dealt with personal tragedy as well as career trials and triumphs. This course will examine the life and music of Mozart, with many musical examples. No musical knowledge is necessary.

"I v. v. v. much enjoyed learning a very great deal about Mozart – and Susan’s elegant humourous teaching style"
"Very well prepared. Excellent integration of audio-visual materials. Excellent handouts for class members to pursue Mozart further"
"Very comprehensive – well presented with lots of musical interaction. Truly inspired. My first course in music appreciation but definitely not the last"
   
Picture of choir

Exploring Choral Music (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education on 7 August 2010


From Handel’s Messiah to Orff’s Carmina Burana, choral music has always thrilled and inspired us. This course provides a guide to understanding and enjoying Western choral music, with a look at its history and its most common forms, including the Mass, the Requiem, the oratorio and the cantata. We will listen to music examples from some of the greatest choral composers of all time. No prior musical knowledge is necessary.
"Excellent, as usual"
"Excellent content, many thanks indeed"
   
Tchaikovsky

Tchakovsky: Turmoil and Triumph (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education on 10 July 2010


Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most well loved music of the classical repertoire, including the Nutcracker Suite, the 1812 Overture and Swan Lake. Yet the man was haunted all his life by self-doubt and the criticism of others. This course examines the troubled life of this great composer and the passionate, intense music which came from his struggle.
"The delivery and research was first class. Well paced and presented. Great example pieces and references."
"I especially like the way the analysis is shown on the screen, section by section. This, to a non-musically trained person, is very helpful. I'm sure I'll enjoy Tchaikovsky's music more in the future."
"The courses are always enjoyable and give an insight into the composers. Thankyou for an interesting day."
   
Handel

Handel: His Life and Music (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on 29 May 2010


"Handel is the greatest, ablest composer that ever lived." Thus said Beethoven of the composer best-known for his choral music, particularly Messiah. But in his own time Handel was known as a German who wrote Italian operas for English audiences. This study day examines the whole range of Handel’s music, as well as the highs and lows of his life and career.
"Appreciate the explanations especially pointing out what to listen for and the piano demonstrations. Also the time/piece explanations (analysis) of the music with the descriptions and words. Very well prepared."
"Very enjoyable as well as insightful and interesting."
"This is a terrific course. The lecturer is so well informed and is passionate about her subject. I will look forward to her future courses."

   
Curtains opening

Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at WEA Sydney in Autumn 2010


Interested in classical music but don’t know how to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music ofthe great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You willbe able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Was simple, clear, well thought out. Loved handout. The level – assuming no prior knowledge was great. Pace – great – enough time to reflect and think about things. Encouragement to be open and accepting – great. Really good"
"Ms Deas is an interesting tutor who obviously enjoys, indeed delights, in her music. She is lucid and knowledgeable, unbiased in her presentation. I enjoyed the course very much indeed."
"Susan has a deep knowledge of classical music and she presented the course with great love and enthusiasm. The music was a pleasure to listen to. A wonderful experience which I highly recommend."
   
Turner: Music Party at Petworth

Music of the Romantic Period (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education on 1 May 2010


"Who can do anything after Beethoven?” Composers in nineteenth century Europe had a daunting predecessor, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. Examining the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, this one day course looks at the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
"Learned a lot, as is usual with Susan’s courses"
"Loved o/head analysis sheet – made it so much easier to understand"
"Excellent (as usual!)"
   
Classical period concert

Music of the Classical Period (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education on 20 March 2010


Eighteenth century composers believed that music should be understood and appreciated by all, regardless of class or education. It’s little wonder then that the music of this period, composed by such greats as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, is so popular. This day examines the music of the classical period, its structures and forms, its historical and social context, and its principal composers.
"Very good balance. Well-structured"
"Very good, well-prepared"
   
Handel composing

Another Eight Great Composers (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education in Summer 2010


In this course we look at eight of the great composers of classical music: Handel; Haydn; Schubert; Chopin; Brahms; Puccini; Vaughan Williams; George Gershwin. Each week we’ll get to know one composer in detail, examining their musical style, hearing their life story, and listening to extracts of some of their greatest works. New and returning students welcome.
"Susan is an excellent presenter and her course was meticulously prepared"
"Susan has a high level of knowledge and is particularly and appropriately entertaining"
"I thoroughly enjoyed the course"
   
The Baroque Style

Music of the Baroque Period (1 day)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education on 27 February 2010


With the Brandenburg Concertos, Messiah, and the Four Seasons, the Baroque period has given us some of the most dramatic and beautiful compositions of music history. This study day unravels the rich complexity of Baroque music, providing insight into the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi and their contemporaries, in their social and historical context. Learn what makes Baroque music sound Baroque, and what the great composers were striving to achieve. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"I hope to attend more courses in this series by Susan Deas."
   
J. S. Bach

The Genius of J. S. Bach (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on Saturday 20 February 2010


The composer of some of the most famous works of the classical repertoire, Johann Sebastian Bach has influenced perhaps more composers than any other figure in classical music. But he lived a quiet life, surrounded by the family he loved, and little-known in greater musical circles. This study day examines Bach’s life and music, illustrated by portraits, readings from his letters, and examples of his music. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"This course is fascinating and thoroughly absorbing. I learnt a great deal. Susan is a gifted teacher."
"Course was packed with information and presented in a very interesting way with many practical examples and illustrations. Very easy to follow and remember and enjoyable to listen to."
"Excellent clear teaching method – well paced with good examples to demonstrate points being made. Very enjoyable. Thank you!"
   
Close up of French horn

A Beginner's Guide to the Orchestra (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education in Spring 2009


The sound of a great symphony orchestra in full flight is one of the most thrilling sounds in all of western classical music. This course explores the instruments of the orchestra and the variety of sounds they can achieve, and examines the growth and development of the symphony orchestra. It also explores the kind of music written for the orchestra, by examining some of the greatest composers and compositions of all time.
"Susan, you have excelled yourself with this course. Thank you for a fascinating and stimulating journey of discovery into the orchestra."
   
Picture of choir

Exploring Choral Music (1 day)


Hosted by the Sydney Philharmonia on 5 December 2009


From Handel’s Messiah to Orff’s Carmina Burana, choral music has always thrilled and inspired us. This course provides a guide to understanding and enjoying Western choral music, with a look at its history and its most common forms, including the Mass, the Requiem, the oratorio and the cantata. We will listen to music examples from some of the greatest choral composers of all time. No prior musical knowledge is necessary.
"I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday at Philharmonia. Thank you for making it so interesting and accessible."
"A most enjoyable day on Dec 5 exploring choral music."
   
Monet: Grainstack at Giverny

Music of the Impressionist Period (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on Saturday 21 November 2009


The period from around 1880 to 1920, sometimes described as Impressionism, elicited some of the most beautiful and bewitching compositions of western music history. Composers such as Sibelius, Elgar, Mahler, Debussy and Ravel gave the world exotic and rich new sounds, in the last moments before many composers abandoned ‘normal” music and went atonal. This study day examines the music of this period in its historical and social context.
"Susan is excellent in the depth of her knowledge and communication/presentation skills - a wonderful day and positive learning experience."
"Tutor is excellent with very good preparation and hand-outs. I found the whole day informative and stimulating. I would very much like to do another course led by Susan. Her anlaysis of certain pieces was most interesting and helpful."
"Like all Susan’s courses, this course has been excellent. Her presentation and notes are all excellent; the knowledge she imparts is presented so clearly and in a knowledgeable fashion."
   
Curtains opening

A Beginner's Guide to Classical Music (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education in Winter 2009


Interested in classical music but don’t know where to start? Been listening for a while but need some guidance? This course provides a framework for understanding classical music, examining the major periods of music history, the music of the great composers, and the main classical genres. Each week we will listen to some works and examine their historical, social and musical context. You will be able to explore your own taste in music and learn how to find more of what you like.
"Susan was fantastic - very engaging, kept course moving along at a good pace, very passionate about music, good use of humour, makes me want to explore further."
"Very informative, learnt things I didn't know about classical music. Nice to have an overview of the history and the technical words used."
"The course was interesting, informative and well presented. Susan's presentation style is engaging and personable."
   
Statue of Beethoven

Music of the Romantic Period (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on 22 August 2009


“Who can do anything after Beethoven?” Composers of the nineteenth century in Europe had a daunting predecessor in Beethoven, but the music they wrote is some of the most beautiful and dramatic of all classical music. This course examines the music of the Romantic period in its historical and social context, examining the works of composers such as Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Liszt, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
"Fascinating course. Tutor enthusiastic, knowledgeable and very well prepared. I learnt a lot and found the day thoroughly enjoyable."
"The presentation of this course was excellent - easy to understand the information and a great benefit in understanding and enjoying this music. Excellent notes also, with great music played to illustrate this course."
"Excellent course in every aspect. So fortunate to have Susan Deas conducting this series."
   
Classical period concert

Music of the Classical Period (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on 30 May 2009


18th century composers believed that music should be understood and appreciated by all, regardless of class or education. It's little wonder then that the music of this period, composed by such greats as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, is so popular. This day examines the music of the classical period, its structures and forms, its historical and social context, and its principal composers.

"Susan’s courses are excellent. She is very knowledgeable and presents her courses in an interesting format, with many musical examples and great illustrations."
"Susan puts a lot of research and hard work into her presentations – which makes the course very interesting and informative and enjoyable."
"As per usual Susan’s courses are excellent."
   
Beethoven composing

Eight Great Composers (8 weeks x 2 hours)


Held at the Centre for Continuing Education in Autumn 2009


In this course we examine the lives and music of eight of the greatest composers of classical music. Each week we will examine biographical details, historical and social background, musical style and the great works of a composer. The eight studied will be Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Ravel. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Fantastic course - wonderful presentation. An inspiration."
"The course was well balanced between the music period, music examples and the life of composer. Susan's personable presentation style enhances the learning experience."
"Delightful - enthusiastic and knowledgeable."
 
Baroque art

Music of the Baroque Period (1 day)


Held at WEA Sydney on 14 March 2009


With the Brandenburg Concertos, Messiah and the Four Seasons, the Baroque period has given us some of the most dramatic and beautiful compositions of music history. This course unravels the rich complexity of Baroque music, providing insight into the works of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi and their contemporaries, in their social and historical context. Learn what makes Baroque music and sound Baroque and what the great composers were striving to achieve.

"Great teaching. Wonderful mix of music and info, not too weighty but stimulating. Will listen to Baroque with new ears."
quot;Susan is an excellent, organised and knowledgeable lecturer. Her ability with the piano assists her lectures."
"The course content was excellent and Susan Deas is an excellent presenter."
 
Opera mask

A Beginner's Guide to Opera (8 weeks)


Held at Sydney University in Spring 2008


“Opera is about life and everything that entails - love, hate and passion.” - Lesley Garrett
This course provides a guide to the appreciation and enjoyment of opera for the novice listener. We’ll explore the history of opera, as well as its forms and structures, consider the work of composers such as Mozart, Wagner, Verdi and Puccini, and listen to performances by some of the great singers. No musical knowledge is necessary.
"Varied, interesting. Very well organised. Susan’s love of her subject and her mastery gave the course a depth not often experienced and certainly greatly appreciated and enjoyed."
"Susan is an excellent presenter who uses a variety of resources to enhance the course."
"FUN. Also leads me to appreciate operas on anaother level. Now I enjoy opera even more."