Find out about our ‘Music Appreciation’ Courses in Swansea and Llanelli!


On Tuesday 24th October, Swansea CDC Sam Al-Khanchi had the pleasure of visiting our Music Appreciation tutor, Chris Weeks, at not one, but two of his class venues.  

Chris teaches three ‘Music Appreciation’ courses for the Organisation, two of which are in Swansea and one in Llanelli. All of the courses form part of our thriving Cultural & Liberal Arts Programme.  

‘Music Appreciation’ courses have been running in Swansea since 2011, with some learners attending for over 10 years. Many of the Swansea learners choose to attend both classes each week. Most of the learners are retirees, across all the Music Appreciation provision.  

The Swansea courses take place in the Pantygwydr Baptist Church (picture below) on a Tuesday morning and St James’ Parish Church on a Wednesday. The courses each have a different focus, within the main subject area of ‘Music Appreciation’. The topic for Pantygwydr is currently ‘A Brief History of the Keyboard’ and for St James’,‘A History of Harmony and Dissonance’. 

As part of a Learner Visit, Swansea Curriculum Development Co-ordinator, Sam got to visit the Pantygwydr group during their morning session. The learners had the opportunity to listen to a wide range of audio clips which focused on the organ, as well as discuss basic mechanics and acoustics of the instrument. 

Sam said, “It was great to have the opportunity to meet the learners ,,to hear how important this course, and learning in general is to them.”

Learner Alison said, “Some of us don’t have a music background so everything we know, we have learned here from Chris. This is learning, without learning, we don’t want essays and exams, but we still want to learn.” 

Learner John said, “As you get older, you get forgotten about. If the learning isn’t about gaining employment or furthering your skills…. but we still want to learn. It’s important to us.”

(Music Appreciation, Swansea) 

The Llanelli Music Appreciation course is held in the The Ffwrnes Theatre (picure below), on a Tuesday afternoon. Although the course has been delivered from several different locations in Llanelli, it has been running for over 12 years. One learner Jane attended Chris’ very first class in Llanelli. Although Jane left for a while, she later returned and has been a regular attendee since.  

The topic of the Llanelli session was the operas of Georges Bizet, particularly Carmen. The learners had the opportunity to listen to various musical excerpts before discussing it. 

Swansea CDC Sam said, “It gave me great pleasure to watch the learners listening so intently whilst also being able to enjoy the music myself. I wouldn’t describe myself as an opera lover, but by sitting in that session, you just ‘get it’. It was an absolute pleasure to be invited and to get the opportunity to speak to such passionate learners.”

Learner David said, “Chris prepares meticulously, which helps immensely with our enjoyment.” When asked about how involved they are in the planning of future sessions, David said, “Oh absolutely, we are very much part of the course. Chris always asks for our thoughts and takes our suggestions on board.”

Learner Trish said, “Chris is approachable, knowledgeable, and funny. This course allows us two hours of just listening, which is so rare!! I learn an awful lot too. If you are retired, it’s nice to have some knowledge to call on.”

(Music Appreciation, Llanelli) 

We’d like to congratulate all of our learners on their hard work!

If you would like to find out more about our Music Appreciation Courses in Swansea and Llanelli, please contact our Curriculum Development Co-ordinator, Samantha Al-Khanchi

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