Music 101 tunes up for Eastside audience
Initiative follows on success of humanities and science programs
by Michelle Cook staff writer
Breaking down the high-brow image of classical music and
bridging the gap between audiences and performers are the key goals
of a new music appreciation class offered by UBC's Learning Exchange
to members of the Downtown Eastside community.
"There's a perception that classical music is inaccessible," says
Karen Lee Morlang, artistic director of the Learning Exchange's
music program. "We want to help students get involved with the music
and what goes into performing it, and not feel intimidated."
Music Appreciation 101 offers members of Vancouver's Downtown
Eastside/Strathcona community the opportunity to take a 12-week
journey through the world of music, says Learning Exchange program
development intern Shayne Tryon.
The course, co-ordinated by the Learning Exchange and taught by
faculty and students from the School of Music, aims to give adult
students the chance to develop their knowledge of music at the level
of an introductory university course. The first six-week semester
includes lectures, listening assignments and live performances,
including concerts at the Chan Centre.
The pilot project is modeled on Humanities 101 and Science 101,
two UBC non-credit programs already offered in the area.
Like those programs, Music Appreciation 101 will be free of charge,
and bus fare, child care, and meals will be provided to students.
Participants will also be issued a UBC library card.
Tryon says organizers had no trouble attracting participants to
study music. With 30 students signed up, the first class is full.
People's enthusiasm for music, Tryon says, shows that it is a
"It doesn't matter how old or young you are, where you're from,
or how much money you have, music transcends barriers."
Music Appreciation 101's pilot has been funded by a grant from
the AMS Innovative Projects Fund, jointly operated by the Alma Mater
Society and the university.
The Learning Exchange is part of the commitment to community outreach
found in Trek 2000, the university's vision statement.
It aims to offer UBC's resources and expertise to the Downtown
Eastside community, to provide educational opportunities to people
who live and work in the neighbourhood, and to give UBC students
first-hand volunteer experience in community organizations.
Since it opened a year ago, the exchange's volunteer program has
more than doubled with 80 students now participating. Working in
17 non-profit organizations in the downtown area, student activities
range from literacy tutoring to supporting hot lunch, recreation
and hospice programs.
Call 604-408-5164 or visit www.learningexchange.ubc.ca.