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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 17 | November 1 , 2001

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 universal language.

"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.

More information

Call 604-408-5164 or visit www.learningexchange.ubc.ca.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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