How to Listen

A guide to understanding—and enjoying—your concert experience.

This course is intended for lifelong learners (high school age and older). No previous musical experience is necessary.

Taught by Oberlin Conservatory faculty

Beginning February 24, 2022

Registration now closed


audience member at a concert
Photo credit: Dale Preston

Course Description

Through presentations and discussions followed by livestreamed concert experiences, you will gain an increased understanding and appreciation for the music you are hearing. Music discussed and performed during the course encompasses a wide diversity of composers, styles, time periods, and countries of origin—from a world premiere by Jesse Jones to Mozart's masterful Symphony No. 35.

This course is team-taught by Oberlin Conservatory faculty with concerts presented on the conservatory's Fridays at Finney series, featuring the Oberlin Orchestra and the Contemporary Music Ensemble.

CEU/Hours of Engagement: 1 CEU/10+ hours of engagement*

Course Fee: $250

Meeting Times

Classes meet on six Thursday evenings from 8:00-9:00 p.m., with concert experiences on the following six Friday evenings. Livestreamed concerts from Oberlin's Finney Chapel begin at 7:30 p.m. and are roughly 75 minutes long.


February 24 and 25 with Michael Frazier, Visiting Assistant Professor of Composition

Jesse Jones: Wires and Wood (world premiere)
Michael Frazier: blackportrait

March 3 and 4 with Charles McGuire, Professor of Musicology

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Violin Concerto
       with soloist Francesca dePasquale, Assistant Professor of Violin

March 17 and 18 with Joseph Lubben, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Roberto Sierra : Cancionero Sefardí 
Sylvestre Revueltas: Ocho por radio

March 31 and April 1 with Andrew Pau, Associate Professor of Music Theory

John Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony

April 28 and 29 with Jan Miyake, Associate Professor of Music Theory

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 35, K. 385

May 19 and 20 with Charles McGuire

Edward Elgar: "Enigma Variations," Op. 36


*Oberlin Conservatory Global does not grant CEUs but does provide verification of course content, participant attendance and hours of engagement. Participants are responsible for conveying this information to their Local Professional Development Committee in a manner consistent with their local guidelines.