Classic Albums in Close Up
Course dates: Starts Monday 22 April 2024
Cost: £125 – early bird offer £99*
8-Week Online Course
Join us to explore what exactly defines a ‘classic’ album, as we examine four seminal rock albums in depth on this eight-week course.
With plenty of opportunities to share your thoughts with other music enthusiasts, on this course, we will look at each record’s historical and cultural context, production and critical reception, as we aim to get to the heart of why a particular record has stood the test of time. The course has developed from our popular, and growing network of Record Clubs that Reel Connections deliver in venues across the East of England.
*Sign up before 29 February using offer coupon CAEarlyBird
On this course you will learn to…
- Learn how and why certain albums come to be regarded as classic or influential
- Deepen your enjoyment of these albums by exploring their historical, and musical contexts
- Apply critical skills to the study of each album, informed by close listening and your own research
- Share your knowledge with other students and help shape the course by suggesting albums to be discussed in later sessions
This course is suitable for anyone aged 18+ and for all abilities and experience.
We all have certain songs or albums that have formed the ‘soundtrack’ to our lives, some of us might even still remember and cherish that first album we ever owned. This course will examine why some records are so important to us and continue to stand the test of time. We will explore the various factors that define a ‘classic’ album applying a variety of critical and analytical methods to the understanding of the album, informed by the provided course materials and independent research.
Throughout the eight weeks you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with other music fans and listen to some incredible albums! You’ll even have the opportunity to pitch your own album suggestion for us to explore as together we explore why it is that some records have such a hold on us.
How it works…
The course is hosted by Thinkific, an easy-to-use online learning platform.
Scheduled content will be created and released every two weeks of the course, giving you time to work at your own pace, along with plenty of opportunities to post questions and chat with students and your tutor between sessions in the course forum.
We limit group sizes to a maximum of 25 participants, this means you’ll receive a much more tailored learning experience and feedback, and have an opportunity to get to know your fellow students.
Session One – Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
Before we look at (and listen to) our first album in detail, we will consider what exactly we mean when we talk about an album being ‘classic’ and we will seek to identify some characteristics that all classic albums tend to share. In this first session, in order to introduce yourself to your fellow students on this course, you will be asked to tell us about an album that has been important to you in the discussion forum. We will then listen closely to Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, before applying a variety of critical and analytical methods to the understanding of the album, informed by the provided course materials and independent research. At the end of the session, you will be invited to suggest tracks for a collaborative playlist inspired by the album and ‘pitch’ your own album suggestion for Session Three.
Session Two – Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell
In this session, we will look at another classic album in detail, Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark. Informed by the course materials and your own independent research, we will go on to explore key aspects such as the record’s production, lyrics, critical reception and legacy. At the end of the session you will again be invited to contribute tracks for a collaborative playlist that helps tell the story of the album, before pitching your own record choice for Session Four.
Session Three – Group Album Choice #1
In this session, we will jointly explore an album that is selected from the suggestions of the group, listening to the record in close detail before sharing and recommending related resources such as magazine articles, videos, books and films. As in previous sessions, you will be invited to suggest tracks for a collaborative playlist inspired by the album.
Session Four – Group Album Choice #2
For this, our final session, we will explore another album selected from the suggestions of the group – listening to the album in close detail and then sharing and recommending related resources based on the group’s research. As in previous sessions, you will be invited to suggest tracks for a collaborative playlist inspired by the album.
During this course we will also take time to look at the revival of the vinyl album format – which is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity – and discuss the concept of ‘close listening’ (and how it may even be good for us!).
Reel Connections founder Guy has worked in the film and media education sector for over 30 years, devising and delivering education and audience engagement projects with schools, colleges and adult learners in both the East of England and London.
A music and vinyl enthusiast, Guy leads on our Music on My Mind Record Clubs, designing and facilitating community-focused music listening and discussion sessions across Norfolk.
In 2018 Guy received the Norfolk Arts Award for Education and Community work.
Image Credit: Katherine Mager
When does this course run?
You can find the course dates at the top of the page. The course content will be released every two weeks, giving you plenty of time in between to complete any tasks.
When can I access the course content?
You’ll be able to access the first session on the start date of the course, and then new sessions will be released every two weeks for the duration of the course.
Do I have to attend at a specific time?
No, even though this is a scheduled course you can do the modules in your own time, with new content released every two weeks as pre-recorded videos and accompanying resources.
What level is the course?
All of our courses are designed for a range of abilities, from beginners to those with a bit more experience. Our courses are suitable for ages 18+
If you are unsure and want to ask us, or the course tutor, a question please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there tutor interaction?
Yes, on all of our scheduled courses your tutor will be available on the discussion boards (as part of the Thinkific platform) to answer any questions and provide feedback. They will aim to do this at least once a week.
Each course has its own dedicated discussion board under each session, where you can share questions and your work with other participants – although this is not compulsory!
How many other participants will there be on the course?
One of the benefits of our scheduled courses is we limit group size to a maximum of 25 participants, this means you’ll receive a much more tailored learning experience and feedback, and have an opportunity to get to know your fellow students.
Can I join in from anywhere in the world?
Of course! Even though Reel Connections are based in the UK, we welcome international participants – this is one of the benefits of learning online.
Course payment is set in GDP, but when you pay it will convert to your own currency.
How do I access the course?
Our online courses are hosted by Thinkific, this is where you will go to sign up, and you’ll receive all the information you need ahead of the course’s scheduled start date.
You will also get lifetime access to the course, so you can return to sessions and information at any time. Please note our tutors will only be available for feedback for the duration of the scheduled course.
How long should I expect to spend on the course each week?
We would suggest setting aside 2 hours a week as a minimum, but there will be opportunities to spend more time on each session or task.
What format is the course delivered?
The course content will be released as videos, and accompanying written content and reading materials, as well as other audio and video based resources. This will be released via the Thinkific platform. Find out more about the Thinkific student experience here.
What internet connection or technology will I need?
To get the most out of the sessions you will need to have a good and reliable internet connection – Thinkific recommends a broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 5Mbps.
You will access the Thinkific platform (and course) via a web browser. The platform is fully mobile responsive – so you will be able to access your course from any phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer that is connected to the internet.
We recommend making sure your browsers are up to date, and these are the browsers which are supported…
Desktop: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge
Mobile: iOS Safari, Chrome, Samsung Internet
Please note that Thinkific does not currently support Internet Explorer. Find out more here
Do you offer refunds?
Course bookings can be refunded up to 14 days after payment has been processed, unless the course begins within this 14 day period.
After these 14 days, we cannot offer refunds unless we are able to fill your course place through a waiting list. If there are extenuating circumstances as to why you cannot do the course please contact us to discuss at email@example.com.
You can find our full Terms & Conditions here.