Adult Studies

Come be a part of the adult studies community at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.

In addition to individual instruction on all instruments, PCM has a vibrant and growing slate of group classes, ensembles, and music history and appreciation offerings for adults.

  • Individual Instruction
  • Group Lessons & Ensembles
  • Music History & Appreciation

Click on individual departments below or call the PCM office at 626.683.3355 for more information.

Ukulele Jam: The American Songbook

Instructor: Lindsay Dodoras
Mondays 10-11:30 a.m. (Aug 27-Nov 12)
Tuition: $180

Musicians will learn ukulele technique and skills through the music of the American Songbook. With classics from Broadway to our favorite jazz standards, you will learn the mechanics behind each of these timeless tunes and how to perform them live. Ukulele players will experiment with song arranging and learn the musical terminology needed to communicate with fellow musicians. From composers such as George and Ira Gershwin to Cole Porter to Rodgers and Hart, we will journey together through the decades of musical genius!

Register here!

Ukulele Jam: Songs of the Sixties

Instructor: Lindsay Dodoras
Tuesdays 6:30-8 p.m. (Aug 28-Nov 13)
Tuition: $180

Musicians will learn ukulele technique and skills through the fabulous music of the sixties. Working with music from the Beatles to the Temptations, ukulele players will be exposed to various genres of music that call for different ukulele styles and arranging techniques. Participants will become acquainted with music terminology, music theory, and performance strategies.

Register here!

Baroque to Folk: Intro to the Recorder

Instructor: Rachael Doudrick
Wednesdays 10-11:30 a.m. (Aug 29-Nov 14)
Tuition: $180

Students will enjoy playing on the alto recorder, a simple instrument with a pleasing tone. With its roots in the Renaissance and Baroque eras of music, the recorder is still popular around the world as a melodic instrument for playing solo or together with friends. We’ll explore early music for the recorder as a way to get our fingers moving, then use our instruments to play along to folk, jazz, and even rock music!

Register here!

Why Beethoven? | Lecture Series

Fees: $30 per lecture/$90 for the entire series.
Register online here.

In a new partnership with the Santa-Barbara based Chamber Ensemble, Camerata Pacifica, we are presenting three lectures exploring the timeless influence of Beethoven. Discussions will led by leading scholars including Jan Swafford, author of the new biography and study, Beethoven, Anguish and Triumph.

Lecturers: Jan Swafford, Derek Katz, Andrea Moore, and Richard O’Neill

Revolutionary or Evolutionary?
Thursday, January 24, 2019
A product of the Enlightenment and of the French Revolution, Beethoven reached maturity as man and artist while the Napoleonic wars ravaged Europe. Invaded repeatedly by the French, Vienna was ultimately to suffer from within under repressive police rule. These regimes and epic, destabilizing conflicts created the modern world. How did they impact Beethoven’s view of society, his sense of self and his music? Today his music is so iconic it has lost much of its impact, but just how radical was it in his time, and how has his music influenced the composition and reception of that which followed?

Tonality, The Late Quartets, and Beyond … or not.
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Composers favored certain keys for certain moods, most famously the driving and demonic C minor for Beethoven. Why is this the case, and why his rare and special use of, for instance, C# minor? How does the use of keys within movements help define their nature? When we come to Beethoven’s late music, why are quartets so hallowed and, indeed, just how forward-looking are they? “By the late years, an uncanny duality develops: On the one hand, the sense that Beethoven might do anything harmonically, that he would venture to the far ends of the musical earth; on the other, always there, rock-solid, the triads, the tonic and the dominant, the familiar landmarks of classical harmony.” –Jeremy Denk

The Romantic Hero
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Grounded in the objectively classical world of Mozart and Haydn, Beethoven flourished in the era of Goethe and Kant, emerging as the archetypal genius for Romantics, who declared the artist to be a world-shaking demigod and hero. Was this deification the first step in a stultification of the concert experience, resulting in the imperious reverence of the concert hall and the rigid canonization of the 18th and 19th-century masters? 250 years after his birth is part of Beethoven’s legacy a constriction of the concert experience that makes it harder for a contemporary audience to enjoy the music of today?

PCM offers a number of opportunities to perform with other musicians, including Adult Guitar Orchestra, Piano Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Chamber Music. Please call 626.683.3355 for more information.

Register for music history courses here!

The Beethoven Piano Sonatas

Instructor: Dr. Sarkis Baltaian
Tuesdays 9:30-11:45 a.m. (Sept 11-Nov 13)

This course takes a close look at the 32 piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven through analysis of the music and survey of their historical significance. The primary purpose of the course is to help understand the philosophical, spiritual, and sociological factors that motivated Beethoven in writing the sonatas. Lectures will include performance demonstrations and listening examples of noteworthy recordings of the sonatas.

The Final Frontier: African Americans in Classical Music, Part 1

Instructor: Dr. Ray Briggs
Fridays 1 – 3:15 p.m. (Sept 14-Nov 16)

Though its origins lie in Europe, the western classical tradition has a longstanding presence in the United States. As the first of a two-part series, this course covers the rise and trajectory of the African American classical musician from the mid-1800s to the early twentieth century. A wide swath of artistry will be surveyed, including concert artists, composers, and conductors.

The Beatles Invade America

Instructor: Dr. Vatche Mankerian
Thursdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (Oct 4 – Nov 1)

The arrival of the Beatles in the United States on February 7, 1964, opened the flood-gates of the so-called “British invasion.” The Beatles changed the music industry, but their cultural impact was much broader impacting technology, fashion, literature, art, film, and television. Their ever-evolving repertoire during the short eight years in which they released albums, continues to be both relevant and influential today.

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