Scenes from PCM’s Adult Studies Department

In the fall, PCM launched a new Adult Studies Department. As one of ten nonprofits selected to receive a seed grant from the National Guild and Lifetime Arts (as part of their Catalyzing Creative Aging initiative), the Conservatory was able to focus on revamping the department and adding a number of fun, accessible group classes to our existing adult programs (including individual instruction and a wide range of music history and appreciation classes).

With the first quarter of PCM’s new Adult Studies Department in the books, we’re thrilled to share scenes from our first recitals.

We are also excited to report that this vibrant community of adult learners is growing and that we are adding two new group classes (Glee Club!  and Drum Circle!) to our menu of winter quarter offerings.

Two women at piano

See below for the Adult Studies Department’s complete list of winter courses. For individual instruction and/or chamber music within the Adult Studies Department, click here, or call our main office: 626.683.3355.

Orchestra comprised of older adult students

Group classes start at $15. Come join the fun!

Winter Courses

Music Making Group Classes

Ukulele: Morning Jam

Ukulele: Evening Jam

Students will learn ukulele technique and skills through a wide variety of popular music — from the American Songbook to the fabulous music of the sixties. Participants will also become acquainted with music terminology, music theory, and performance strategies.

Baroque to Folk: Introduction to the Recorder

With its roots in the Renaissance and Baroque eras, the recorder is still popular around the world as a melodic instrument for playing solo or with friends. Together, 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!

Adult Glee Club!

The Adult Glee Club is the perfect opportunity for you to share your voice! Whether you are an experienced choir member or looking to begin singing for the first time, this is your chance to explore vocal technique and music theory through quality choral repertoire. The club will venture through various genres of choral repertoire including classical, contemporary, jazz, and musical theater! Come one and all to experience the true happiness one gets from singing in a choir!

Adult Drum Circle!

Experience the power of rhythm! Each week the class will learn new rhythms based on music from a wide range of cultures including African, Brazilian, Cuban, and Middle Eastern. Students will play hand drums and a variety of percussion instruments. No musical experience required!

Adult Jazz Combo

In the Adult Jazz Combo you will learn to play jazz and blues standards in an ensemble setting. This includes listening to tunes and learning about melody, arrangements, chords, scales, and jazz improvisation. Participants are encouraged to bring ideas and questions to the group to create a collaborative environment.

Students are asked to bring their instruments and supplies (reeds, cords, strings, etc. with the exception of piano, drums, and amplifiers, which will be provided).

Music History & Appreciation Courses 

The Beatles Invade America

Instructor: Dr. Vatché Mankerian

The arrival of the Beatles in the United States on February 7, 1964, opened the flood-gates of the “British invasion.” Two days later, almost half the nation watched the band perform live on the Ed Sullivan Show — formally unleashing Beatlemania in America.
The Beatles became one of the most enduring, influential quartets in history. They 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.

Ten Other Great Pianists of the Past and Present

Instructor: Dr. Sarkis Baltaian

This class examines performance styles and legacy of some of the greatest pianists of the past and present. The body of work of such pianists as Myra Hess, Gilels, Lipatti, de Larrocha, Nikolayeva, Brendel, Argerich, Pollini, Perahia and Schiff is studied through examination of representative recordings.

The Final Frontier: African Americans in Classical Music, Part 2
Instructor: Dr. Ray Briggs

Though its origins lie in Europe, the western classical tradition has a longstanding presence in the United States. As the second 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.

Myth & Music, Part 1

Instructor: Dr. Vatché Mankerian

Mythic tales have been part of the fabric of human existence for millennia. For the past several centuries, composers stirred by these enthralling sagas have created instrumental and vocal works inspired by myths. Explore these wide-ranging compositions, which include oratorios, operas, ballets, symphonic works, and solo instrumental pieces.