The Well-Tempered Ear

Madison classical music news: UW’s Continuing Studies offers adults and retirees music classes and music lessons | January 28, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

One of the advantages of living in Madison is having the University of Wisconsin-Madison nearby.

Of course, as Boomers get ready to retire, they may want to check out how they can:

1) Attend regular courses for free;

2) Attend special continuing education courses.

Here’s a link to the home page for the UW’s Department of Continuing Studies.

The department’s motto is, appropriately “Connecting Community to Campus for Lifelong Learning”:

And here is a link to the music offers:

You can also go to and type in Continuing Education and you will find out all about how to register and enroll.

It’s well worth it, judging from comments I have heard, including those from a friend who took retired professor Dick Ringler’s course last semester on the Cantatas of J.S. Bach. The course included actual performances as well as class discussions and lectures and guest speakers. My friend gave it a rave.

One of the new courses is tied into the Madison Early Music Festival, which will focus on early British composers this summer. It is called “From Plantagenets to Tudors: History, Institutions and Music: and will be taught by retired UW history professor and Isthmus music critic John W. Barker (below). He is a knowledgeable and accessible scholar of both history and music so it should be outstanding.

But other courses include instrument lessons, including an introduction to bagpipes, a brass ensemble, guitar and piano lessons. There is also a series on great  composers which will cover Palestrina, Mozart, Dvorak and Respighi.

Most of the courses start in early- or mid-February. But it isn’t too soon to get your enrollment and registration forms filled out and sent in.

It’s a great community resource, and serious music fans should find something of interest  for them.

Here’s a link:

For information or help, you can also call Chelcy Bowles at (608) 265-5629.

If you have ever taken such a course, let us know what you thought of the experience.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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