Great artists: Thelonious Monk

Course Dates: 12/08/20 - 19/08/20
Time: 14:15 - 16:30
Location: Online
Sara Dhillon

Learn about the life and history of the extraordinary and idiosyncratic composer and jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. Gain greater insight as to why his music sounds the way it does, and how he constructed his compositions. You will do this by looking at the history behind several of his key compositions, the stories behind them, and use these songs as windows to illustrate aspects of his life. Through this, you will learn key points about his music and expand your listening skills.

This course will be delivered online. For more information please see our guide to online learning.


What is the course about?

This ONLINE class surveys the hugely influential American jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk, who after Duke Ellington is probably the second most recorded jazz composer. The course explores his background, music, compositions, and his rhythmic approach to improvising. You will explore some key aspects of his style and the tutor will recommend key recordings to begin your listening journey.

This is a live online course. For more information please see our guide to online learning.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- An overview of the jazz style from which Monk emerged
- Biographical information about the artist
- Influences on the artist
- Key innovations of this artist
- Reception history: how was this artist received, how did he influence others.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Identify key influences in the music of Thelonious Monk
- Understand why certain features were innovative at the time (contextual)
- Hear musical features in selected tracks as indicated by the tutor
- Discuss some reviews of this artist and feel confident to explore more of his work on your own.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

- You do not need to be able to read music or understand musical terminology though it helps! Musicians and non-musicians alike are welcome.
- All texts – handouts, PowerPoint presentations - will be in English.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Online tutor presentation and explanation, including handouts and musical demonstrations at the piano.
- Guided listening and watching of audio and audio-visual examples including video clips.
- Class discussion and debate (via online video conference)
- Listening and reading outside class is encouraged.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

To join this online class you will need a good internet connection and computer/tablet with webcam and sound. All teaching materials will be provided by the tutor in pdf format in advance of the lesson via google classroom.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

We recommend more of Sara’s or Albi Gravener’s Jazz history courses: for full details of our new programme for the academic year 20/21 please visit our music history page:

Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: MD652A

Wed, day, 12 Aug - 19 Aug '20

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Full fee: £39.00
Senior fee: £31.00
Concession: £24.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2630

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.