Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: MD665B
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
From his early career as a pianist and composer for Tin Pan Alley, Arthur Freed became a lyricist at MGM in the 1920s. His first work as a producer was The Wizard of Oz in 1939 and from then on the Freed Unit became synonymous with large-scale colour films featuring integrated songs and the best actors, directors and composing teams. Innovative, ambitious and hugely profitable, these glorious films still have their place in entertaining us today. We’ll look at their place in MGM’s history and how powerful their impact was on the public, and the image of the American dream, then and now.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- The creation of the Freed Unit at MGM and its musicals in the 1940s and 50s
- A run-down of the films produced and the artists involved
- Some highlights from several of the films.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the working partnership between Freed, MGM, and those involved in making the films
- Recognise and define the elements that made these musicals iconic
- Evaluate the impact of the Freed Unit and MGM musicals then and now.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginners’ course. No prior knowledge of music is assumed or expected.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using a range of techniques including short lectures, slide shows and discussions, practical demonstrations on the piano and guided listening. Courses use a variety of materials including YouTube clips. Links to these are given on Google Classroom so that further exploration may take place after the class if you wish.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You may also wish to purchase some of the music books or recordings discussed in class, links to these materials will be available online after each session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
To find out more about music history classes Music history courses in London and online which lists our full programme of classes ordered by term, and by day of the week. You may then click on each title to read the full course outline.
Pauline Greene studied composition at Nottingham University and then composed, performed and was Musical Director with various theatre companies. She taught flute and composition, performing her music across the UK at various venues, including the Southbank Centre and the Edinburgh Festival, with her group The Concert Party, which she managed and directed. She has taught at the Universities of Middlesex and Hertfordshire, and ran the Music Access course at Morley College. She has taught at Birkbeck since 1984, moving from Music to Arts Management, and also lectures at Goldsmiths. She has given talks at the Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall and Glyndebourne. At City Lit Pauline teaches a wide range of music history courses, with specialisms in opera, music for dance, theatre and film, musical analysis, and music since 1900. She is still involved in the organisation of small-scale charity concerts and one-off musical events, and she sings and plays with several small groups.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.