Posting Date: October 25, 2010

Barbara Hammond teaches seniors how to listen musically
Continuing education class includes students age 55-92

By Brian Tucker

Barbara Hammond

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, part of the Kennesaw State University College of Continuing and Professional Education, has added a new course this fall that is music to the ears of the 10 seniors currently enrolled in the class. Barbara Hammond, music education program coordinator, is guiding the students, ranging from age 55 through 92, on "How to Listen Musically." The main goal of the class is to facilitate listening skill development exercises, which leads to a greater enjoyment of musical performances. Essentially, students learn how to attend local concerts with a "better ear" by becoming more aware of style, genre, melody, rhythm and harmony.

Hammond shares, "I am absolutely loving getting to teach this class, and the students are coming because they truly want to learn about music. I'm personally teaching the class for audience development—for both KSU music events and the Cobb Symphony Orchestra. I have had several people comment that they like to attend musical events, but they don't like to go by themselves. They also feel insecure about driving at night to places they're unfamiliar with. This class enables them to go with a group, and it also brings new people on campus for musical events."

Charlie Jenkins and Clara Hepp are two of the students in Hammond's class. Jenkins explains, "I enrolled in the class because I heard there was much to be learned. The description of the course led me to believe the course would be helpful to me, and the events we've attended, especially the KSU performances, have turned out to be an excellent addition to the course. Prof. Hammond has made it fun to apply what we've learned in the class at the performances." Hepp, the oldest member of the class, says, "I've always enjoyed classical music, but I've never played. I'm not a musician by any means, so learning about rhythms and other specifics has been wonderful."

Hammond is not surprised by the enthusiasm her students have shown thus far. "So many people after retiring just want to do the things they've always wanted to do but have never had the time to enjoy. I'm very excited that this can be one of my contributions to the College of the Arts—to open our wonderful facilities and talent to more folks in the community."

"How to Listen Musically'" will be offered by OLLI again in January. Visit their website for more information.


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