Modern take on classical music at U3A

Published 5:00am 9 December 2023

Modern take on classical music at U3A
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Centuries after creating some of the world’s most recognisable pieces of classical music, composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Bach are being celebrated for their talents at Bribie Island’s University of the Third Age (U3A).

Each week teacher and music enthusiast John Schmidt plays a different piece of music for his students to enjoy and appreciate through his class, Classical Music Meets Technology.

He does this by sharing video clips of orchestras and musicians on YouTube to highlight how the pieces have been brought into the 21st Century, and how they have been adapted by new musicians.

The videos can include everything from concerts held inside immaculate concert halls to street performances where thousands of musicians have gathered in public spaces with their instruments to play under the guidance of a conductor.

John says he loves classical music pieces because of the emotions and meaning behind them.

“I am not a trained musician, but rather a very experienced listener of music - what I do is present the kind of things I can hear to those in my class,” John says.

“Music is all about emotions, which is what I try and get across to the people in my class.

“Because there are no lyrics, the tone and emotions within the song are conveyed through the instruments, which is extremely powerful.

“These songs are classics and I think they should always be admired – they come from a wonderful era of music.

“During the class I also like to talk about the composers and share their stories because I think it is important to keep their legacy alive.”

About Bribie Island U3A

Bribie Island U3A has more than 150 subjects available for mature-aged people who are looking to learn a new hobby or skill.

There are no academic requirements or exams - just fun activities to help older citizens keep their brains active, learn new skills, maximise their independence and make new friends.

For more information about the classes and timetable, visit the website

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