Silversmithing should teach you the metals basics as it applies to silver. The average intro class will teach you fabrication (sawing, hammering, etc.), cold connections (i.e. rivets) and soldering (connecting metal to metal via heat).
Casting involves making molds from melted silver, this is usually taught as the last of the basics.
FYI if you get heavily involved in silversmithing, dental equipment and metalsmithing use some of the same machines.