Legendary Fiddler Mark O’Connor To Conduct Ann Arbor Master Class and Jam Session

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Can learning to play beloved, well-known classic American tunes inspire young violinists to fall in love with playing music? On Saturday, May 22nd at 2:00 PM, legendary New York City-based fiddler, composer and recording artist Mark O’Connor will conduct a free master class at Shar Music, 2465 S. Industrial, Ann Arbor to let teachers, students and parents answer this for themselves.

Mark O'Connor

Getting kids to fall in love with playing music is the mantra behind the method.

Can learning to play beloved, well-known tunes inspire young violinists to fall in love with playing music? Has traditional American music finally grown-up, taking its place alongside the great European classics? Can a method be developed so that young violin students learn their skills through authentic music-making, inspiring them toward a lifetime love of playing?

On Saturday, May 22nd at 2:00 PM, legendary New York City-based fiddler, composer and recording artist Mark O’Connor will conduct a free master class at the Shar Music Showroom, 2465 S. Industrial, Ann Arbor. Music teachers, students and parents will be able to answer these questions for themselves, experiencing the O’Connor Method in practice: O’Connor himself will teach students of local violin teachers Gabe Bolkosky, Rebecca Appert and Kathleen Andrews. A jam session will follow directly afterwards – the public is invited to bring their instruments and perform with Mark O’Connor. Light refreshments will be served, with an autograph session directly after the event.

Currently in the fourth decade of an illustrious career, O’Connor has witnessed countless “Aha” moments on the faces of the young participants at his popular nationwide fiddle camps, discovering the pleasures of learning to play familiar songs, performing with others and expressing themselves through improvisation. Over the years, as he introduced more arrangements of traditional American songs and refined his teaching methods, O’Connor realized that an American Classical Music teaching tradition had emerged, worthy of taking its place alongside long-established violin methods from Europe and Japan.

Today, the Mark O’Connor Method, although still less than a year in print, has been embraced by countless violin teachers, a testament to its effectiveness in motivating youngsters. “Getting kids to fall in love with playing music” is the mantra behind the method, says O’Connor.

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