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 News Classical 28/02/2009

Mark O'Connor's Violin Revolution



New York, NY. (Top40 Charts/ Shore Fire Media) - In a revolutionary move, famed composer and violinist Mark O'Connor is preparing to release the first-ever violin method that reflects an "American School" of study. For hundreds of years, the origins of violin education have been abroad - Germany, Russia, and later Japan. Despite close to 400 years of American history with the violin, from Thomas Jefferson to bluegrass, there has never before been a distinctly American method to compare with the German School or Suzuki Methods. With the release of The O'Connor Method, Mark O'Connor and co-author Bob Phillips (also a renowned string educator) have created the first violin instructional method that takes advantage of America's rich musical tradition and cultural melting pot. The first volumes will be released May 1st through Alfred Publishing's Highland/Etling division, and will be a key component of O'Connor's extensive educational activities, ranging from his famed String Camp to artist in residency and guest appearances at universities and conservatories.

The O'Connor Method sets itself apart from the instructional styles which currently dominate in several key ways. Most importantly, the book seeks to educate a student in folk, classical, and jazz violin styles simultaneously, rather than treating them as separate disciplines, some superior to others. Secondly, rather than progressing through a series of instructional but dreary songs (think "Hot Cross Buns"), The O'Connor Method starts students with rich songs immediately, songs that they will want to play and re-play their entire careers. Indeed, three of the beginning pieces, Soldier's Joy, Arkansas Traveler, and Fiddler's Dream, are some of the first songs Mark O'Connor learned as a boy, and he is still playing and recording them.

With a rich background in many different genres of music, Mark O'Connor is uniquely suited to produce this revolutionary American method. Now an internationally renowned classical and jazz player and composer, O'Connor began his professional life in Nashville in the 1980s, playing fiddle on over 500 country records. Mark has played with everyone from Dolly Parton to Wynton Marsalis to Yo Yo Ma. If there is anyone who understands the true meaning of America's cultural melting pot, it is Mark O'Connor.

The interdisciplinary spirit of The O'Connor Method comes to life at O'Connor's annual string camps. The camps, with a storied 15-year history, encourage students to stretch themselves and play in new styles. They're directed in this by some of the world's top string players: DBR (teaching in New York), Rachel Barton (teaching in LA), and Michael Doucet (teaching in Nashville, TN) This year, O'Connor is hosting three camps: one in New York, from July 27 - 31; one at UCLA from June 29 - July 3; and on in Nashville, TN from June 22 - 26. Additionally, O'Connor Method co-author Bob Phillips will be at the NYC camp to train the teachers in the correct use of the method.
For more information on Mark O'Connor, please visit the below: www.markoconnor.com






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