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Local

Music teacher headed to Batavia to give free master class at Holmstad

Ryan Carney to lead all-ages program

In his studio, Ryan Carney (left) works with St. Charles North High School freshman Ronnie Gorka (right) and Thompson Middle School eighth-grader Conner Harrison. Carney will conduct a free master class in string bass and cello open to the public at 6:30 p.m. March 5 at The Holmstad in Batavia.
In his studio, Ryan Carney (left) works with St. Charles North High School freshman Ronnie Gorka (right) and Thompson Middle School eighth-grader Conner Harrison. Carney will conduct a free master class in string bass and cello open to the public at 6:30 p.m. March 5 at The Holmstad in Batavia.

BATAVIA – Musicians of all ages can pick up pointers at a free master class led by instructor Ryan Carney from 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 5 at The Holmstad retirement community in Batavia.

Designed to entertain as well as educate, the event will conclude with performances by his string bass and cello students before Carney picks up the cello to play, accompanied by pianist Sonya Hwang, founder and director of the Kaneland Youth Orchestra.

Carney said he will talk about the value of practicing and how to avoid being bored as part of the advice he shares gleaned from his teaching for more than 20 years. He will include tips and tricks to improve tone and intonation.

How to keep music fun and interesting even though one is playing the same material repetitively is among his tips to students who want to take their playing to the next level, he said.

“I work with a lot of my students on Bach’s first cello suite,” Carney said. “It’s probably some of the best teaching material out there – scales and arpeggios. Even playing scales can be fun. It just takes a little creativity and an open mind.”

He said statistics indicate that the study of music is integral to learning vocabulary skills, furthering higher education and working well in teams. He believes learning an instrument and how to incorporate that into a group setting requires unique skills that fundamentally help with team building and collaboration, as well as confidence and self-esteem.

When he picks up the cello to conclude the program, he will perform four classical pieces from the late 19th to early 20th century. They will include “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saens; a post-romantic work, “Liebesleid,” by Fritz Kreisler; “Meditation” from the Jules Massenet opera “Thais”; and another opera work by Gaetano Donizetti.

“They are very lyrical pieces, very melodic driven, which is really what inspires me,” Carney said.

Carney, who maintains a private music studio for cello and bass, earned his bachelor’s degree in music at Northern Illinois University and a Master of Music from Indiana University. He has been a bassist for the Fox Valley Symphony, Rockford Symphony and Kishwaukee Symphony. Currently, he performs and records with a variety of ensembles, including his band called Antony and the Tramps, as well as a classical piano and cello duo for special events. He is the associate director of the Kaneland Youth Orchestra.

While the performances at the master class will be on string bass and cello, Carney said the musical concepts that will be discussed apply to all instruments.

People also can hear Carney in a podcast in March talking about the transformative and healing powers of music on the brain and body at www.foxvalleyvoice.com.

If you go

WHAT: Master class in music by Ryan Carney with performances

WHEN: 6:30 to 8 p.m. March 5

WHERE: The Holmstad’s auditorium, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia

COST: Free

INFO: ryancarney20@gmail.com; theholmstad.org

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