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Yo-Yo Ma to Teach Music and Connection on MasterClass

Yo-Yo Ma to Teach Music and Connection on MasterClass

MasterClass has announced that Yo-Yo Ma will teach a class on music and connection. Sharing philosophies that he’s developed alongside stories from his legendary career, Ma unpacks how to better collaborate, connect with art in new ways, and expand relationships through music. The class is now available on MasterClass.

“Yo-Yo’s accomplished career, including the honor of a Presidential Medal of Freedom, reinforces his belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In his class, Yo-Yo explores how music can connect and expand culture. Non-musicians, beginners, and even experts will have a unique opportunity to gain insight on ways we can use our individuality and senses to express ourselves and connect with others.”

In his class, Ma shares intimate musical performances and sessions—including solos and collaborations with two other cellists. He highlights the importance of three core values in music—seeking truth, building trust, and being of service—and reminds members to bring these intentions and awareness into everything they do. Ma also teaches members how to tap into their senses of sound, communicate their emotions, and make an impact on others. He talks through different exercises and demonstrates tools to help expand creativity and overcome the nerves and hesitations that many may feel when expressing themselves. Members will walk away from Ma’s class moved and inspired by the connecting power of music.

“I’ve always said the best students are actually teachers and the best teachers are always students,” Ma said. “Together, in this class, we will create unexpected moments. Sometimes these unexpected moments become the greatest gifts—gifts that take us into a different trajectory that is more satisfying than we could have realized. In the end, it’s about finding fulfillment, meaning, and joy through that process.”

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A child prodigy, Ma began to study the cello with his father at age four and later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his studies at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he graduated from Harvard University in 1976 with a liberal arts degree. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012) and the J. Paul Getty Medal Award (2016). He has performed for nine American presidents, including President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Ma’s discography of more than 100 albums includes 18 Grammy Award winners. In August 2018, Ma set out to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for unaccompanied cello in one sitting in 36 locations around the world. The Bach Project just resumed and continues Ma’s lifelong commitment to stretching the boundaries of genre and tradition to explore the power of music and culture to help us connect, to imagine a stronger society, and to build a better future.

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