Harry Connick, Jr. visits with Music students

Piano player, singer, actor shares life lessons and career insights with students.

Photo by Derek L. Turner, Michigan State University

On November 30, Harry Connick, Jr. made a stop at Wharton Center for a performance on his “A New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration” tour. But before he hit the stage that night, he stopped by the Fairchild Theatre to conduct a master class with about 200 Music majors and students from the College of Arts and Letters.

Connick, the entertainer well-known for his New Orleans-influenced piano playing and singing as well as his acting in movies and television shows, spent an hour and a half sharing his life lessons and answering questions that ranged from the technical to the personal. Students inquired about everything from time signatures to how he manages his personal life with such a busy career. Connick said he was an open book with no subjects off limits, and he proved it with stories from his childhood as a student of jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, his early career, and life with his wife and children.

Later that afternoon, Connick went to the studio of Associate Professor of Piano and Director of Piano Pedagogy Derek Polischuk for some small group work with a few student musicians. In all, he spent a few hours with Music students giving them an experience to remember.

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