I am an amateur cellist who has been playing for nearly twelve years now, and would like to offer some practical advice, which, in hindsight, would have helped me a great deal. I began taking lessons at age six with a neighborhood teacher who worked in my grammar school’s music department. Since cello had not yet become my primary interest outside of school, I paid little attention to the glacial pace at which I developed, and, frankly, could have cared less if I continued to improve at all. As I grew older, however, and developed as a pianist, I became more interested in the possibilities that the cello had to offer. Friends and relatives always asked about the cello ( not the piano) because it seemed different and way more interesting than the “standard” elementary school instruments i.e. piano, violin, flute, guitar. As my curiosity about my instrument grew, I became frustrated with my limited understanding of basic principles of the instrument e.g. bowhold, vibrato, intonation, stiffness in the neck and shoulders etc. My parents and I finally decided, after six years, that it was time to switch teachers, and in seventh grade I began private lessons.
I soon realized how little I knew about the cello repertoire as well as the basics of collaborative playing e.g. orchestral and chamber music. I, also, on numerous occasions, made a fool out myself due to my inadequate equipment and my lack of performance experience. I am here so you don’t make those mistakes and may have a shorter road to success and enjoyment with your cello! If you have any questions or comments please let me know, and I will do my best in answering your question, or, at the very least, point you in the right direction.