My teaching philosophy
By the inch, life's a cinch!
Ever heard of the Mount Everest Syndrome?
It's the feeling one might have at the bottom of Mount Everest while looking up, trying to see the top. It might seem VERY far away.
At that moment, it would be so easy to just go back home, never to climb Mount Everest.
I believe that if we can train ourselves to stop looking at the top and simply put one foot in front of the other, we can climb the whole thing without even realizing it.
This reworking of how we think can help us accomplish anything we dream of doing. No matter how hard it seems.
This is the core philosophy of my cello teaching.
If you are an adult who finally feels ready to devote some time to learning cello, I can help you navigate the difficult psychological effects that adults can experience when doing so. Learning the cello is especially tough when you are grown-up, used to doing things well right from the start. I can help you develop the right mind-set for optimum progress, so you don't get stuck at the bottom of the mountain.
If you already play the cello but feel you aren't getting any better, I can help you develop effective practice techniques that utilize this one-foot-in-front-of-the-other idea. I can show you how to break down an "impossible" passage into a tiny bit you are able to play and build onto that bit, deliberately programming your own muscle memory so that you will be able not only to play the passage but feel free enough to emote while playing it.
So, you don't have to be a child prodigy. Anyone can learn to play the cello. It just takes time and the willingness to put one foot in front of the other.
No more kicking it old school
We've all heard the expression, "No pain, no gain." Sadly, musicians have been using this phrase as their mantra for a long time. Tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back pain are just a few of the physical ailments that plague musicians.
Since cello is such a large and physically demanding instrument, we cellists are especially susceptible to developing discomfort while playing our instruments (or carrying the thing. for that matter. I don't know what I would do without my Fiedler Backpack System!)
However, there is a way to make cello playing more ergonomic and less stressful for your body. The catch is that we can only accomplish this if we reject certain damaging and inefficient basics of traditional cello technique (like keeping your pesky thumb on the back of the neck...WHY are we taught to do that?)
I played the cello using the traditional methods for many years and suffered constantly. Then, I met Martha Gerschefski, and she helped to open my eyes to this new, easy way of navigating the cello. It took me a while to recondition my body, but soon I was pain free and could play cello all day long!
I get upset when I hear of cellists who have had to quit playing due to cello-related injuries, and I feel that spreading the word on ergonomic technique is one of the most important missions I have!
I am comfortable teaching a wide range of cellists, including beginner adults, young children, teenagers, kids with learning disabilities, as well as high-level players, because I spend alot of my time tailoring the materials, pieces, and even my teaching style to the needs of each student.
Armed with problem-solving creativity, a personal dedication to my students, and an open mind, I feel confident that I can help anyone get better at cello.
All you need is a willingness to try.
Where I teach:
So many funny things happen in my cello studio! I have always felt the need to share these instances so I am putting them into comic form!
For more photos of my teaching, click HERE