My Philosophy

Music is not a chore

There are few things as important as the ability to express yourself. And there is no match for a dedicated, real-live teacher to help you or your child grow as a musician. It’s never too early or too late to learn to play an instrument. You may have heard that the cello is the instrument closest to the human voice. If you live in the Newark, Delaware area, I may be the inspiration you need to help you or your child get going with the cello.

I usually use the tried-and-true Suzuki books to get students started. Parents may take part in the lesson with their child in order to help with practice at home if they like. I emphasize ear training and listening to lots of music to become acquainted with what we're trying to do. Of course, there’s no substitute for consistent and efficient practice, but if you don’t know where you’re going or why, you’ll never get there. You will love practicing your cello if you think about each little step and have a clear roadmap. Soon you will master the first hurdles of the simple basics like holding the bow and tuning your cello. If students don’t see results early on, they are are liable to give up and quit. My students should feel a sense of accomplishment with each lesson.

As we have fun getting acquainted with the sound of the cello and where the notes lie on the fingerboard, we'll learn scales, positions, and fingerings so it's easier to play the music we want to produce. Once we get past the basics, we can can play with some nineteenth-century etudes and Bach's Cello Suites. It's also a lot of fun to play modern pop songs with students, so they can hear themselves playing familiar melodies from the radio.

Classical music training brings a discipline that transfers to all aspects of life. The closer you can see the intricacies of music, the more you will love it. But there’s so much more to learning the cello than the classical approach of rote music theory and repetetive practice. I believe it’s important to really feel and understand what you’re playing, not only so you make the interpretation of the written music more personal and interesting (to yourself and the audience), but so you can create your own music, contribute creatively to ensembles, and improvise just for fun.