I strongly believe that as students learn to become beautiful musicians, they also learn to become beautiful people. Music has the ability to teach students important life-lessons, such as dedication, discipline, making and achieving goals, the power of slow and steady progress, confidence, critical listening, creative problem solving, and much more. I believe that any student, through hard work, has the ability to become a beautiful cello player and to experience a great deal of joy from the ability to create music. As Dr. Shinichi Suzuki said, “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any [student] who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every [student] is unlimited.”
As a cello teacher, I like to use the three phases of learning, borrowed from the Classical education model, to organize the steps it takes to become a competent and confident cellist. In the first phase of learning, students learn correct posture and instrument hold, correct notes, rhythms, positions, bowings, rules of shifting, motion of vibrato, etc. This phase includes all of the nuts and bolts of successful cello playing. At this stage of learning, I serve as the cello coach, giving the student every skill they need to succeed. I also serve as the cheerleader, celebrating successes and pointing out excellent progress. Once the student is proficient in this phase, they are able to move into the next phase of learning, in which they are more responsible for their own progress and are able to make their own musical decisions. They are able to logically choose their own fingerings and bowings, successfully learn pieces on their own. At this stage of learning, I serve as the sounding board and director of the students’ ideas. I guide them to make the best choices for themselves and help them to develop their own musical voice. Once they have accomplished this phase, they move into the last phase of learning, in which they are able to communicate their own musical ideas through their performance. At this phase, I just sit back and enjoy the beautiful music! The student has become his or her own teacher, which is my ultimate goal. Instead of being linear, these phases of learning are circular. As a student progresses through more and more difficult techniques and repertoire, they will revisit the first phase of learning all the way through the third phase, from pre-Twinkle skills up into advanced concertos.
I love using the repertoire presented in the Suzuki method, because it supports this learning model in a logical, sequential way. I also emphasize the importance of note reading nearly from the beginning of lessons, because it immensely supports the skills learned in the first phase of learning. Just as language literacy eases and accelerates academic learning, music literacy does the same for musical learning. My students learn note reading from a number of supplemental music sources.
Although music requires a great deal of time spent practicing alone, music is a social experience! My students participate in two studio recitals a year to showcase what they are learning, and the progress they have made. Each student is encouraged to perform a solo recital of the repertoire learned at the completion of each Suzuki book. They also participate in Federation Music Festival every March. Students in my studio are encouraged to be a part of musical ensembles, and to participate in summer music programs. Positive performance opportunities build self-confidence and self esteem. Shared musical experiences can create lifelong friends.
In order to be the best teacher I can be, it is important to me to continue to learn, practice, and grow as a cellist and a teacher. I do this by participating in teacher training courses, learning new repertoire, practicing regularly, listening to new and interesting recordings and performances, and reading books and articles related to teaching and playing the cello. I also look for and participate in interesting performance opportunities. I can’t expect my students to be interested and engaged learners if I am not one myself. I truly love playing and teaching the cello, and I am thrilled to pass on my love to anyone who is inspired to put in the effort to learn.
Guidelines and policies
Private Lessons will be held at my home, 2156 Green Street (645 E.) in Sugarhouse, Utah. Students can park anywhere on the street in front of my home, or across the street. Please come in through the gate and through the back door. Then come down the stairs, quietly unpack your cello and wait for your lesson to begin.
To become the best cello player you can be, it is important to be punctual and consistent with lessons. I will do my best to be on time and present to every scheduled lesson. In the rare case that I will miss a lesson, I will always either offer a makeup lesson, or refund the lesson cost from the next month’s tuition.
Lessons missed by the student, for any reason, will not be refunded or rescheduled. If you know ahead of time that you will need a different lesson time, please arrange a trade with another student in the studio. A lesson schedule and student contact sheet will be available to you through Google Docs. If a trade is arranged, please notify me as soon as possible.
A student who misses 3 lessons without notice or is more than 10 minutes late to 3 lessons will be invited to find another cello teacher. Attendance records will be kept for this purpose.
Please bring a notebook to take notes each lesson. After 24 hours, humans only recall a fraction of what they’ve heard. These notes will help you remember what to practice, as well as how to practice it.
It is expected that you will practice at least 5 times a week for at least as long as your private lesson. Remember, quality practice is more important than quantity. If it is obvious that sufficient practicing is not happening at home, we will create a practice plan together. If practicing hasn’t improved after a determined length of time, you will lose your spot in my studio.
I am looking forward to exciting and rewarding lessons with you. I can’t wait to see and hear your progress!
$96/month for half hour lessons
$144/month for 45 minute lessons
$192/month for hour lessons
Tuition for cello lessons is a flat rate per month, regardless of how many lessons are in the month. Tuition can be paid through cash, check, Venmo (Jamilyn-Morris), Paypal (email@example.com), or automatic bill pay through your bank. A $10 late fee will be applied to tuition that is received later than the 7th day of the month unless other arrangements have been made. Checks can be mailed to:
2156 Green Street
SLC UT 84106
From September to May, each student will have a consistent weekly lesson time. During the summer months, June through August, each student will sign up for 9-12 lessons in a more flexible schedule.
Tuition will not be refunded for missed or cancelled lessons. Tuition will also not be refunded if students quit lessons after tuition has been paid.
Students will participate in two studio recitals a year, one in March and one in October. Students up to 18 years old will partcipate in the National Federation of Music festival every third Saturday in March.
$30 Annual SAU Family Membership Fee
$13 National Federation of Music festival participation fee
$25-$50 Accompanist fee for recitals and Federation