Music Theory in 16 minutes!

Published: Jan 23, 2021  |   Category: Uncategorized

I usually teach theory in bits and pieces along side technique. Some like a more formal program for which I can recommend books or online programs. But here is a video of some of the basics all in one quick lesson!.....Read More

Cello care - the basics

Published: Sep 19, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized

How to care for your cello - five minute video......Read More

Life-long learning

Published: Aug 16, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized

Or... what I have been up to since spring! Hopefully I can remember all the webinars and teacher training events I have taken advantage of, now that so many things are offered online with no travel requirement... The first thing I did in March was Zoom training... music teacher vlogs, Zoom webinar, and a lot of sharing of ideas for online teaching using Zoom amongst music teachers! Huge learning curve ... it took a lot of my time, so I did not experience the boredom of lockdown ov.....Read More

How to change strings on a cello

Published: Aug 16, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized

Many beginners are a bit anxious about changing or replacing broken strings at first, and usually I walk them through during a lesson, doing it myself the first time.  But, now that we are having no-contact lessons, it's best to do it yourself! I can still walk you through during a lesson, if you wish. Here are two good videos.  The first one shows you stem to stern, so to speak.  The second one gives a close up of how to "lock" your strings on the peg.....Read More

How to tune a cello - the basics

Published: Aug 15, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized

1. Pitch reference: Make sure you know the pitch you need. If your cello is far out of tune and you need to use the tuning pegs, you may have better success matching a pitch you hear rather than following the needle on a tuner (that works well for fine tuning).  It's easy to aim for the wrong octave using the electronic tuners and break a string by over-stretching it.  I recommend using  a piano (A below middle C), your Suzuki, Royal Conservatory, or Cello Time recording,.....Read More

What are You Doing This Summer?

Published: Jun 24, 2020  |   Category: Uncategorized

Some things to consider for summer: .....Read More

Video of the month

Published: Sep 18, 2019  |   Category: Uncategorized

Hmm. Maybe if I start with the goal of one video a month I’ll stick with it better?   If you are curious about why the bow should travel parallel to the bridge, or how to get smoother bow changes, check out this short article and the short demonstration videos. You can experiment with your own sound on your cello, too! https://www.cello.....Read More

Recommended Cellist Documentaries

Published: Dec 27, 2018  |   Category: Uncategorized

Here are two good documentaries for your holiday "down time" this week... or come back and watch them on some weekend or snowed-in day later this winter. Many good insights into learning the cello, performing, interesting historical bits about the cello world, etc.  AND lots of great cello music!   .....Read More


Published: Jun 18, 2018  |   Category: Uncategorized

Has anyone noticed that I haven't been adding photos here on my website?  I stopped when I missed bringing my camera to a performance... I was waiting for someone to share their pictures with me, since I cannot change the order once they are posted here!!   In the mean time, I HAVE been posting photos on our facebook page. Come like and follow! (But be aware that facebook doesn't always show you everything from sites you follow - you still have to come by on your.....Read More

Video of the "Week": Summer Listening Challenge/10 Beautiful Classical Cello Pieces

Published: Jun 18, 2018  |   Category: Uncategorized

Summer Listening Challenge!   Choose one classical cello or orchestral piece and listen to it 40 days in a row! Some ideas: Watch different performers (preferably professionals) play it on video some days.. Listen with your eyes closed sometimes. Hang a chart somewhere you'll see it to remind you to listen. and both have great color-.....Read More

Video of the Week: Royal Wedding Cello!

Published: May 22, 2018  |   Category: Uncategorized

Please enjoy this performance and get "credit" by mentioning what it was on your practice sheet!   .....Read More

Video of the Week: Game of Thrones

Published: May 14, 2018  |   Category: Uncategorized

I'm sure some of my students would love to play this, but aren't ready yet.  What will you do to GET ready? Student assignment: Notice all the different kinds of bowing!  Make a list  - no need to know the names, just a brief description is fine!   .....Read More


Published: Mar 29, 2018  |   Category: Uncategorized

Here is the third movement of the "Brahms' Double" - a taste of the complete work soon to be performed in Salmon Arm by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, featuring their own concert master and principal cellist.   ?Students: Bring in some information about the composer to help build our composer bulletin board! One fact or several, do a little research, and share it with our studio! ?And don't forget to reserve Friday, April 13, 7:30 on your ca.....Read More

Video of the Week: Practice with a Drone

Published: Jun 24, 2017  |   Category: Uncategorized

The purpose of this video is simply something to help you stay in tune. There are multiple drone "videos" online, or you can buy a drone CD.  Most electronic tuners will also play a drone, if you want to play with one on your phone, you might put an earbud in one ear.  Pick the key you are playing in (D for the first several Suzuki songs), and listen to make sure your notes are in unison or harmony as you play along!  .....Read More

Video of the Week: 12 cellos - Faure Pavane

Published: Jun 9, 2017  |   Category: Uncategorized More

Video of the Week: The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Published: May 12, 2017  |   Category: Uncategorized

Cellist/Pianist/Conductor Benjamin Zander is a lot of fun!  First, a Ted Talk for you to ENJOY!   And here he is working with a 15 year old student on the Bouree from the third Bach Cello Suite. See how his playing of the piece has changed by the end!  .....Read More

Video of the week: Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy)

Published: Apr 26, 2017  |   Category: Uncategorized

Here is the full recording, over an hour long!  I'm sorry that the audio/video timing is slightly off. :-(  If you don't have time to watch/listen to all, the last movement begins at about 47 minutes, the famous Ode melody begins around 51 minutes, and my arrangement is based on the part that begins at about 53 minutes. The soloists and choir invade a few minutes later.  Just thinking how cool it would have been if at the very first performance the vocalists.....Read More

Video of the month? :-)

Published: Apr 1, 2017  |   Category: Uncategorized

Maybe for spring term I'll get back to weekly posts? And some more variety than the Suzuki repertoire!  (Hey, you can always go to my old blog and click on the "video of the week" tag for many more videos from past years! This is a teaching video by Suzuki cello teacher, Abigail McHugh-Grifa, as preparation for playing O Come, Little Children.  This is the first piece we l.....Read More

Video of the Week: Lightly Row

Published: Feb 2, 2017  |   Category: Uncategorized

About time I put up another "Video of the Week!"  Here again is Rachel Xu and her faithful accompanist, playing Lightly Row.  If you are unable to listen to your CD, her channel is a good alternative. Click on her name for more of her videos.  (Just don't worry about adding vibrato the way she does... we'll get to that in time and you can go back and make all your beginner tunes more lovely!)  .....Read More

Video of the Week: O Come Little Children

Published: Dec 3, 2016  |   Category: Video

Rachel Xu provides excellent examples of Suzuki literature on YouTube! Here is the German Christmas Carol, O Come Little Children......Read More

New Blog for My Students!

Published: Nov 10, 2016  |   Category: Video of the Week, Cello Lessons

In the past I have used a separate blog for "Video of the Week" and some other cello related content.  Now that Music Teacher's Helper offers a blog connected with my website, I thought it might be easier for my students to find it here!  Feel free to visit my other blog for past videos! If you don't want to wade through pictures of my .....Read More