Frequently Asked Questions:What is the best age to start cello lessons?
Dr. Suzuki said musical study should begin, "Nine months before the child is born!" Then changed his answer to, "Nine months before the mother is born!"
We begin learning as soon as we can hear, and that does begin in the womb. Get that music playing in the home, and read Ability Development from Age Zero by Shinichi Suzuki! Look for a Suzuki Early Childhood Education music program or a similar play-based program, or contact me for some ideas you can implement at home!
Formal cello lessons... which involves a lot of play, also... can begin at age 3 or 4. This is a great age to begin for a few reasons:
~ "At this age, children love repetition, do not have a social life, and consider 20 minutes of a parent's undivided attention during practice as bonding rather than supervision." (Hills Fine Strings, Calgary).
~ “When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music’s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage.” (https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/the-benefits-of-music-education).
~ This is also an age when they want to imitate their parent, and having the parent take some lessons to begin will often make them want to join in.
~ They have the ability, too, if they begin early, to develop skills to a high level before they are teens when it might not be so "cool" to play at a lower level.
How much does a cello cost?
Cellos can run from under $500 to millions for rare old instruments. You should expect to pay about $1800 to $3000 for good student instruments. You might find a lower priced used one, but if you are buying privately, the instrument may need some maintenance such as new strings, sound-post adjustment, bow re-hair, etc. that could make it cost more than an instrument from a shop. I recommend renting to begin with until you know what you want in an instrument, and what you are getting if you do look for a used one. Renting should cost from about $40 to about $75 a month depending on size, quality of instrument, and whether a portion will go towards purchase.
*Ask about a 1/10 cello (may fit 3-4 year old?) possibly available for a low income student to borrow!
Buying an inexpensive instrument online without trying it first can be very risky unless you are dealing with a well-known, reputable business. Many have bought $500 Ebay cellos only to find they need expensive re-fitting to become playable, and might still have a less-than-pleasing sound.
Where can I rent or buy a cello?
I have a few cellos which I rent out. Otherwise, I suggest students deal with Tapestry Music in Vancouver. They rent, rent-to-own, and sell a variety of cellos so even if you start with a less expensive cello, you may trade up if you desire a better instrument. Tapestry Music has a great purchase buy-back or rent-to-own program.
Do you teach adults?
Yes, I have a limited number of spots for adults, and welcome adults to also join in our group classes.