Re: Adult beginners 12:04 on Wednesday, April 06, 2005
I started playing the cello because my daughter started viola. I had access to a cello, and I had the greater interest in the cello rather than viola or violin. The cello strings are similar to viola, so I play with my daugher during her practice sessions. Helps both of us and we enjoy the time together greatly. I had to teach myself the Alto Clef, but it`s not too bad.
I`m currently self taught, but hope to someday take lessons of my own, so I can learn proper technique and have someone who can answer my questions. Alas, all our family music money currently goes to the kids, so I have to wait my turn.
The books I`m using are the All for Strings series plus some scale books.
Re: Adult beginners 13:36 on Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Yes, I know what you mean about the expense. My kids are grown up now, so I don`t have to pay for their lessons anymore, but I`m paying a lot for my own cello lesson now. I think my teacher is worth it though. He charges more than my first cello teacher, but we accomplish so much more, and he`s such a good teacher. I look forward to my lesson every week. In fact, I have to go practice right now! I have a lesson later today.
Re: Adult beginners 15:54 on Wednesday, April 06, 2005
I began lessons in Jan of 2002, but unfortunately I didn`t really begin to make progress until I changed to my current teacher (Oct. 2004) We are working in the Suzuki books and although I`m only in the middle of Book 2, I`m progressing more rapidly now that I`ve finally been taught the proper technique for shifts and extensions. My study books are Percy Such Cello Studies and Schroeder`s Foundation Studies.
I`m very excited about my lessons, which I always thoroughly enjoy. But the nice thing is that I really enjoy my practice sessions too. I always have specific goals which I write out for myself in my practice log. I also record practice tips on technique covered at the lesson. In addition to my practice log I also keep a cello journal where I write my thoughts and feelings about my playing and progress. OK ... so I like to write about the cello but I like to play it too!
My teacher recommended L.R. Feuillard`s Technique in Violoncello. You can find it in 3 separate volumes or one that combines the three. I`ve been taking lessons with this book for about 10 months now.
I love this book. It gives you great excerciese and some pieces to practice those new skills so you don`t have to sit there and do scales all the time. It lets you concentrate on one skill at a time and builds on that skill. It`s not overwhelming and you feel like you`re moving forward and learning much.
Isn`t cello great? Some people thought it was ridiculous of me to start cello as an adult, but I just love it. But I wish I could find more time to practice....
Re: Adult beginners 15:49 on Saturday, May 21, 2005
Yes, cellostudent, cello really is great. I find that it provides a focus in my life. I structure my days more carefully now that I want to fit in cello practice, so I think I end up getting more accomplished all the way around, even in other areas of my life.
I guess there will always be people that don`t understand why someone would want to study cello as an adult. But I say, why not? It`s certainly a respectable pursuit. It`s a creative, enjoyable learning experience. There shouldn`t be any age limits on such an endeavor.
Re: Adult beginners 18:34 on Monday, June 06, 2005
I`m glad to hear there are other adult beginners out there. I started when I got a cello for Christmas. Unfortunately, I kinda live in the sticks, so there are no teachers readily available. I tried having my violin teacher "guide" me (she has never played a cello before) but that didn`t work too well. For now I am playing with the Suzuki books. What, exactly does your teacher do for you? Does he/she correct your bowing or finger position, or help you with timing? I`m trying to figure out just what I`m missing!
Re: Adult beginners (role of the teacher) 21:34 on Wednesday, June 08, 2005
You asked what my teacher does at the lesson:
He makes sure that I`m using proper technique for each hand. This means placing the fingers properly with the LH and bowing correctly with the RH. During the lesson he will frequently remind me that I`m not bowing straight, or that I`m bowing too close to the fingerboard, or that I`m using too much upper arm movement in when bowing, or not enough wrist action, etc. He also makes me more aware of my LH finger spacing, the placement of the thumb opposite the 2nd finger (especially in shifts), and how to execute finger extensions properly. In other words, he watches very carefully as I play, and offers suggestions for improvement. He has also demonstrated ways of producing a good rich tone, and of course lets me know when I`m playing a note a little too sharp or flat.
A good teacher is definitely an asset in learning the cello. I learned that lesson the hard way, since I had to start over from "square one" after having a teacher who wasn`t able to help me very much.
My first teacher was an elderly man who could not really demonstrate much due to his age and health problems and didn`t watch me carefully when I played. (I signed up with him because he lived so nearby and he didn`t charge a lot.) Although he listened well and told me when I was not in tune or not producing a good tone, he did little to help me learn how to accomplish those things. I was frustrated, but felt bad about quitting ... and didn`t quite know how to go about doing it. After 2 years he was forced to retire due to poor health. A few months later I was able to find the wonderful teacher whose methods I described above.
Re: Adult beginners 10:13 on Wednesday, June 15, 2005
I am 35 and I started learning to play the cello last february.
I contacted a professor through the Internet and I was very lucky to find a real good one. We use the Suzuki books as the basic material but we also use some scores taken from other books that my professor brings to the class (Feuillard´s le jeune violonceliste, etc.).
Re: Adult beginners 16:58 on Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Sounds like you`re off to a great start with your cello lessons. I love working with the Suzuki books. (I just started on book 3) I`m also using a collection of studies by Schroeder and a few other supplemental books that my teacher has brought.
Thanks for the free music link.
Good luck with your lessons.
Re: Adult beginners 07:18 on Friday, June 17, 2005
I am 35 and have just started learning. The problem I have is that my teacher teaches children most of the time. Worse than that, she broke the tail gut on my cello at my last lesson and I am kind of concerned. I know nothing about instrument care, but I don`t think the tail gut should break during tuning... I kind of feel lost at the moment. I have a new tail gut, but I have no idea how to put it on, and frankly I am scared of giving it to my teacher incase another disaster occurs. Where can I find out about setting up and caring for my very forlorn cello? Is 5 minutes of practice at a time enough? To me it hardly seems worth getting the instrument out
Re: Adult beginners 15:38 on Sunday, June 19, 2005
I think practice should be more like 1.5 hours a day at the start. For your teacher get another one, for cello technique is particularly important. In the meantime it would be useful to concentrate on the bow arm. A good excercise I find is to play fast long single bows starting on the d string then slowing down gradually until you bow the slowest you can while keeping a good solid flow of sound. Before starting practice its also good to stetch your arms a bit, and when seated with the cello to put your arms around it like your hugging it, this will open the shoulders and scapulas so that when you start bowing your body is better prepared. Casal`s once said "break your cello before it breaks you" so don`t be afraid of the instrument.
Re: Adult beginners 10:50 on Thursday, June 23, 2005
I think it is not important how long your practise session last. More important is that it is on a regularly basis. Let’s say to practise every day at least 15 minutes would help all ready. Of course you achieve more in 1.5 hour each day but not all people have so much time.
I started playing the cello 1,5 years ago and I enjoy it a lot. Because I work full time and study part time my time is very limited. If I could I would play all day long but… At the moment my days are so busy especially in the evening. That’s why I started to have each day 30 minutes practise before I go to work in the morning. One advantage of short practise sessions is also that you study more focus orientated on special problems assuming you have a good teacher who helps you to understand what the problems are you have to work at.