The craft of playing the Cello



There is a lot more to playing the cello than sitting down, moving the bow around and hoping to hit the correct note with the left hand. However if you watch a professional play their instrument, you might be tempted to think this is what they are actually doing; it looks so effortless, so simple, their hands magically seem to know where to go and their bow floats over the strings. A technique that allows someone to play beautifully, while looking and feeling relaxed such that they can move anywhere uninhibited on the instrument to express musical ideas, is what we are all aiming for. 


The best sort of technique is a natural or ergonomically grounded technique, a technique that takes its lead from the way our body is actually formed and the way it actually works. All the movements we make to be able to sit and hold the cello, to move our bow arm and to make the notes with our left hand fingers are the same movements we make in everyday life, movements we make without much thought or feelings of particular effort. However we need the right knowledge to enable us to recognize these movements and how they can be applied directly to the instrument. 


The goal of my teaching approach is to equip each student with the knowledge they need to correctly position their bodies, so they can move freely with normal, everyday movements and produce a rich cello tone. Right from the start I introduce every student to the concept of using low tension body motions as the basis for their playing, regardless of their age or playing experience. This way of being around the instrument provides the necessary ground work for establishing an efficient and flexible playing technique.