My Teaching Philosophy

I love playing the cello and the joy expressing ideas in music unthinkable in words can be powerful and incredibly rewarding!  We can all feel that inspirational power and human connection in music and in my teaching I guide students to harness that power with efficient techniques for practicing, effective technical skills and focused awareness that I have perfected over many years as a teacher and performer.

I have learned to never prejudge what is possible and the sky is this limit.  I take great pride in being able to unlock a musician’s possibilities through individual and personalized work together enabling them develop their own unique voice on the cello. Establishing a strong technical foundation is a priority with basics like scales, arpeggios and etudes.  In creating a solid technical base, I aim to empower the player to be free to express their own musical ideas in their performance.  I keep academic work separate from major repertoire which actually allows skills to emerge seamlessly into repertoire pieces where they really are needed most.

Performing is also about communicating a story through music that I combine with specific choreography and gestures.  These natural and physical ways of playing can be cultured and developed and create communication skills that ultimately connect us with our audience, friends and community around us and with the music itself.  Absolutely important in my teaching is sharing the excitement and spirit of great music making and I always encourage my students to perform and give them as many performing opportunities to experience and discover this themselves.  Having worked with many great teachers and collaborative players and having been a part of many distinguished schools, I am proud to share my knowledge and experience with the next generation of cellists and musicians.

I also teach at several summer festivals including the International Cello Institute, Heifetz International Music Institute, VCU Global Music InstituteEaston Chamber Music Festival, Duxbury Music Festival, and Killington Music Festival.

My cello students and graduates are successful musicians and have been prizewinners in the Brahms International Competition, Johansen International String Competition, Irving Klein and Stulberg competitions, MTNA, Presidential Scholars in the Arts, Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, performer/speakers for TEDx talk, and as guests performers on NPR’s “From The Top”.

Where My Students Are Now

I am incredibly proud of my student’s accomplishments. Many have gone on to careers as performers, teachers, and orchestral musicians. Here is a partial list.