The Celloship of the Ring
The Problem: Isolation
My favorite part of playing the cello is playing music with other people, other musicians, other community members.
I know I'm not alone when I play the cello.
But as a private cello teacher, I've struggled to reveal to the students in my studio the rich benefits of playing music as a community in all contexts in a safe, non-threatening way.
Taking private music lessons can be really isolating at times. For some (especially my adult beginner students), it's just them and their cello in a practice room, for sometimes years! The ever-important recital experience can be extremely isolating and nerve-racking. Even my students in an orchestra setting are still missing out on some of the improvisational benefits of playing music as a group.
The Solution: The Celloship of the Ring
"Wha?!" you say? Plainly and simply, it's a group cello lesson with some extra pizzaz.
My aim with these group lessons is this...
"To open and expand any cellist's experience of the cello by encouraging a community mindset and exploring the cello from an 'outsider's' perspective."
Every month the Celloship of the Ring will include the following...
- Each will have a theme and a guest speaker.
- We will review songs from the Suzuki Books as a group. Accompaniment parts will be available for those who wish to expand their sight-reading skills.
- We will share pieces we're working on, by performing for each other.
- We will review techniques required to play the cello with ease and fluidity through games and other group exercises.
and you guessed it. We'll sit in a circle.
This experience is offered to cellists of all ages and all levels: Pre-Twinklers and up! You don't have to be a member of my Cello Studio to RSVP either.
Since my students' studio membership fee already helps with the cost of these events, cellists from outside my studio can RSVP for a suggested donation of $10 per group lesson. Send me an email to reserve your space.
An 'Outsider's' Perspective: The Guest Speaker
Yes, the technical aspects of playing the cello do need to be presented by a cello teacher. But there are way more things to learn about the cello that can be taught by someone outside of the cello.
Any artist will agree with me when I say that music & art is inspired by all forms of life. This is why these monthly group lessons will feature guest speakers with expertise from outside the cello community.
Potential guest speakers are already lining up for this year's group lessons. I have yoga teacher's, music historians, tai chi instructors, authors, business professionals, poets, and athletes all interested to share their own expertise with a world of cello and music.
If you would like to be a featured guest speaker, send me an email.
Send me an email to sign up to receive the Celloship of the Ring updates, calendar info, assignments, handouts, etc.
February 2013's Edition: Dance & Movement
with choreographers Karin Stevens (Feb 16th, 2-4p at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center) and Faith Stevens (Feb 17th, 2-4p in Tacoma)
Open to the public for a small suggested donation of $15 per attendee. Send me an email to reserve your space. (Parents are asked to stay and observe.)
Karin Stevens is based in Seattle, WA with roots in the Pacific Northwest Ballet, The Orlando School of Dance, University of Washington, and Mills College. She is founder of the Oakland Dance Encounter and her own Karin Stevens Dance company which performs nationally.
Faith Stevens is the Director of Tacoma's MLK Ballet, which provides tuition-free ballet lessons to children ages 6-12. Students receive ballet uniforms and shoes, high-quality instruction, and performance opportunities throughout the year. Along with offering free children’s classes, MLKBallet also offers affordable and accessible adult classes, open to all levels.
2013 Dates & Themes
- January 19th (Seattle - Open to Public) & 20th (Seattle - Reserved for Studio Members) featuring percussionist Lacey Brown
- February 16th (in Seattle with Karin Stevens Dance) & 17th (in Tacoma with MLK Ballet) featuring Dance & Choreography!
- March 16th & 17th
- April 13th (Seattle) & 14th (Tacoma) featuring yoga by SKYTacoma
- May 11th & 12th: Spring Recitals - Open to public to both attend and participate
- June 15th & 16th
- July 13th & 14th
- August 24th & 25th
- September 7th & 8th
- October 19th & 20th
- November 16th & 17th
- December 7th & 8th: Holiday Recitals - Open to public to both attend and participate
January 2013's Edition: Percussion & Rhythm featuring percussionist Lacey Brown
January 19th, 2-4p at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center - Lacey Brown and I put our heads together to help members of the Celloship of the Ring explore percussive aspects of playing and listening to the cello as a group. We will speak to questions like: How does rhythm play a role in my melodic interpretations of cello solos? & Can I respectively and carefully use my cello like a drum? It was a blast!