Two third grade beginner cellists had great fun in March as they participated in Cello Practice Club, a new course offered each month at CYM. Highlights included playing exercises and songs from the Essential Elements Book 1, playing bingo to review concepts such as note names and rhythms, and learning tricks to help with techniques such as the “mouse house” for bow hold. Students are also enrolled in orchestra in the NA school district.
Cello Practice Club is a great way to get individualized advice on how to improve your cello playing! The weekly 30 minute meeting consists of many short activities, pieces, and exercises, and we focus on a mixture of technical and musical concepts. The students, parents, and I create an atmosphere of support and encouragement. Each student, regardless of age and experience, is enjoying and learning from their own efforts in cello playing; they are also easily assimilating the feedback given to one another because the environment is low pressure and fun.
One students says that he “feels better” about how he’s playing cello after one month of the course. A parent wrote that the class was fun and engaging for her child, and that “he (the student) has really been motivated to practice each week to be ready to play.” Overall, the students gained extra musical and technical advice for their cello playing outside of their school orchestra class through working in the cello book and playing games. Seeing a friend in the zoom meeting made things really enjoyable and gave them a social opportunity as well as an educational one.
Musically and technically my students grew in their knowledge of note names (A, D, and G strings), reading music, bow hold, how to use the bow, and helpful techniques on how to learn new pieces. They had fun learning together since they are good friends – they especially enjoyed having the opportunity to play individually for each other, offer praise, applause, smiles – no stress! just a great time.
You can read about or join Cello Practice Club here on Julia Solomon’s Faculty Page