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Cellomoji Chats Episode 10: How to Be a Better Sight-Reader of Music

#010 We made it to episode 10! Here I am talking about tips on how to become a better sight-reader. It can be so difficult because technically after reading a piece of music the 1st time, it is no longer sight-reading. Let me know if there are tips that you have that I don't mention here. We are ALL a work in progress. Make sure you take an overview of the piece. Are there any particularly hard looking spots?Key signature,…

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Cellomoji Chats Episode #008 Check that thumb!

In this episode I'm chatting about the one thing I seem to be repeating A LOT in lessons lately. The left-hand thumb is SO important when it comes to having good and consistent intonation. If you have been finding that for some reason your extensions just are never in tune, or that your pinky is generally out of tune make sure you double-check the placement of your thumb. Teachers often chat about this in the beginning, but over time we…

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Playing with Piano

Playing music with other people is often a fun project that lots of people love to do. Especially when you are learning your solo music, unless the piece is unaccompanied, it can often be far more satisfying to be collaborating with someone else. I chatted with my good friend, collaborator, and pianist Patryce King in this recent video. Here we talked about the helpful things EVERYONE can do to help make collaborations easier. Remember it is not all about YOU…

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Scales in First Position that use FLATS

Scales are an essential part of learning any instrument! Even if you are a beginner you can learn some simple scales and really get to know your instrument well. A quick way to really know first position on the cello is to do some scales as well. Here I continue in this beginner scale series by talking about scales that use flats. Be sure to check it out and tell me what you think! https://youtu.be/uCuZbTVd9Yc

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Scales in First Position that use Sharps

As a teacher I always emphasize the importance of knowing your scales. Too often there is so much concern over learning the repertoire that a lot students only gloss over knowing anything about scales. Even beginner cello players can learn to play scales. Remember learning scales may be not as exciting as a song, but it will really show you where notes are on your cello and help you become more familiar with the fingerboard geography. In this video I…

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HOW TO PLAY: A Million Dreams on the cello from The Greatest Showman

It has been a bit of time but I have been working on getting more Youtube videos out to you on tips and tools to help you learn how to play your favorite songs on the cello. This week I just released a video with tips on how to play the song A Million Dreams from the movie The Greatest Showman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTW6vdl8K6c I just love movie music, it really adds to the mood and feeling of what you are watching.…

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#1 Cello Tip for the Left Hand

Having a good technical foundation will definitely help you when you are learning the cello! If there is one important foundational skill to remember about playing the cello it is to keep the thumb of your left hand under your middle finger AT ALL times. (Think “C” for cello, making a c shape with your hand where the thumb is in the proper location.) This would also include if you are stretching, shifting, staying in closed position, and even if…

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10 Spooky Sound Effects

Halloween is coming up fast this year! What is your favorite part about this holiday? For me, it is the candy (twix!)~ I'm too much of a scaredy-cat to enjoy most of the scary things of Halloween :) . In this video, I talk about how to make some spooky sounds on the cello. Perhaps you can even create your own scary soundtrack for yourself! I talk about: tremolo, ponticello, glissandos, Bartok pizz, using the body of the cello, col legno,…

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Practice Tips for Franchomme No 3

Are you learning the Franchomme Caprice No 3? (I refer to it as an etude, but I suppose the official term is caprice :) ) My latest Youtube video covers all the tips you need to help you master this etude. This would be really helpful to those who are opting to take the All-Region or All-State audition since this is one of the etudes on the list. (The other one is Popper 16, which I also have a video on). If…

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When Not to Use Vibrato

Vibrato is an important skill to learn and to start using in your music making process. But it is important to also know when NOT to use vibrato. Remember that vibrato is used to enhance the music and not as a crutch for things such as finding your intonation or as a default addition to everything. You eventually want to expand your musical "toolbox" to be able to use vibrato at different speeds, intensities, and basically increase your control. In…

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