Frequently Asked Questions

I am an adult with no musical training. Is it too late for me to start studying the cello?

No! It’s never too late. I have had plenty of adult beginners, some with past musical experience and some without, and they do just fine.

My child has an audition coming up. Can you help him with the audition material?

Yes, however I don’t take on students who just want help on an audition and do not plan on continuing private lessons. For my current students, I am glad to help with audition repertoire, but I do expect to spend at least 80% of each lesson on our current lesson material. I find that, often, the repertoire for honor orchestras is quite a bit above the level of some students who are encouraged to do the audition, and I try to avoid “teaching to the test” without the students having had thorough training on how to get to and from the notes in the piece or it can create some very bad habits.

Will I need a cello for my first lesson? Where can I get one?

Yes, you will. Very young students (under the age of 7 or so) who have not had experience with the cello before will not be using their instruments right away, but for older kids and adults, you will need a cello for the first lesson. I strongly discourage ordering one off the internet. 90% of instruments purchased this way have been brought to me completely unplayable. Unfortunately, this is not a place to look for a bargain. Instead, I suggest renting a cello at first, through a shop which specializes in stringed instruments, such as Potter’s Violins in Bethesda or Brobst Violins in Alexandria. This way you can save some money and make sure the cello is right for you (and for growing kids, it’s a good way to be able to have their cello grow with them) and many shops will apply a percentage of the rental payments toward purchasing an instrument later.

Can I pay by the lesson?

No. For the first lesson, I let people pay for a single spot to make sure we are a match before committing, but after that I require payment by the month. By paying for the month, you are reserving your spot at that time every week