Starting Cello

I just thought I would mention something about the e-mails I receive about viewers starting cello. Over the last 2 years I’ve received quite a few. There is a wide range of people that start. Some are in in school and some are older adults. I get e-mails from parents asking for advice about their children. I also receive e-mails about restarting cello or some other instrument after taking some years away from it. I really enjoy getting these e-mails. They are very inspiring to me.

There are many questions that I get asked. I try to provide good information and links to resources. If you have a question you can leave a comment below or send e-mail.


  1. It is very interesting why people start the cello, or any instrument for that matter. I also enjoy seeing someone in his or her retirement, or relatively late in their career, learning cello. I think “good for them!” They are taking initiative in their lives and are enjoying all that cello has to offer.

    Also, I think the age that someone starts has a very large part in how they view it. I started at age 12 and I love cello immensely, still, at 15. My only regret though, is not starting earlier! I told my teacher this and she agreed because she really didn’t begin until her twenties. However, I then think, if I had started earlier at for instance, age 8, I might not have as mature an appreciation for it as I do currently.

    If I had started then, it might have become a chore and I would not see all the benefits and fun of playing. I know now that playing an instrument with dedication for a long time can certainly put more colleges and jobs in my favor. Also, the connection between math and music. Math was my worst subject before I learned cello; the year after it became my best! And most importantly, I do not think I could have at that age noticed what an impact music can have on a person. Music can take someone into a whole other realm of conciousness, probably not able to put into words. When I listen to the Prelude to the Second Bach Suite, I am always given goosebumps and simply get lifted from where I am into a world of notes; it simply transcends all other feelings to just close my eyes and have Bach take me wherever he wants to in his writing.

    However, if I had started earlier, I would be more technically advanced than I am now. So considering those two sides of the issue, I am glad I hadn’t decided to play cello until I was 12.

    Happy Cello Playing!

  2. Great to hear about your background. When it comes to technique I think it is helpful to do scales, etudes, and have good bowings and fingerings in the music.

    I agree that there may be some connection between music and math. It seemed to help me.


  3. Luke, as a cello student I would appreciate seeing, interspersed with your regular series, an occasional teaching video. You could take a piece and demonstrate your approach to it: fingering, bowing, phrasing, etc. For example, I’d love to see you take apart “The Swan” for instance, a piece that countless students attempt.

    You might also share some ideas for practice, and the type of things you recommend for students.

    Thanks for posting these awesome vidoes

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