Using technique in the cello lesson
Use technique from the very beginning:
Students can be trained to see the value of technique from their very first lesson. Books such asThe Open-String Book for Cello, Early Exercises for Cello, and Beginning Technique for the Cello work on issues specific to beginning students; note reading, string crossing, playing two strings at once. Double Stops can be introduced first in Beginning Technique for the Cello, then in Finger Exercises for the Cello, Book One and Double Stop Beginnings for the Cello.
Use technique to teach specific concepts:
1. Position training can start with Second Position for the Cello or Fourth Position for the Cello, and commence with Third Position for the Cello. Books such as C Major Shifting for the Cello and C Major Etudes for the Cello can be used in shorter lessons to quickly and logically go through the first four positions.
2. Use Tenor Clef for the Cello to introduce and then teach tenor clef.
3. Use Thumb Position for the Cello, Book One as an easy way to start thumb position, one finger at a time.
Use technique to solve problems:
1. To help students with note-reading, try Knowing the Notes for Cello.
2. To help students fix collapsed fingers or have faster fingers, try Finger Exercises for the Cello, Book One.
3. To help students shift more accurately once they have learned the positions, first try C Major Shifting for the Cello and then Serial Shifting; Exercises for the Cello.
4. To help students develop better bow control, try String Crossing, Books One and Two, and Bowing Variations for the Cello, Book One.
5. If you have a student with other technical problems, feel free to email or contact us for book suggestions.
Use technique for more interesting scale study:
Scale books that combine scales with exercises give variety to scale study. They also train students for the many different ways that they will incorporate scales into their pieces. Three-Octave Scales, in particular, includes exercises for the more difficult shifts in a scale, high on the A string.
Use technique to advance the student:
1. Have your students start shifting as soon as they have developed basic finger strength (as soon as the left- fingers don't collapse). Use Fourth Position for the Cello with beginning students to introduce a new, easy-to-find position.
2. When an early-intermediate student needs to try some of the higher positions for the first time, use the C Major Scale Book for Cello.
3. When a late-intermediate needs to try some easy advanced technique, or prepare for concertos, try Octaves for the Cello, Book One, Sixths for the Cello, Book One, and Octave Shifts for the Cello, Book One.
4. When an advanced student is struggling with the major concertos, try some targeted technique, such as Scale Studies (One String) for the Cello, Book One, Artificial Harmonics for the Cello, Book One, or Octaves for the Cello, Book Two.