Cello and String Pedagogy Links
Here are a collection of sites I think are worthy of a look. Let me know of other good sites I should list.
Cello Quartet Drone CD
Cello drones are a fantastic way to practice intonation while playing scales, arpeggios, and repertoire. This drone CD was a project of mine available for purchase. Highlights:
- No electronic manipulation of pitches were used at any phase of the recording. A specially designed capo for the cello was used to ensure pitch accuracy and to maintain a faithful recorded sound of the cello.
- All pitches were measured agaist StroboSoft software to ensure accuracy.
- The cello is overdubbed 4 times for a richer tone. This is helpful on pitches that do not have much sympathetic vibration such as F, B-flat, etc.
- Other strings on the cello were tuned to provide more sympathetic vibrations on pitches such as F and B-flat for more harmonics.
- Bit rate of 320 for MP3s for near CD quality resolution.
Here are some intonation exercises for cello that are designed to go with a drone CD.
Cello Drones CD by Marcia Sloane
This CD by Navarro River Music is unique in that it has three octaves of the fundamental pitch plus two octaves of the fifth.
Prakticello:The Practice and Travel Cello
Now here is a unique product. The Prakticello is a practice cello that actually folds up into a portable travel case that fits in the overhead compartment of an airplane. It has a pleasant yet quiet tone so it will not disturb your neighbors. Ernest Nussbaum has been making these for 30 years and has passed the craft onto Jerry deGroot in Maryland. Here is a youtube of the Prakticello,
Music Teacher's Helper
If you have your own private studio you may want to check this out. This online software gives you your own website, sends invoices automatically, accepts payments online via paypal, runs reports for taxes, has an online calendar, has a file upload area, lending library with automatic reminders to return book, and sends automatic lesson reminders to your students. The basic plan is only $14/month and is good for 20 students. The first month is free.
Cello Seat Cushions by Judy Johnson Henderson
Proper sitting position is absolutely essential when playing the cello. A wedge shape cushion helps put our pelvis in the optimal position to maintain our lumbar curve in the lower back. The problem is most orthopedic cushions are too soft for playing the cello. These cushions are made of firmer foam so you do not loose your balanced playing position.
String Pedagogy Sites
Cellobello is a website by famous cellist Paul Katz. It includes cello video lessons and other outstanding resources.
Cello Talks by David Finckel
This site has fascinating video cello lessons by David Finckel.
This isn't a cello website but still worthwhile for cellists to study. Violinmasterclass.com is underwritten by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation in support of the teaching and performance of the classical violin. The site includes a great deal of teaching by Kurt Sassmannshaus, one of today's preeminent violin pedagogues and chairman of the String Department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Michael Hopkins String Pedagogy Notebook
Michael Hopkins is Associate Professor of Music Education at University of Michigan. His website, The String Pedagogy Notebook, has teaching ideas for all the string instruments and is an outstanding resource for string teachers.
Retired string teacher Gabriel A. Villasurda has put together an excellent sight that public school string teachers and others will find quite helpful. Mr. Villasurda believes that a string students shouldn't have to take private lessons to be given an organized presentation of technique. I wholeheartedly agree.
MyMusicTheory.com is an excellent resource to aid you in teaching music theory to your students. It follows the Syllabus for the ABRSM - The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. The ABRSM is dived into 8 grades or levels. MyMusicTheory.com has lessons with accompanying worksheets that cover grades 1-5 and half of grade 6. These lessons can easily be incorporated into your private teaching.
Opus Cello is the website of Blaise Déjardin, cellist in the Boston Symphony and member of the Boston Cello Quartet. On his site you will find his original arrangements for 2-12 celli. He also has interviews with famous cellists of our time. This is a fantastic resourse for cellists.
PlayMooreCello.com is the website of Douglas B. Moore. Dr. Moore was Professor of Music at Williams College from 1970 to 2007, and cellist with the Williams Chamber Players and the Williams Trio. On his site you can find wonderful arrangements for cello choir for players of all levels. He also has cello choir arrangements of the orchestral parts for many of the cello concerti. Another excellent resource.
Cello Music: The Ultimate Collection, Parts I and II
This is an outstanding resource. You can get the all the primary cello literature, including etude books, in two CDs.
Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
At virtualsheetmusic.com you can download unlimited amounts of sheet music in pdf for $37.75 a year. It is $25.99 to renew from thereafter. This is a very cost effective way to get many of the cello concertos and string quartets.
The Frustrated Accompanist
I recently met Carol Leybourn at the Michigan Music Conference. She directs the chamber music program at the Lawrence University Academy of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin. Ms. Leybourn has done a great service by simplifying the orchestral reductions of the standard string concerti and making them more pianistic. Let's face it; what busy pianist wants to spend huge amounts of time practicing an orchestral reduction that has large amounts of unnecessary passage work? Your busy accompanist will thank you for providing him or her with these piano scores.
International Music Score Library Project
Another fantastic resource. The IMSLP is a virtual library of public domain music scores and scores from composers who are willing to share their music without charge. It is a Wiki site so anyone can upload scores that are public domain. The link above takes you to the "List of Compositions Featuring the Cello" page.
Opus Cello Blog
This is the blog of Blaise Déjardin, cellist in the Boston Symphony and member of the Boston Cello Quartet. You will find some interesting and thought provocing posts. Also check out his Opus Cello site (see Sheet Music above) where you can find his arrangements for 2-12 celli.
Adult beginners unite! Fugue State is a blog by a flutist of 12 years who decided to take up the cello in 2006 as an adult beginner. Give it a look.
Cello Sites for Children
Here is a website for young cellists that includes games, videos, list of events, and much more!
General Cello Sites
Internet Cello Society
If you are a cellist, you probably already know of this site. It features interviews with famous performers, teachers, and has many other useful articles.
The Masterclass Media Foundation
This non-profit organization is creating an archive of masterclasses by leading musicians. Masterclasses of cellists include Steven Isserlis and Frans Helmerson. These masterclasses are available on DVD.
Cello Music Collections at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
There are six collections: the Luigi Silva Collection, the Elizabeth Cowling Collection, the Rudolf Matz Collection, the Maurice Eisenberg Collection, János Scholz Collection, and the Fritz Magg Collection. What is great about this site is the comparison of bowings available online for the Bach Suites. You can view the actual manuscripts of Pablo Casals, Luigi Silva, Maurice Eisenberg, Rudolf Matz, János Scholz, and Elizabeth Cowling. NOTE: These images of the manuscripts are HUGE files. Even with a fast internet connection it takes a minute or so to view them.
The Anna Magdalena manuscripts of the Bach Cello Suites
Anna Magdalena was Bach's wife and she copied much of his music. This web site is by Harry Wimmer and you can view the manuscripts of Anna Magdalena online. Anner Bylsma has argued recently that the Magdalena manuscripts are the most authoritative.