Cello Lessons for Ages 10-14
Now that your child has chosen an instrument, it's time to discuss the details of taking cello lessons with Treble Strings. We offer five options, so read below to find out more about each. We need to make sure you have an instrument that is suitable for learning, so if you have not purchased a cello yet, please do not do so until we have matched you with an instructor. We offer a free orientation and instrument consultation in our studio for anyone interested in studio or home lessons for violin, viola, or cello.
This is the traditional way to learn to play an instrument. The student visits the studio once a week and practices daily between lessons. Some students request two or three lessons a week. We recommend beginners start with no more or less than one half-hour lesson per week except in special circumstances. Our studio is located at 203 W Main St in Smithville, MO. Until the student is old enough to provide his or her own transportation, a parent or another responsible adult must accompany the student to the studio and remain on site (the waiting room or the car is fine) in case there is an emergency.
The main difference between studio and home lessons is that the instructor travels to the student rather than holding lessons at the studio. Some students find they learn better in their own home, and it is more convenient not only because you don't have to travel but because your instrument will stay in tune longer if it is never transported. Home lessons are currently available in the KC Northland. Instructors are not permitted to be in your home if an adult is not present. Also, the lesson will need to be in a common area of your home (not a bedroom).
Video Chat Lessons
Taking lessons via Skype, Facetime, or Facebook Messenger allows you to have home lessons at the studio lesson price. There are some disadvantages we want you to be aware of. Your instructor will do his or her best to demonstrate from different angles and will ask you to turn around or move your camera in order to see different angles, and that really isn't any different than walking around you in the studio. However, because the instructor cannot touch the student to adjust the position of the hands or instrument, there is time lost in giving detailed verbal instructions that would not be necessary in the studio. Watching the same videos we use for exchange and flipped lessons can help compensate for this, but it is important that the student not work ahead of what the instructor has assigned. We recommend tuning and setting up several minutes before your lesson begins, in order to make the most of your time. Video chat lessons are available to anyone in the continental United States.
Video chat lessons might not work if your schedule does not allow for lessons at the same time each week or if you don't have a stable internet connection. Basically, you will watch a video which will demonstrate a new skill. Then, you will send us a video of you playing what that video assigned. You will receive a response from an instructor and a new video assignment. Exchange lessons allow you to learn wherever and whenever you are most comfortable. We recommend that you have a new lesson each week and keep a practice journal to provide some accountability. Connecting with other violin students in person or via social media may also be helpful. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will get busy with other things and forget you are taking lessons. Exchange lessons are available anywhere in the world but only in American English.
There is a concept in education called a "flipped classroom." Instead of the traditional format in which teachers give lectures and assign homework, students learn outside of the classroom and spend class time doing activities that involve applying what they have learned. Flipped lessons at Treble Strings are a similar concept applied to private music lessons. This option is an experimental compromise for those who might otherwise be tempted to forego lessons and attempt to learn on their own. We are admittedly biased, since we do provide music lessons, but if we believed independent study to be a viable substitute for traditional lessons, we would not be in this business at all. The internet is absolutely flooded with misleading information because anyone can post a video or make a website. Those who are offering good advise can't get through, so no matter how smart and motivated you are, it is inevitable that if you try to learn on your own, you will develop some misconceptions and bad habits that you won't recognize as such until the damage has already been done.
That being said, Treble Strings recognizes that our society is quickly moving toward getting all goods and services online for free or at a reduced price compared to brick-and-mortar options. We understand why many are more comfortable taking charge of their education and pursuing their own interests online without a teacher to guide them. Flipped lessons use the same videos as our exchange lessons, so you have the same independence in deciding when and where you will learn best, but you don't wait for feedback before moving forward.
At least once a month, you will have a guided practice session either in our studio or via video chat. Guided practice sessions are $15 each. You will meet with a more experienced musician for fifteen minutes, and they will spend that time practicing a single piece or exercise with you. This musician may or may not be an instructor and so may or may not be qualified to help you beyond that one practice session, and we cannot guarantee that you will be paired with the same person for every guided practice session. Because our instructors need to be paid for their time, you will need to schedule a lesson if you have general questions or need more help than what we can offer in a guided practice session. We discourage our students who are taking flipped lessons from pairing our program with outside sources. There are multiple methods out there, and mixing methods will cause you to run into conflicting information.