11) D scale and intro to extensions (musical examples, 4 images, 2 pages)
Extensions are the next pillar of good technique after the shift into 4th position. It’s easy to go awry when doing this technique, so the pictures are especially important. The ones I have included in the sample chapter are not final, but indicative of the detail I want to include. I may even want them larger, and the focus pulled out further to show the entire arm.
12) Avoiding injuries (2 pages, 3 images)
As I said in my introduction, I was a lousy student. I was very resistant to changing my technique, and as a result nearly ended my career with the ensuing parade of injuries this caused. This chapter is all text, and it offers substantive information relating to my experience and that of my students. I end with what is a sort of mantra of mine: relaxed playing isn’t something that happens in addition to good technique. It is the essence of it.
13) F scale and more extensions (2 or 3 images, musical examples, 2 pages)
More extensions, but this time, we take the technique down the neck instead of up it. I am trying to prime the students for things that they will likely see in the beginning months of study. After we play in G, it is common to progress to D. After D, we see etudes and pieces in F. I am following the standard, accepted guidelines of most teachers I have had and spoken to. This curriculum is widespread.
14) Intro to Harmonics (1 image/diagram, musical examples, 1 page)
I like to introduce some elements of “advanced” technique earlier than some. A lot of people hold off, and then things like shifting, extending, harmonics, and tenor clef are steeped in mystery and appear impossible to accomplish. I have found great success with this method of presenting information with my own students, who are among the most varied clientele one could imagine: young professionals, college prep students, hobbyists, the elderly, and the very young.
15) Scale up and down one string (musical examples, 1 page)
Being able to find the same note multiple places on the cello not only expands the amount of repertoire available to the student, but also the amount of finesse with which they play. It’s important to address this relatively early on, because I find that the most common reason for quitting is that they feel disconnected from the instrument. They can get notes, but the whole reason anyone takes up the cello is because of the sound. That sound is a result of years of work, to be sure, but if a student is able to see even minute improvements in tone, then they are more likely to stay with it and achieve meaningful progress. So this chapter is one facet of left hand finesse.
16) Intro to Tenor Clef (musical examples, 2 pages)
This was the first chapter I ever wrote, in frustration, as there are few books intended for the cello to learn tenor clef. Most of the texts out there are geared towards the euphonium or trombone. There is allegedly one from Faber, and another from Spartan Press (though the catalogue number looks like HL). I could have written a book exclusively about tenor clef (and if you would like me to, by all means, there is a need) but I wanted to give a primer and let the teacher then prescribe etudes and pieces that were appropriate for the student’s level. This is a how-to, not an in-depth academic exploration. Students learn by doing. This book primarily deals with the manner in which they do. Each chapter builds on the one preceding it, if a student is starting at an early level, but it is also possible to intercept a more advanced student and continue midway. There are no books out there that address vibrato, tenor clef, injuries, or obsessively emphasize the need for good technique. If I found this book at a music store, I would think I had found the jackpot because of chapters like these.
Keep in mind this was something I wrote to sell my concept. I apologize if I come off with anything that resembles hubris or bravado. I have found that if you pitch something in an apologetic way, it doesn’t even get considered.