About Emily

Emily Wright has been a professional musician, writer and educator for over two decades. BM, cello performance, CSUN. MS. Ed., Johns Hopkins.

Get to Know Me

Emily’s formative instructors were Catherine Graff, Ronald Leonard and Hans Jorgen Jensen, whose influence is at the heart of her approach to practice, lessons, and performance.

Her technique-centric and individually tailored curriculum is designed to guide students of all ages and ambitions to their goals, whether a music-school bound teen or an earnest adult hobbyist. While she accepts all varieties of students, most fall into one of three categories: young beginners/preteen hobbyists, college prep teens, and adults. Young beginners are accepted from the age of 6. Emily’s approach combines cello technique with a broad overview of musical concepts and historical context, preparing students regardless of whether they continue with the cello for years or decide to change to another instrument after the initial trial period. Music reading is taught from day one. For middle and high schoolers wanting to advance in their orchestras, the usual technical approach is supplemented by solo works, scales and studies. For the conservatory bound cellist, intensive hands-on guidance is very important, as well as attending master classes with other instructors. Emily encourages and prepares her students for auditions, recitals, competitions and summer music festivals. While these are not mandatory, they are extremely valuable and help turn a player into an artist. It also introduces the student to the conservatory style atmosphere that is the hallmark of a good college music program. Adults, whether beginners or well-developed veterans can expect to realize their musical aspirations, so long as they maintain a solid schedule of lessons and practice. At any one time, several of Emily’s students are playing in professional and semi-professional orchestras, bands, and chamber groups around the country. Separating her from many string teachers is her refusal to subscribe to the myth that one has to be born with the cello in hand in order to make it a substantial and meaningful part of life. A book, entitled Never Too Late was written on this very subject, and should be required reading for the late beginner. Emily’s own text, A Modern Cellist’s Manual, was published in 2010, with a second and third volume in the works. She is an associate editor at Strings magazine and teaches private lessons and workshops in the DC metro area.

When she’s not focused on music, Emily is a hockey-obsessed aviation enthusiast, occasional college adjunct professor, and student winemaker.

Lessons with Emily are always inspiring! I could be cross-eyed from staring at a ridiculously impossible Popper Etude…she will uncross my eyes and suddenly those 64th notes will look like half notes to me. I could be overwhelmed with trying to learn Harold In Italy for the next orchestra rehearsal…an hour with her and we would have tackled the movement and she would have me actually excited about working it up to speed (yes, really!) Emily is the first teacher to really teach me how to practice. I leave my lessons armed with a million ideas on how to practice for the next lesson. She is patient, energetic and always creative in her teaching. What more could you ask for in a teacher?
Kim O.
Atlanta, GA

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