DVD project!

  I wrote AMCM to try and fill some of the gaps in the “how-to” canon. Mostly, I thought we needed a text featuring a bunch of pictures and the occasional justification/explanation for certain bits of technique. There’s another volume in the works- I have all of the content down, but this time I’m trying […]


  When you walk any distance at all in the rain with a cello strapped to your back, the water drips down the case and soaks your butt.

Rock and Roll

In an alarming number of ways, it’s been so easy to be away from the classical world. I mean, look: everybody’s foaming at the mouth about declining audiences, gigs are scarce, and the likes of me was always begrudgingly admitted into the inner sanctum anyway.† What I do miss is the music. I miss communing […]

My new cello crush.

I know I’m totally late to the Stjepan Hauser party, but watching him have a great time with the cello is a reminder of how much fun it is to do this thing we do, and also of the fruits of discipline. It is unmistakable when someone has worked their ass off.

The how and what of good practice.

It happens more than it should: I walk into a lesson and the student is jaw-droppingly unprepared and the excuse offered is, “I didn’t have enough to practice.” It was a frequent occurrence in my own early lessons. I would pour hours into my practice with only marginal progress, eventually decreasing my practice time to […]

The real me.

Life Balance

Ask anyone who has ventured into the deep end of music teaching about how they balance performance and pedagogy, and you are bound to get all kinds of answers. In my own experience, I can candidly offer the following: There is absolutely no balance, at all. I got into teaching to make some extra money, […]

Happy Cellomas

It’s not uncommon to be a little more sentimental during the holidays. Heck, I’m easily touched as it is. This year I thought I would make a little video to put faces and names to some of the people who have made my life better over the past few years. With the advent of Twitter, […]


One of the things I never get asked that my adult beginners always get asked is why they play the cello. Depending on the company, the primrose path can lead to some pretty ugly places. Try not to feel put-upon. Look at this guy. Some people see cars as a way to get around. Others soar right over them. You […]

Free Master Class in New York!

Hey New Yorkers (and other hardy Tri-Staters): I’m going to be giving a master class in SoHo on Sunday, November 14th. The flyer (click to enlarge and download) lists a 4:00 start time, but that may move an hour or two depending on who can be where, when. I thought the early slot might allow […]


After some technical difficulties rendered a new student’s camera useless, I was forced to give a first Skype lesson via audio-only. What was interesting is that I could tell what shape her hand was in by the sound she made, and that the rest of the issues were educated guesses based upon problems that vex […]

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