Have you been playing the cello for some time but feel like you have come to the end of your creativity? Artist block is real and happens when you can’t seem to get anything going, with your creative mind seeming to be in a state of refusal. This can happen to artists of all levels; beginners and pros alike.
But it is more likely to happen if your scope and skills are limited. Maybe you are a self-taught cellist and have been working with limited learning material, or feel that you need to expand your repertoire but don’t know how to. One way to overcome these limitations is by expanding your skills which opens up more creative paths.
As an intermediate cellist, you have one advantage of working for you, which is that you can scour the internet for learning materials and study them with ease. However, to excel at the cello and play at the pro levels, you will need a guiding hand, a teacher or mentor who will provide insights, tips, and advice useful for advancing your skill to the highest level.
If you can’t find a face-to-face teacher, there is always the alternative of learning online. It has the added advantage of choosing from a wider pool talent of accomplished cellists. Here are some lessons you can try;
8 Best Cello Lessons for Intermediate Online Reviews
1) ArtistWorks - Cello with Mike Block
This cello course is taught by Mike Block, who is known for his unorthodox approach to the cello. He is famously remembered as the first cellist to perform while standing at the Carnegie.
Mike is a pioneering cellist as well as a composer with an impressive resume. He has performed with big names like Stevie Wonder, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lenny Kravitz. With a Master's degree in Music from Juilliard, Mike has the theory and practical background for guiding intermediate cellists.
This course is really for all levels, with a segment for beginners, but it works well for someone who has familiarity with the cello. Some of the subjects covered included to expand your repertoire are;
· Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
· Contemporary Cello Etudes
· Cello Reference Topics
These lessons come with downloadable sheet music and backing tracks for practice. The lessons are offered on Artistworks, where you can use the ArtistWorks Video Exchange Learning® platform. You can upload your practice videos to the platform for review by Mike, which will help point out the mistakes you are making.
2) Learn the Cello with Hans Zentgraf
Hans 'Enke' Zentgraf is popularly known to his peers as the three-letter man. He is an accomplished cellist, a chamber musician, soloist, and a pedagogue. Hans long interaction with the cello extends back to 1966.
He has a Masters from Juilliard and has been a leading figure in the State Operas of Lower Saxony and Nuremberg in Germany. He has collaborated material from the legendary Harvey Shapiro and offered the study resources on the cello-academy.com.
The website holds over 600 minutes of video lessons, more than 80 full-length MP3 backing tracks, and 40+ eBooks and manuals. The lessons offered are for all levels of cellists, but there are Masterclasses that you will find very useful as an intermediate cellist.
In the Cello technique series, you study a theme, play a piece in that theme and discuss the difficulties of playing the piece on the cello and how to overcome them. In the cello repertoire series, you study harmonic and formal analysis, how to play the movement and ways of shifting. Hans also teaches you how to accompany a piano with demonstrations.
The website also hosts a forum for the community as well as a blog where Hans writes on different topics.
3) Cello lessons with Olga Redkina
Olga Redkina is one of the most accomplished cellists of Russian origin. She has a Masters in Music and Cello Performance from Duquesne University. She has performed with Altoona Symphony Orchestra, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. She offers online lessons for cellists of all levels.
Her intermediate lessons are in 11 parts;
· Part 1- Vibrato- Etude #31 from Alwin Schroeder 170 Foundation Studies for Violoncello
· Part 2 -Arpeggios- C Major and D Major 3 octaves 5/3, Double Stops
· Part 3- Double Stops- Lullaby, This Old Man, 3. Campton Races
· Part 4- Stroke, Allegro Moderato by J.S. Bach, Double Stops (Auld Lang Syne)
· Part 5- Sonata in C Major 2nd movement by J.B. Breval, Sad Song by D.Shostakovich
· Part 6- Bow Technique, Double Stops (Highland Lad)
· Part 7 - E Major and E Flat Major, Benedetto Marcello Adagio Movement and Allegro Movement
· Part 8- Chanson Triste by P.I. Tchaikovsky – Demonstration
· Part 9- Sonata in E minor by Antonio Vivaldi-Largo Movement, Allegro Movement, Largo Movement,
· Part 10- Double Stops (Yankee Doodle), Sweet Dreams by P.I. Tchaikovsky
· Part 11- Romance Without Words by K. Davydov -Demonstration
The lessons are available online and via skype.
4) Cello lessons with Natasha Jaffe
Natasha Jaffe is a multi-talented cellist having multiple recordings with songwriters, bands, and orchestras. She also performs as a soloist and improvises street performances. She has a Cello Performance from Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia.
Although classically trained, she has shifted to contemporary styles like Flamenco and Middle eastern fusions melodies, hip hop and pop-rock. She has gathered her various experiences playing around the world into lessons for cellists
Natasha offers face-to-face lessons to students in Berlin and offers online lessons via Skype to students around the world. The lessons are people of all ages, and cello skills.
She offers 30, 45 and 60-minute lessons. Intermediate cellists can take longer periods and choose several lessons in a week. Students are taught in the classical path but she incorporates other styles according to the student's wishes.
As an intermediate student, she will take you through sonatas, concertos, etudes and movements in Bach's Cello Suite. Natasha uses the Dotzauer etudes method to teach intermediate and advanced students. You can book a trial lesson
5) Cello lessons with Louise King
Louise King is one of the most accomplished cellists in Australia. She is a graduate of the prestigious Royal College of Music in London and Manchester. She has had an illustrious cello career working with the BBC Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
She moved to Australia in 2003, where she continues to be a cello teacher, concert and recording artist, music adjudicator and event producer. She tutors youth orchestras for Queensland State, and the Australian national orchestra. She is also the director oat Southern Cross Soloists Winter Music School.
Louise teaches young people and adults alike, beginners to advanced levels. Lessons are done in groups (ensembles). You can join an adult ensemble, where you will learn to play in a group and also take part in real performances.
For intermediate cellists, these lessons are to encourage a fresh outlook to making music. They also teach how to get the most out of your rehearsals, and how to plan your practice.
Natasha also offers tips in your development as a cellist. You can also participate in one of the workshops, for example, the Bach Unwrapped workshop where she explores the baroque style. All lessons are based in Brisbane, Australia.
6) Free Cello lessons on CelloBello
Cellobello is a completely free cello learning resource, accessible to anyone around the world. It hosts accomplished cellists drawn from different backgrounds; music educators, chamber music and orchestra performers, and soloists.
This is a deeply resourced site offering all things cello-related. You will find world-class lessons, repertoire and book listings, downloadable sheet music, masterclasses, live chats with top cellists, cello events listing, interviews, cello-related job listings and so much more.
CelloBello is a non-profit entity registered in the US. This project was a brainchild of Paul Katz, who is Professor of Cello at New England Conservatory. Teaching contributors include renowned cellists such as Alisa Weilerstein, Amit Peled, Astrid Schween, Colin Carr, Jeffrey Zeigler, Laurence Lesser, Marcy Rosen, Norman Fischer, Pieter Wispelwey, Robert deMaine, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others. Free lessons cover subjects such as;
· Left-hand techniques
· Right-hand techniques
· Body awareness
· Performance tips
· Repertoire expansion
As an intermediate cellist, you will find masterclasses by teachers such as Luis Claret, Myung-Wha Chung, Yeesun Kim, Macy Rosen, Robert deMaine and others. Other resources you can use to improve your skills are a celloTube, celloBooks, and celloBlog. You can access these free lessons
7) Cello lessons with Byron Duckwall
Byron Duckwall is one of the foremost cellists in New York City. He has been teaching and performing with the cello for more than 30 years. He is one of the students of the legendary cellist D.C. Dounis, after whom he has named his teaching method.
Byron started playing the cello at the age of 7 years and went on to study at different prestigious music schools; New England Conservatory, Yale Graduate School of Music, and San Francisco State University.
He has performed in the US and abroad with different orchestras; Center for New Music, Metropolitan Opera Association, and Orchestra da Estadual de Sao Paulo among others.
Byron offers face-to-face, and online cello lessons as well. His face-to-face lessons are held at The Rose Studio in the Lincoln Center, NYC. His online lessons are also one-on-one via Skype. The online lessons last one and a half hours each. Intermediate cellists can learn;
· The Dounis method for advanced string techniques
· The secrets of a natural vibrato to transform the left hand
· The Bow technique by mastering the Zen of the bow arm
· Fast play using sautille and detache techniques.
8) Cello lessons on Musika
Do you feel that you are more comfortable learning face-to-face? Musika is an online platform that connects students with teachers in their neighborhood. You register and input details of what you need, then Musika searches its database to find you the teacher that matches your needs, preferably in your area.
You connect with your match and schedule lessons, and other learning arrangements. Musika does not handle the lessons or timetable arrangements, leaving you and the teacher to see what fits. You then pay for the first 8 lessons. You pay direct to Musika who then pays your teacher.
There are over 1,030 teachers on Musika teaching different instruments including cello, piano, guitar, saxophone, clarinet, flute, drums, and many others. Musika is in 652 cities and towns in the US. Musika is a good choice for finding the best teacher in your neighborhood if learning online is not your thing.
The good thing is that you can request for a trial lesson to gauge whether you click with your teacher and if not, request for another teacher. You can do this until you find the perfect match.
Choosing the Best Cello Lessons for Intermediate
The cello is a great choice if you are a fan of classical or orchestra music, but you can expand your repertoire to jazz, pop, rock, and funky tunes. You can advance your skills to play entertaining popular tunes with the distinct sound of the cello, which is very entertaining.
Advancing your cello skills will make you more marketable if you intend to play like a pro. The good thing is that after you master the cello, you can work on signature styles just like the great masters. It all depends on how far you intend to go, in your journey with this versatile instrument.