Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I rent an instrument?
  2. What does a lesson with you look like?
  3. How much practice will be expected?
  4. How can I help my beginner practice?
  5. Do you teach adults?
  6. Do you have any suggestions on websites to improve my/my student's playing?

  1. How do I rent an instrument?

    Johnson String Instruments in Newton and Spencer Brook Strings in Maynard rent good quality instruments, bows and cases. In addition, both carry strings, rock stops, music stands and music.

  2. What does a lesson with you look like?

    We begin by reviewing the material the student was assigned the previous week. Then, we play a scale and etude (study) before continuing work on a piece. We may begin work on a new piece and do some sight reading. I try not to introduce more than one or two new technical ideas at any one lesson. We may do some holiday music around the holidays.

  3. How much practice will be expected?

    I expect beginners to practice 15 minutes a day 6 days a week. For more advanced students (ie. high school students) I recommend one hour a day 6 days a week.

  4. How can I help my beginner practice?

    I recommend the book Helping Parents Practice: Ideas for Making it Easier by Edmund Sprunger. Sprunger has taught violin for over twenty years and is a trained psychotherapist. Here are some examples of the advice that he gives in his book:

    • Listen to recordings with your student.
    • Find good consistent times to practice.
    • Acknowledge your student's feelings (ie. boredom, frustration, etc.)
    • Give your student healthy choices (ie. to play the piece through three, four or five times that day).
    • Talk about what is working before discussing what is not working.


  5. Do you teach adults?

    I do teach adults. I have taught adults for the past ten years. I use much of the same music with adults that I use with children. However, I interact differently with adults than I do with children. Some advantages of working with adults is that they have a wide variety of experiences that can be drawn upon to learn new things. Additionally, adults are usually more self-directed than children. And, adults often come to their lessons with questions. They are better at articulating their difficulties than children. So, we may use their questions as starting points for a lesson, while with children I often delve right into the music so that I can see what is going well and what needs work.

  6. Do you have any suggestions on websites to improve my/my student's playing?

    More than websites, I recommend listening. If you need a break from practicing or can't get to the cello, look at the music and think about how it sounds. Try to play it on your arm, using your right arm as the finger board.

    There are many wonderful cellists out there. Listen to solo, chamber and orchestral recordings. For more specific recommendations, send me an e-mail or talk to a music teacher or knowledgeable friend or relative.

Erica Klein • 617-564-0625 • erica@studycello.com • Arlington, MA 02476