Master class with Yo-Yo Ma in Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music, 2016.
How to use lessons
Hello and Welcome!
As a kid, I was unbelievably fortunate to have had five of the greatest cellists of the 20th century as my mentors, my teachers. With these CelloBello lessons, I want to pass their knowledge and inspiration on to you. And I add my own perceptions from having played more than 3000 concerts, from 50 joyous years of performing and teaching.
Music is humankind's deepest, most personal form of communication. A successful performance transmits a message, affects, moves an audience. Learning to perform demands discussion of the philosophical, the psychological, the intuitive. How do we turn insights, feelings, mood, character into sound? In these lessons, I try to give you the tools of expression - practical, "how to" instrumental advice that will help you create beauty and meaning through your instrument. My greatest joy now is to help those younger than me in their own musical pursuits.
Using CelloBello Video Lessons
The immense satisfaction that comes from productive practice, from the process of striving and acheiving, is possible for everyone. Regardless of age or level, your growth as a player is synonymous with developing your physical and aural awareness - they are the path, the only way to mastery. We take it for granted that as musicians we listen to ourselves, but in reality our brains and hearts are filled with much that can interfere with both good physical habits and true quality listening. Everything I teach, from shaping a phrase, creating a color or bouncing the bow, I relate to a corresponding physical feeling... and to deeper and deeper levels of listening.
View the lesson with real focus and concentration. Most of these lessons are very dense with information -
while they may appear somewhat casual and much like a normal lesson, they have been planned and edited so
that every sentence means something.
Read the Feel, Think and Listen text under the video - they were carefully chosen to help you know how to practice, and there is important, supplementary information not in the video.
View the lesson more than once. Many cellists have told me that re-watching after having practiced and lived with the ideas for a week or so really helps - there is often a point or subtlety that makes more sense after a few days of struggle!
View the Essential Related Videos available to you on the right hand side of each lesson page, as together they lead to more complete understanding. There is no way in a 2 or 3 minute lesson to teach a subject completely, so realize that every lesson by itself is incomplete! All the little pieces of technique affect and inform each other, so watching bundles of related lessons really helps. A collection of isolated cello lessons that the player doesn't integrate is missing the point.
In the end, we want to transcend the frustrating technical difficulties that get in our way so that we can create, express, inspire. Individually and collectively we carry forward the tradition of our art form, enrich our own lives and bring music to those around us. Music is a human need - that's why we play! I hope these lessons help you.- Paul Katz