My Very First Cello Method, Vol. 1 is a comprehensive method for the early beginner which offers a sound basis in cello playing combined with the fundamentals of music theory that provide the student with the necessary tools for further advancement. The method uses a simple, child-friendly approach to the first steps in mastering basic skills in cello performance.
Once the child is acquainted with the open strings and the use of the bow, left hand placement and finger patterns are progressively introduced, focusing on each new added finger with a variety of exercises and short pieces reinforcing newly attained abilities. From the very beginning key signatures and scales are presented to foster a better awareness of the essential elements in music. The child discovers the gratification of playing through numerous creative solo pieces, duets, and rounds which progressively increase in difficulty and become more challenging to the student. Ensemble playing is emphasized from the start with the intention of developing the fresh learner’s sense of rhythm, intonation, and note-reading skills. Pencil activities designed for children aid early beginners in grasping basic musical concepts, and the use of charming, whimsical illustrations add interest and help kindle their imagination.
All in all, “My Very First Cello Method” makes learning an enjoyable experience for the very young cellist, inspiring love of playing and cultivating the child’s unique talents.
My First Steps to Playing the Cello and Understanding Music Theory
by Kathryn Schutmaat, illustrations by Beth A. DeSchamp
My Very First Cello Method, Vol. 2
This beautifully illustrated method book is the second volume of Kathryn Schutmaat’s My Very First Cello Method Beginner Book Series. As the immediate sequence to volume 1, volume 2 resumes with the important first steps to learning the cello.
New techniques are covered such as the extended positions (backward and forward) on all the strings, the fourth and second positions on the A and D strings, along with scales, arpeggios, and broken thirds in the new positions. It must be noted that learning new positions early on assures that the student will go beyond the limited first position, thus being able to play a wider range of repertoire as well as mastering the ability to shift smoothly from one position to another.
Skills such as new left hand finger placement and bowing techniques are achieved in a progressive way using fun duets, rounds, solo pieces, and exercises for left hand dexterity. This method book contains ten etudes, a variety of thirty songs and solo pieces, and music theory lessons throughout. Additionally, thirteen duets and three rounds encourage ensemble playing with the teacher and other students, and may also be used in group instruction.
As with volume 1 of “My Very First Cello Method”, volume 2’s most important objective is for children of all ages to develop their love of playing while becoming skilled musicians.
My Very First Cello Method, Vol. 3
In this third volume of My Very First Cello Method Beginner Book Series, positions ranging from the half to the fourth on all strings with their corresponding extensions, as well as the half-string harmonics, are presented. These latest techniques are mastered through scales, arpeggios, broken thirds, exercises, etudes, and numerous solo pieces in the new positions.
Whereas volume 2 introduces the musical dynamics, volume 3 acquaints the student with the various Tempi such as Allegro and Andante among others. Lovely illustrations depict emotions which affect the character and mood of the piece, in addition to setting the Tempo or speed in which it should be played.
Many pieces containing wonderful well known melodies which were initially composed for the symphony orchestra, the piano, or other various solo instruments, are modified for solo cello. Technical difficulties in these adaptations are suitable to the level of competence that the student is at this time achieving. Supplementary material such as Cello Duets, by the same author, provides the accompaniment parts to the pieces in volume 3, and is intended to be used together with the method instruction book for individual lessons or in group classes.
On a par with volumes 1 and 2, volume 3 of this series is outstanding and unique. A rich variety of beautiful music will both heighten the student’s passion for the cello and enhance his or her overall musicianship.
"....An innovative method specially designed for the unique techniques and finger patterns of the cello."
My Very First Cello Method: Vol. 1
"My daughter just started taking cello lessons this year and needed a book that gave her more theory and practice exercises for techniques she is learning. This book is a perfect supplement to Sassmannshaus Early start on the Cello volume 1."