Ask the Teacher - Vladimir Panteleev

panteleev

The New York-based pedagogue discusses the best way to start youngsters on the cello

How do you start the learning process?

Beginning a stringed instrument is very complicated, especially for children as young as four or five. When they start, I tell them that they are like magicians in the circus: they have to juggle position, left hand, right hand, drawing the bow, pitch, dynamics and phrasing all at once. It’s a big challenge, so we go step by step.

Firstly I show them how to sit properly and I explain why. I say that if they are talented they will be able to play well with bad posture, but soon they will have problems and won’t be able to progress. Some children can’t – or don’t want to – remember this, so I have to keep helping them to hold their bodies in the right position.

I tell all my students to think about what I say. If they can prove they have found a better way of doing something, I will let them do it.

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.

 

* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.