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.

You are moments away from reading great content from The Strad

Sign up for free

Already registered? Please sign in

As a registered user you’ll be able to:

  • Read more great online content
  • Sign up to our weekly newsletters
  • Add your voice by commenting on articles
  • Hear about the latest offers from The Strad Shop

 

Alternatively, subscribe and get access to all premium content.