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1. Holding the cello

Pat Legg’s Teaching Suggestions 1.

Put yourself in their shoes.

How do you think the pupil feels when holding the cello for the first time? What can we do to make them feel comfortable?

AIM. To have the pupil sitting with their instrument as comfortably as possible so that they can play with ease.

HOW. A possible way. Without the cello, sit the pupil on a chair.

The chair needs to be at a height so that the hips and knees are slightly falling away. Sending the weight downwards. Feel grounded.

The knees should be just over the toes for balance. 

Now place the cello between the knees with the cello slightly tilted to the right so that the A string is higher making it easier to play. 

Here is a little ditty to check that all is o.k. (Using both hands)

Tap the bridge, 

Strum the strings, 

Touch the pegs 

and Flap your wings (like a chicken) 

Rail tracks from High to low 

Check your feet, you’re Ready to go


Possible problems. If the chair is too low, the pupil will not be able to move freely up and down the cello fingerboard. Their balance will be pushed backwards. If the chair is too high the pupil will be putting too much pressure down onto the bow leading to a crushed sound. Also this will not be good for their back. The spike needs to be at a length that makes all the above factors work and this will depend on the physical shape of each individual pupil and the chair that they are sitting on.

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