BEHIND THE BLACK DOTS
COULD THIS BE YOU?
I recently inherited a gamba and love the sound, but don't know how to get started.
I've been playing the viol for 35 years, but haven't had lessons in a long time. I'd like to improve my technique so our consort rehearsals can go smoother.
I'm already a cellist and would love to learn the gamba, but there's no teacher near me.
LET ME HELP!
I’m beyond excited to announce my new online video course for learning the viola da gamba in the most fun way possible – playing duets! This most beautiful instrument (in my unbiased judgement) is also one of the most accessible to newcomers; one year of practice will open the door to the classic viol repertoire. Together, we’ll explore the magnificent music of over 4 centuries, while I give you tips and tricks to help smooth your path.
What will you get?
The one-year course is divided into 4 levels, all online so you can access any lesson and any level at any time you wish. Curious? Leave your contact details below and I'll send you the registration details.
Each level consists of:
10 duets accompanied by an in-depth lesson addressing the musical and technical challenges of that piece;
4 duets, audio and video, so that you can follow along for the sheer joy of playing;
Downloadable pdf’s for each composition for you to print out and keep;
Individual videos giving technical tips for that particular level;
At a reduced rate for all subscribers, a pdf booklet with all duets and translations covered throughout the entire course.
The course is still in development, with a launch date set for 1 November, 2022. To follow the creative process, or to be kept in the loop about how to access all lessons, leave your contact details below. I can’t wait to play duets with you!
I'm curious, but can I see a sample?
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
Her masterclasses were immediately tailored to the level of the player. They were pedagogically clear - a good mix of being strict, focused and respectful of the player’s abilities. She allows us to discover the musical line ourselves. I myself have grown through a better understanding of the underlying theory, opening my ears, which is wonderful. I can no longer just listen passively to music.
Cassandra's cello lessons are creative and inventive. She teaches me new and different ways of studying. (Her) thorough knowledge of musical theory is of added value in her lessons. This theory is laterally captured in her classes and this is enlightening, it is fun and educational.
First of all – ENORMOUS thanks for all the direction and tips you gave me. What a world has opened up! Adjusting my position and my right arm – I always knew there was more sound in my instrument, but now it’s really beginning to develop.
Even more importantly, my left hand - the changes you made released all the tension I was holding. Suddenly I’m able to play fast notes with so much more ease and relaxation.
Such valuable tips! I’m so incredibly happy!
viola da gamba
She has a huge amount of knowledge and she sure has an opinion on how to interpret a particular composition. But she never says “Play it this way.” She goes on a kind of journey with the ensemble members and together we discover different ways of playing a piece.
WHAT I HAVE TO SAY
My teaching philosophy can be summed up in one word: Why? The musical whys: What makes this particular work important, interesting, unusual? Or, conversely; Why do I find it boring, uninspiring? Why do we feel a certain way when we hear this cadence? This modulation? The technical whys: Why is this a difficult passage? Why am I missing that shift? And even more globally: Why should we learn an instrument at all? I have consciously developed a technical and analytical approach to teaching; if you can understand it, you can learn it. My aim is not to supply you the answers but rather to awaken your curiosity by posing the questions in the first place. The viola da gamba is an unusual instrument, not one that most parents would pick out for their kids. It is often an instrument that one falls in love with later in life, either from hearing a recording or from becoming interested in historical instruments. It is a bewitching sound, and there’s some good news -- it’s not the most challenging instrument you can pick up! If you’ve never played an instrument before, but are fascinated by the sound and its repertoire, I can help you master beautiful tunes within the first few months. Or if you’re a professional cellist who has just vaguely heard of the gamba, I can help you with the tricks you need to use to sound like a natural. Equally, if you’d like to learn some baroque cello technique or how to improve your continuo playing on modern cello, I can help you with that transition as well. An American who has lived in Europe since 1994, I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most renowned period instrument ensembles in the world and play an average of 80 concerts per year, ranging from solo to chamber music to full orchestra. I first started teaching when I was at Oberlin Conservatory and since then have developed a clear and focused approach; while theory and structure is of vital importance, we must never lose sight of the enjoyment of music-making.