THE MODERN ACOUSTIC CELLO
We've seen over and over that student success is closely tied to the quality of their instruction and the quality of their cello. Each stage of their learning will require new skills and better cellos to master those techniques. A cello concerto is a much different type of music compared to a simple song such as Twinkle Little Star. We are dismayed at the number of students suffering with cheap, $250 plywood cellos that have a poor sound and are difficult to play. That difficulty causes many students to develop techniques for coping with how hard these cellos are to play, instead of developing correct techniques they will need as they progress. Your string specialist takes the time to insure that critical details such as the sound post position, the bridge shape and thickness, the fingerboard's shape and contour and pegs are all aligned and "setup" correctly. We expect the cello to play its best so the student can achieve his/her full potential.
Cellos can be rented or purchased, although rentals are typically beginner instruments. Some cellos are small enough for very young players, even as young as 4. As the student grows in both stature and skill there will be new cellos each step of the way. Many specialists offer generous trade in policies, so always ask what options for trade ins are offered. We've developed a system to help you identify the right instrument for your student's playing level below:
EXPLORER CELLO OUTFITS: $999-$1799 years 1 & 2
For the new player this level will offer a good playing cello with decent strings and expert setup. Typically students will use a rental instrument at this level, or in some cases purchase one. These are fully carved cellos with good strings, real wood bows (never fiberglass) and sturdy covers (soft cases). These outfits are complete with bow, rosin and cover (case).
PROTEGE CELLOS: $2000-$3500 years 3 to 5
This level of cello provides the intermediate cellist the opportunity to dig deep and discover what a cello can really do. With excellent wood selection and good quality strings these cellos will help the cello student excel at auditions and explore more complex music. This level is also a common choice for the discerning adult beginner or intermediate desiring a nice cello with complexity to the tone. Typically this is the price range where cellos from Europe start, both new and old.
SOLOIST CELLOS: $4000-$6000 advanced student
At the soloist level the advanced student is exploring serious cello concertos and performing among the top of his or her peers. High quality woods and the finest strings allow for powerful, rich sounding cellos. New cellos in this range will be among the finest available from multi-worker workshops. Many students will find this a suitable level for most competitions but may need the next level for college auditions.
CONSERVATORY CELLOS: $6000-$10,000 college bound
The cellos in this range will be what are chosen by the cellist headed for college and conservatory auditions. Truly remarkable tone and workmanship will allow the soon-to-be music major secure his or her place in the college studio. Fine old cellos are in this group although high demand can mean that there are fewer available.
MAKER'S CELLOS: $10,000 and up Professional
Every professional dreams of owning a cello made from start to finish by one master luthier (instrument maker). Cellos in this range are typically the final instrument for the professional and many fine old cellos are also available in this price range. An appointment is recommended.