Bantam Studios' cello program gives adult students who have never touched a cello before an opportunity to explore the styles and techniques available on this versatile instrument.   Over the seven-class curriculum, students will learn to play positions 1-4 on the cello, play with clear tone and good intonation, and learn several musical genres and the wide range of roles the cello provides in an ensemble.  This two-year course is designed to teach students the necessary skills to play in a beginner's classical ensemble, or learn how to sit in on a jam session.

Cello Beginner I
Course Level 101.1

Cello Beginner I is the first of a two-part introductory course that teaches the basic set-up and fundamentals of playing the cello. At the end of this 8-week course students will have learned how to hold their cellos, how to play with proper left hand and bow hold technique, learn the D and G major scales in first position, and make a clear and solid tone on the G, D and A strings. Students will learn Scarborough Fair and perform the piece by memory at a recital held at the end of the session.  

Techniques Covered:
D and G Major Scale, Bowing + Playing, Ear Training, Instrument Care, Bow Care, Instrument Hold, Bow Hold, How to play in time with a group.

Cello Beginner II
Course Level 101.2   

Cello Beginner II is the second of a two-part introductory course that teaches the basic set-up fundamentals of playing the cello. At the end of this 8-week course students will develop their technique of posture, holding and playing the cello, and learn the C major scale and D, G and C arpeggios, as well as Blowin’ in the Wind. This class is focused on increasing the flexibility and control of the bow as students learn bow distribution to execute notes of different lengths and expressive quality.

Techniques Covered:
C Major Scale, D, G, C arpeggios, Slurs, Introduction to Rhythm, How to Read Rhythm, Keeping Straight Bows, Having accurate left hand fingers.

Cello Intermediate    
Course Level 102.1

Cello intermediate is the first of a two-part intermediate course that introduces students to reading sheet music in bass clef and developing their ability to play classical music. Over the course of 8-weeks students will have opportunities to learn tone production and articulation in a classical style, sight-read new music, and will perform Minuet in C by J.S. Bach at the recital. This class is focused on expanding the basic technique that was built in Beginner I + II as it pertains to mastering an elegant, classical style of playing.

Techniques Covered:
Two Octave C Major Scale, Hooked notes, Slurred string crossings, Learning notes of the Bass Clef, learning how to read and play at the same time.

Cello Advanced I    
Course Level 102.2

Cello Advanced is the second of a two-part intermediate course that helps forge students’ new knowledge of reading bass clef and developing their technique and style in classical music. Students will learn how to shift into second position and execute left-hand extensions. These new techniques are developed through the Bb major scale and Bach’s Minuet no. 3.

Techniques Covered:
Bb Major Scale, Shifting into second position, left-hand extensions.

Cello Advanced II    
Course Level 103

Cello Advanced II introduces students to folk music and students will perform the traditional folk song I’ll Fly Away at the recital. Students will learn how to read charts, walk bass lines, comp, and improvise over changes. This course will focus on learning to play non-classical music and navigating chord changes as a supporting instrument. This course is also designed for students who want to join Jam Ensemble (a 104 level class) after this class. Students have the option to join Jam Ensemble after Cello Advanced II, or can continue on to Cello Advanced III where advanced classical techniques will be covered (Or both!).

Techniques Covered:
Reading and playing over chord changes, e minor two-octave scales, sight-reading, swung/shuffle rhythm, chart reading, soloing and improvising.

After Cello Advanced II, students can continue onto the following 104 level classes:

  • Cello Advanced III

  • Jam Ensemble (104+ Level)

Cello Advanced III    
Course Level 104

Cello Advanced III continues to advance classical technique and expressivity. The techniques learned in this class set students up for further development in chamber music situations. Students learn 3rd and 4th positions, advanced bow techniques, introduction to vibrato, and trills. These techniques are honed through a number of etudes (musical exercises) and the repertoire, La Cinquantaine.

Techniques Covered:
Two Octave A minor Scale, third and fourth positions, advanced bow techniques, introduction to vibrato, trills, dynamic phrasing and musicality.

After Cello Advanced III, students can continue onto the following classes:

  • Cello Super Advanced (105 Level)

  • Jam Ensemble (104+ Level)

Cello Super Advanced
Course Level 105

Cello Super Advanced is the highest level of cello techniques class offered at Bantam Studios. This class gives students the opportunity to hone the skills that they've learned in previous semesters by learning advanced repertoire and by studying advanced techniques, drills, and études. Super Advanced is set on a four-class cycle that will help students strengthen their ensemble skills and gain the confidence needed to move to a multi-instrument ensemble.

Techniques Covered:
All two octave G, A, B, C, D, E, F major and minor scales. Using third and fifth position on all four strings. Introduction to 5th position and vibrato. Complex rhythm and harmony studies.

Piece Rotation:

  1. Folk/Jazz tunes with comping and bass lines - Rotating

  2. Libertango - Astor Piazzolla

  3. 44 duets for two violins (transcribed for cello) - Bela Bartok

  4. Chamber Music for two Cellos - Various Artists (arr. Samuel Applebaum)

Students can repeat Super Advanced up to (4) four semesters and then should continue onto the following classes:

  • Chamber Strings Beginner (106 Level)

  • Jam Ensemble (104+ Level)