The cello is both fascinating and intimidating. It’s bigger than a violin and the sound it produces is lower. For children however, their fascination with any musical instrument begins with sight. I remember years ago when as a child I saw a concert where a cello solo was featured. The sounds the cello made were deep and melodious.
But that wasn’t the first thing I noticed. I recall thinking how gigantic the cello looked compared to the teeny tiny violin. I also remember thinking how much “stronger” it looked versus the violin. These first few observations sparked in me my interest and desire to learn more about the cello.
As a parent I have tried sparking the same interest in my children and students. Over the years I have noticed that children are easily entranced by anything that makes a sound or looks new to them. To children, the cello probably looks like an oversized guitar played vertically. Fascination starts when they see how the bow is needed in order to produce sound. Once interest is cultivated in a child, it is easier to start teaching since the instrument can now hold the child’s attention.
Just like the violin, good posture is needed when playing the cello. It is easier to teach beginners and young children correct posture and positioning as they have not yet picked up bad habits which can be very hard to break when it has set in. Note reading and correct finger positions in the fingerboards are also cultivated in order to produce the correct sound. There are also bowing techniques which will have to be mastered in order to learn how to play the cello properly.
Young children have minds like sponges. It is very easy to fill up this sponge with knowledge. What is most difficult in children is holding their interest. This is why cello lessons for kids have to be fun and fascinating. A child who does not have fun while learning the cello is a difficult student to teach.
The easiest way to determine if your child is interested in learning the cello is to talk to him or her directly. Make him understand that cello lessons need commitment and that he will have to practice daily in order to become a good cello player. There is also no exact age on when to start cello or music lessons for your child. So observe your child. If you feel that she is ready then have the talk.
Once your child has committed to learning the cello or any other musical instrument make sure that he will have your support. Children get discouraged too and will need you to cheer them on from time to time. Make sure that they get all the support and praise they need as this will help them persevere and improve.
Finally, never force your child to learn the cello or any other instrument. Your child has to find joy in learning the cello. It should be enjoyable and fun. Music should never be a chore or something that he has to do in order to please the parents. The joy in learning cello and musical instruments should be because you want to learn and find pleasure in learning.