What Martha has to say about herself as a teacher:
I am a Park Slope "neighborhood" cello teacher and chamber music coach. My music studio, "Martha's Music Studio" is forever filled with the sounds of persevering music students striving to create beauty.
I teach anyone who shares the passion for cello (or violin, or chamber music). I tend to attract many adults who always wanted to play the cello, but postponed it, and finally decided it's "now or never". Similarly, I teach a number of adults who played through adolescence, but quit, and now want to "return" to playing. I've been teaching since I was a teen-ager, and fortunately, multiple decades later, I'm still cherishing every student, every moment of music making. I hear musicality in all of my students and strive to help them express it.
I truly appreciate all efforts to produce sound. I am never bored or impatient! My approach to my students is informal, unpressured and encouraging. I play with my students all the time, creating occasions for performance and giving my students contexts for taking pride in their musical achievements. I feel that playing should not be an isolating experience but something to be shared. I organize groups every year: beginner and advanced kids; beginner, intermediate and advanced adults. I provide an opportunity for my students to socialize with each other, as well. I have a large library of group cello music as well as chamber music for different combinations of instruments, and I form groups and coach them.
I am sensitive to the musical tastes of my students and try to cater to them. Most are very happy with Alwin Schroeder Foundation Studies, Carl Schroder Violoncello Method and the Suzuki Books. Others are also interested in folk or pop-Disney movie music, The Lord of the Rings, Beatles Songs, various ethnic music or personal favorites. It is a joyous moment when a student is ready to begin their study of the Bach Unaccompanied Cello Suites!
I encourage students to figure out songs they know by ear, on the cello. Sometimes, if a student is interested, we improvise together and even compose! I teach basic music theory: the Circle of 5ths, intervals and ear training. In my teaching, through the use of playful games, I am able to help students "sharpen" their listening and memorization skills.
Every June, I hold a "gathering" of my students at a neighborhood church, to give them an opportunity to share with each other and their loved ones. Children and adults alike, appreciate the relaxed and uncompetitive atmosphere I create by giving students an opportunity to play a piece again if they feel they can perform it better. My students tell me that this opportunity relaxes them.
Most of my students rent instruments for the first year or so, particularly smaller kids who are not yet big enough for a full sized (4/4) cello. Once a student is interested in buying, I recommend many good "dealers", and sometimes I will even accompany students to help them select one.
If what you read above interests you, or if you or your child has been thinking about taking cello lessons or if you would like to be coached in chamber music on an instrument that you already play, do not hesitate to contact me. I'd love to discuss the possibilities with you. My rates are extremely reasonable, as you will learn when you contact me.
I also want to add that I am an avid chamber music player myself, and if you're looking for music for an event/reception/party/wedding, I can easily put together an ensemble that would fit your needs! (String Quartet/Trio/with winds, etc.)
Thanks for reading my website. Hope to hear from you soon, to welcome you to Martha's Music Studio!!