Learning to play an instrument can be one of the most fulfilling things a person can do – at any age.  I am continually honored to work with children and adults as they either begin or rediscover the wondrous adventure that is playing the cello!


I teach beginning and intermediate students starting as young as 6 using the Suzuki curriculum.  While I use the Suzuki books as a curricular foundation, I don’t use an exclusively Suzuki approach to teaching cello.  Young cellists will get exposure to Suzuki’s curated content in addition to other standard cello pieces in the traditional classical cannon.  Also, I encourage children to share favorite non-classical songs in an attempt to reinforce skills classical pieces introduce.  Playing popular music also helps us to harness some of the natural enthusiasm that we experience when we can play our favorite pieces.

Playing by Ear

Playing by ear is an important part of my pedagogy.  While reading music is a foundational skill of playing any instrument, I believe it is just as important to develop a student’s ability to relate and participate with music or other musicians that he or she identifies with.  The only way to do that is to develop “playing by ear” skills that remove the teacher/sheet music barrier from the student and the music that moves them.


More than half of my students are adults that have never played the cello before or have just picked it up again after many years.  These students find that the time they designate to lessons and practicing acts as an amazing stress reliever and cultivates for them an investment, improvement, and engagement that often alludes them in their busy day at work and/or as parents.

All in all, the cello is a particularly human-like instrument that gives each student an opportunity to develop an unique but communal voice that is rooted equally in the individuality of their own experience and the tradition of music in our world.

If you are interested in taking cello lessons, contact me at 404/574-9085 or cello@okoriejohnson.net.