Lessons

All of the cellos together

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 have the opportunity to work with children and adults as they either begin or rediscover the wondrous adventure that is playing the cello!

Children

I teach beginning and intermediate children starting as young 6 and work with them through 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 and exposure to Suzuki’s curated content in addition to other standard cello pieces that are in the traditional classical cannon for the instrument.

Also, I encourage children to bring in music that they like to hear so that they we can find contemporary songs that reinforce the same skills the classical pieces may 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.

Adults

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

Contact info

If you are interested in taking cello lessons, give me a call at (404) 574-9085 or email me at okorie@okoriejohnson.net.

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One thought on “Lessons

  1. Hello Mr. Okorie: I had the pleasure of attending your show this past Saturday at the West End Performing Arts Center as a guest of Ms. LaTonya. What an honor. Your talent sparked my interest to start playing again. I’m really interested in taking lessons from you, but need your assistance with locating a place to purchase or rent a Cello. Can you recommend a place? After I’ve obtained my Cello, I would then be ready to commit to lessons, hopefully we can talk real soon about pricing for lessons and other things to get started. I’m really excited about the opportunity, to pick up where I left off with my first love of playing the Cello and will do my best to follow through.
    Regards,
    Uliecia Bolton

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