My studies and adventures in music education influence how I approach working with younger orchestras. When rehearsing with students, I prioritize sharing skills and concepts that can be applied throughout their playing and in their lives beyond. My ensemble experience includes:
- Guest Conductor for multiple professional and university symphony orchestras
- Conductor, Andrews University Symphony (2018-2022); Assistant Conductor, Northwestern University Chamber Orchestra (2016-18); Assistant Conductor, Peninsula Music Festival (2018)
- Conductor, Music Festival orchestra at Andrews University (students from throughout the Midwest, 2020)
- Previous chamber music faculty (string quartet coach) at Midwest Young Artists in Highwood, Illinois
- Orchestra Director for grades 6-12 string and symphonic orchestra students in DeKalb, Illinois (2007-14)
- Director and Arranger of music, DeKalb High School String Band; Assistant Artistic Director, Saline Fiddlers (alternative styles performance groups)
- Cello Sectional Coach for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra
- Trained in multiple approaches to rehearsing ensembles (eg. participant for WMEA workshop "Comprehensive Musicianship Through Performance;" conducting apprentice, Civic Orchestra of Chicago)
Private Cello Instruction
I have more than a decade of experience teaching cellists of all ages and abilities, from beginners to emerging professionals. My pre-college cello students' accomplishments have included Steinway Young Artist designations and membership in the Illinois All-State Honors Orchestra. I have taught advanced college music majors at the University of Notre Dame and Andrews University, and have given Master Classes at multiple institutions. Components of my teaching philosophy and strategies include:
- Using universally-recognized teaching materials for developing students, including Suzuki Method repertoire and etudes by Popper, Piatti, Dotzauer, Sevcik, Mooney, etc.
- Creating customized technical strategies for each student's needs, including using my self-published technique books
- Comprehensive approaches to performing traditional cello repertoire, including familiarity with multiple styles and periods
- Documenting lessons so that students can set and keep track of their goals and my suggestions on an ongoing basis, while also identifying long term goals
- Supplementing solo studies with chamber music experiences, including playing duets with cello and/or piano, cello choirs, and public performances
- Finding and arranging music in any style, as desired, to provide students with relevant and practical experiences
- Additional skill studies may include focusing on orchestral audition excerpts, repertoire in contemporary styles, or improvisation
I had the pleasure of studying for five years with one of the greatest cellists of the 20th Century, Erling Blöndal Bengtsson. My teaching is also informed from having studied privately or in master classes with some of the world's greatest cellists and pedagogues, including Richard Aaron, Alan Harris, Aldo Parisot, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Lucas Fels, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Desmond Hoebig, Shauna Rolston, Amanda Forsyth, Andrew Pearce, Yehuda Hanani & Eric Wilson.
In addition to private lessons in South Bend and Indianapolis, I have significant experience teaching cello and conducting lessons online using Zoom and high-definition audio and video technology.
For more information, contact Chris!