Teaching

Comprehensive Training I believe technique is inseparable from artistic expression. On the one hand, I help my students to get fluent with cello technique at an early stage by drilling on scales and arpeggios, and working on specific studies, etudes, and technical exercises created by myself.  On the other hand, I encourage and challenge my students to play musically and enjoy what they play on the cello, rather than becoming ‘mechanical’ players.  Equally important is musicianship and ear-training in my teaching.  It is my top priority to help students develop a strong sense of pitch and rhythm, as they learn to play with precision in intonation, good tone quality and accurate rhythm.  Good cello technique,  musicianship, and artistic expression are indispensable from each other.


Injury-free Cello Playing One of my key goals when working with cello students is to teach them to understand how their bodies work naturally without unnecessary physical tension in playing the cello.  Finding the natural arm weight when bowing, non-squeezed bow hold, anticipated position change and beautiful yet non-forced vibrato, are among things I work with my students regularly.  I also guide students on how to practice efficiently to avoid overuse injury, focusing on quality rather than quantity and regularity rather than length of practice.

Nurture Critical Thinking  Rather than finding solutions for them, I encourage my students to ask themselves questions, as well as develop and mature their own ideas/interpretations in music or other fields.  It is important that students learn to think critically, independently and solve problems individually.  Students always have very creative ideas if you treasure them.  I guide them to put what they have in mind onto the music.  After all, it is their own interpretation of the pieces they play, and not mine. I see my role more as a coach than a lecturer, who guides my students to the right direction without doing the work for them.  Ultimately, I help them teach themselves.

Personalized Education  I believe in the importance of looking at each student’s personal goals and career aspirations in order to best tailor my teaching approach to fit their individual needs.  I want to help developing musicians to discover where their true passions lie and guide them to work toward their goal steps by steps.  I want to be friend with my students.  A teacher for me is like an honest friend who will tell the students what is right as well as what is not right directly and with little reservation.  Also, it is important that we motivate and guide our students like a friend.  In this ever-changing world of professional music, positive thinking helps them face various new challenges under teachers' guidance. 

From my personal experience, I have the privileges to benefit from some of the most inspiring teachers that create who I am right now.  What I love to do is to share the great things I learned with my students, passing the tradition to the next generation of talents.

Contact me if you are interested in taking virtual (Zoom, Skype or Google Hangout) cello lessons.  I am available for guest masterclass, lecture and workshop sessions as well.

© 2020 by Ka-Wai Yu

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