cello info

History and Information

The cello (short for violoncello) is a bowed stringed instrument that originated in Europe (probably in the area that is now Italy) around the late 17th century. It is the largest member of the violin family. There is an extensive repertoire for the cello, encompassing almost every genre of music.

When to Start

Students can start cello lessons around age 7, depending on a their dexterity and fine motor skills. Some students choose to start on the violin or viola, since these instruments can accommodate a slightly smaller hand size, and switch to the cello later. The cello requires a certain amount of care, as both the instrument and the bow are fragile. Most instructors will incorporate reading music into their lessons, so students should know at least some reading and counting fundamentals.

Getting a Cello

There are many brands and models of cello available for rent or purchase. For young students, you may want to consider renting instruments for two reasons: 1) they will most likely grow out of instruments quickly and 2) they may lose interest (although we hope they don’t!). Most stores provide repair services for instruments that they rent out. We can give you recommendations for places near you to buy or rent your cello. Please contact us, and be sure to include your location!

[Please note: A used cello is not necessarily inferior to a new one. In fact, older instruments will often be easier to play and have a better sound quality. Watch out for any large cracks or open seams, but most wear and tear due to age will not affect the playability or sound of the instrument.]

Books and Supplies

Your instructor can tell you which books and supplies are appropriate. Most books and many supplies, including strings and rosin, are available online. We can recommend stores near you where you can purchase supplies and music for your cello, if you prefer to do so in person. Please contact us, and again, remember to tell us where you live!

**Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. We can help provide you with additional resources.**

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