all about the cello - teaching, workshops, courses and looking after yourself & your cello.

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Cellist, cello teacher, course maker, author & adjudicator

"In brief: I'm a Royal College of Music graduate. I have had a lot of variety Catherine's portrait in my career and have worked as a free-lance orchestral player, in cabaret, in a string group, with pop groups as a session musician, as an author and course creator... but first and last, I'm a teacher."

"My passion is the cello and all things to do with it. I love playing it for myself and for others. I love teaching others to share this passion, both privately and now at Chichester Uni."

"I've recently started ajudicating at festivals, such as Chichester 2010 - a different form of teaching from lessons and courses - but it's wonderful to meet & encourage all sorts of young musicians."

"I'm an author of cello books - found out more on my biography page"

My Facebook page: My current activities & pictures...

Twitter: CatherineBlack1


In 2013 I co-founded the Baroque & Roll String Orchestra with the wonderful violinist, Julia Bishop of Red Priest.

We have some big ideas growing from our small beginnings in training string players from 8 - 15years in the Baroque style, here in Lewes.

My scores for cellists: 'Unsung Heroes'

'Unsung Heroes', my ensemble workshop has really hit the right note for cellists of all levels. I therefore moved into in-house publication - my volume of Unsung Heroes being published in 2009.

covers of unsung heroes book vol1

The collection contains ten varied scores by Byrd, Tallis and Dowland and others. The majority are for four parts, but there are also scores for three and five parts so your group can double some parts where necessary.

There are helpful musical and technical notes on each piece. The format is very user-friendly and the scores sit well on a music stand with a good ring binding. The cover is another stunning image by Max Carrington.

This would make a brilliant present for a cellist friend. And, if you are looking for Renaissance or Baroque sheet music for your ensemble, then look no further!

You can see more details and order this book from this website right now!

I'm also released a second book in 2013.

Teaching the cello

"I teach children, teenagers and adults from very varied backgrounds & with a wide range of skill levels. Some have had learning difficulties such as dyspraxia and dyslexia. I teach all pupils how to read so they can play with others as soon as possible"

"I have found that strong technique is vital. But I also encourage my students to develop their own 'musical voice' and to use it in the way that gives them the most satisfaction."

"One pupil is combining cello playing with his circus performance and another is a folk musician. Others are playing in orchestras, chamber groups and pop groups of various kinds. I love this mixture."

There is an in-depth interview with me in which gives a really nice insight into my values and approach to the cello - do read this.

Cello workshops

The idea behind is you, the whole cellist and your development. What we offer is open to cellists of all ages and abilities.

The two workshops address your key areas of development as an instrumentalist and musician - our practice and performance. We all need to put a spotlight on what is and isn't happening both inside and outside ourselves. We don't "practice" in our lessons, nor can we really "perform" in them, but we certainly need to learn about how to develop both of these skills. Students are now returning to both of these classes.

The Practice workshops are graded according to your age and level of achievement. We have no grading system in the Performance workshop though. If you want to learn more, come!

Started in 2011: Repertoire class - focusing on playing one glorious work.

Cello Courses

There are two courses:

Unsung Heroes Cello Ensemble Course and Workshops appeal to teenagers and adults. Last year's Summer Course mixed students from the age of 13 to their 50's. At the last 1 - day workshop some had been playing for 30 years, others a matter of months. This works because the writing allows for this.

The new cellists were surprised at seeing themselves playing in an ensemble so soon. They thought it would be years before they could join a group. It is just this notion that was behind the idea: as a teacher, I wanted my students to play fabulous music as soon as possible with others. Here's the answer! Take a look at what students have said about this course on the Ensemble Page.

Inside Out aims to help primarily GCSE students with their composition skills, but has had enquiries from people just wanting to develop their writing regardless of exams.

So take a good look and if you have any questions, do get in touch with me.

'Getting the bigger picture' - performance

performance icon 1 day workshop in Lewes - discover and develop more of your presentation and performance skills. Learn how to overcome fears in a non-stressful environment, and leave with a new sense of enjoyment.

Each time this workshop is run it will be different, so you can return again and again.

'Thinking Aloud' - practice

practice icon 1 day workshop in Lewes to refresh your approaches to practising. Lewes [teens/adults long & short-term learners, children to 12 years].

'Unsung Heroes' - ensemble

ensemble icon 6 day summer course, a new 3 day Easter course & the 1 day workshops in Lewes. Wonderful Renaissance and Baroque music for a wide range of abilities.

'Inside out' - GCSE Music Composition

composition icon 2 day course for GCSE Music composition in Lewes which supplements and develops the compositional part of the examination - open to all instrumentalists.

Cello Workshop/Course Calendar

The 2017 workshops and courses are summarised here. *** GIFT VOUCHERS ***

Workshop calender 2017 with notes [PDF]

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