Cello Teachers are People, too…….

Tonight’s post is a considered response to some of the questions Genevieve and I have been asked about Cello Groups so far this year, and specifically about the Hallowe’en Concert date. The planning of these groups takes many months and has years of experience behind it. Also, sadly we do not live in a perfect world.
It is necessary that we have a large enough space to accommodate all the flutes and the cellos for the Halloween event. There is NO appropriate room available at QEPCCC, nor was there last year. (Last year we were grandfathered into a last additional evening at Evangel Pentecostal Church, through the goodness of the church Secretary’s heart, for our Hallowe’en Concert. It was on a group Thursday there as we were one of VERY FEW renters at Evangel. They now do NO outside rentals at all. We need, for the Halloween Concert, besides a piano, and enough space for the space greedy cellos and the flutes as well, a room where food can be served. ) The first year at QEPCCC we were specifically forbidden to bring any food of any sort for any reason into the facility. No potlucks were permitted. Tea and cookies were not permitted. TIMBITS after group class as a treat were not permitted. Teachers were even told they could not bring brown bag lunches or Starbuck’s, Tim’s or even HOMEMADE COFFEES, as the Cafe, C. J. ‘s, was to have a complete monopoly. We were forced by the policy to spend nearly $400 on our Spring Concert refreshments from C. J. ‘s. You may recall people were resentful at being asked to pay, the food was mediocre at best and I personally made up a shortfall of more than $100, from my pocket. (and people were annoyed at ME, asking why they had to pay…..)
This is just one among the many reasons we declined to use QEPCCC this year. When we were attempting to set the Cello Halloween Concert date, this year, our first choice was St Paul’s, in the Sanctuary- on a group Thursday, similar to the Evangel format we used to have. But, St Paul’s rents out to many many many diverse groups which is part of its appeal. Thursdays the sanctuary is fully booked by St Paul’s own choir.
We even took another look at QEPCCC as a last resort, but the room we used there (that we had our Spring Concert in) is never available, on ANY weeknight, until later in the evening-too late for us. Also, the flutes are accustomed to a Monday Group and for several years have accommodated the cellos by coming Thursdays. We took weeks trying to work out the best situation for us all. Amber wiil be moving her private teaching to accommodate the Monday concert. Another big issue this year is that Hallloween, itself, is on a THURSDAY! Another logistical problem! Can you begin to see that it might be VERY discouraging to Genevieve and myself to be given a hard time about things like the fact that the concert for Halloween is on a Monday? We are not trying to inconvenience you. We are doing our best!!
People. We work very hard to set up and run your cello groups. It is a HUGE undertaking. These groups are excellent. Cello is more difficult to teach in a group than either flute or violin. ( I will not go into detail here, but trust us on that!) We put the Schedule out in JULY so you will have plenty of time to make arrangements. We only require attendance at 4 concerts each year, and do not randomly add in extra events all the time. We plan the concerts carefully both logistically and pedogogically. We give many MONTHS of notice. This is so that people will not feel overwhelmed and can plan ahead!
It is disheartening to be criticized about which night the concert is on; about which group a child is in; about what was done in a particular group. The amount of skill. planning and LOVE we put into Cello Groups could not be greater. If you do have an issue you wish to discuss, the time and place for that is by email, to Genevieve, Amber or myself. The worst possible moment is at the end of a group class when ten kids are packing up and simultaneously ten more are arriving…….
(of course, most people are very supportive. You folks are much appreciated! )
In addition, Genevieve, Amber and Jo-Anne, your cello teachers doing group class have, among the three of us, about 75 years of experience running cello groups, very extensive and specific training in the management and business side of this, and, in Genevieve’s case, a two year master’s degree in Suzuki Pedagogy. This is just GROUP CLASS experience. We also play and teach privately, of course!We are eminently qualified. Please let us do our jobs!

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4 thoughts on “Cello Teachers are People, too…….

  1. Wow.

    Deborah
    Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
    Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

  2. I’m so sorry it was necessary to post this–you are speaking obvious truths when you talk about the love, expertise & excellence put into group cello. You & Genevieve are amazing at what you do & I (& Niki!) am/are so thankful!

    Norine

  3. Thanks for all your hard work with organizing these classes and concerts-it sounds like a lot of work! You’re doing a great job!
    Gwen

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