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Clara’s Cello Talk Season 2 – Fundamental Cello Techniques

Learn how to play better by polishing your basic cello skills
Cello Factory
554 students enrolled
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Learn how to polish basic and more advanced cello techniques
Discover the common mistakes in playing cello and how to fix them
Learn how to improve position shifts by breaking the shifts in to a series of movement
Learn the different elements in a scale and how to maximize the benefits from practicing scales
Understand the concept of isolated control in playing cello

*Course conducted in Cantonese with English and Chinese subtitles*

“Clara’s Cello Talk Season 2” is suitable for cello learners of all levels and tailored to help students who want to polish their movements and improve their cello playing techniques.

In these 13 lectures, you will:

· Learn how to polish basic and fundamental techniques for playing cello;

· Understand the reasons behind common mistakes for right and left hands, mainly focus on

  1.     The secret of crossing strings;

  2.     Position shift with the arm;

  3.     The fingers’ role in sliding movement;

  4.     Key points for practicing scales; and

  5.     The importance of isolated control.

· Know how to fix common problems and improve your cello playing skills.

About Cellist Clara Tsang

Clara Tsang graduated from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), majoring in Music (Cello Performance). She had studied under different cellists, including Richard Bamping and Professor Ray Wang, and attended master classes held by late Timothy Landauer, Martin Menking, Gerhard lberer and Mario Brunello, and had private lessons with Natalie Gutman, Bion Tsang, Thomas Grossenbacher and Antonio Pleeth.

Clara’s passion and vision in bringing music to as many people as possible has led to the establishment of Cello Factory and Hong Kong Cellist Society (HKCS) in 2004. Cello Factory, where she serves as the School Principal, is a music school that offers music education for string and other instruments and for ensemble musicianship. On the other hand, HKCS provides a platform to all musicians for music exchange and sharing and opportunities for performance; to nurture a healthy appetite for classical music; and to encourage interaction between musicians and the public.

Under the support of Forever Red Project by HKCS, she had her first Cello Recital in 2012 and started her journey of musical reflection and discovery in her annual concerts in collaboration with different media and artists in Hong Hong.  In view of her success in the local music scene, she was encouraged to explore with her music and was also invited to perform abroad. She made her first international debut in Carnegie Hall, New York in March 2014 with the Fellowship granted by the Asian Cultural Council (New York) and performed in the Faculty House at Columbia University. In 2015, she held two concerts with new concepts – a “Serendipity” encounter with modern dance and “The moment” of ground-breaking performance on music and the theory and philosophy of martial art, Wing Chun – which brought veteran dancer and martial art master to the stage to perform with the cellist. Later, she was welcomed by Shen Shu Yi Foundation to play in Shanghai and brought her concert “My Dearest” for a Taiwan Tour in 2017 by the invitation of Nicola’s Creative Agent. 2019 will mark a new milestone for Clara as she will launch a cello CD with financial support raised via crowdfunding under the theme of “Just Meet You” in hope to bring her music and passions to more audience.

Polishing basic techniques

When to have your fingers on and off the strings
  • Know the common problems in finger movement when playing two different notes

  • Understand the importance of having the fingers on and off the strings at correct time

  • Learn the correct steps of having fingers on and off strings

The secret of string crossing
  • Know the common problems found in string crossing and how to fix it

  • Understand the series of movements involved in the string crossing

  • Learn the tricks to perform crossing strings well

Open and close positions
  • Understand the difference between close and open positions

  • Know the common problems in making an open position and how to fix it

  • Learn the keys to creating good open position

Position shifts

Position shift with the arm
  • Understand how a position shift is done

  • Know the common mistakes when doing the shift and how to fix them

  • Learn how to use the arm to lead the position shift movement

The fingers’ role in sliding movement
  • Know the role of fingers for sliding in doing position shifts

  • Learn how to perform different shifts by breaking down the position shift movement

Technical slide
  • Know what technical slide is and the common problems in performing technical slides

  • Learn the tips to perform technical slides for improving pitches

Lyrical slide
  • Know what lyrical slide is and the common problems in performing lyrical slides

  • Learn the tips to perform lyrical slides that sounds beautiful

Tips on performing position shift
  • Know the different combinations of position shifts

  • Learn how to practice different position shifts

Practice with Scales

Key points for practicing scales
  • Understand the two practice foci in scale: Left hand fingering VS Right hand bowing

  • Know the common problems in practicing scales

  • Learn the steps to practicing scales

Effective practice with scales
  • Identify key practice elements for scales

  • Understand how to focus on individual element in scale practice

  • Understand how to practice using the key practice elements

Applying effective practice with scales – E major (2 octaves)
  • Understand the overall process of breaking down a scale for practice

  • Learn how to break down E major with reference to the key practice elements

  • Understand the key points of practicing scales effectively

Isolated control

Importance of isolated control - Different parts in an arm
  • Understand the importance of isolated control in different parts of an arm

  • Learn from 2 examples of non-isolated control and how to fix them

Importance of isolated control - Left and Right hand
  • Understand the importance of isolated control between right and left hands

  • Learn from an example of non-isolated control

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