Suzuki Cello Education Method

Private Cello Lessons

I teach cello using the principles of the Suzuki method.* Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese violinist, realized more than 50 years ago that he could apply the principles that children used to learn a language to the art of learning music. He developed what we now know as the Suzuki Method

I have chosen to use this method in my studio because it integrates so much more than music instruction; things which I believe are important to the study of being human, such as loving encouragement, deliberate practice of skills, positive relationships with music, among others. Read below to learn more!

Private lessons a la carte: Beginners or more advanced students may need lessons more or less frequently than once a week. Contact me to discuss.

*Note: people often confuse the Suzuki Method with the Suzuki Repertoire, published by Alfred music in 10 volumes. Though I typically use the Suzuki repertoire as my curriculum, its principles can be applied to any music a cellist wants to learn. Studying with me does not require you to take on the label of Suzuki student, though you will be learning through those means. We will take on many pieces of music outside the Suzuki repertoire, including pieces you or your student may choose.


Peter Romney

Course Fee

$100 - $200 mo.

Class Length

30 - 60 min. Weekly

Peter Romney - Suzuki Cello Teacher

Parent Involvement

Just as Mom and Dad are a child’s first teachers with language, parents are a crucial part of their children’s music education, including attending lessons and practicing during the week. I expect parents to attend private lessons with their students and take notes until such time as we agree that the student is ready to take on the responsibility themselves. Parents of very young students should also expect to receive instructions from me on basic cello techniques so they can be sure that the child is applying them correctly during practice at home.

Online practice aides also include material intended for parents on how to help their child succeed in their online music study.

Early Beginning

I have learned not to set a lower limit on the age at which a child can begin their music study. I accept private students at literally any age! We begin to learn language at birth; we are capable of beginning music study at the same moment. Early childhood (0-5) is an ideal time to train mental processes (such as focus and critical thinking) and muscle coordination with music.

Note: while this is a tenet of the Suzuki method, I also do not set an upper age limit as to when a student can start learning an instrument and find success.


Language is learned through hearing. The repetition of a word is heard hundreds of times before a child may speak it. The same is true for music: students first hear the songs, then they master the physical skills to play them.

I place very heavy emphasis on the power of repeated listening during lessons, and the same will hold true in your online study. Private students are expected to listen to recordings on a daily basis. This can be done as they are doing homework, eating breakfast, in the car, etc.

Repetition and Review

Mastery comes through repetition. When a student is learning a new skill, that skill must be repeated many, perhaps thousands of times. Each repetition can bring on new challenges, as well - by changing the way the skill is practiced, the skill is learned faster and the brain builds new pathways to learn other skills faster.

Furthermore, when a song is mastered, it must continue to be repeated. In private lessons, songs learned are collected, rather than “passed off” and should continue to be practiced regularly. This allows further mastery of the skills learned in that piece, and also allow the student a platform on which they can broaden their application of new skills as they learn them.

Positive Feedback

Generous praise and encouragement are at the core of the Suzuki method, and the benefits of such feedback, sincerely given, have been further proven. In my private studio, small improvements are met with sincere compliments and support from instructors, parents, and other students. The online video series addresses this, as well, and teaches parents on how to give sincere feedback that will encourage students to continue in their progress.

Learning With Others

I find that students learn at least as much from each other as they do from me. Participation in group playing activities, such as group classes for students enrolled in my private studio, and playing with school orchestras or community groups for online students, is highly encouraged. All students, private, semi private, and online students, have the chance to participate in group forums on this site in order to be a part of this cello community.

Graded Repetoire

Children’s language improves not because they want to pass an exam, but because they want to communicate more effectively. The same holds true with the repertoire I use in my curriculum, including the Suzuki books: the skills learned in each piece provide the means to play more advanced pieces. Repertoire is designed to stretch a student from where they are, to the next step of expression in music.

Note Reading and Other Skills

We don’t just speak, we read! It’s a part of any musician’s skill set to be able to sit in front of a new piece of music and figure out how to play it. Apart from learning songs, students will be introduced to material that teaches them how to read notes and the beginnings of music theory.

In my private studio, students learn note reading in the same manner they learn language - they hear the sounds first, then learn the technique to speak (play) them, then when they are comfortable playing them, they learn the symbols on the page that relate to those sounds. While at first this means that their reading level is not as advanced as their playing ability, the two become equal as the student advances. I have found this method very effective from beginning to advanced players.