A passionate teacher,
Glenna made her first forays into cello teaching at the age of 11. Since establishing her Rochester private studio in 2013, she has become sought-after throughout the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes regions, and was was appointed in 2018 to the faculties of Hobart & William Smith Colleges and St. Peter's Community Arts Academy in Geneva, NY.
Every inch of the experience and age spectrum is represented among Glenna's students; her current students range from 5 to 75 years of age, from complete beginners with no previous musical experience to advanced, semi-professional players.
Glenna feels that making music is a profound way to appreciate and to participate in the shared human experience. She hopes, above all, to instill her students with a sense of joy and freedom when playing the instrument, to create a sense of community within her studio, and to help her students connect with their own communities by sharing their gifts.
"A solid technical foundation is essential. I spend a great deal of time helping my students work toward building ergonomic, healthy form and positioning. I prioritize injury prevention and often incorporate elements of Yoga and Alexander Technique to help students understand how to use key muscle groups efficiently and release tension. With a solid technical foundation, we have access to the freedom and mobility that makes playing the cello a joy.
I am privileged to have studied with some of the music world's most respected teachers and performers, including Alan Harris, Catharina Meints, Amir Eldan, Richard Aaron, and Steven Doane. These exceptional musicians have not only taught me how to play the cello, but they have taught me how to teach-- and I am so grateful to be able draw from this rich pool of musical viewpoints and teaching styles. With this background, I am able to help my students cultivate a clear and detailed understanding of the mechanics of cello playing, and ultimately to become resourceful problem solvers in their own individual practice. A cellist of any experience level can develop healthy, effective technique and enjoy making music.”
“The study of music must go beyond solitary practice. I frequently stress the importance of a structured, daily practice routine, but I also believe that the ability to connect with others through music making is the ultimate joy of playing an instrument. I encourage my students to pursue ensemble opportunities, and offer weekly cello ensemble and technique classes as a supplement to private instruction.
I create as many opportunities as possible for my students to get together and play for each other, including studio recitals, studio gatherings, and outreach performances at nursing homes and other locations. These events not only give students the opportunity to hone collaborative skills and learn from each other, but they also teach these developing performers that they can share something positive with their community.”
“Every student learns differently. My goal is to discover and understand the core of each student’s unique learning style; I will communicate each concept in as many ways as necessary. Beyond demonstrating and having students mimic, I frequently use metaphors, visualization, and movement to foster in-depth comprehension. Cello ensemble meetings often include exercises in eurythmics (the study of feeling rhythm with the body) and ear training (using singing exercises to develop listening skills) to build musicianship skills away from the instrument.”
“Historical context makes learning more meaningful. I am pleased to offer a unique perspective as a teacher who also specializes in "historically informed performance"-- or, the exploration of how to play music the way it was played at the time it was written. Simply put, musicians two or three hundred years ago played music differently from musicians today. Though this is not the only lens through which I teach my students, it certainly opens up a remarkable path toward making music that truly lives and breathes.”