Our Cello Teacher

Introducing Ms. Andrea!


Her strength is in her communication skills between students, parents & administration. We are thankful for her commitment over the past 10 years. - Kim Steedman, Co-Director of MMW

She shares her gift of 'calm' with everyone around her.  It's soothing and comforting in a world full of busyness.  - Shelley Yakubow, Co-Director of MMW

Tell us about your musical journey:

Firstly, my musical journey started at the age of 11.  That is when I immediately fell in love with music and decided I wanted to become a musician.

Then in middle school & high school, I started lessons and played in orchestras.

Secondly, In college, I realized I wanted to go into teaching and started giving music lessons. At that time I had just a few cello students.  However, it was enough to make me see that I wanted to do this as a career. That was back in 2009, and I've been teaching lessons ever since.

Lastly, I graduated with a master's degree from ASU in 2017.

Thankfully, I love my music teaching career and definitely feel like I made the right choice.  Since then I've devoted all my time to teaching.

Ms. Andrea playing cello at age 20.
Ms. Andrea playing cello at age 20.

Why the cello?

There was a shortage of cellists in our school orchestra so instead of violin, my teacher suggested I try the cello. It was a big instrument for me at the age of 11 but I thought it would make me grow big and strong if I had to carry it to school every day!

What is a fun fact about the cello?

Interestingly early cellos were made without the endpin (thin metal stick at the bottom of the instrument). Instead, the cellist had to sit bow-legged and cradle the instrument with their legs as they played.

What is your teaching philosophy?

The best word to describe my teaching philosophy is: empowerment.

I want my students to feel confident in their skill sets and have the tools to tackle new material without fear or anxiety. As one of my professors put it: "your goal is to teach yourself out of a job." Therefore it shifts the focus entirely on the student and their personal growth rather than measuring their success against a curriculum.

My ultimate goal is to help the student grow as an individual-- a more confident, capable, artistic version of themselves.  So the goal is for my students to come out of their lessons thinking "I can do this."

What is your teaching style?

Classical music training is my primary education.  So definitely my lessons reflect that.  Therefore I implement lesson warm-ups, technique work, solo work, and theory.

I believe a structured environment and routine help students maintain focus.

I believe the best approach to any age group is to build upon the information they already know.

Plus even if they are brand new to music, they may have experience in other fields such as dance or sports where they have shown discipline and commitment. Building upon these skills means having a foundation where the student has already demonstrated their skills to achieve a goal.  Therefore it helps build their confidence in a new field such as music.

In addition to cello let's not forget you are an amazing piano teacher. Tell us more:

Thank you, yes I teach piano to beginner students ages 10 and under.  Thus I mainly use the curriculums: Alfred's Music for Little Mozart series and the Alfred Prep Course.
I love teaching this age group because they get to experience piano for the first time, learn notes, and gain a basic understanding of some music theory.
Working with younger students always challenges me to come up with different ways to present information and keep students engaged and interested. Thereby my lessons do include games and exploration.

The highlight of teaching?

The best part about teaching is helping my students achieve a goal. Witnessing their smiles and happiness when they finally have a breakthrough and succeed is absolutely the best feeling.

Plus some of my favorite memories are presenting my student with The Student of the Month awards or watching their wonderful performances during recitals.

Ms. Andrea performing with her student, Tim.

You were inspired to create a Harry Potter practice challenge. Tell us about it:

Harry Potter is my favorite book series since I was a teen. Therefore when we were brainstorming ideas for practice challenges I thought about we could use the House Cup challenge in Harry Potter. It was always such an exciting part of the book and I thought we could bring some of that excitement and magic to the studio. So we created a Harry Potter practice challenge incentive program.  We launch it every October.

Ms. Andrea with the Harry Potter Incentive Chart.

A fun fact about you?

I used to memorize pi for fun. I think I still remember up to 90 digits.

Besides playing the cello what do you do for fun?

I recently got into video gaming and learning Japanese. I am not great at either, but I try my hardest! I also love watching my favorite series on Netflix "The Great British Baking Show" (hoping I'll learn some baking tips!).


Favorite Quote

 "I think one of the great things about being a musician is that you never stop learning.”
– Yo-Yo Ma

Are you interested in lessons with Ms. Andrea?

Please call or text us 480-706-1224 for more information.