Change your life with the cello!

The Christchurch School of Music is one of New Zealand’s greatest musical treasures, and we’re on the hunt for some new cello students – no matter your age or experience! We are taking 2024 enrolments now. Is it time to change yours or your child’s life with music in 2024?

Cello: One of the most versatile of the string instruments!

Because of it’s middling range, the cello lives in the richest and most warm areas in music. The cello is also one of the most versatile of the string instruments, able to play really squeaky high, and yet just a moment later, sink down into a depths and cause the room to vibrate with its lowest notes.

7 Reasons Why You Should Learn the Cello

Playing cello is one of those hobbies and professions that when mastered, looks really cool and gives you rock star status. 

Here are the top reasons why you should play the cello and what playing the cello can do for you. If you were wondering what makes the cello an amazing instrument to play, you have come to the right place!

You'll become smarter

String players have always had a reputation for being smart. Einstein played the violin and many other highly intelligent people either play or grew up playing a string instrument. However, recent research has shown that playing cello does, in fact, increase mental flexibility and “brain plasticity,” developing brains both larger in volume and with heightened mechanisms of use.

In fact, a new study from Boston Children’s Hospital found “a correlation between musical training and improved executive function in both children and adults. Previous studies have identified a link between musical training and cognitive abilities, but few have looked specifically at the effects of early musical training on executive function.”

On top of the hard connections in your brain, you also develop your muscle memory in general. Let’s not forget that playing cello includes a lot of fine motor skills which are crucial to a good performance and technique.

You'll Become more Focused

Are you easily distracted? Tried meditation and it didn’t work? Well learning to play the cello can actually help you become better focused. You quickly build focus when you have to keep repeating a section during practice to make sure it is in tune and played with the metronome.

This never ends either. Once you’ve mastered one piece, you are on to the next piece meaning you constantly get better at focus. Once you have mastered the basic techniques as well, there are many more advanced techniques to learn.

Maintaining a consistent practice routine also builds up your discipline. Once you set a goal of being able to perform by a certain date you will focus on preparing for that performance and in turn become a more disciplined person.

You'll become cooler (trust us)

When others hear you playing the cello they will awe at your performance.

The cello is used in many rock bands and grabbing an electric cello will only amplify (pun intended) the cool factor.

Wouldn’t you like to be these guys?!

You'll have lots of solo options

The cello has a rich repertoire of music that all cellists enjoy playing! Arguably the most famous and important cello pieces are Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for Cello. Edward Elgar wrote the Cello Concerto. Antonio Vivaldi also wrote 25 cello concerti. The most famous sonatas for cello and piano were written by Ludwig von Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, Sergi Rachmaninoff, Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergi Prokofiev, Francis Poulenc, and Benjamin Britten. Another favorite piece for the cello is The Swan, from The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Seans.

While the cello does not have quite as many solo options as the violin, the amount of repertoire is still large enough that you should find something you enjoy playing.

Escape reality for a while

Playing the cello allows you to escape the regular world while practicing or in rehearsal. If you have had a bad day, the cello can be very therapeutic; you can play any song that you are really good at and soon enough you will feel like you can take on the world again.

Sitting in orchestra rehearsal, focusing only on the music and blending your music with the music around you, can be a wonderful form of meditation. You soon forget about all the worries in your busy life for a few hours and let the music consume you.

Many people who play feel a positive influence from the instrument on the rest of their life. They feel uplifted psychologically and spiritually by the cello. Playing brings the mind and the body together in a strengthening way.

You can make it a profession

Imagine being able to live comfortably by playing cello. While becoming a famous cellist like Yo-Yo Ma or being principal of the New York Philharmonic is highly unlikely, you can still take on a career as a cellist.

Many cities have minor professional orchestras that are not as competitive as the major orchestras and they still pay. In addition, you can become a private music teacher instructing students in learning to play the cello.

If being a full-time cellist is not for you, you can always play for gigs. Weddings and other events often hire quartets to play. You can make some great money from these gigs and you sometimes get free food!

Meet & make lifelong friends

One of the best parts about playing the cello is that you meet lifelong friends who share a common interest. From your stand partner in high school to that violinist you played a gig with, as a cellist you have so many opportunities to build close relationships with those around you.

No matter where life leads you, these friends will always have cello and orchestra in common with you. Years down the road, you can still reminisce about all the orchestra memories you share.

Even if you don’t make best friends for life, you are bound to meet a lot of great people who share the same interests as you do.

the bottom line

Playing cello requires a lot of things, but that initial step is the most important. Many people are intimidated by skilled cello players capable of playing orchestral solos in front of audiences of thousands. Putting that fear and anxiety aside is the key. Once you take the plunge, you learn that it is not all that grim and that hard work pays off in this business.

Staying committed brings rewards. What is important is to give it a shot since many find their true passion this way. We hope you’ve learned something new today and will give the cello a shot.

Private Lessons

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Already play an instrument and want to start performing in a group? Join one of our 25+ ensemble classes.

About The Christchurch School of Music

Tens of thousands of Christchurch children and adults have learned to love and appreciate music at CSM. CSM is a place where the whole family can learn music in the same place at the same time! We also offer a wide range of orchestras, ensembles and performing groups for all ages and abilities.

CSM is a not-for-profit organisation with a strong focus on community. On a Saturday morning the whole family can find something musical to match their interests and abilities. Preschool children can begin their musical journey by joining in our experiential “Take Off with Music” while older children and adults may opt for group or individual lessons on a specific instrument (including voice). Those who already play are welcome to join in one of our fabulous ensembles or choirs. If Saturdays aren’t an option for you or your family, CSM also offers a range of weekday opportunities for learning and playing music.

The variety at CSM is not limited to the selection of instruments and teachers, but includes a wide range of musical styles. For those with an interest in classical music our graded orchestras are the perfect choice. The family oriented concert band plays a vast selection including classical, show tunes, folk music and popular songs that everyone will recognise. Explore our website further to fi

“A great Christchurch institution. Well organised and a wonderful place to learn to play an instrument at any age. I wouldn’t be as passionate about music without the outstanding support, teaching and joy that CSM provides!

Joleen Cherry

Cello Lessons starting from


per lesson*

*Based on a 20 minute private lesson, for 16 lessons. Prices vary from lowest (group lessons) to highest (60 minute private lessons). Let us know when you enquire to enrol what your budget is and we can help find the best lesson structure for you or your child.

Ensemble rehearsals starting from


per semester

Junior Symphony Orchesta / Intermediate Symphony Orchestra / Sinfonia / Stringendo / UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra / Camerata Strings / Chamber Music / Concert Band

Filling out the enrolment form does not immediately lock you in to cello lessons – we will contact you to discuss your enrolment and aid in picking what lesson types suit you or your child best. Want to chat with us before filling out the form?


(03) 366 1711

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