2017, you are mine.

2017 planner.jpeg

But never too busy for you, friends!

2nd semester is here! It makes me want to check goal sheets and see if we are on track. I want millions of to-do lists to be sure I’m not missing anything. (It also doesn’t hurt that my online checklist shoots a unicorn across the page when I check something off the list!)

So…let’s get prepared!

As a reminder to my studio:

SIGN UP FOR YOUR GROUP CLASS.  Either repertoire or chamber music this semester – go and make some new cello pals. (I guess other instruments are ok, too.)

SHOW ME WHAT YOU CAN ROCK.  Be sure to have your 1 best thing that you improved over break to show me.

JOSHUA ROMAN MASTER CLASS.  February 18th @ 10:30am. Attendance is required.

Best day ever.jpeg


Alright 2017, let’s do this!


holiday break motivation

Me: This is our last lesson for 4 weeks – can you believe it?!
Student: Oohhh. (insert sad face here)

Colored pencilsYep, that was several students’ reactions during lessons this week. No joke.
Aren’t I a lucky gal?! Now, not every musician wakes up in the morning and thinks “I need to practice as soon as possible or the world is over.” (For me it is coffee first, and then practice.) So how to keep those cellists going over this holiday season? Answer: adult coloring pages! Here’s how it works:

Each piece/etude/scale series the student practices equals 1 small area of the coloring page. Practice French Folk Song 10 times in a row? Color 10 spaces!

Even my young adult/adult students were pumped. EVERYONE loves to color.

Here are a couple free pages that are super fun from The One and Only Colouring Book for Adults:

Coloring houses








Coloring waves








I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with!

let’s rock a new academic year!

That’s right, lessons start tomorrow! The summer speeds by so quickly. Things to contemplate before you walk in for your first 2015-2016 lesson:

  • Should I practice before I see Ms. Candace this week? (answer: yes)
  • What amazingness would I like to accomplish this year?
  • Are there any inspiring pieces I want to learn?
  • Do I have any burning questions on how to _____ that Ms. Candace can answer?
  • Did I officially register with OCM?

I can’t wait to see everyone this week! Until then, practice your headbanging to FINAL COUNTDOWN!

summer is speeding by…

Calendar…which means it is time for OCMI and registering for fall studio times! Studio families should have received an email from me to select your time for the fall if you have registered*, so please do so before July 19th!

*reserved lesson time is only valid once you have officially registered with the OCM office. If you have not done so, please do before you lose your spot!

It also means that it is time for the Coconut Latte! It’s like a tropical vacation in a cute mason jar.

Coconut latte

Monday, July 13, 2015


  • PT’s Flying Monkey Espresso
  • Whole Milk
  • Coconut Syrup
  • Sassiness from the barista


>> drinks from @accelerandoch photos by @creativecoffee, filters by afterlight, text from my favorite app ABeautifulMess App


Life is worth celebrating everyday. I know that seem like a saying that is needle-pointed on a pillow, but worthy just the same. We have been focused on feeling the small wins in our playing and practicing the last few months, but throwing a mini-party when you finally figured out vibrato or have successfully organized your closet is more than warranted. (I didn’t kill my plants yet – dance party!)

V bowhold

We have had a ton of great work on bow holds in the studio this spring! Here is one of my littles showing off her mad skills.

Birthday bikeSomeone got a birthday bike… and it’s me! Mr. Cody spoiled me rotten and has since been torturing me with long bike rides. I do see a little trek to the farmers market in my near future (tomorrow.)

Birthday flowers

A beautiful voice teacher from OCM gave me these intoxicating flowers from her garden and a serving set! She is such an inspiration to me; always finding new ways to encourage, inspire, and push her students forward. I need to channel some of her craftiness. In many ways. Students you have been warned.

Creepy dryden

It is summer! Which means the annual playing of pops concerts outside. I do love the opportunity to play some John Williams and rock a fedora and sunglasses while I play/try-to-keep-music-on-my-stand. My viola partner in crime Dryden and I are particularly good at posing for pictures.

Circle cake

There have been tons of birthdays in the studio over the past month, two of which are now driving! Seriously, how can you not be happy in the month of June? Below I have shared with you one of their birthday cakes (IT’S A CELLO!!!!) and a beautiful gift from a student who figured out how to play happy birthday. Seeing students use the tools they have acquired to learn something on their own is one of the greatest gifts. That and chocolate – never forget that.

a bit of holidays

Washi Xmas tree

We had such a wonderful holiday seasons full of Gift of Gratitude concerts and holiday cheer! Here is a little picture of our studio tree (made of washi tape) and on the ornaments are students’ favorite holiday songs.

The first strings Gift of Gratitude was so special. Students played in small groups and dedicated their piece to someone important to them. So touching.Gift 2014

We also played the Perilous Christmas game again – watch out for that cat the knocks over the Christmas tree! It makes me go back to the start every time. Perilous Christmas

Click HERE to view a festive Christmas Polka performed by Ms. Muriel, Dr. Boban and myself!

make it larger than life

WallostringsI have been trying to write this post for a long time, but it is such an odd thing to explain. But I’m tired of putting it off, so here it is: the explanation of my cello wall art installation.

Many people have complained that it is hard to remember where to put our fingers on stringed instruments and have compared a cello as harder to play than guitar because there are no frets to help them out (a fair enough discussion: guitarists are cheaters-go!) As we know everyone learns differently, then it makes sense that  just talking about how the spacing of our fingers works is not usually enough for a student to grasp the concept. So I thought, lets give them a real life version they can interact with off of their cellos! And then I thought, WAIT – let’s make it larger than life for a bigger impact! And thus the giant cello strings on my wall were born.

Surely we can agree that it is lovely to look at and entertainingly confusing when people say “you are missing a line on your staff!” but it is also functional when discussing fingergboard geography and showing when in 1st position our 2nd and 3rd fingers are not glued together as some initially pretend. Students can actually show me what they know and think about our playing in a new light.


To make this wall for your own string studio you need:

  • 4 different sizes of ribbon to represent the varying string sizes
  • mounting tack (typically used for hanging posters)
  • washi tape
  • card-stock paper


RibbonStep 1: Enlist a friend to help you cut the ribbon to the desired length and secure the ribbon to the wall with the mounting tack (four eyeballs are better than two when it comes to spacing.) I spaced my thinnest string on the right to represent my A string to allow students to see this in the same way they view me when I am modeling a passage for them.

Step 2: Once you have both ends of the four ribbons placed, I used washi tape to represent where the nut of the cello is. I spaced it almost halfway on the strings as I have a lot of little tiny cellists that can’t reach very high.

Step 3: Cut out 10 circles on card-stock to represent fingers and positions. I have a set for the A string and D string that have finger numbers on one side and letter numbers on the other, allowing for a circle to represent open strings. I did make a little pocket that I taped to the wall as well to keep the extras in when I don’t need them.

Have you seen any other interactive art installations used for educational purposes?  Wall art