Expand your Cello Horizons!

Play, be inspired, get motivated, be social, love cello.

Join me to bring a fresh approach to your cello playing. Get new ideas for arranging your own music, get answers to your playing issues, and find great new music to work on. You can take a standalone course in Irish cello. You can also join the Cello Club to participate in the fortnightly Zoom call.

"Best online cello instructor ever!"

Make a new start. Join the Cello Club or take an Irish Cello course!

Director

MA (Hons) Music

Ilse de Ziah

I have run many workshops for cellists and other string players over the years and presently teach at University College Cork, conduct the Cork Light Orchestra, play contemporary 'deep listening' music with the Quiet Music Ensemble, work in theatre and play cello in many different styles, from Irish, Jazz, Rock and Roll to Classical. This has given me a broad experience of all the ways one can make a cello speak. I compose, arrange and publish music. I saw a need for quality solo pieces that are challenging but not impossible, sound great, develop technique and are perfect for performance. I wanted music for cellists, that when someone asks, "play for me, I love the cello", there is an alternative to the Prelude. (beautiful though it is!) I aim to help students improve through playing music they love, to develop technique, style and confidence.
5 star rating

EXCELLENT COURSE !!!!!

Chris Podlaskowski

Having first purchased the book and CD, I was eager to purchase the course when it became available. Ilse has done an excellent job on the tutorials. Her e...

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Having first purchased the book and CD, I was eager to purchase the course when it became available. Ilse has done an excellent job on the tutorials. Her explanations of the arrangements and demonstrations are very easy to follow. I also find the additional material such as the history of the airs to be very interesting. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in Irish Airs. FIVE STARS *****

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5 star rating

Such a great course for a wonderful music

Rasso Steinmann

Ilse’s arrangements of these wonderful airs fit extremely well for the cello. The way they are set is very cellistic, they use all registers and effects of t...

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Ilse’s arrangements of these wonderful airs fit extremely well for the cello. The way they are set is very cellistic, they use all registers and effects of the instrument and they bring the best out of it. These arrangements contain different levels of technical challenges. It’s a great repertoire for cellists with different skills from moderate to advanced, there is something for everyone. In the videos Ilse has a very charming and motivating way explaining how to play these airs, step-by-step, also with very helpful hints, how to practice technically demanding parts. This really helps to find a quick access to this nice and pieceful music. For a non-Irish musician it’s also very helpful and intersting to listen to a native musician, who grew up in this tradition, talking about this music. I don’t know any other source where these airs became arranged for cello, Ilse is probably the first. I highly reccomend this course to all cellists, who like Irish music, either for playing for their own pleasure or in sessions.

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5 star rating

Better than I anticipated

Carmen Robinson

This is the exact kind of sound and teaching style I have been searching for. Thank god for YouTube. I will finally get cello lessons-take that COVID! I'm...

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This is the exact kind of sound and teaching style I have been searching for. Thank god for YouTube. I will finally get cello lessons-take that COVID! I'm ecstatic and cannot wait to show off

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5 star rating

Eamonn a' Chnuic - Ned of the Hill

Chris Walher

The demonstrations are inspiring and very instructive

The demonstrations are inspiring and very instructive

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5 star rating

Inspiring and really useful

Carol Haynes

I started learning the cello a few years ago and early on discovered Ilse's YouTube channel. I have always had a soft spot for the haunting nature of Celti...

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I started learning the cello a few years ago and early on discovered Ilse's YouTube channel. I have always had a soft spot for the haunting nature of Celtic music and was delighted when I bought a copy of her Airs for Solo Cello book that it came with a lovely personal note from Ilse. I have attempted to play most of the airs since then (some more successfully than others) and last year (2017) I contacted Ilse as I was visiting Ireland and asked to have a lesson. She was incredibly welcoming and both perceptive and supportive in her teaching. It was a real pleasure to meet and spend time with her, cello in hand. Her new online course is really well designed and presented, and I so wish this had been available when I first bought her book! The course starts with a couple of pages of introduction and then each air is presented in a standard multi-part format. First there is an introduction to each air which gives and introduction to style and some background. Then the sheet music is presented in PDF format so that you can play from screen or download and print it. Ilse then has a standard approach to teaching each air through video. First a full play through with score clearly visible and highlighted as she plays to make it easy to follow and full fingering. The highlighted score is a feature of all the videos and is very useful - especially as the airs are difficult to notate and so you can see the rhythmic and ornamental flexibility required as she plays. Her play though is followed by detailed tutorial videos demonstrating how to play each piece in short sections which contain lots of suggestions for practising and clear demonstrations of how to play the trickier bits. Each section is presented at least twice once focusing on the left hand and the other on bowing. Each video starts with a tuning note so you can play along and work through the tutorials. FInally there is an MP3 download of each tune. There is a lot of detail and hard work gone into this course. The videos are in HD and very well made on a black background making the illustrations very clear to follow. Not only is this a great way to get to grips with these airs but there is a lot of really useful advice on practising generally and effective examples of excellent cello technique that could help any advancing cellist. I particularly enjoy watching Ilse's beautifully fluid bow hand and arm - lots for me to work on! The course ends with a brief conclusion and links and finally a download link for the entire Airs for Solo Cello book - which includes written material and source tunes not included in the music downloads as you work through the course. I have to say the book is worth buying in hard copy - it is beautifully produced. Highly recommended and I do hope Ilse has success with this venture and is able to add new content from time to time. Thank you for the inspiration. Oh ... and by the way I also highly recommend her DVD "Living the Tradition" where Ilse travels Ireland finding out about the origins of these airs and playing them beautifully in the places they came from - lots of stunning photography too. She meets and interviews some amazing people and there are lots of interesting extras.

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5 star rating

Best instructor

Michael weremay

Best on line cello instructor ever!!!

Best on line cello instructor ever!!!

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5 star rating

None Stop Learning

Bob Morrow

What great lessons! Step by step through three great styles of Irish Music with the both melody and accompaniment clearly explained and demonstrated. If y...

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What great lessons! Step by step through three great styles of Irish Music with the both melody and accompaniment clearly explained and demonstrated. If you ever wanted to learn something besides the Prelude to entertain your friends then dig in here!

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5 star rating

just great, especially for beginners!

Michael weremay

5 star rating

fun and very professional

Anne Becker

loving this cello course...high standard and great resources with online support.

loving this cello course...high standard and great resources with online support.

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