A Twinkle Cello Competition!

Dates TBD

Do you avoid teaching cello to beginners?

Have you done teacher training and still have questions?

Did you know that teaching a beginner is not difficult at all?

Do you want $300?

How does this competition work?

On Saturday, MB will present all of the details on how to set up a student.  She will discuss topics like setting up strange body types to students who have unique personalities. She will discuss the micromanagement of cello set up, but in a way that is memorable and not overwhelming. The students will practice cello set-ups on each other.  It’s going to be fun too. :)

On Sunday, MB will provide 20 different “students” to practice what they learned on Saturday. These “students” will be hand picked by MB and will have no previous knowledge about the cello. They will have one hour with these students. The teachers will teach the “Mississippi-Stop-Stop Twinkle” to the students in that one hour.  Their students will have to perform this in a recital as a group. Once the timer is up, the teaching is done and they must stop. 

A panel of two judges will observe the teachers on Saturday and will pick a first and second prize winner. First place wins $300 and second place wins $150.

Tell me about the teacher who is teaching the teachers.

Mary Beth Bryant started playing cello in the sixth grade and learned everything—really—everything about cello playing completely wrong. She held her bow like a baseball bat and her left hand was as stiff as a board. She was inspired to learn how to teach cello correctly when she met world-renowned cello pedagogue, Martha Gerschefski. Since then she has trained with cello big shots Tanya Carey, Melissa Kraut, Gilda Barsten, Irene Sharpe, Pam Devenport and Rick Mooney. She trained in Suzuki book one with five different teachers because she is obsessed with starting students correctly. Her goal is to make them “Haydn C major” ready from the time they start their twinkles.

She’s presented twice at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Conference on the topic “How To Make Your Cellists Yo Yo Ma-Velous!” and her students win and place in national competitions, attend top music schools (Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern) and regularly receive full music scholarships. Her students are able to progress quickly through the repertoire as a result of her fastidious passion of fundamentals.

So who is invited?

There are only 20 spots for ages 14 and up. You can have no experience. You can have tons of experience.

How is that fair?

Because everyone is coming to this competition with unique strengths that perhaps even the most experienced teacher doesn’t have. Everyone has a fair shot.

Actual times:

Saturday September 1: 10 AM-4 PM

Sunday September 2: 1-4 PM

Recital is Sunday September 2 at 5 PM

Pizza afterwards!


Atlanta, GA 30329

Location TBD


$135 per teacher

Why would I attend?

You will leave knowing how to beautifully and easily set-up a beginning cellist. (And maybe with $300 in your pocket!) Because you will have opportunities to apply this information immediately with direct feedback, it’s going to stay with you. It will be palpable. You will leave feeling like you could set up anyone beautifully to play the cello.