all about the cello - teaching, workshops, courses and looking after yourself & your cello.

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Cellist, cello teacher, course maker, author & adjudicator

"In brief: I'm a Royal College of Music graduate. I have had a lot of variety Catherine's portrait in my career and have worked as a free-lance orchestral player, in cabaret, in a string group, with pop groups as a session musician, as an author and course creator... but first and last, I'm a teacher."

"My passion is the cello and all things to do with it. I love playing it for myself and for others. I love teaching others to share this passion, both privately and now at Chichester Uni."

"I've recently started ajudicating at festivals, such as Chichester 2010 - a different form of teaching from lessons and courses - but it's wonderful to meet & encourage all sorts of young musicians."

"I'm an author of cello books - found out more on my biography page"

My Facebook page: My current activities & pictures...

Twitter: CatherineBlack1

Vaulted Sky Music

Do have a look at Vaulted Sky Music, the publishing arm of In particular, look at our beautifully prepared volumes of Unsung Heroes Cello Ensemble music which make lovely presents.

For the solo cellist, the list begins with One Chair in a Room and will grow next year with books I am currently working on for you to enjoy and treasure.


In 2014 I co-founded the Baroque & Roll String Orchestra with the wonderful violinist, Julia Bishop of Red Priest.

We started in Lewes, but have moved our hub to Cambridge. We are running workshops for children aged 9 - 15 (we do make exceptions though!) and do so in groups of three workshops in which we develop a complete work and then conclude with a performance.

Do find us on Facebook

My scores for cellists: 'Unsung Heroes'

'Unsung Heroes', my ensemble workshop has really hit the right note for cellists of all levels. I therefore moved into in-house publication - my volume of Unsung Heroes being published in 2009.

covers of unsung heroes book vol1

The collection contains ten varied scores by Byrd, Tallis and Dowland and others. The majority are for four parts, but there are also scores for three and five parts so your group can double some parts where necessary.

There are helpful musical and technical notes on each piece. The format is very user-friendly and the scores sit well on a music stand with a good ring binding. The cover is another stunning image by Max Carrington.

This would make a brilliant present for a cellist friend. And, if you are looking for Renaissance or Baroque sheet music for your ensemble, then look no further!

You can see more details and order this book from this website right now!

There are now four lovely volumes of unsung Heroes cello Ensemble music ranging from the Renaissance to late Romantic with more to follow. They can be found at the teeny, but evolving Vaulted Sky Music, the publishing arm of .

Teaching the cello

"I teach children, teenagers and adults from very varied backgrounds & with a wide range of skill levels. Some have had learning difficulties such as dyspraxia and dyslexia. I teach all pupils how to read so they can play with others as soon as possible"

"I have found that strong technique is vital. But I also encourage my students to develop their own 'musical voice' and to use it in the way that gives them the most satisfaction."

"One pupil is combining cello playing with his circus performance and another is a folk musician. Others are playing in orchestras, chamber groups and pop groups of various kinds. I love this mixture."

There is an in-depth interview with me in which gives a really nice insight into my values and approach to the cello - do read this.

Cello workshops

The idea behind is you, the whole cellist and your development. What we offer is open to cellists of all ages and abilities.

The two workshops address your key areas of development as an instrumentalist and musician - our practice and performance. We all need to put a spotlight on what is and isn't happening both inside and outside ourselves. We don't "practice" in our lessons, nor can we really "perform" in them, but we certainly need to learn about how to develop both of these skills. Students are now returning to both of these classes.

The Practice workshops are graded according to your age and level of achievement. We have no grading system in the Performance workshop though. If you want to learn more, come!

Started in 2011: Repertoire class - focusing on playing one glorious work.

Cello Courses

I now offer both multiday courses and 1 day workshops

Unsung Heroes The central course of the year is the Summer Course: 6 days of a cello-drench that aims to develop your musical, ensemble and technical skills through intensive rehearsal and classes devised around the issues within the music we play. Your confidence will improve too and this music has a remarkable way of seeping into you.

At Easter time, we now have a 3-day Passion Music Course which explores great music written for this central point in the year that I hope appeals to Everyman.

There is also a 3 day summer school in Cambridge and an Extreme cello weekend to look forward to!

We have people returning to the Unsung Heroes family at both course times and workshops too. It is my job to continue to develop both the new, and continuing aspects of you the musician and player at each of these events. You will leave all of these with notes so you keep your process flowing.

So take a good look and if you have any questions, do get in touch with me.

'Getting the bigger picture' - performance

performance icon 1 day workshop in Lewes - discover and develop more of your presentation and performance skills. Learn how to overcome fears in a non-stressful environment, and leave with a new sense of enjoyment.

Each time this workshop is run it will be different, so you can return again and again.

'Thinking Aloud' - practice

practice icon 1 day workshop in Lewes to refresh your approaches to practising. Lewes [teens/adults long & short-term learners, children to 12 years].

'Unsung Heroes' - ensemble

ensemble icon 6 day summer course, a new 3 day Easter course & the 1 day workshops in Lewes. Wonderful Renaissance and Baroque music for a wide range of abilities.

Cello Workshop/Course Calendar

The 2019 workshops and courses are summarised here.

*** GIFT VOUCHERS - brilliant for birthdays or Christmas presents! ***

** Workshop calender 2019 with notes [PDF] **

Privacy Policy

I hold your email address and sometimes, your mobile numbers. I do not give these out to anyone including third parties. Sometimes, a cellist will ask ME to forward an email from them, to members of a group they have played with. You can then choose whether to make contact or not.

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