Cheney Cello Studios of Salt Lake

We are proud and delighted to offer a comprehensive and inspiring curriculum for our cello students. We are the most experienced cello teachers of students of all ages (pre-school through adult beginners, as well as college level students) in the state of Utah. We focus on individual expression, beauty of tone, excellent posture and technique, much performance experience, all within a positive approach. We have monthly group lesson interactions, biannual solo recitals and frequent workshops both for students and teachers offered either locally or at interesting national or international locations. The Cheney Cello Studios have the highest reputation in Utah for producing excellent cellists who love to play, who play with beautiful tone, and who have beautiful hearts!

Our Philosophy:

Our teaching is based on the Suzuki philosophy. The most important aspect of this philosophy is that every child no matter what age can learn. It is the job of the highly skilled, trained and experienced teacher to guide the parent and the child with not only instruction in how to make beautiful music on the cello, but to also provide strategies for home practice, motivation and communication skills. With the regular attendance by the parent at each lesson, and regular, daily home practice with parent as "home-teacher", the team of teacher-child-parent experiences a wonderful growth and satisfaction that is not present in traditional music teaching methods. Daily listening to repertoire being learned is emphasized, as well as attendance at live classical music concerts. Group Lessons are an important part of developing social skills as well as instrumental, ensemble and technical skills, and we try to have at least one Group Lesson per month. Performance in front of a supportive audience is also emphasized in our studios, and we have two Solo Recitals per year, one per semester, and we also encourage our students to do informal book recitals on a regular basis. We organize regular master classes with guest teachers, group class style workshops and support strongly our local Suzuki string institute in June (Intermountain Suzuki Institute) which provides excellent motivation for students and is overall one of the highest quality summer camp type of experiences available in the US.

About Us:

Elliott and Carey Cheney have been teaching children and young adults for over 30 years, with previous programs in Costa Rica, Texas, Tennessee and now in Utah for over 16 years. They are active performers, often playing recitals to raise funds for important youth music opportunities. Both of the Cheney's are also in high demand as clinicians in North America, Central and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Elliott holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance from the University of Texas, Austin. He is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Music at the University of Utah where he frequently performs as soloist with orchestras and in chamber music recitals. Carey holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance from the University of Utah. She is a Registered Cello Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and conducts a great deal of teacher education throughout North and Central America. She is the author/editor/recording artist for the eight volume series Solos For Young Cellists published by Alfred Music. In 2005-2006 she was Guest Lecturer in cello pedagogy at the University of Utah, and in 2007-2008, she was Guest Lecturer at Utah State University in Logan, UT where she taught cello pedagogy. Carey and Elliott were named "2009 Studio Teachers of the Year" by the Utah State Chapter of the American String Teachers' Association.

Structure and Policies of our Program:

The teaching year is split into two semesters, the first running from late August through the second week in December, the second running from about a week after the New Year to the beginning of June. We try to over several weeks of lessons during the summer, and we encourage participation in any summer institutes or camps. We have a "no make-up" policy in our studio, to discourage families from missing lessons because of birthday parties, athletic games/practices, school musical rehearsals. On occasion if you have a medical emergency, we certainly try to accommodate this, but overall, no make-up lessons are given unless we miss the lesson. It is also important to know that the Group Lesson week costs the same as a private lesson for that week. We hope that this puts the emphasis on attendance, so please do not miss Group Lessons.

Registration for Lessons and Payment Policy:

We expect each student to register for their lesson time for the entire semester up front, which means that we ask for post-dated checks for the monthly amounts (equal payments paid over 5 or 6 months depending upon the length of the semester). There is no refunding of tuition. To discourage early quitters, we emphasize coming to observe lessons with your child to make sure that it is clear what the expectations are, and how things run.

Getting Instruments:

We strongly advise that you let us help guide you when selecting an instrument. Cellos come in many sizings (Japanese/Chinese/European/American) and vary hugely in quality. Sometimes when it seems you might be getting a bargain, you will actually be investing in something unsellable later. We recommend Scoggins Violin Shop (801-328-8341) as the highest quality providers with the most knowledge and experience in fractional size cellos and bows. They have an excellent trade-up policy that protects what you initially invest. The violin shop of Charles Liu (801-255-9636) is also helpful, and they do offer rental programs. We advise against purchasing anything until you let us advise you. You need to also have your child measured not only for the correct size cello and bow, but also for a stool/bench/chair. These do not have to be massively expensive adjustable chairs, so once again we advise letting us give you some help with this.

Observation Component Prior to Starting Lessons:

We require that interested parents bring their child to observe private lessons weekly for 10-15min. segments for a period of approximately 3 months. This varies somewhat according to the age of the prospective student. To arrange observation times, please email us at anytime.

For more information about the Suzuki Philosophy, please contact the Suzuki Association of the Americas: the Suzuki Association of Utah:

Cheney Studios

Cheney Studio Workshops

Cheney Studio Travels With Students

International Travels