Details coming soon. Right now we’re nailing down a few details in the contract, but it appears this fall I’ll be writing a book on cello technique. For beginners. To be brought out by a major publisher of instructional books.
I’m certainly not the World’s Foremost Authority on cello playing, although I did have good teachers (notably Laszlo Varga). Mostly, I was in the right place at the right time. The idea came from the publisher’s acquisitions editor, in fact, and I had sense enough to say, “Yes, please.” They were swayed by the fact that I’m a writer, and that I have plenty of practical experience from teaching beginners.
It’s an interesting project. I’ll need to take lots of photos. (Taking photos of your own hands … there’s a challenge.) Also shoot video for the DVD. The inclusion of a DVD with the book is going to be a huge plus. There are many aspects of cello technique that you pretty much have to see. Just reading words, even when the words were drafted by as experienced a writer as myself, doesn’t have at all the same effect as watching someone demonstrate how to use your hands.
I hope the publisher isn’t freaked out by one section of my intro. Here we are, trying to sell a book, and I’ve listed almost a dozen reasons why the reader should rush out and take private lessons from a real live teacher! A book like this can be (and I hope it will be) a very useful add-on if you’re taking lessons — and of course some people can’t afford lessons, or live in remote areas where lessons are not readily available. Or they may be taking lessons from a teacher who is strong in some areas but weak in others. The book can provide a second opinion on things that your teacher is telling you.
I’m hoping teachers will buy copies of the book to hand out to their students, or recommend it to students, but I’m aware that the classical music teaching game is, shall we say, just a tiny bit on the stodgy side. A book with color pictures and a DVD may make some teachers nervous. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now I have to finish the draft, take a bunch of pictures, figure out how to do a bunch of music examples in Sibelius 6, and then start scripting the videos.
I wonder if the publisher will like fast-cut YouTube-style video editing. In a classical music book … I may have to twist their arm.