Cello Curriculum

ECMS Cello Curriculum

Juries (levels 4-6) should be performed with piano accompaniment. For Exams (level 1-3) accompaniment is preferred but not required.

Scales, movements of Bach and Concerto movements should be memorized.


Level 1

Technique

  • Develop a balanced and natural seated position
  • Pizzicato and basic bowing principles in the lower part of the bow
  • Simple tunes in first position to be performed from memory

Possible Repertoire

  • Cello Time Joggers, Kathy and David Blackwell, OUP
  • Essential Elements for Strings, Allen, Gillespie, Hayes. Book 1
  • I can read Music by Joanne Martin
  • Suzuki book 1, tunes 1-14

Exam Requirements

  • One octave scale and arpeggio, C, G or D major, one note per bow
  • Two pieces or etudes.

LEVEL 1.5

Technique

  • Exploration of the use of the middle and upper half of the bow
  • Forward and backward extension
  • Musical expression to include dynamic contrast and showing different moods or colors in the music

Possible Repertoire

  • Time Pieces for Cello, Black and Harris, Vol 1
  • Suzuki book 1, tunes 15-17 and book 2, tunes 1-2
  • Violoncello Music for Beginners Lengyel.E/Pejtsik.A Volume 1
  • Sheila Nelson, Piece by Piece Vol 1
  • Krane New School of Cello Playing Vol 1
  • Lee Studies Op 101 ‘First Steps in Violoncello Playing’ (includes second cello part)

Exam Requirements

  • D major scale and arpeggio, two octaves, one note per bow
  • One other major scale and arpeggio, one octave, slurred.
  • Two pieces or etudes. At least one from memory

LEVEL 2

Technique

  • Shifting to 2nd 3rd and 4th positions
  • More complicated bowing patterns

Possible Repertoire

  • Solos for Young Cellists Carey Cheney volume 1
  • Suzuki book 2
  • Rick Mooney Position Pieces for cello, Vol 1
  • Dotzauer 113 Exercises

Exam Requirements

  • One major and one minor scale and arpeggio, 2 octaves, separate and slurred
  • 2 solo pieces, one from memory

LEVEL 2.5

Technique

  • Vibrato can be introduced depending on student and repertoire
  • Basic double stops to develop hand position and strength (broken thirds)

Possible Repertoire

  • Popper 15 Easy Studies for Violoncello, Op 76a
  • Solos for Young cellists Carey Cheney volume 2
  • Suzuki book 3

Exam Requirements

  • One major and one minor scale and arpeggio, 2 octaves, separate and slurred
  • An etude
  • A solo piece from memory

LEVEL 3

Technique

  • Add 5th, 6th and 7th positions
  • Introduce reading in tenor clef
  • More complicated string crossing and bowing patterns

Possible Repertoire

  • Krane New School of Cello playing, Vol 2
  • Schroeder 170 Foundation studies
  • Suzuki book 4
  • Solos for Young cellists Carey Cheney volume 3
  • Violoncello Music for beginners Volume 3, published by Editio Musica Budapest
  • Pop Goes the Cello, Aaron Minsky

Exam Requirements

  • One major and one minor scale and arpeggio, 2 octaves, separate and slurred. Should include E flat or another key that demonstrates multiple positions.
  • An etude
  • A solo piece from memory

LEVEL 3.5

Technique

  • More complicated bowing patterns
  • Introduce Q position
  • Introduce treble clef

Possible Repertoire

  • Fun in Q Position, Hans Jensen
  • Rick Mooney position pieces, book 2
  • Suzuki Book 5
  • Breval Concerto in D major
  • Unbeaten Tracks, edited by Steven Isserlis

Exam Requirements

  • C or D major scale and arpeggio, three octaves
  • One octave scale in 6ths
  • One minor scale and arpeggio, 2 octaves, separate and slurred

LEVEL 4

Technique

  • Repertoire should be performed with vibrato
  • Continue work on mixed bowing patterns (slurred and separate)
  • Increase velocity
  • Develop richness of sound
  • Perform longer pieces with greater sense of communication- dynamics, colour, mood etc

Possible Repertoire

  • Suzuki Book 6
  • Bach Suite 1
  • Goltermann Concerto in G Op 65 all movements
  • Marcello sonatas
  • Popper Gavotte

Jury Requirements

  • One major and one minor scale and arpeggio, 3 octaves, separate and slurred
  • One Q position scale with Q starting on C or D (on D string), one octave
  • An etude
  • 2 contrasting pieces (at least one from memory).

LEVEL 5

Technique

  • Comprehensive knowledge of Q position and higher positions
  • Double stops including scales in 3rds and 6ths.

Suggested Repertoire

  • Bach suites 1-2
  • Gamba Sonata in D major
  • Haydn Concerto in C first movement
  • Sammartini Sonata
  • Faure Elegy
  • Bruch Kol Nidrei
  • Saint Saens Allegro Appassionato
  • Boccherini Concerto in G, 1st movt
  • Boccherini Concerto in B flat (Grutzmacher edition)1st movt
  • Saint Saens Concerto
  • Scherzo by Van Goens
  • Julie-O
  • Duport studies
  • Popper Etudes Op 73
  • Sevcik 40 Bowing Exercises
  • Rudolf Matz 24 Short Etudes (Q position and treble clef)

Jury Requirements

  • 2 major and 2 minor scales and arpeggios, 3 octaves, separate and slurred
  • Scale in 3rds and 6ths in C or D, 2 octaves
  • An etude
  • 2 contrasting pieces (at least one from memory). Must include show piece and/or concerto movement

LEVEL 6

Technique

  • Student should be playing at a level appropriate for college entry.

Possible Repertoire

  • Popper High School
  • Bach Suites 1-3
  • Popper Hungarian Rhapsody
  • Popper Tarantella
  • Dohnanyi Konzertstuck Op
  • Haydn Concerto in C, movements 2 and 3
  • Lalo Concerto
  • Elgar Concerto
  • Schumann Fantasy Pieces
  • Brahms E minor Sonata
  • Shostakovich Sonata
  • Beethoven Variations ‘Bei Mannern’ or ‘Judas Maccabeus’
  • Goltermann Etude Caprice
  • Reger Unaccompanied suite in d minor
  • ‘Draw the Sacred Circle Closer’ by Adolphus Hailstork
  • Four Pieces by Tania León

Jury Requirements

  • 2 scales and 2 arpeggios, 3 octaves, separate and slurred. Students should perform arpeggios from one of the recognized systems. This will include major, minor, diminished and augmented. Examples could include:
    • Flesch arranged for cello by Wolfgang Boettcher
    • Galamian arranged for cello by Hans Jorgen Jensen
    • Feuillard from the ‘daily exercises’
  • Scale in octaves, one octave
  • Scales in 3rds and 6ths in C or D, 3 octaves
  • An etude
  • 2 contrasting pieces (at least one from memory). Must include show piece and/or concerto movement

Updated 8/21/23