Nick D. has 15 years experience teaching cello to students of all ages (from 5 to 65) and levels. He enjoys getting to know the individual personalities and musical interests of his students. His experience teaching strings and piano, as well as his studies of music theory and composition all continue to enrich his cello teaching.
Mannes: College of Music
George Neikrug (private cello studies)
John Morrison (private theory and composition studies)
Cellist and native New Yorker, Nick D. is an insightful and flexible performer and teacher. His diverse performing abilities have led to a wide range of performances, including a solo recital at the Art Complex in Duxbury, MA (works by Beethoven and Schnittke), a chamber concert on baroque cello at the New York Historical Society, solo concerts at the Thailand International Composition Festival, and an appearance with rock band 30 Seconds to Mars on MTV Unplugged. Also, Nick D. is the founder of “Composer Focus”, a chamber music concert series based in Cambridge, MA, which features music by 20th and 21st century composers as well as songwriters, particularly for string quartet. The series received recognition from the Boston Globe and other periodicals as well as a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Nick D.’s private studies of the Dounis method with renowned cellist and cello teacher George Neikrug have proven to be essential to his personal approach to teaching. These studies, along with his extensive performing and teaching experience have led Nick to adopt a few main principles in his teaching. First, that technique should be explained in the clearest and simplest way – there are no mysteries to how to play the instrument; second, that musicality comes from within the student – their voice holds the key their to personal expression; third, that personal creativity is essential to artistic growth, whether that takes the form of a student’s interpretation, improvisation, or composition; and lastly, that the teacher’s compassion and kindness toward the student are keys to making a lesson comfortable, effective, and enjoyable. Most importantly, Nick aims to empower his students to have a joyful and lasting relationship with music.
Here are a couple of things that Nick D.’s students and students’ parents have written about him:
“I can attest to the fact that he’s a phenomenal teacher. As a concurrent student and teacher myself, I appreciate three main qualities in a teacher: mastery of material, flexible but structured pedagogy, and genuine connection with students. Nick demonstrates all three of these qualities.” – Andrew R. (adult student)
“Nick has been teaching cello to our two kids (ages 11 and 9) for about 10 months. He has been a wonderful teacher. My daughter has made such significant progress that her cello teacher at school commented several times on how well she plays. My son was initially interested in violin but after working with Nick for about 10 months, has now decided to stick with cello instead, as he really enjoys it.” – Jing M. (students’ parent)
Nick is very happy to be teaching with Music To Your Home and is looking forward to meeting new students.