Christine's Blog

Musings and Thoughts about All Things Musical ...

My Life’s Story

Oct 4, 2020

As a young child around 11 years old, I had my first performance of Bach Suite No. 1 in G major, you’ve likely heard it before, in movies, TV commercials, it’s out there, a lot!  Anyways, this guy that I was playing for, was named Yo Yo, I remember thinking to myself (being raised in North America) who would name their kid Yo Yo?  Ah, the musings of an 11 year old!  Now, I really should have known who he was, but at that time, I was all about the girl power.   All my idols were women who played cello, I really had not given men a second thought, even though in my home, we were fed a steady diet of classical music I’m sure I heard my fair share of men cellists!

Throughout my adolescence, I continued having the privilege of playing for some of the top cellists of the time…Janos Starker being one of them.  My he was intimidating.  It was back in the day when one could smoke inside most places and locations.  I’ll never forget him sitting at the back of the room smoking a cigarette and listening.  After I finished (as he did with everyone) he clapped 3 times.  1 clap- pause, 2 clap-  pause, 3 clap- pause … very scary!  And then he told a joke, so now a little less scary, and as the masterclass progressed he became much less intimidating.  Part of what I gained in that class, I still teach today to my students and colleagues alike.

To say I was immersed in music is an understatement.  Mondays – chamber music and the Academy’s Masterclass day, Tuesdays – a practice day, Wednesdays – choir, Thursdays – lesson and Fiddlers (The Calgary Fiddlers) Fridays – theory and repertoire work with an accompanist and Orchestra on Saturdays, and of course I went to school too!  At that time the show Fame was on TV and how I envied the idea of attending a performing arts school and wished that could be me!

At 18 I went to University to study … you guessed it music. So the following summer when I turned 19, I obtained a scholarship to go to Santiago Spain and study with Pedro Corostola.  What a trip, I jumped on a plane with my cello and went forth into the world of Spain and its composers.  There, with Pedro’s guidance I developed a deep love for the country and its music.  He spoke only French and Spanish, I only English, but communication was no problem as we both had our instruments to serve that purpose.  He was a pipe-smoker, sometimes when he was showing me something he would be playing with the pipe hanging out of his mouth, puffing away.  It was really quite dramatic.  All in all it was a fantastic summer where I met friends from all over the world, it was an experience like no other.

When I returned, back to University I went and completed my degree a few years later.  Now the grand plan at this point was to go on to my Master’s and my dream was to record movie soundtracks …  and here I was dealt a devastating blow… I fell off a trampoline and shattered, and I mean shattered my wrist (right one.. ouch!) and broke my back. Luckily the back injury wasn’t too bad, my wrist was far worse.  So it was here in my life I had to regroup.  This injury was what ultimately led me to teaching cello, without it teaching wasn’t even on my radar.  Fortunately for me I loved it!  It challenged me in different ways, it was dynamic as people are all so different, and I found it incredibly rewarding.  It allowed me to discover myself in so many new ways.  And it was during the following years of teaching (20 or so) that led me to my current place of developing my I Luv Cello program.  This has been an exciting journey with many ups and downs in which I will share with you in my next post.

Thank you for sharing your time with me, I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about me and I can’t wait to hear a little bit about you!  Please feel free to leave a comment below as I’d love to hear from you!

Lots of Cello Love,
Christine Williams

PS if you are interested, please check out my tutorials or my I Luv Cello program.

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