~ Participants and Staff
~ Participants and Staff
PARTICIPANT EXCERPTS FROM PAST YEARS AND PRESENT
Rose "All of the counselors were amazing. Seriously, they did a great job.......I got so much help, and a lot of tools to work on my problems in the future."
Laurie "..being present/aware while playing, not in my usual worrying-micromanaging way, makes a huge difference in the experience of playing."
Simon"I don't think there was a person who didn't benefit from the meditation."
Mary "I learned a lot about just relaxing. It's pretty funny how hard it is to just let go."
Kepler "The mind is more powerful than the body and with the help of these few days at CelloChanWoods, I understand better how to allow them to work together."
Dan "It was an enlightening enterprise, has helped me build more confidence in myself, and clarified the use of my bow arm."
Margaret "...it has been a really exciting experience, and I am so appreciative of relationships I have built here. I hope to reflect upon this experience a lot as I continue to explore cello playing and teaching."
Robert "Playing the cello is hard. It can be elusive and frustrating..... But I want to play. And more than that, I need to play. I need to play more than I'm afraid to fail. So I keep going."
Rosina "Music is everywhere, just waiting to be captured. I interpret, I look at the lake, and I see the rhythm of ripples, blades of grass dancing to with the breeze. My heart keeps time as my emotions create a dynamic concert. The orchestra of life and nature never rests and supplies me with music every day. But though I love it, I also envy it."
Char"There were deep conversations and surface ones, but I think the time allotted for students to listen and communicate with each other was priceless."
Emily "I feel that Trager, combined with the general approach of CelloChanWoods, is helping me to find the connection between cello, mind and body. I can see in students that they feel the same. Although we have all learned to become aware of many good things, (how to sit, new ways of thinking) we are also more aware of the specific things we have to work on."
Gabriela "I now know how to practice challenging spots better and that the music is me, not in me, or the score."
Edward"For me, creating music is challenging...I feel that I'm pushing myself away from it. I don't consciously want that to happen but for some reason ....... letting go of my protective tensions is terrifying. I don't think I had any idea of what being fully relaxed in playing feels like but I now know that I could do so much more, not just in music, but in every area of my life."
Leslie "What a privilege it has been to spend these past four days with this community! The format of the mornings really did prepare for the rest of the day creating peace and new knowledge."
Maggie "Music is everywhere, just waiting to be captured. I interpret, I look at the lake, and I see the rhythm of ripples, blades of grass dancing to with the breeze. My heart keeps time as my emotions create a dynamic concert. The orchestra of life and nature never re ".... these four short days have helped me greatly as a cellist and person."also envy it."
Thomas "The "The theme of the camp is very unique and I have gotten a lot out of the experience. I feel much calmer in general and more able to approach my problems on the cello. I hope to retain this when I return to my daily activities/schedule."
Lynn "As advertised, this retreat was a holistic experience of exploring and understanding what it
means to make music with the cello on a personal and communal level. Though I didn’t
appreciate at first what it would feel like, physical and emotionally to approach cello instruction from a
The physical instruction, from the exercises to eurythmics and individual instruction in
techniques helped me internalize the lessons and feel the difference it makes in my cello
playing. The emotional and spiritual instruction also helped break down and change the
impatience and self judging to an experience of more freedom and gratification in practice
playing with others and performance. I love the intergenerational community, which is a
testament to the fact that we are all at different levels but all have something to offer. Having
the young, very talented cellists inspires a sense of playfulness in the counselor’s instructions,
as well as campers that is also very freeing. There are many life lessons as well as cello
lessons. I will take away as I expected there would be, but the visceral connection to them
nurtured in this setting, with the instruction, music and community of 20 campers will make it
easier to remember the experience and bring it back to my practicing, lessons, and performing
when I leave.
I had thought I picked up cello for the intellectual stimulation of learning something new and
for the beauty of the music. Now I find it’s becoming more of an expression of my sprit, a safe
place to explore and a place /way to connect with other musicians. I had been less interested in
performance before cellochanwoods, but now I aspire to perform and play with others. It’s
pushed me to wan to challenge myself more and see the values of practice, including scales,
warm ups, and other techniques we learned here, to help move forward more quickly. The focus
is shifting from being able to play a piece to being able to express myself and share playing
Judy "Intellectually, we’ve discussed many of these topics in lessons, Suzanne. The retreat has made
these teachings more experiential, focused and memorable, again on a physical and emotional
level. This has been an extraordinarily rewarding and inspiring experience"
Pablo "Many a man and woman have compared life to many things. In truth, life can be one thing, it
can be another thing, and it can be everything and nothing too.
I think life is like the cello. In truth, you can do whatever you like with a cello or you can do
whatever you fancy with your life. But as with life, you can simply throw you’re cello, you can
break it, or you can just do nothing at all with it. Yet there are those who go to the cello and
play beautiful music. In order to play beautiful music, one must labor very hard. In life, no one
gains anything without a price to pay. The road through life is an arduous journey, like the road
to the cello. Yet the trip is worth the pain.
These thoughts and more have blossomed in my mind due to the 3 days I have spent here at
CCW. Nature is a thing of beauty and being exposed to its cool ecstasy brings a sense of
enlightenment to me. I have often compared CCW to blue lake, which in both places I have
discovered two sides of being human. At Blue Lake, I found the social animal carelessly
enjoying the company of others and the ripe fruits of life. There, I discovered the psychology
of others, but not myself. Here, I have learned about myself. I have taken a journey to myself,
discovering my own mind like never before. Here I take the fruit of life, ponder over it,
question the ripest part. I and only myself breathe the ecstasy off the woodland, bathing in my
solitude. I and only I breathe ecstasy of the forest as the dew slowly dries under the morning
Former Joseph Tatum - Cello Staff. Attended Jacob Music School, University of Indiana.
CelloChanWoods was a wonderful experience for me. I personally gained many things, some
of which were unexpected. The absoluteness of the positive energy at this camp was inspiring. Too
often there is unnecessary competition with playing music and I saw no sign of that for the whole camp.
The work ethic of the students has personally helped me to regain some excitement and energy
about cello playing. Prior to coming to the camp, I was feeling slightly burned out on the cello.
The opportunity to teach really was refreshing and offered a new way for me to improve as a
player. The idea that one is never good enough at the instrument is not inspiring, but rather
daunting at times. This camp had a great outlook on doing one’s personal best and finding
satisfaction and pride from that. It is important to step back and say “I am good enough for
today and tomorrow is a new day where I will continue to grow and become better. “
I feel rejuvenated and can not wait to take on Reno in a few weeks as I begin my Masters in
Music. Thanks to all of the students, staff and leaders who put this together. I feel everyone
has walked away a better person, and cellist.
Carrie Brannen – Former Cello Staff - Attended Western Michigan University:
Throughout my time here at CelloChanWoods, I feel that I have channeled a calmer and more
focused version of myself. I find myself able to clear my head and center myself in the day’s
various activities, which is exactly what I was hoping to achieve here. I am so excited to
continue exploring meditation and the many tips and tricks we learned in physical therapy and
daily warm ups. As for my role as a counselor, I can’t begin to express how much I have
treasured this experience. I feel that I have gained so much knowledge to put towards my
teaching. In working with each camper and observing my fellow counselors, I am so humbled
by, and grateful for ,this amazing opportunity. It isn’t often that a community such as this one
comes around, and I will sincerely miss each and every person. I have never encountered such
a unique group of people where I learned something new from every body. It has been a joy for
me to get to know this family and community and I truly hope to return next year.
CelloChan’woods has helped to renew my passion for what I chose to do with my life, and there
are no words that can explain what that means to me.