UW-Whitewater music professor creates handbook for cellists
October 12, 2010
Those interested in learning the intricacies and subtleties of playing the cello will benefit from of a handbook written by Benjamin Whitcomb, an associate professor of cello and music theory at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
His book, “The Advancing Cellist’s Handbook: A Guide to Practicing and Playing the Cello,” is targeted particularly toward intermediate cello players between the ages of 9 and 15.
Whitcomb was inspired to develop his own handbook on the cello by his music professors throughout his college years at University of Texas at Austin.
“Their love and skill of teaching was contagious,” Whitcomb said. “I’ve learned from my own experiences, successful teaching is just as rewarding as performing to audiences.”
He hopes his 241-page handbook will prevent students from developing bad habits and teach them to think effectively when practicing the cello.
“Gradually I kept creating documents on teaching the cello and finally decided I would develop a handbook which would be a guide for my students and other cello players,” Whitcomb said. “This handbook is more thorough, rigorous in detail and systematic than any other book like it.”
Whitcomb said at the end of each practice session he wants his students to feel as if they can use the skills they’ve learned to solve problems.
He hopes his readers will respond to his handbook with “how I wish I could have read this book years ago.”
Whitcomb is planning to write additional handbooks on playing the bass, violin and viola.
A frequent performer, Whitcomb is heard regularly on the “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen’’ broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio. He coordinates the Music Mosaics Faculty Concert series at UW-Whitewater and is a member of the UW-Whitewater Piano Trio. He also performs with the Ancora String Quartet.
“The Advancing Cellist’s Handbook’’ is available at www.authorhouse.com.