Learn Cello

Learn cello with Deborah Ann Johnston and Cascade Cello StudioLessons

It is never too early or too late to start to learn cello. The saying goes, “Everyone loves the cello,” so start spreading the Love! If you have the desire to play, then don’t let doubts stop you. Pursue your desire and start learning today.

Deborah Ann Johnston offers private lessons for beginners and advanced students; for children and adults.  Generally, students take lessons of 45 to 60 minutes, once a week.  The more you practice the faster the progress you can make.  The goal — although it’s not required — is that each student will play in Cascade Cello Studio’s twice-a-year recitals.  There are usually separate recitals for youth and for adults.

Fee Schedule

  • Adults and youth:
    • Lessons are $60 per hour for regular weekly lessons, effective August 31, 2021.
    • For lessons scheduled less often than weekly, the fee is $65 per lesson.
  • Children 11 and under
    • 45 minute lessons are available for $45 per lesson.
    • Depending upon interest, group lessons may be available.
  • A limited number of partial scholarships may be available, on a sliding scale basis, for exceptionally talented and gifted children.
  • After two initial “getting-acquainted” lessons, each student (or the parents) will be expected to sign a contract which spells out the fee schedule and payment obligations in detail.

Payment for the month must be received prior to the first lesson.  There are no refunds for missed lessons.  In signing up for individual lessons, you are purchasing the exclusive rights to your teacher’s time, which cannot be re-sold in the event of an absence.  However, with a minimum of 24 hours notice of an absence, every effort will be made to schedule a make-up time for missed lessons.

Learn cello with Deborah Ann Johnston's ensemble classesGroup Classes

An important part of the cello experience is learning from and with one’s peers.  From time-to-time, Deb offers group lessons, which are a supplement to the student’s private lessons.  Usually there is a specific focus: practice techniques, harmony, or chamber music, among others.

Orchestral Studies

Many of the students of Cascade Cello Studio participate in one or more orchestras in the Bend area.  Deb encourages that participation as one way to develop a more versatile musical fluency (and quite frankly, a great way to have fun and meet other musicians!)  As part of your lessons, Deb will assist you with orchestral music, suggesting fingerings, bowings and interpretations from her extensive knowledge of orchestral repertoire.

Chamber Music

One of the very favorite activities of Cascade Cello students is participation in chamber music.  Some students choose to participate in a cello ensemble group (usually 3-6 players), where the skills of playing together, with unified rhythm and compatible sounds, are some of the goals.  Other students choose to participate in a more traditional trio or string quartet, with violinists and violists in the Bend area.  Deb offers coaching for all such groups. All of the ensembles coached under the auspices of Cascade Cello Studio have the opportunity to perform in the semi-annual recitals.


For the more advanced youth students of Cascade Cello, there are opportunities to compete for scholarships and performance opportunities.  Deb will assist you in identifying those opportunities, and evaluating whether they are appropriate for you and beneficial to your musical interests.  When a competition has been identified and applied for, it becomes a major focus of instruction.  Cascade Cello students have been successful in winning scholarships and performance opportunities in the past, and we anticipate there will be many more such occasions in the future.

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