Here is a pedagogical book for beginning cellists, a guide to understanding the ceIIo's ﬁngerboard and memorizing its topography.
4 parts to visualize your hands, the celIo's ﬁngerboard and the notes on the ﬁngerboard.
This book was a surprise to me and to my students. It is not your standard book of studies. Nor, as the title or cover would suggest, does it include stickers for the cello fingerboard. It is a set of maps showing the positions of all the notes on the cello up to the fourth position, including the harmonic notes located at the middle of the fingerboard. The genius of Vénien’s book is that she has considered all the different perspectives a student may use to cognitively code this information; upside down, from the front and mirror image. This is most useful for students at points of transition in reading and technical development. Sight reading is improved by these diagrams, showing notes both vertically up the strings and horizontally across the strings. An adult student with no previous instrumental experience was delighted and gained much confidence when she could see the fingerboard layout.
Solfege is emphasized by use of a larger print than that used for the actual note names. This may be helpful for those who know solfege but it is hard to read the names of the notes because they are so small. Pictures of the left hand can be cut out to superimpose on the diagrams which is especially useful in the extended positions. An extra lift-out section shows which fingers to use when reading music notation. Overall, this is a well-conceived and useful learning tool which should find a place in every teacher’s library and will assist adult apprentice cellists to gain confidence and independence in reading music.
Cello Sheet, AUSTA National Journal Reviews Editor
by Anne Berry