The Kaboff Cello School

John Kaboff  holds a Master of Music Degree and has studied extensively with Janos Starker atIndianaUniversity as well as Jacqueline DuPre’s teacher, William Pleeth, at the International Holland Music Sessions in theNetherlands and at the Britten-Peers Summer School inEngland. In addition to serving as Mr. Pleeth’s teaching assistant, Mr. Kaboff studied at the International Academy of Chamber Music in Kronberg, Germany, with Arto Noras.

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It is extremely important to establish a regular practice regimen as early as possible. Without daily practice, progress will be slow and frustrating. Daily practice is NON-NEGOTIABLE and must be worked into a students’ schedule as an activity as important as schoolwork. A typical practice guideline for beginners is about 20-30 minutes a day, depending on the age. It is necessary to arrange practice times when children are most alert and cooperative. Developing consistent daily practice habits in the beginning is even more important than developing the cello skills. Once a child settles into a routine, the real skills begin to develop more rapidly. As a child’s skills develop, practice time becomes more enjoyable for both the child and the parent. Children usually practice longer when the fell confident and competent in themselves. On days when life is too overwhelming, try practicing for just 5-10 minutes, rather than skipping the day and making it up the next day. It is important to ALWAYS keep practice positive and fun. Parents should be careful to CONSTRUCTIVELY criticize during the practice sessions. Children should be frequently praised /and or rewarded for accomplishing milestones in their development of developing good practice and learning habits. Listening to recordings in an often, overlooked part of daily practice. Listening to a recording of the piece a student is learning enhances the process of understanding how the notes connect together, whether it is for pitch/intonation, rhythm or general musical shape.


I offer cello rentals ranging in sizes from 1/10 to full size. The 1/10-12 sizes are high quality hand carved cellos made in Cleveland Ohio. From ½ to full sizes I have a variety of French, German, Austrian older instruments available. I offer a rental credit program that allows you to accrue rental credit towards the eventual purchase of a full size cello. Many of the retail instrument shops prefer that you purchase sooner rather than later so they structure the rental program to encourage several purchases between the beginning sizes through full sizes. It is more cost effective and less stressful to rent until purchasing a full size cello. Full Size cellos for students begin at the $2,000-$4,000 price range for a modern made German or Chinese cello and move upward towards $5,000-$10,000 for a German or French cello approximately 100 years old. These cellos will be expertly restored by Michael Weller of Weller Violins to the highest of standards.


While it is not my intention that all of my students become professional musicians, many of my former students receive advanced musical training and/or teach at such schools as The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute and Indiana University. I strongly encourage all students who matriculate into college to commit to making music in their leisure time as part of their adult lives and to in turn, educate their children with the joys of music. It is my firm belief that all children can be educated musically, and deserve to. Through the careful study of an instrument, children expand their learning of ALL subjects beyond their expectations. The development of careful work habits, discipline and self confidence on an instrument will enhance all other areas in life.


I require that parents be present at their child’s lessons. It is very important that parents understand how their children are learning and the concepts needed to play the cello successfully. It is not necessary for the parent to actually play the cello, just understand the teaching points of each lesson and enthusiastically coach them effectively during the at-home practice sessions. It is VERY important that parents and students feel comfortable asking questions about the teaching points presented at a lesson. Communication is made much more effectively when a teacher, student AND a parent work together. A child’s positive development is in direct relationship to the cooperative relationship developed by the teacher, parent and student.

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Private instruction is the core of any instrumental music curriculum. The one-on-one relationship between the studnet and the instructor helps to customize the way technical principles and techniques are explained. Individual lessons allow us to focus on the student's strengths and weakensses. Lesson times may range from 30-90 minutes. Sutdents who attend private lessons more frequently than one time per week progress at a significantly faster rate.


Tuition, while expressed in the number of contact minutes per week, covers more than the time I spend with each student. It includes lesson planning, scheduling/rescheduling lessons, discussing developmental issues, networking with colleagues on projects/performances that the students are participating in, and sharing volunteer tasks to produce events outside the studio. Monthly payments are due in advance and are due by the 1st lesson of each month. Please remember to mail or bring a check with you to the FIRST lesson of each month.