Herine Coetzee Koschak

Private Lessons

Teaching Philosophy

As humans, we have an innate desire to be heard. There is a sheer, visceral joy that comes from creating a new sound for the first time – even as toddlers, banging on a pot brings us glee and the satisfaction of accomplishment! 

It is a passion and a privilege to guide students as they learn to express themselves through this amazing instrument, the cello. My own journey began at age five, and I feel so fortunate to have had teachers who deeply respected my musical voice and pushed me to work hard. Above all, they taught me to become my own teacher — to think analytically and solve problems creatively, in service of communicating some of the most beautiful music ever written to a world that desperately needs to be reminded of and healed by that beauty.

I embraced the Suzuki approach not as a student but as a teacher, and it now forms the backbone of my work with beginning students. What I love most about teaching students of all ages is getting to know the individual – seeing where a person is in life and in cello, and figuring out how to inspire them. Studying the cello cultivates a life rich in sensitivity, abstract thought, imagination, problem solving, and the appreciation of beauty and nuance. These are things our society craves and it’s an honor to think about them for a living and to participate in the process of developing them. 

I often feel that I learn at least as much, if not more than my students every week, and this learning in turn inspires me to become a better cellist all the time.