Gloria Lum, Cello Lessons
Hello! I am a cellist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and also teach cello and chamber music at Occidental College. I enjoy teaching immensely and provide an individualized approach to each student. I look at cello playing as a problem solving situation, analyzing each student and their needs in order to help them become a better player.
I am very active as a performer and besides playing with the Philharmonic, play many solo and chamber concerts throughout the area.
As a teacher, I enjoy meeting people and helping them solve their playing issues. I concentrate on sound and technique, but always with the higher goal of making music. I use many metaphors when I teach to get my students to understand concepts and what they're trying to achieve. It is an enjoyable challenge for me to try and connect with each student on a level that helps them play better. And I always make sure that each lesson is fun!
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I like to have a student play for me and tell me what their goals are. I can usually tell within the first few minutes what a student needs to do in order to get better. I can then suggest some basic technique exercises and books in order to put them on the right track. Or for more advanced students, we can talk about repertoire that might be interesting to them.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I received a Bachelor of Music degree from USC about a century ago. But my main qualifications are playing in the Philharmonic for over 30 years and hearing some of the greatest artists play. I have taught at Occidental College since 2000 and have taught numerous students during that time.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My rate is $100/hour which is about the going rate (or a bit low) for lessons from a Philharmonic player. For one time coaching for auditions or specific events (so not a returning student), my rate is $150 for the time needed to coach (usually between 60-90 minutes).
How did you get started teaching?
I first started teaching at the college level back in Denver when I played with the Denver Symphony. I took over from the cello professor at Denver University when he went on sabbatical. I then started teaching at Occidental College in 2000. Over the years, I have developed a specific style that tries to address each student at their level from beginning to advanced.
What types of students have you worked with?
Mainly I work with college students. But I am open to teaching all ages and most levels. But I am probably not the best teacher for absolute beginners or very young children.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
This past month I attended the senior recitals of two of my students at Occidental. These are students that I have had for four years and seeing them play at such a high level was a huge pleasure. Shepherding them through their four years of college and seeing their great progress is truly a great feeling of accomplishment and happiness for me.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Find a teacher who fits your needs and style. Not every teacher may "click" with you and it's important that you try a lesson to see if there is good chemistry. I suggest taking a lesson and then deciding at the end of it whether both of you feel that working together would be beneficial. If not, then there are no hard feelings.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
I think it's important to be able to realistically gauge how much time you can devote to practicing. As an adult with a busy life, I can appreciate that a student may only be able to come once every couple of weeks. And that's fine. With younger students, I think the willingness to practice a set amount of time each week is an important factor to deciding how often they come.