Christina Gentzsch- cello

"I teach music to create understanding and appreciation for art and humanity." 

Teaching Philosophy

 

As a cello instructor, I aim to encourage and inspire my students to be their own artist.  I embrace the fact that every student is different and I teach to their strengths and needs.  My role as an instructor is to guide each student through their musical learning, regardless of age or ability level. I strive to create a safe and creative environment for my students. 

 

Proper and consistent habits along with strong technique are key.  Like a house, if the foundation isn’t strong, the structure will not be strong.  It is important that I teach my students how to practice properly.  Practice does not make perfect, but PERFECT practice makes perfect.  I let my students set goals for themselves.  Sometimes the goals are specific pieces they want to play, sometimes it’s learning a specific technique, sometimes it’s conquering an audition.  Each student is allowed their different motivations.  Commitment, optimism, patience, and effort are the keys to success.  

 

Mistakes are okay to make.  We laugh at them, we learn from them, and we become stronger and more confident in the end. 

 

Creating characters, colors, and stories within music is a great adventure.   I encourage my students to bridge the gap between technique and musicality.  It’s great to be able to play notes on a page, but it’s even better to give those notes purpose.  Every student has their own musical voice, and it’s my job to help them discover what they want to say and how to say it.  

 

I don’t teach music with the expectation that my students will become professional musicians.  I teach music because it creates joy.  I teach music to help build self confidence in my students, to appreciate the value of small successes along with large successes.  

 

I teach music to create understanding and appreciation for art and humanity. 

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Biography

Christina currently serves as professor of cello at Clarke University in Dubuque, IA and Iowa Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant, IA.  During the summer she is the cello instructor for the Dubuque Symphony Summer String Camp and Chamber Music Camp. She has travelled around Kansas and Iowa giving masterclasses and presenting workshops of All-State preparation.  Christina has been teaching private lessons since 2003.  She maintains a private teaching studio in the Iowa City area where she enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages.  

An active performer, Christina currently plays with orchestras around Eastern Iowa including Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra, Ottumwa Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Muscatine Symphony, and Orchestra Iowa. You may also find Christina performing in pit orchestras with local theater companies like City Circle Theater Company, Iowa City Community Theater, and Theater Cedar Rapids.  

Throughout her career, Christina has been an active soloist and chamber music participant working with several different ensembles. She is a founding member of the Accipiter Quartet and is a member of the Panamerican String Quartet. She was featured soloist for the Clarke University “For A Blessed Christmas” concert in 2019.  In 2016 she was a collaborative soloist for the Grit Collaborative production of “Water: Our World” a music and visual arts event.  She has performed and worked with several notorious artists including Taylor Mac, The Kronos Quartet, and Rod Stewart.

In college, she toured throughout Honduras as principle cellist with the Washburn Symphony Orchestra. She also participated in the Apeiron Research Forum for several years presenting research and performances of historical composers, as well as debuting new, contemporary composers. She was an award winner in the Kansas Music Teacher's Association Solo Competition. 

Christina holds a Master of Arts degree in cello performance from The University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Music Music degree with honors in cello performance from Washburn University. She is also a member of the American String Teachers Association.  

Performer Website: https://www.christinacgcello.com/