Getting Started With Cello Instruction


cello-student3-800pxFor new families interested in joining Dr.Valdine Ritchie Mishkin’s studio:

Class Choice:

1. Space available through audition for Intermediate through Advanced Class (Suzuki Book 6 and up, Generally ages 12+).  Students perform at the monthly Intermediate-Advanced Studio Class with a collaborative pianist, participate in mock audition classes for orchestral and festival auditions, are members of area orchestra programs and chamber music groups, and participate in examinations and competitions locally and nationally. 

2. Limited space availability in the Suzuki Book 2-5 Class (generally ages 5-11).  Students perform at a monthly studio class with a collaborative pianist and attend Cello Ensemble Class to gain experience reading music, playing music theory games together, and preparing cello choir arrangements for outreach performances such as the Prelude Series of the Oregon Symphony.

3. Beginner class/ Age 3-4 Cello Class is suspended for the 2023-24 school year due to lack of individual lesson space.  This class is a parent and child class that meets once a week, where students learn fundamental music skills and cello-specific foundation work in a group setting.  Students also take private weekly lessons of 20 minutes or shared lessons with one other classmate for 30-40 minutes. 


Read the Parent Education page.

Complete the Enrollment Form:

Please fill out the entire enrollment form here, before calling for observation.


Email Dr. Valdine Ritchie Mishkin at to make an appointment to observe the program level of your choice. Observation by the student and parent of a lesson and group class or studio performance class is required prior to entering the program.

Transfer students:

Transfer students are welcome and should prepare a polished piece when meeting the teacher.

Late to the term:

If immediate space is available, a student may join mid-semester. If not, their name will be placed in a wait pool.

Regular listening:

Regular listening to/viewing of repertoire being studied is immensely helpful in developing a musical understanding. Students purchase the Revised Edition of the Suzuki Cello CDs for daily listening, as well as utilize YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music for their endless resources.  Students are also required to attend monthly studio classes and attend concerts of the various local performing organizations.


*The Early Childhood Education Age 3-5 class will not run for the 2023-24 school year*.  Please contact Christine Goodner and/or Karen for more information about enrolling in the Early Childhood Education age 3-5 class.


Good quality cellos sized correctly for students, can be rented from Caitlin Pugh Luthier at 503-944-9764 or David Kerr Violins (503-238-4515). For children under the age of 5, please do not rent or purchase the cello until it is “earned”.  This happens when the student can control their bodies and minds in group class and lessons, and willingly take direction from the teacher.  When this is achieved, the parent and student go together to be sized at the instrument shop.  Older students begin lessons with the cello already rented or purchased.

Recital with professional musician parents from my studio as the concerto “orchestra”

Reading List for Parents

Required reading for the Parent Education class for new Suzuki Parents