HAPPENED TODAY - On December 6, 1953, the composer Andrew Violette was born in New York

Cello Kids (4)

3When and why did you decide to create CELLO KIDS? Was it your idea or was it born from a collaboration with other musicians?
Valérie We know exactly when the idea appeared. It was the 1st of October 2018! We were with Antonina in a Parisian café speaking about cello, teaching, as we do very often. Suddenly we had this idea together: «…if we create a YouTube channel for the cello teaching repertoire?!». It was so clear, it was a piece of evidence that we will do it. We have known each other for many years with Antonina Zharava and Cédric Lorel, our fantastic pianist. We teach at the same school Conservatoire Maurice Ravel in Paris, where Cédric accompanies our cello classes. We have played in concert as a group 2 cellos and piano and the three of us have this deep implication in teaching. It was a piece of evidence to do that together.
Antonina I was thinking for a while that something was missing on the Web, some kind of tool to help budding cellists at home, to get the discovering of a new piece more motivating and clear.  Nowadays more and more kids are on YouTube, so the idea of the Channel with our «best of» of pedagogical repertoire seemed to be right. Last November, Cello Kids received the «Prize of musical Education – Category Innovation» by Music Editors of France! In the current context where after Italy, France is stopped by the quarantine many colleagues thank us for this remote teaching tool and I use it constantly with my class.

Do you all work together in designing videos or does each one have specific tasks? (choice of compositions to perform, screenplay, direction…)
Valérie and Antonina We spoke a lot as a group to define the whole project. To know exactly what we wanted and especially what we didn’t want! So everything has been discussed together. We tried to consider every single detail with the greatest care and managed all by ourselves from beginning to end: very careful selection of the pieces, searched for a good quality of image, of sound, how to dress, how to place the accessories, how to edit the videos. While we were sharing the cello parts, our magical pianist Cédric Lorel managed to record all the pieces with piano: more than 100 works! Antonina has a complementary approach to the repertoire with some rare works to discover. In the beginning, Valerie was more the initiator of all the humoristic staging and poetical details. In the process, everyone got involved in it and gave imaginative ideas. It was much fun to do!  After the recording, Antonina took care of all the videos: making photos, editing, uploading, managing the channel and the Facebook page, which means hours and hours of work. The final touch is always controlled together. There is a «Cello Kids spirit»!

What are the problems and what are the satisfactions of the work you are carrying out?
Valérie and Antonina We were so motivated and able to concentrate on it, that Cello Kids came to life very quickly on 1st October 2019. We did a tremendous work recording about 150 pieces and launching the whole thing one year after the idea appeared. Normally it should have taken 4-5 years to do that. It is a great feeling of accomplishment for us! Another satisfaction is that Cello Kids shows an enthusiastic and joyful way to approach teaching. Though our recording sessions were very intense, we enjoyed so much playing all these charming pieces and also imagining all the funny staging!  It shows how music can be played with the greatest seriousness but with joy and fantasy. Cello Kids is very well received by our colleagues, who give us a very positive and supportive response. It is truly a new idea! 100.000 views in 6 months: it shows there is a real need for it! We have a tone of ideas and more than 50 videos are still to come on the channel! The main problem…?  it took all our time during the past year!

What are the dreams for CELLO KIDS in the coming years?
Valérie and Antonina We would love to become a reference in the small world of cello teaching. We dream that teachers, students, amateur cellists, beginners, when they want to listen to a piece say «Let’s go on Cello Kids!» Thanks to YouTube, our videos can be seen all over the world. It would be wonderful if the cello community which is quite active on the web could help us to spread the news. That’s what we need most! 1.000.000 views on the channel seem to be a goal to achieve!

And certainly, the goal will soon be achieved! Thank you for your availability and congratulations on making your beautiful dream a reality.