Alexandra is a freelance cellist in New York City. Ali enjoys the complexity of a modern performance career; her performance, recording, and teaching opportunities are always developing and diversifying. Some of her colleagues and ensembles include: Ensemble Mise-en, a contemporary chamber ensemble focused on large-scale composition projects and new aesthetics. A handful of orchestras– the Chelsea Symphony, the Metro Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Du Monde, and the Ureuk Symphony. And Dig North Music and Mason Jar Music, two collectives of young film makers and composers whose partnership and collaboration with Ali developed during their time at New York University.
Ali’s studies began in a local community program in her hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota. Until 16, her primary teacher was Grant Wilcox, a pioneering violinist who founded an orchestra program at the public high school in Brainerd. Ali’s teaching philosophies are rooted in this community program, from which she first learned cello and, subsequently, began teaching it. Later, she traveled to Minneapolis to study with Joshua Koestenbaum of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Ali moved to New York in 2007 to attend New York University where her primary teacher was Marion Feldman. She graduated summa cum Laude in 2011. As of this year, Ali is pursuing masters programs in New York and is currently enrolled in the School for Strings Suzuki Teacher Certification program.
What will make a student learn best?
Every person learns differently. Though many human habits and tendencies are similar, a teacher must patiently and thoroughly discover how each student’s mind navigates new information. Understanding the necessary processes for a student lends a teacher many tools for guiding their studies. From here, a teacher can motivate and inspire students to become consciously intrigued with their own learning, a priceless skill for all aspects of our lives.
What do you enjoy most in teaching?
I love being involved in the development of a persons abilities– through teaching an instrument, I’m lucky to participate in opening some of the doors to sensitivity and self discovery. Teaching is a means to guide more than just technical and musical development, it provides generous opportunities for sharing our experience and capacity as humans. This palate makes for a special relationship between student and teacher, a relationship that supersedes the outcome of the students cellistic abilities.