q Master a Romberg Cello Sonata - Free Preparatory Exercises! - C. Harvey Publications

Romberg's Music as Teaching Material

I fell in love with the Romberg Cello Sonatas when I started using them regularly as teaching pieces. It took me awhile to fully the understand the breadth of cello technique that Romberg teaches in his Sonatas but when I did, I was entranced. In this blog post, you can prepare to master a Romberg Cello Sonata with free preparatory exercises!

Other teaching pieces didn’t give cellists that same skills that Romberg’s Sonatas did. As I saw the effect that playing Romberg’s music had on my students, I came to deeply respect this music that so wonderfully transformed my students.

How Romberg Sonatas Helped My Students

From shifting and positions to rhythm patterns and bowing challenges, the Sonatas gave my students a music experience that prepared them for much of what is to come in cello study.

Students would finish studying a Romberg Sonata and be playing at an entire level or two above their original level when they started the Sonata. They would be much more competent than when they had started, easily playing exercises, etudes, and pieces that would have given them pause before Romberg.

How my students inspired the Romberg C Major Study Book

Two of Romberg’s Sonatas became my favorites: the Sonata in E Minor and the Sonata in C Major. I use the Sonata in E minor as the first Sonata after a student has started shifting and has learned fourth position (plus a little second and third positions). I might use one or two other pieces after that, depending on the student, and then we are ready to start the Sonata in C Major.

Over the past 20+ years, I’ve taught a lot of Romberg to students. Eventually, it got to the point where I can predict mistakes before they make them. It was getting boring hearing the same mistakes over and over. I really wanted to expand the influence of Romberg on my students and teach all of the skills that he required in his Sonatas. However, my students struggled to remember what I had taught them in the lessons, at home.

So I wrote The Romberg Sonata in C Major Study Book for Cello and now, teaching that Sonata is much more exciting! Where I used to sit and drone corrections over and over, I can now have my students play the exercises and improve in front of me. We can spend the lessons working on phrasing and expression instead of rhythm, shifting, and bowing.

It’s wonderful to hear my students play the Sonata excerpts after they’ve played the exercises. Where students used to stop or struggle, my exercise-powered students sail through. They play confidently and they enjoy the music they’re making instead of wallowing in frustration.

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Study Book for Cello

The Free Preparatory Studies for Cello

Here are some pages of free cello exercises; Preparatory Studies that have a few bits of technique that you will use in the Romberg Sonata in C Major.

Free Romberg Cello Prep: Shifting and Positions

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Preparatory Studies p1

Free Romberg Cello Prep: Cello Bowing

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Preparatory Studies p2

Free Romberg Cello Prep: Faster Fingers

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Preparatory Studies p3

Free Romberg Cello Prep: String Crossing

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Preparatory Studies p4

Free Romberg Cello Prep: Little Scales and Arpeggios

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Preparatory Studies p5

What's Next?

And when you’ve tried those studies, move on to the much more comprehensive Romberg Study Book available in print here and as a download here.

Why play an entire book devoted to a Romberg Sonata? Because teaching students to be both solid and creative musicians is fun! Because playing well brings joy. And because mastering this wonderful Sonata might be the most satisfying thing you’ve done all year!

The Romberg Sonata in C Major Study Book for Cello

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