PEREIRA CELLO TECHNIQUE - A USER'S GUIDE
Volume 1: Postures and Movements
Why these products are safe, useful and important.
This book and associated demonstration videos are unique newcomers to the colourful marketplace of teaching on cello technique. For the first time an advanced cello technique is explained and demonstrated via a thoroughly integrated book/video pairing. Even more importantly, the one author of both media is a unique mix of experience and expertise.
After 53 years of playing and 45 of teaching, David Pereira is better than ever. He still is growing. He has been an outstanding, though not internationally celebrated, player and teacher, with a long and passionate drive to find, use, and teach, the best cello technique possible.
As a student David received excellent tuition that prepared him for orchestral, chamber and solo professionalism, but left him with some technical weaknesses. These weaknesses led to mid-life injury and playing breakdown whose chief benefit was his starting over from scratch.
He painstakingly invented his own technique – from carefully chosen first principles, for example – Can cello playing be natural and healthy? How? Years later this technique mostly closely resembles other virtuosic techniques, but it now is analysed with rare clarity and authority.
Meanwhile, the author/player has lived and worked mostly far from the northern hemisphere mainstream of cello playing. He has been allowed a view of that mainstream like that of the Little Boy in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” He remains inquisitive and trusts his senses.
Pereira Cello Technique is for any other cellist who is seeking truths about cello playing. The science of cello technique is studied in the practice and teaching studio, and on the stage. The good scientist is eager to discover their errors and seeks expert peer review.
Pereira Cello Technique is precise and human, practical and philosophic, confident and open-minded, familiar but fresh, orthodox yet inventive. It is a distillation of sophisticated cello technique that is for Students of Cello at every level of development.
Try it. Find out how good it feels and sounds.
Australian Cellist and teacher David Pereira, former principal of both the Australian Chamber and Sydney Symphony orchestras, suffered a mid-life injury from his playing, which he put down to flaws in his technique. During this enforced break he set about rebuilding that technique from scratch, and now makes a painstaking attempt to bring it to the world, via a book and intrinsically linked videos.
This, the first in a projected three-volume series, looks at the body posture and hand and arm movements necessary to play the cello in as natural and comfortable a way as possible. Pereira's approach is heavily informed by yoga, which he has taught. The book and videos are not aimed at young beginners, but the principles in them could be used by teachers of beginners on-wards, and by adult cellists of whatever proficiency seeking a better way of playing.
Pereira Cello Technique
- A User's Guide
Vol. 1: Postures and Movements
By Janet Banks
The spiral-bound book is divided into 31 sections, each with a corresponding video. These sections – for example 'Left-Finger Postures' or 'Bow Pressure' – are further divided into lettered points, each a sentence or two long. This method is probably easier to take in than continuous prose, but 16 different points just on the role of the right thumb when bowing rather left my brain reeling.
The book is illustrated with good-quality black-and-white photos, including usefully angled shots of bow holds that show what every part of the hand is doing. Of course, it is not so much the particular way that we see Periera playing – holding the cello relatively low or the exact way he positions his fingers on the bow – that is important. What he imparts so well are the liberating principles behind his playing: a relaxed posture, complete freedom of movement, flowing rather than fixed hand positions – all of which can be applied to every player, whatever their physique.
The videos are an essential part of the experience. Seated on a stool in the recording studio of the Australian National University in Canberra, Pereira expounds on his theories in a well-paced, pleasant and relaxed manner, sometimes pausing to search for the best word, never stridently defending his point of view. Just occasionally I found his explanations convoluted, and his voice does have a tendency to drop to a barely audible level at the very end of each section. However, this is an extremely in-depth and well-put-together project that will be invaluable to many cellists.