Cello with Kay Pelham: Learning, Knowing, Creating Hobbies for Homeschool Moms

I don’t know Kay as well as I know some of the other ladies I’ve featured here in the Learning, Knowing, Creating Hobbies for Homeschool Moms series, but when I saw her newest hobby, I knew I had to invite her.

Hobbies for Homeschool Moms Cello

Kay is a homeschooling mom and a piano teacher. Music is obviously already a huge part of her life, but she doesn’t stop with what she already knows well; she dreams of learning more and has a vision to enhance what her family already does musically.

Sometimes it’s the dreaming that catches us and encourages us to try something new.

Introducing Kay Pelham

Kay please tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, your homeschool, and the ages of your children. My husband and I have been married for 15 years and have a 14 year old son. We are from east of the Mississippi but have been living in Montana for the past 7 years.

My husband and I both have music degrees and met in our mid-30s while working on church music projects. Along with homeschooling our son, I currently have a studio of about 40 private piano students.

I discovered Charlotte Mason when my son was a toddler, and we have been using AmblesideOnline since that time. Our son has also taken outside classes, including German, choir, art, and band. He plays violin and enjoys playing in the summer with the Montana Fiddle Club.

What is your hobby?  

In part inspired by my son’s string playing, I recently began taking cello lessons.

How long have you been doing your hobby?  

Three months

Hobbies for Homeschool Moms Cello

How did you get started or interested in playing cello? How would someone else get started?

I’ve loved cello music for many years and probably listen to as much cello music as I do piano music. I was at a symphony concert in April, and when I heard a cello solo in one of the pieces, I was so moved that pretty much all I could talk about after the concert was that I wanted to play cello.

I asked for recommendations from my son’s violin teacher, rented an instrument on the Monday following my Friday inspiration, called the first recommendation and had my first lesson a few weeks later.

What kind of equipment or resources are needed to do it? Are there books or instructional guides that you’ve personally found helpful?

I am renting a cello, some of which goes into escrow should I decide to purchase one later. I couldn’t afford to buy an instrument right away, so this is a nice option to begin playing right away.

My teacher is making use of at least one instruction book but mostly it is his personal knowledge of the instrument and technique that he is passing on. He is also an instrument maker, so I have been doubly blessed.

People talk about learning an instrument from a book or watching videos, but I believe there is nothing like meeting with an excellent teacher in person.

Where can we learn more about it?

People don’t often think about beginning instrument lessons as an adult.

The evening that I was inspired by the cello soloist, our local symphony administrative director announced that there were plans in the next year for an adult education program. Perhaps there is such a thing in your community.

You can also take advantage of orchestra open houses/”petting zoo,” normally thought for just the kids, to experiment with some instruments to see what you might enjoy playing.

Local music stores usually have lists for teachers. I would call around and discuss your particular wishes and background to find a teacher that is a good fit for you.

How do you make time to participate?

I have a scheduled lesson weekly, and I make time to practice every day. I don’t practice for hours. I’m not quite there yet 🙂

Hobbies for Homeschool Moms

Hobbies for the long haul

Cello is new for Kay. She picked it up this summer for fun. I admit that she has some of the tools to do so and succeed quickly, but hobbies aren’t necessarily supposed to be “quickly,” they can take time and that is fine.

Show your kids that you are working for success and struggling to learn. It won’t hurt you or the kids!

Hobbies are also for the long haul – they’re things you can enjoy because of their beauty, the relationships you can make or enhance, or their ongoing mental stimulation. I love that Kay is talking about a little time every day. You can do a hobby.

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  • Sarah M says:

    I’ve always wanted to learn the cello. My kids are still in a very ‘needy’ homeschooling stage and I spend most free time reading, but I would love to learn someday!

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