During my studies in Lyon (15 years ago) I had tendonitis problems. My teacher didn't know how to help me even if he was (and still is) wonderful cellist and teacher. I was lucky and got recommended to "Clinique du musicien" in Paris where I could find the cause and work on my posture so it would never happen again. My pain was caused by my shoulder blades + the arches of my left hand. I spent 3 months doing all the exercises, 3 months later I started changing my posture with the cello, and 6 months later I was playing the whole Shostakovitch concerto without any pain!

Not only I was happy to be pain free but I also noticed that I had a lot more sound, and my left hand technique was a much stronger, using your body in an optimal way opens a lot of new doors.

This experience made me realise that if I could improve so much by changing my posture there was probably a lot to keep exploring in the body-mind field...

2. Body-Mind connection

"Make the impossible possible
The possible easy
And the easy elegant"

Moshe Feldenkrais 

While I was studying in Pittsburgh (USA),  I heard about Kay Miller and the Core Somatics Institute. Kay was the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute, her aim as a thearpist was to enable people to reach their physical and mental potential by working on the mind-body connection. In addition to The Arts Therapies, she was a certified in the Rubenfeld synergy method, Feldenkrais Method®, and also received her gestalt training in the three-years postgraduate program at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland.

I spent 5 years working with her. Our sessions were as important as my cello lessons (I remember also bringing my cello). You can practice technique for hours but practicing awareness made it a lot more efficient, the Feldenkrais Method made me more aware of the movement, this therapy also helped me with interpretation, I was more connected to my own body but also to my inner voice.

But in order to let that inner voice speak one has to understand breathing...

3. Breathing and interpretation: inner-voice and cello playing

Back in Europe I worked with a private coach from Paris in Sofrology and Yoga. Breathing is the basic of all. It is what makes our body function, our voice, movement. Sofrology was also very helpful for concentration, performance and self esteem.

4. The cello, understanding the instrument

After spending 14 years digging into the influence of the body and the mind in our playing, I decided to explore more into the instrument; from the origins of the cello and the first cellists until nowadays.

Three years later I feel that I have a deeper understanding of the cello, I found my missing answers by looking into history, also noticed that the political and social context had an influence on the mind of the players, and by consequences on the way of playing and set up of the cello. (also recorded the Bach Cello Suites with full baroque set up)

5. Sharing with other cellists

What was a personal research turned out as something I like to share with my students and colleagues. If it can be usefull to other cellists why keeping it for me? But again it is my vision, I am not trying to convince anyone, I am just sharing... 


how and what i work on during our meetings

During our first meeting, I will ask you to play a scale or/and a piece you feel comfortable with. After that we will talk, I will tell you what think you could work on and how. If you agree we will then establish a plan based on your needs and goals.

We will be working on posture, breathing, concentration in addition to the common repertoire. About advanced levels don't worry I am not at all the kind of "do what I do" teacher, but be ready to hear a lot of questions ;)

For cellists already enrolled in conservatory, you can combine both, I am used to working with conservatory students enrolled in universities / conservatories and I keep our meetings confidentials. 


I teach/coach in Berlin Schöneberg 3 metro stations from Potsdamer Platz
Possibilities to have lessons with piano accompaniement. 

About online teaching/coaching

Which Material Am I using? 

Zoom H2n as external microphone, very easy to use, it takes less than a 1 minute to plug it and have it ready.
It is a great buy for your studies and your performance as you can record all your performance with high quality sound. It is very portable and simple to use.
I will hear you through JBL Spyro Speakers.
I use Logitech Webcam c525, HD, Auto light correction , 8 MP, Autofocus. I can change angles of view easily, different perspectives of the hands, fingers, posture etc...
Which software?
We can use Skype, but I prefer to use , you can record the lesson, it will allow you to go back to what we worked on. 
If we are going to work regularly I will recommend you to get a good microphone if I can't hear you well.
You can use the integrated webcam of your computer. 
I use an external webcam so I can show you closer what's happening when I play, or show you posture of the hand, arm, fingering, details.


Baroque Cello

I see myself as a guide, a coach. I give "tools" to help my students / colleagues to free their playing. I love to look for answers, and find solutions. What matters to me is not the level of the cellists I work with but their interest and motivation in learning and improving. 

Teaching is part of my passion for cello and music. My method is based on posture, movement, breathing, self confidence, awareness in order to build a good cello technique and performance attitude. Is is inspired by various methods like Alexander tecnics, Feldenkrais, Sophrology, Yoga.  Some of my students call it the "cello therapy".  I play "modern" cello, but also 4 and 5 strings baroque cellos, teach in Berlin and Online.

I focus on the alliance of the body and the mind. In order to let the music speak, I try to free the movement through posture and breathing. It is very important to the advanced students and professional cellists to work in their posture, it is the key to a strong, healthy and pain free career. 

Marianne Dumas