Buying a Cello

TopOfStairsWhen you are buying a new instrument, whether for yourself or someone else, it feels like opening (and closing) many doors. The last time I went instrument shopping, it was for myself. In the past 10 years, I have bought both a violin and a viola. As an adult, I found that experience fun.

But I remember the experience as a teen being stressful. I played several instruments and tried to think about tone, sound, playability, etc, but the looming questions in the back of my mind were always things like, would my teachers like it? Would my parents complain about the price? Was this instrument “worth it?” I had a hard time focusing on what was important.

FellerDoorNow my teenage son needed a new cello, so it was time to start the process again. What’s behind door number 1?

Especially for this age player, it makes sense to take a teacher’s advice. We ended up back in San Francisco, at the shop of Roland Feller, who takes care of my son’s teacher’s instruments and where many of her students have bought cellos and bows.

I was a little hesitant to go into San Francisco at all because of the traffic and the parking. I’ve taken the train in a few times, and I’ve been geocaching and touring the city with family earlier in the year, but it is always an “Event” when I go, not merely an errand.

What made this trip special, however, was that his teacher went the extra mile and made it fun as well as educational. We first checked out the Degas Exhibit at the Legion of Honor before the shop opened and had a nice lunch. It was also a beautiful day in the city. We brought umbrellas, just to guarantee that it wouldn’t rain, and sure enough the sun was shining.


cellosWhen we got to the shop, she played 12 cellos in an hour, narrowing it down to two instruments for us to take home and my son to decide between. The walk back to the car, even with only 2 cellos in tow, was a bit of a trek, but made more delightful by the houses in the area. I’ve blogged before about the iconic “Painted Ladies” of San Francisco, but they aren’t the only ones!


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6 thoughts on “Buying a Cello”

  1. Hi KL – lovely story about the cello … and remembering back to your purchases – I’m sure you made the right choice … going with the teacher’s idea. Amazing she tried 12 cellos … and then you had the two to take home – they’re not small are they!

    Wonderful connection to the painted houses and to the doors … wonderful talent you and your son have … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some people name their instruments. My son named his previous instrument “Shelley.” We donated Shelley to a program at San Jose State that gives instruments and lessons to kids who can’t afford them. So she is still being played.


  2. Gotta love teachers who go the extra mile for their students. We really do pay athletes and celebrities way too much, and good teachers way too little.
    Looks like it was a wonderful day – and you found some awesome doors too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Serendipitous! Two days ago I was in a music store (I wish to choose an instrument! such fun) to buy accessories for the guitar my brother had given me when parting to live in the US.
    When I was a teen my dream was a cello, but after I heard my school friend play the violin ,I settled on that instrument.

    Liked by 1 person

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