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There is a quote somewhere that says music can change the world because it changes people. That is exactly what Melissa has done in our world.  Our son has been Melissa's student for almost 7 years -- she has given him (and our family) the gift of the cello, music and herself.  She truly is an amazing teacher and we feel privileged to be a part of her studio.  So much so that our daughter too has joined the journey to experience Melissa’s magic.

--- Johanna Metzger

Melissa Solomon has brought the joy of music into our home and for that, our family will forever be grateful!  Her love of playing the cello, combined with her highly creative teaching ability in the Suzuki method, inspires my daughter at each lesson.  There is no end to the variety of problem solving exercises which meet my daughter at every stage of her cello skill development.  Melissa is an inspired teacher and performer.  We are honored she is sharing her gifts with our daughter.

---- Bridget Phillips

It’s a pleasure to write about Melissa’s lessons. My son, Philip, started playing cello with her when he just turned 4 years old. I could never imagine that such a tiny kid can extract pleasant sounds from cello and sit through 30 and sometimes 40 minutes lesson and enjoy it! But I was totally wrong. The lessons are a lot of fun – all thanks to Melissa’s amazing ability to read the kid and figure out very quickly what are the things that speak to him. This makes lessons very unique. Here is an example, my son likes sports: tennis and soccer. I thought there is no way one can connect these things (tennis and cello), but I was again wrong. Melissa came up with little exercises that use tennis concepts and jargon to develop cello’s skills! This was truly amazing.

These cello lessons are much more to us than just learning to play cello. Melissa introduces Philip to musical instruments, harmony, and music in general. She also spends a few minutes every lesson to develop his voice-brain coordination, which teaches him to sing in tune. The whole experience of these lessons is absolutely extraordinary and nothing like boring and repetitive music lessons that I remember from my childhood.  Every lesson, Melissa introduces new little games and exercises, which slowly build the technique and allow the student to feel comfortable with the instrument, appreciate it and at the same time enjoy playing it. Add to this Melissa’s truly uplifting spirit and amazing expertise in what kinds of things make sense to different students, these things together make Melissa’s music lessons truly special.

----Marina Agranov

My son has been studying with Melissa for 7 years and in that time we have not had a more dedicated or effective teacher, in or outside of music. Whenever he goes to a camp or does a recital, teachers and parents ask about his teacher.  Melissa and her students have developed a reputation for highly polished and professional performances.

Melissa maintains the highest of standards while keeping learning fun, and helps kids develop as performers and musicians by emphasizing musicality, in addition to the necessary execution of notes.  Melissa’s technical expertise is complemented by her unique ability to teach in the way that best suits each student as an individual.  The connection she makes with each student is remarkable and informs not only their technique but also their attitude.  Kids love cello because they love Melissa. 

---- Nicole Logan

Imagine a hawk soaring over a mountain range; what do you think that would look like? The child imagines the flight of a bird harnessing the power of the wind to search for its prey miles below. He is completely engaged and becomes part of the scene. After a time, Melissa brings him back to the phrasing of the new piece. Now he tackles it from a new dimension and with the pleasure of storytelling.

Melissa draws her students into the learning process by relating to their world. The depth and breadth of her musical background are the foundations for her skills in teaching one technique after another. She brings to her teaching a level of detail that fosters her students’ talents; her students inevitably turn heads in the musical communities they have joined.

Melissa has fostered group playing for years. This has led not only to a rich social experience, as her students come from varied backgrounds, but has also afforded them the challenges of learning how to work with others in a group setting.

Both my children have been Melissa’s students over the last 9 Years. Not only have they gained confidence in themselves as they have observed their ability to overcome obstacles and master difficult works, they have had the unparalleled experience of learning how to learn—in a supportive and caring environment.

Both our son and daughter have chosen to play in their school orchestras, a community orchestra, and our daughter joined together with her high school classmates to play in a band. And it’s on Melissa that my son hops in the car and switches the radio station from the news to classical radio! This year, our daughter started college at UC Berkeley. She took her cello and still keeps in touch with

Melissa. I’m betting she, and we as a family, always will.

----Ruth Landsberger

I have been taking cello lessons from the most amazing, talented Melissa for over 4 years. We met through one of my good friends, Adrienne Wilde, whose son, Harry Key Wilde was taking lessons also.

I played the cello from the 4th grade to 9th grade. Needless to say many years passed and I started with Melissa right after my 50th birthday. I am her oldest Student. My lessons are one part therapy, 4 parts cello, and 5 parts laughter and friendship. I was also Melissa’s Birth and Postpartum Doula and still watch Leonardo and Julia after my lessons.

I have seen Melissa with her students, and she has a different way of teaching for each student's needs. She brings out the best talent in all of us, and I am so grateful to have her as my Teacher and dear Friend.

----Lauren Veca

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