Kirsty Hugill

Exeter, Devon

Qualifications ABRSM

Teaches Cello

Locale Exeter, Honiton, Exmouth, Dawlish, Crediton, Ashburton, Tiverton

Kirsty is the director of Exeter Young Strings. She has been teaching cello for 17 years, beginners to grade 8+, and have taught all ages from 3 year olds to adult beginners in their 70’s!

In addition she specialises in small chamber coaching and Kodaly musicianship training.  She has run chamber music courses for children in London over several years.  In all her teaching there is a strong emphasis on musicianship skill using tonic-solfa, Cerwin and Kodaly methods.

Cellobabies and Kirsty

I believe that strong musicianship skills are crucial. In all my teaching there is a strong emphasis on musicianship skill, so Cellobabies is a natural progression of my thinking.

My thoughts on teaching music

I really enjoy teaching a mix of ages and abilities and will take anyone provided they are willing to do their best. I believe that strong musicianship skills are crucial, and therefore individual lessons always include work on developing rhythm, pitch and co-ordination. The more developed these skills are the more the player if free to really enjoy music making which is essential.

Musical experience

I started playing the cello at the age of 7. It started like this;

One day the music teacher came into our classroom and asked us to put up our hand if we would like to learn to play an instrument. I put up my hand immediately. She then read out a list of instruments. I put up my hand for violin, as it was the only instrument that I knew of on the list. Unfortunately there were only a few spaces and I wasn’t chosen. 

A few days later the head master contacted my parents and asked if I would like to learn the cello. I remember being very excited by the idea, but didn’t know what a cello was. My first lesson was in the head masters room with two other children. I still clearly remember this first lesson and many of my other early lessons.

The bit I found hard was the practising. Being in a room on my own having to put into practise reading music for the first time, the co-ordination involved and having to listen that what I was playing was correct were all very daunting. I was lucky that my father was very helpful and took part in many of my early practise sessions, making sure the cello was in tune and singing along. I really wish I had the opportunity to have some Kodaly based training before I started as it would have make these early days much easier.

Having said that I went on to do a music degree at Kingston Polytechnic (now University) with cello as my main instrument and have since studied Kodaly musicianship in various forms, particurlary with Agnes Kory whose mother was one of the original teachers to work with Kodaly in Hungary. I have found this form of musicianship training to be of enormous benefit, both as a cellist and as musician generally.

Kirsty on the internet

Kirsty’s organisation [Exeter Young Strings]

Use the site contact form to get in touch with Kirsty – via Kay