Lisa Liske

Cello Teacher

Lisa Liske

SAA Member


Cary, NC
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Lisa Liske is a cellist, teacher, and independent scholar whose early dedication to the cello took an interdisciplinary path. Lisa is a registered Suzuki teacher and has taught Suzuki workshops and institutes in the U.S., Canada, and England. She is a registered teacher and teacher trainer in Alice Kanack’s Creative Ability Development method, an important current in contemporary music education that revives the tradition of improvisation as part of classical training. Lisa has always maintained a private studio from which many cellists have gone on to major music schools or (equally important in Lisa’s estimation) a life that includes active community music-making.In addition to being a registered Suzuki teacher, she teaches at the college level and is also a teacher and teacher trainer in Creative Ability Development. She loves to work with students of all ages and stages. Lisa studied with Sophie Feuermann (sister of the great cellist Emanuel), Channing Robbins, Steven Kates, Irene Sharp, and Bonnie Hampton. Along with this training in “modern” cello playing, Lisa studied with Early Music specialists Anthony Martin and Elisabeth LeGuin. These master teachers gave her a broad cellistic background steeped in historical and stylistic perspective. She has continued to perform contemporary and mainstream classical cello repertoire as well as developing her understanding of Historically Informed Performance on Baroque cello. In the midst of an early career dedicated to the life of a cellist, Lisa chose to widen her path by attending St. John’s College (Annapolis). There, where all students read “the 100 seminal works of Western Civilization,” known as The Great Books Program, she emerged with the school’s trademark degree:  A double major in mathematics and philosophy and a double minor in science and language. From there she went on to earn a Master’s degree in cello performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has served as adjunct faculty at Washington and Lee University, Southern Virginia University, Hollins University, and Roanoke College. Her orchestral experience included positions with the Maryland Symphony, Virginia Beach Pops Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia; she was principal cellist of Opera Roanoke and assistant principal of the Roanoke Symphony. But all along her main interest has been the solo and chamber voice of the cello, and in 2003 she decided to focus upon these repertoires. Along with solo recitals she has performed with Emrys Ensemble (flute, viola, cello, piano), Trio Sans Souçi (Baroque violin, cello, harpsichord), New River Ensemble (contemporary and classical clarinet trio with the occasional saxophone, flute, or banjo), Trio Éclipse (contemporary piano trio repertoire), and Jewel Tones (Baroque solos by the continuo instruments). She is also a member of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. Lisa has brought her broad background of thought and experience to the problems of technique and interpretation, developing her own systematic pedagogy. Springing from her thirty-year teaching career come the following materials: The Ants Book, a beginner cello method that explores the seeds of musical artistry; How to Fly Your Cello, a distillation of core technique-building activities; and A Pedagogy of Expression, her present study of how we make music move. Lisa’s current pursuits include preparing her books for publication, teaching online masterclasses about How to Fly Your Cello and for The Cello Camerata, and tracing the historical development of cello technique with a program for solo cello called Out of Italy. Lisa’s present teaching is all online, where she maintains a small studio, offers a Saturday morning class, open to anyone, based on How to Fly Your Cello, and recently concluded a year and a half of hosting international masterclasses for The Cello Camerata.