Michael Santander

Certified Private Instructor

I've been playing cello for over 30 years and am classically trained. I grew up in Tucson, AZ and attended NAU in Flagstaff, AZ for Music Education. I've been teaching private cello lessons for over 20 years and my students range from retirees looking for a fun hobby to young students planning a future career in music performance.


My teaching philosophy is completely based around finding what gives the cellist the most satisfaction with playing their instrument and teaching the technical and performance aspects of the instrument through that lens. If the player wants to do college auditions, we put more focus on scales and classical repertoire. If the student wants to play in school orchestra and hang out with their friends, we study current pop songs, Star Wars and Disney tunes—all while incorporating technique and encouraging growth. With younger students in a school/community orchestra we spend a portion of the lesson on school music to make sure it makes sense and that they can be successful in that setting, then spend the rest of the lesson playing some solo pieces that remind us how much fun it is to play the cello :) I don't have any regular performance/recital schedule with my students so I definitely encourage players to be involved in a community or school orchestra to give them the performance experience that is so valuable.

Professional Affiliations

D'Addario Educational Collective