Darian Kaszas


Learning Project


I have learned a lot and come a very long with the cello (or at least I’d like to believe so). I think that this Learning Project was very beneficial as to showing us different ways to teach ourselves using the internet. I am really glad that we had the opportunity to do this project, as it was very fun, and I got to do what I love, which is play music. Even though I didn’t get very far with my cello in the last month, I am proud of where I got. I even bought myself a cheap used cello so I can continue practicing and I’ll be a professional very soon… wait on it.

I am very glad to have been given this awesome opportunity and I think it was an amazing learning experience!!


The Saints Are Going To Be Marching OUT When They Hear This…

This week, my main concern was again the short notes. I thought that I had those pretty under control a few weeks ago when I learned ‘Bingo’. Apparently, when I sat down to learn ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’, I somehow got either slightly worse, or stayed the same. I wanted to do this one to continue practicing those faster notes. This piece also has different types of notes that I haven’t really practiced yet such as tied notes and accented notes. I wanted to try and challenge myself for the last song. I definitely did not do the greatest, but on the bright side, I left room for improvement. For this week, I actually just used a Google Image of this song. It worked completely fine. I could not find this song and not have to pay for it, so I figured a Google Image would do just fine.

This is my video of ‘When The Saints Go Marching In”. Hopefully I will improve from this.

Not So Amazing, Not So Graceful

This week I tried something slightly more difficult. I have been having trouble with holding longer notes, like half notes or whole notes. I wanted to choose a slower song this week so that I could practice those. When I am stroking the bow across the strings for more than two counts usually I start to get very shaky, or I begin moving the bow diagonally. This always make the sound squeak or just sound terrible. Choosing this piece to play this week, I think that it has for sure helped me improve holding notes for a longer period of time.

This is my video of me playing ‘Amazing Grace’. I found this song on a Cello Sheet Music site. It is obviously not perfect yet, but this is the LEARNING project, so I’m getting there. I see myself making improvements every week!

B-I-N-G- NO!

 I chose everyone’s favourite childhood song and destroyed it this week. I wanted to try something that I thought was easy. It wasn’t too hard note wise, I just had a lot of trouble moving my fingers so quickly. I also have a habit of moving my bow diagonally when I have quicker notes. In this video, I am obviously not too great, I just wanted to get used to playing some quicker notes. This video is after I had practiced a lot. I am actually getting quite frustrated with learning the cello. I usually have an easy time with my other stringed instruments. Usually you just have to remember the strumming pattern. Although I do love the cello because you can just read the music, you don’t need any strumming patterns. I just find it so much more difficult using a bow. The cello is one of those instruments that only sounds really good when the player is really good. So I’m hoping one night soon while I’m sleeping, I become a professional cello player.

Here is my video to BINGO. I am obviously going to continue working on moving notes much more quickly. I think that this is a good beginning place to be though. I got this sheet music from Cello Sheet Music. I did modify it a little bit so that I was able to play it a little bit better.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – Performed by What Sounds Like a Three Year Old.

So I suppose I am technically getting better. I just feel like I’m doing so awfully since I’m still just beginning. This week on the cello, I learned how to play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’, but instead of using sheet music and finding the notes online, I decided to learn it by ear. So basically, I just went to YouTube and found an easy ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ that I thought I’d be able to play. I just listened to the first few notes and figured out where they were on my cello and which notes they were playing, and then I pretty much figured the rest out myself.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO AHEAD AND TELL ME, I already know that I don’t sound like the person in the video. BUT I am improving for sure, even though you may not think so. I do need to continue working on how to not hit two strings with the bow at once. My next goal is to stop doing that. As you can hear in my video of it, I usually do hit two strings at once.

Here is my interesting version of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’


This week I basically did the same thing. I played Jingle Bells again, although this time, I used that annoying bow that no one likes. I enjoy telling myself that I have gotten much better and I am now a professional, however, I am still decently bad. I used the same image of Jingle Bells as I used last week. This time I just used the bow instead of finger picking. I’m not sure if I am better at finger picking or using the bow, I just know that I most definitely need improvement. I am having a lot of trouble playing the cello because of the fact that there are no fretts. Basically you just need to guess where your fingers go and hope it sounds right. Obviously, in the video below, you can tell that I’m having some trouble with this as the notes sound off. On the bright side, I have made improvement using the bow and I am almost super good at the cello (except not really).



So I have recently learned Jingle Bells at the beginning of June. Let’s just say my family isn’t too fond of me learning the cello anymore. My mom encourages me to try something else. BUT WHO DOESN’T LOVE CHRISTMAS MUSIC ALL YEAR AROUND? Well I don’t actually think anyone does, but I have to learn something, don’t I? Jingle bells was bit of a challenge for me, for sure. Usually when I learn other instruments, that’s the first and easiest song I go to. This one I needed a lot of practice for. I still cannot get used to using the bow. It’s so annoying to me. I’m also extremely annoyed with the fact that there are no frets on a cello. It’s tough having to estimate where your fingers should go and decide whether it’s the right note. With that, I have also been getting a lot of good practice just finger picking. The main reason I even wanted to learn the cello was because of Danny Kenyon from The Dead South (a local Regina band if you don’t know). He mainly finger picks in their songs, so I will too because apparently it’s okay. As long as Danny finger picks, I’ll finger pick. Basically, my goal when the semester is done is to finger pick a song by The Dead South, so really, I might as well just toss the bow now.

Anyways, these past few weeks I have used a few videos, but I also dug up an old beginner cello book in my music container. I know we’re supposed to learn online, but the book really helped me. I tried finding something similar to the book online since that’s what worked best for me. I’m sure you’re all as surprised as I am… I didn’t find anything like it that was free. I basically just then went from my book, figured out what beginner songs I should look to play. I then would just google that song and then find a PDF version of it. I would then also watch a YouTube video on it to see if I was sounding decent.

Overall, I have definitely made some progress. Here is my attempt at Jingle Bells (my apologies for the bad quality and greebly looking fingers)…

Beginning to Sound Less Like A Dying Animal…

Learning the cello this week has reminded me of a few things. I was reminded that having decent posture for long periods of time hurts my back. I also remembered when learning a string instrument, or playing one for the first time after a long period of time hurts the fingers. However, I am practicing enough that I should have calluses on my fingers in no time! This week I learned that I don’t like using a bow for playing the cello, as it makes my hand cramp up and it hurts. At the same time, I love using the bow as it sounds so nice and it makes me look professional.

This week I learned some basic songs using my bow, and also by finger picking. I have been practicing both. I learned amazing tunes like “Hot Cross Buns” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb”. I’ve just been practicing these basic songs, along with about ten others so that I can get over sounding like a dying goose. I am beginning to sound like more of a cello player as the practice goes on, but I’m really hoping to sound good by the end of the class.

I have been finding it extremely challenging to find pieces online as most of the music needs to be purchased. I have also been playing some piano music, as cello is in bass clef. I have been finding beginner piano music and just playing the bass clef line on the cello. Since last post, I have also learned how to play the previously learned notes a whole lot better. I am now able to play and move fingerings much faster. I have also learned how to play a G and a B.


Since this is the first learning project post, I have not yet mastered the cello. I have experience with reading music and playing other stringed instruments already, so I was able to just jump right to the playing. The first mistake I made once I got my cello, was not reading how to properly tune it and I snapped a string. Once I replaced the string, I was pretty scared to try and play the cello again. I was on YouTube trying to see how to tune my cello the CORRECT way and was good to go!

Since I am already pretty familiar with playing stringed instruments and reading music, I didn’t have to waste time on that. I looked up fingering charts on how to play the different notes. I began finger picking all of the strings and getting used to playing a huge instrument.

The next thing I did was YouTube how to use the bow and what that thing was even for. I play the guitar and ukulele, so I had no idea what to do with the long stick. I have now been able to play basic songs using just the open strings. Once I got the open strings figured out, I then learned how to play and E and an F# on the D string.

I have definitely made progress and I’ll see how much farther I get for next week!

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