Peter Ko, Cellist
Peter Ko, Cellist

Peter Ko, Cellist

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Introduction: Hi! Hope you're having a nice day so far. I’m Peter Ko, a professional cellist based in San Diego. I’m currently working towards my Doctorate in performance at UC San Diego, where I study, perform, and teach full-time, and I lead the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus as Principal Solo Cellist. Prior to that, I spent a few years in Canada for my Masters, and my undergrad at UCSD. My career as a cellist so far has taken me across the USA, Canada, into Mexico, and Europe. I’ve studied and collaborated with many great performers such as Charles Curtis, Mark Fewer, and the Dover Quartet. I’ve served as principal solo cellist for ensembles such as the Pacific Lyric Opera, San Diego City Ballet Orchestra, and the CelloBash Orchestra, but chamber music and solo performance is where my strongest musical passions lie. Not all good performers are good teachers—however, no mediocre performer is really a good teacher. The reason for this is simple: teachers have to draw from their expertise and experience in order to guide the student successfully. The craft of playing the cello is difficult and takes a persistent long-term approach to succeed, and no two students are ever alike; each requires their own specialized approach to tackle their own unique issues and succeed. Any teacher can get a student to play the notes of Twinkle Twinkle, but to do it well, with beautiful sound, musicality, and technique? That is rare, and requires a cellist who has already achieved a high standard. With my experience and insight, I can confidently say that I am one of those teachers that allow for students to flourish in that way. With that in mind, I offer a unique set of experiences and approaches that will draw out the student’s best potential. You see, I was actually quite limited as a cellist when I was younger; only through passion, luck, and dogged persistence was I able to attain the level of musicianship I have now. As a result, I have special insights into what the common technical pitfalls are, and how to bridge almost any technical or musical difficulties that the student might have. My learning and teaching experience have taught me that talent, while real and nice, is superseded by effort and instruction. As for my teaching experience itself, from 2015-2017, through my Masters degree, I was centrally involved with the Strong Harbour Strings Program in St. John's, Newfoundland. Strong Habour Strings is an after-school music program that provided free music education to the local inner-city children. Because of its free-cost nature, children had no incentive to come to their music lessons other than their enjoyment of the lessons and passion for music. I was successful in finding the balance between demanding a high standard from the student, while maintaining an enjoyable and encouraging atmosphere in my teaching. At UCSD now, I work as a teaching assistant for college courses, and give lessons to undergraduate cellists. Since moving back to San Diego, I have maintained a small studio of private students, ranging from the age of 5 to 75. Teaching is a very fulfilling experience for me; it is very satisfying for me to see my students grow and develop as musicians in a positive way, and to see them transform as individuals overall, thanks to the empowering and enriching nature of studying music. My focus in teaching is to cultivate a set of skills within my students so that they may be the very best musicians they could possibly be, and for them to benefit from these skills in their everyday lives. I hope to help you or your child achieve the best they can through the cello.

Hired 11 times

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Customers rated this pro highly for professionalism, work quality, and responsiveness.

Exceptional 5.0

7 reviews


Read reviews that mention:

Anthony U.

Having studied the cello as a child and throughout my teens, I am now approaching 40y/o. I decided to rekindle this passion of mine earlier this year despite feeling deeply anxious/nervous as to where and how I should proceed... particularly with the onset of the quarantine. After scouring the internet I found Peter and quickly he replied to my message. We have been meeting weekly online for 6months so far, and my assessment as his pupil is this: Having had a few private teachers in my past, Peter’s ability to breakdown and convey certain technicalities of cello playing is absolutely exceptional! He’s patient, caring, and thorough in his lessons. With some bad playing habits I have set in, and older stubborn hands, I’m thrilled to have found him. My improvement in playing is proof in of itself, and I’m excited every week for our sessions! Without a doubt I recommend his services for anyone’s child, as well as an such as myself.
Nov 14, 2020
Roger L.

Cello Lessons

Hes very focused on skill improvement. I'm a beginner and I've been treated with great respect and on a professional level. Peter loves his music and that translates.
Jun 21, 2021
Kim G.

Cello Lessons (for children or teenagers)

Peter is a true professional and really digs into the foundation and fundamentals for the new performer. He works very diligently with the student one on one and is consistently striving for excellence. Peter comes highly recommended.
Aug 31, 2020
Yong w.

Cello Lessons

We had a trial with Peter and he showed his professionalisms. Th interaction with my son was well. After class, he summarized what he taught in email.
Aug 21, 2020
Liza S.

Cello Lessons

He is a great teacher. Patient, knowledgeable and great personality.
Mar 30, 2021
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Min Seok Ko


  • What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?

    Time is money! The amount that I charge per lesson can seem a bit pricey; however, my fee reflects the quality of my teaching. You will progress faster under my guidance, with the proper technique, approach, and quality of craft. In the long run, this will save you time and money, so that you are minimizing the time you waste fruitlessly unlearning bad habits, or learning music with terribly inefficient methods.

  • What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

    I have an Bachelor's and Master's in Music Performance (cello), which involved learning the instrument at a high level, and pedagogical training as it relates to music education. Currently I'm pursuing a Doctorate at UCSD.

  • How did you get started doing this type of work?

    I started by helping out my friends with issues they were having with the cello or music, and my first formal students were young children at the beginning of their cello journey.

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