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About the studio


Under the direction of Dr. Karl Knapp, the Knapp Cello Studio is located in Amherst, MA. Individual cello lessons are offered for students ages 4 to adult.

With over 20 years of teaching and performing experience, Karl has established himself as a distinguished cello instructor offering high quality training. Karl’s students have won scholarships and competitions and have gone on to study at distinguished music schools including University of Colorado Boulder, University of Michigan, and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Students in the Knapp Cello Studio have the opportunity to perform at two recitals every year.

Visit Karl's page at

Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill.
— Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

About Karl


Dr. Karl Knapp is known not only as a devoted Suzuki educator but also for his solo and chamber music performances. He recently served as Principal Cellist with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra as well as the Arctic Chamber Orchestra and the Juneau Symphony Orchestra.

As an active Suzuki educator in Alaska, Karl helped found the Alaska Cello Intensive. ACI is a two-week summer program which combines intense music study with the similarly intense experience of Alaska's midnight sun and landscapes like Denali national park or Kennecott Glacier.

Karl graduated with his Master and Doctorate of Music degrees from University of Wisconsin - Madison where he was a member of the Hunt Quartet, an educational ensemble which took classical music into the elementary schools in the area. He has performed in the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Madison Opera Orchestra, and Minnesota Opera Orchestra. His studies have been with with Karl Lavine, Stefan Kartman, Nina Gordon, Uri Vardi, Parry Karp, and the members of the Pro Arte Quartet.

Karl has received Suzuki training from Barbara Wampner, Alice Ann O'Neill, Carol Tarr, Nancy Hair, and will finish his comprehensive training with Pamela Devenport.

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The Suzuki Method



The Suzuki Method of instrument instruction is based on the philosophy and teaching of Japanese violinist and educator Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Over fifty years ago, Dr. Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease, including the complicated language of Japanese. He applied the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music and called his method the mother-tongue method. Combined with parent involvement, encouragement, constant repetition and beginning at a young age, children learn to play the cello the same way they learn to speak their native language – by listening, imitation and repeating sounds. Dr. Suzuki’s many years of observing, educating and working with young children and his expertly selected repertoire for skill development culminated in the Suzuki Philosophy and Method of instrument instruction and music education. 


  • Nurture: “Where love is deep, much will be accomplished.”
  • Positive Environment: Providing a nurturing learning environment both at home and in the lesson.
  • Anyone can learn: “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed.”
  • Listening: listening to music often and going to concerts and performances. Imitating great artists will help develop creativity and skill.
  • Play first, then read: If a child cannot yet read words, they cannot read music. Focus on learning to play the instrument and develop ear training skills and musical skills before reading music.
  • Parental involvement: parents learn to play the instrument, too, in order to help their children and to motivate their children to learn. Learning by imitation.
  • Character first, then ability: “Teaching music is not my main purpose, I want to make good citizens” Focus not on making great musicians but just great people.

My Teaching Philosophy

I am a Suzuki cello teacher. I embrace Suzuki principles and philosophies. The tenets of the method that speak to me and guide me as an instructor include:

  • Anyone can learn: My studio is open to students of all ages and abilities. I focus on the child, not the cello.
  • Nurture: I provide a positive and safe learning environment. 

Fostering and guiding my students toward independence is crucial not only for developing functional musicians but also developing healthy autonomy and self-determination that will serve them well throughout their entire lives, both in and outside musical experiences. 

I strive to be a nurturing, knowledgeable, and insightful teacher. I have a tremendous love of and respect for students young and old, and highly value their education and development. I seek to be a teacher that guides and nurtures students to be independent, successful and caring human beings while simultaneously teaching the cello.


Please follow this link for more information about the Suzuki Method from the Suzuki Association of the Americas

Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart.
— Dr. Shinichi Suzuki