Brenda Leonard

Brenda L.

Cape May Court House, NJ
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I’m have over 30 years of experience teaching cello. Every student has different needs; I work with you at whatever point you are at. I have a doctorate in cello.
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Brenda teaches



Brenda delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 15+ and special needs

Teaching since:

I love teaching cello! I’ve spent 30+ years of my life doing it and I think I’m good at what I do. :) One of the best parts of teaching is connecting you with your dreams. I’m open to teaching music you’ll enjoy playing and I love talking about cello and my love of classical music. I’m happy to help you find music you can play at your level and will love playing.

Many of my students find they really enjoy taking lessons with me because I speak their language—I understand their love of different types of music, I hear their frustrations and can help them solve their problems, and I’m happy to spend a few minutes in a lesson “nerding out” about whatever exciting cello-thing came across their radar this week.

I have a reputation for students with solid technique who have learned how to solve problems and play in tune, in rhythm, with good sound and musical understanding. Let me help you do so!

DMA in cello performance from the University of South Carolina
MM in cello performance and pedagogy from Northern Illinois University
BA in music history, also from NIU

I’ve taught cello at Clemson University, North Greenville University, Anderson University, and the University of South Carolina, as well as in my private studio.

(FYI: Until recently, I was a licensed foster parent. I promise my background has been checked in every way possible!)

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Private Studio Teacher
Apr 1986 - Present

I've been playing since I was 8 years old and teaching since I was 16. I'm a much better teacher than I was 30+ years ago, but I know I've connected with every student in some way and all of them have improved at the cello!


DMA Cello Performance
Aug 2004 - Jul 2012
University of South Carolina
MM Cello Performance and Pedagogy
Jan 1992 - Aug 1993
Northern Illinois University


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


American String Teachers Association
Jan 1994

The American String Teachers Association, founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA's members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.

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Photos & Videos

Performing the premiere of a new classical composition for cello and piano. It’s an unusual piece but really wonderful!
Just another photo of me!

Playing principal cello with the Spartanburg Philharmonic. (I'm on the right.)

With concert cellist Zuill Bailey. Zuill has played concertos with several orchestras of which I've been a member.

With solo cellist Clare Bryant, now the cello professor at the University of South Carolina (successor to my doctoral advisor)!

I play an instrument made by NYC-based luthier Jason Viseltear. It has a gorgeous one-piece back made of willow.


7 Reviews

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Jennifer Apr 6, 2019
Cello · In studio

Wonderful teacher! She was the first private instructor to really understand the way my son learns, and taught him appropriately. He made so much progress under her tutelage. We highly recommend her!

Ruth Ann Feb 23, 2019
Cello · Online

First lesson went great. Brenda started me with the basics and was very patient. Answered all my questions. I feel that I will be off to a good start with Brenda guiding me. PS I’m 53 years old, brand new to cello. I’ve always dreamed of playing.
I used to play French Horn 40 years ago. Bass clef is all new to me.

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Pasquale Jan 27, 2019
Cello · In studio

I originally learned how to play the cello on my own in my school's orchestra. When I went to college and decided to bring my cello with me, I knew it was time to take proper lessons like everyone else. Brenda was able to help me iron out all of the bad habits I had developed over seven years of playing cello with no formal corrections. She clearly cared about me and my interests as a student. I can confidently say Brenda equipped me with the tools, techniques, and attitude I needed to play the cello for the rest of my life.

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AnneMarie Nov 24, 2018
Cello · In studio

Dr. Leonard has been my daughter's cello teacher for six years. She has been amazing in every way. My daughter has enjoyed playing the cello, in large, part due to Dr. Leonard's teaching style which is intellectually stimulating, humorous, inspiring, and caring. She is a relatable to my teenager. We have never thought of moving to a new teacher because Dr. Leonard always brings something new to the table in her lessons.

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Francesca Nov 24, 2018
Cello · In studio

I wish I could've had the time and money to take another semester of lessons with Dr. Leonard here at NGU. She is a fantastic communicator with brilliant teaching strategies, plus helpful hints and tricks to make a student's learning experience easier. I absolutely loved my time with her, it was a blessing of an experience I'll never forget.

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Julia Nov 23, 2018
Cello · Online

Dr. Leonard is an excellent teacher! She genuinely cares about the student and does not hesitate to answer any questions the student may have! She is efficient with her time without making the student feel rushed or as though they have a time limit. Most of all, she is enthusiastic and kind, making her a wonderful teacher!

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Jordan Nov 23, 2018
Cello · In studio

I have studied with Dr. Brenda Leonard for the duration of my college career, and recently performed my senior recital as a Music Education major. Dr. Leonard is not only one of the most accomplished performers I have known personally, but is a truly superb educator. She holds her students to an appropriate standard of excellence in their playing and gives them the support to attain it, adjusting her teaching style based on the needs of each student. Furthermore, she blends down-to-earth practicality with artistry better than anyone I know. Dr. Leonard not only teaches the cello excellently, but invests in her students' lives personally. It has truly been a pleasure studying with her as a mentor.

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