So, you're curious to find out just how fun and easy it can be for you or your child to learn how to play a stringed instrument such as cello, violin, viola or bass? All ages and skill levels are welcome!
You will love learning the same insights that led to past students' achievements, including in Suburban Council, All-County Orchestra, many top scores in the NYSSMA rating system in NY (), concert master/first chair/high rankings in their school orchestras and youth orchestras, performing at Carnegie Hall in NYC, playing with Yo Yo Ma at SPAC, and selection for NPR and PBS shows. Several students have gone into careers in music, including on scholarships to music schools around the country.
You can go to anyone hanging out a sign offering music lessons, or experience the radical advantages you gain from a life devoted to inspiring students of all ages, with the credentials and experience to have something worth sharing. I've been a certified public school music educator, guest clinician, math and language arts tutor, youth orchestra conductor, or private lesson teacher in PA, OH, OK, SC, WY, CO, NM, AL, and NY over three decades. I look forward to seeing if we have a match between the Suzuki philosophy and your desire to work at building new skills.
"I really enjoy taking cello lessons with Will. I always learn more than I paid for. Will taught me not just how to play cello but also the life lessons extended from his cello philosophy as well as his own experience. Learning cello is a process of gaining a talent (according to Will and Dr. Suzuki), and this is an attitude that can be applied in any kind of learning. During the learning process, Will really focuses on the basics practice that could assist us to go further in ease. His teaching method is very beneficial to the students and I learned everything with joy. "
- Liu Zhou, college student,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
"Hayes creates the perfect marriage between simple basics, and the perfection of self-satisfying sound. His pacing is perfect, and his jokes are the best kind of bad. Is there really anything else you could want? He is vastly overqualified to teach, yet puts in the time and honest passion to bring us all up to his level."
- Tristan Laurian, college student,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
"I have been working with and alongside Will for about 15 years. He is one of the most thorough teachers I've met and doesn't miss one detail. Very thoughtful and methodical and is always looking to grow and learn in his own profession both playing and teaching. A fine player, he stays active performing as well in solo, chamber and symphonic settings. I would recommend Will without reservation."
- Veronica Nettles Kolegas, cellist, Suzuki teacher, daughter
Oct 29, 2020
"Will has so much to bring from his decades as a performer to help (you, or) your child develop into a musician! I was so happy to see the quality of instruction involved and the way the study is set up for success with all the parental support and assist at home, the frequent recitals, the development of the EAR first in order to really hear pitch relationships and directionality first, and the intensive learning of proper technique from the outset to develop a sense of organic oneness with the instrument. Suzuki was all a mystery to me until I got to be on the inside of the instruction for hours and hours. Now I find it an amazing system of learning for strings! Everyone reading this ought to sign up right now for this opportunity to study with an experienced concert performer who is also a Suzuki teacher! You'll get the best of both worlds."
- Cherwyn Ambuter,
Fellow CCM Alum, Concert and Collaborative Pianist, August 22, 2020
"Will Hayes is a great talented guy who cares about his students. He is always friendly and goes at the pace of the student. I've always had a great time when I was there. Best instructor around!"
- Patrick Seville, adult cello student
"I have been having violin lessons for only a month - even in this short time, Will has helped me progress rapidly and he has a very helpful way of teaching. He provides good feedback and tips on improving my playing skills."
- Juliana Thamboo, adult violin student
"I think Mr. Hayes is a great teacher. When I started playing violin it was difficult for me to keep up daily practice. When I started taking Mr. Hayes' classes I started really devoting time to violin. His lessons really helped me and his teaching methods are really fun to do and really help."
- Chris, middle school violin student
"As a senior adult, learning the cello with Will has been very motivating and fun! Besides working on position, technique and relaxation, we also look at how I approach the cello mentally, turning negative thoughts into positive ones. By reframing issues, frustrating moments are turned into opportunities for growth and improvement – which I'm also applying to my time at the harp. Thank you for the lessons, Will...and the silly magic tricks and puzzles! ;-)"
Harp for Healing
Donna Adams-Profeta, CMP
Feb 25, 2021
"I learned how to do a different bow hold than the beginners bow hold - and I don't know how I was able to play the cello before. It has gotten easier to play the cello because of the Suzuki method!"
Oct 26, 2020
"Mr. Hayes is a talented, versatile, and patient teacher!
He taught both my son (cello) and my daughter (viola). Now, I'm taking lessons (viola)."
October 19, 2020
"Thank you so much Will for teaching me! I absolutely love my lessons. They are the high point of my week. It's the one time of the week where I know that I am setting aside the time for myself because I deserve it. This act in itself is actually helping me become a more positive person overall as a result. I am always happily amazed every time as to what I learn in the lessons holds so much more value than content about music. Really what I'm learning through lessons is how to enjoy and do life a little better, one lesson at a time."
- Collette McComb, adult cello student,
October 1, 2020
"Thank you for helping Tara stay engaged during this very strange time. She really does love playing
- Alicia Brabazon-Curtin, Tara's Mom
June 24, 2020
"Will is a fantastic, personable instructor who puts forth great dedication to his students' success. From his years of experience, he formulates a customized plan for each student, while helping them to strengthen their baseine skills in a fun and cooperative way. I really enjoyed his friendly and supportive nature, which helped me not only improve my cello abilities but also helped me grow as a person."
- J.M., March 15, 2020
- Owen's Dad, Sep 2018
"I recommend Will Hayes for music instruction."
- Andrew Wheeler, Professional Guitarist/Teacher
March 15, 2020
"Kind, patient, focusing on fundamental skills for long term development."
- Ellen, Aug 22, 2019
"Thank you so much for being such a wonderful teacher."
- Ella Grace
"Mr. Hayes' teaching is very interesting to attract
the student and make them more focused."
- Goui's Mom, Xuemin Zhang, July 21,2019
"Will Hayes is a fabulous teacher. When my kids began taking private cello and bass lessons, they learned more with him in the first lesson than from the months of lessons through their school. He understands how to work with children and makes the lessons fun. My kids look forward to working with him."
- Deborah Goodman, Lily and Sasha's Mom, January, 2019
"Will makes learning FUN!!"
-Stacey D., June 11, 2019
"Thank you for your excellent lessons for Ian. He enjoys your kind teaching style, scale practices, and activities. He is able to learn a lot and get inspiration watching you play cello."
- Gyojeong Gu, Ian's Dad, Dec 2, 2018
"Studying with Mr. Hayes gave my daughter the individual attention she needed to reach a higher level understanding of both music in general and cello technique. Her ability and confidence grew exponentially under his patient and individually tailored instruction."
- Elizabeth Curley, Mom, Oct 11, 2018
"Mr. Hayes is a dedicated and caring teacher. He encouraged and cultivated my son's interest in Cello, and patiently guided him to develop good habits from the very beginning. We are very thankful for the opportunity to study with such a talented, inspiring musician!"
- May Chen, Yochen's Mom, 2016
"Will is an excellent instructor who teaches his students the fundamentals as well as making his lessons fun, and giving students the joy of music. Thank you for all that you did for our son over the years of cello lessons. It was a great experience for him."
- Jeff Handelman, Zach's Dad, Niskayuna, 2015
"Mr. Hayes is extremely helpful, adapts great to the student's abilities and provides useful tips. Lessons have a predictable structure and he makes music fun."
- Paige Dubiac, cello student, Dec 12, 2018
"Will is a superb cellist and a master teacher. He has studied with the finest and individualizes lessons to my children's personalities and temperaments. He emphasizes proper technique and love of playing. He is gentle and non-judgmental, meeting kids "where they are." He goes above and beyond to provide resources and opportunities and clearly loves what he does. I have been so happy watching my children's progress."
- Mom of violin and cello student siblings,
Clifton Park, NY, 2011
"He was on time and very reliable/flexible if we needed a schedule change. He knew the skills of many famous cellist's that really helped in his mentoring. He was very helpful say if i had something wrong with my cello he would try to fix it unless it needed repairs beyond what someone could do with no materials."
- Nick Sukhu, cello student, Colonie, NY, 2016
"Will is incredibly knowledgeable and an excellent musician himself and often puts in extra time to finish a concept. It is clear he has a teaching background and is well-read about music education. He is always bringing new ideas to motivate the kids to practice. Excellent!"
- Chame Blackburn, Siena's Mom, Cambridge, NY, 2012
"Mr. Hayes offers individualized instruction while providing a solid foundation in technique, performance, and music theory. My daughter has studied with him for a year and her cello skills continue to blossom."
- Jo Prouc, Clara's Mom, Dec 2, 2018
"You are making a huge difference with our students and we all appreciate you."
Guilderland High School, NY
"Just spectacular! Thank you, Will Hayes; the ensemble blossomed under your direction."
- Christine Hoyt, Hannah's Mom, January 18, 2015
Northeast String Orchestra's Advanced Ensemble
Winter concert, Clifton Park, NY
"Every lesson with Will Hayes is a gift. Not only has he helped me vastly improve my cello skills, but he has also helped me understand my own thinking process and the way I approach things. I would recommend him to anyone!"
- Emily Burgess, Cello Student
June 28, 2021
"My daughter Audrey really enjoys her violin lessons with Mr. Hayes, the jokes and magic tricks!"
- Anny Yin, Audrey's Mom and Practice Coach at Home
June 6, 2021
"I feel blessed to have Will Hayes as a cello teacher and mentor."
- Kate Henson, adult cello student,
April 13, 2021
"Teacher Hayes is very good at assessing my Son's ability and interests in his lessons. He makes lessons fun and challenging. He is a very gifted musician and has teaching skills that make my Son excited about learning a new instrument. I highly recommend Mr. Hayes as a cello teacher!!
- Helen Kim
Feb 25, 2021
"Teacher Will is very knowledgeable and thoughtful. Our Son is improving tremendously under his guidance and looks forward to his lessons."
- Eva Marchione, Andrew's Mom and Practice Coach at Home, ZOOM lessons in Pennsylvania
December 28, 2020
"I am very grateful that Will was accepting new students over the Summer. My son really enjoys playing the cello now. Will's creative ways keep him engaged and he looks forward to his lessons every week and actually does not fuss much about practice since he wants to be prepared for his lessons."
- Farzana Chisty, Adhi's Mom and Practice Coach at Home
"Will is very patient with our daughter, Kindle, with her cello lessons. He's very knowledgeable and Kindle has learned a lot since starting cello lessons with him. Her parents like his humor, especially his jokes."
- The Youngs, Kindle's Parents and Practice Coaches at Home
November 19, 2020
"We love working with Will because he makes learning a difficult skill fun. He has limitless patience and regularly shares genuine praise. Learning the cello with Will is not just about learning the notes, but also about techniques that will lead to beautiful, soulful music-making. We also love the jokes and magic tricks!"
- Heather Lessard, Nicholas' Mom and Practice Coach at Home
November 16, 2020
"Mr. Hayes is patient when I'm learning a piece and gives immediate feedback that is very helpful. He has a good structure to the lessons that makes them effective and fun."
- 11th grade cello student
October 6, 2020
"The teacher, Will Hayes, made it easier for me to befriend the cello, a friendship I had lost and struggled to regain."
- Alvaro Alarcon, adult cello student,
March 15, 2020
"We are so excited to have you working with our young musicians!! Thank you for sharing your talent and passion!"
"Incredible teachers that help to create incredible musicians!"
"Will is a wonderful balance between keeping it fun and getting it done."
- Ed Greenaway, adult violin student, Nov 10, 2019
"The lessons are great. Explanations are easy to understand."
- Beth Hotaling, adult violin student, Nov 10, 2019
"As an adult beginner I was hoping to find an accomplished, patient instructor and that is precisely what I found in Will. He inspires and encourages!"
- Wendy T., Oct 12, 2019
"Mr. Hayes is a wonderful professor with a method that asks the important questions. Why we perform our technique a certain way, or how to achieve the sounds we want from our instrument, and it comes out in the playing of his students. He is an amazing player and pedagogue!"
- JK Konye, Oct 12, 2019
"Take the plunge! If you have been wondering about taking up a stringed instrument - at any age - you can't do better than studying with Will. You will get thorough in-depth musical training and a lot more."
- Robert Serenka, adult violin student, March, 2019
"My son took cello lessons through middle school and into high school. My daughter is currently taking violin lessons from Mr. Hayes. They enjoyed their classes immensely. His deep knowledge of music and playing techniques, coupled with his sincere and patient approach to teaching make his classes a very valuable experience. His students are indeed very fortunate!"
RR, Father of Shreyas and Agama, Niskayuna, April, 2019
"Will is not only a splendid cellist, he has a wonderful demeanor with young people and works with their strengths. His instruction and feedback are always uplifting."
- Claire Hughes, Mom of Lukien and Tess, Feb, 2019
"Will was able to work wonderfully with my unique needs as an adult beginner cellist but an experienced violist.
I made huge improvements in just a few months of lessons."
- Nathan Gibson, adult student, Dec 10, 2018
"Mr. Hayes is an incredibly skilled cellist that effectively combines the best elements of his own learning journey to convey to his students. Lessons are fitted to the needs and personalities of each student, ensuring an atmosphere where they can be comfortable and enjoy playing. I would highly recommend him to string players of all ages and experience levels. However, I find that Mr. Hayes was far more than a cello instructor. He helped me to navigate the tricky passages of my life through patience and reassurance, regardless of how slow the progress. I learned many things about being a cellist, but most importantly I learned more about myself. I cannot put into words how much I admire and look up to Mr. Hayes, and how significant a role he has played in these critical stages of my life. With greatest sincerity and gratitude,"
- Joseph Mocerine, cello student, Oct 4, 2018
"Teacher Hayes is a very nice and patient person. He is expert in cello and violin. My 5 year old son was learning violin with him for several months and he enjoyed a lot! Teacher Hayes was always very patient, positive and also had good strategies to let him enjoy music."
- Zhiyan Fu, Mom, Sep 26, 2018
"Mr. Hayes will teach you the essentials and the building blocks to being a good cellist. He is a very nice man who is passionate about everyone he teaches. He introduced me to the first group I ever played in. I would recommend him to anyone I know."
- Natalie Chang, cello student, Dec 12, 2018
"Will is an asset to any budding cellist. He is a kind, engaging, thoughtful and most importantly talented cello teacher."
- Carol Packard, adult cello student, 2016
"I give kudos to Will Hayes, string teacher and cellist, for the amazing way of teaching his pupils. I have observed him during the lessons and find the way he engages the pupils is both entertaining and educational. He has very innovative ideas and is able to hold the attention of the pupil, which is half the battle."
- Rosalind Hupp, teaching colleague, 2014
"I just want to thank you for how calm and positive you were with Sara. It was one of the best experiences she had all Summer. I especially like the life lessons you taught. My favorite was that there is no such thing as perfection. All a person can do is work hard to be the best that he or she can be. With hard work a person can excel at any goal he or she is trying to achieve."
- Rebecca Manore, Sara's Mom, October 21, 2018
"Mr. Hayes has been a wonderful teacher for my daughter. His teaching style makes learning the violin fun and exciting. He has always been reliable, fairly priced and a joy to work with. I would highly recommend him to anyone!"
- Angela Uhl, Maddy's Mom, 2015
"I've worked with Will after many years of not taking lessons. He is eager to share his knowledge but is not insistent on only one correct way of doing things--he prefers to offer insight and allow me to try it. This has produced great results. I've grown much more confident and have even auditioned successfully for an orchestral position for the first time. I would say that he would be a terrific teacher for anyone who needs a lot of positive reinforcement. He doesn't do negative commentary."
-Marla Eglowstein, adult cello student, 2015
"I just wanted to share this with you and thank you - Joey was first cello and had a beautiful solo in his concert tonight! We are so proud of him. He credits you. We passed your name along as we received congratulations and praise for his talent. Thank you for giving him the confidence and skills to perform."
- Heather Mocerine, Joey's Mom, Oct 25, 2018
"We just wanted you to know that today, Kelsey's Advanced Orchestra teacher told her that based on her playing of a song that is a solo for tonight's concert at Albany High, she has been made first chair not only to do this solo but for the rest of the year. We are so proud and we know your guidance played a part in this as well. Thank you for all you did for her."
- Amy McGynn, Kelsey's Mom, Dec 13, 2017
"The Suzuki method emphasizes gradual learning, which I think is a good teaching method. Mr. Hayes is an experienced teacher and is highly educated. He is very patient with students, thorough when explaining/teaching a topic, and always makes the lesson fun and easy to follow." - Ms. Wang, William's Mom, Dec 2, 2018
"Mr. Hayes is a kind and patient cello instructor. He brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise to each lesson. Every week I learn new ways of improving my technique and leave with a better understanding of the cello and of music in general."
- Austin MBaye, Cello Student (high school),
December, 12, 2018
"Will is an enthusiastic, fun and very accomplished musician and teacher. His lessons are unique as he uses innovative techniques to help increase skill and self-confidence. He is flexible, accommodating and adapts to each student's personal learning needs. Will always aims to make lessons a fun and productive experience."
-Marian Truax, Jackie's Mom, Jan 15, 2019
"One of the "greats," I remember most, who always showed kindness to his students and colleagues, and displayed grace in all circumstances. Diamonds sparkle!"
- Barbara Sasser, teaching colleague, Dec 15, 2018
"I like how Mr. Hayes teaches me. He teaches how to play cello correctly from fundamentals and how to be a good cello player in the future. He doesn't just tell me the answer for each music problem but he gives me the concept just like how to understand the concept in math problems at school."
- Leo Srivathanakul, ESYO program student, Nov 10, 2019
"Mr. Hayes is a patient and dedicated teacher. His infectious enthusiasm and encouragement made learning the cello fun and made me want to practice. He continued to welcome and answer the multitude of questions that I asked every lesson. Instead of trying to make you learn a certain way, he adjusts his teaching style to maximize your learning."
Nadia Suguitan, Cello Student, April, 2019
"He is an excellent teacher. Both of my daughters study (cello and violin) with him. His class is very interesting; always full of laughter. He is also a very serious teacher who designs games to let students understand how to play. Sometimes he tells meaningful stories from which not only my two daughters, but even I have learned a lot."
- Lily Qi, Summer's and Audrey's Mom, Dec 15, 2018
"Will is extremely patient, kind and resourceful with a clear passion for teaching. Always positive and fun, he is also able to accommodate different learning styles and is thoughtful when planning his lessons. As an adult learner with no musical background, I felt his versatile and individualized methods of teaching made lessons engaging and unfamiliar concepts simplified. I highly recommend lessons with Will for any and all ages!!"
- Stephanie Williams, adult student, Dec 10, 2018
"I am having a lot of fun. Will is a very encouraging teacher, and as an older beginning student, I greatly appreciate this! Too, his enthusiasm for the cello is infectious, and he seems to be a walking wealth of information about cello practice. Thanks Will for helping me to realize my dream of playing the cello."
- Bernadette, University at Albany (SUNY) Staff
"Will is an amazing cello teacher with the kindness and patience you would want when learning something new. My girls and I loved working with him. He let us pick the songs that made us want to learn; we wanted to learn to make every second we were with him more exciting. I would recommend him to anyone interested in music."
- Francesca Teller, Mom, East Greenbush, NY