Being a large instrument, the cello makes a lasting impression on many small children, frequently leading to a lifelong rapport. “Früher Anfang auf dem Cello” – the 'Cello Sassmannshaus' – was developed specifically to make proper musical and technical progress on this special instrument. It transfers the principles and experience gained from the violin tutor in order to ensure quick success.
After beginning with open strings and simple note values, learners become acquainted with the 'cuckoo call' (minor 3rd) as a basic interval for guidance purposes and for mastering good intonation. Volume 1 makes use of nursery rhymes, all of which are supplied with words to ensure that the melody lines can be easily grasped as a whole. Then the third, first and fourth fingers are successively introduced, as are accidentals and note values from the whole note (semibreve) to the eighth note (quaver). From the very beginning the volume places a special emphasis on reading musical notation and offers training in moving from one string to another and basic bowing strokes. Large print and delightful colour illustrations make the volume especially appealing to children. Enclosed is a sheet of cut-out musical cards that allow young learners to invent many puzzle and guessing games and later to master scales and pitch names.
To accompany this volume we recommend “Spielbuch für Streicher” ('Recital Pieces for String Ensemble', BA 9698) and “Weihnachtsspielbuch” ('Christmas Pieces for String Ensemble', BA 9699), both edited by Egon and Kurt Sassmannshaus. They give even the youngest learners an opportunity to try their hand at string ensemble playing.
In 1976 Egon Saßmannshaus, one of the most experienced and renowned violin teachers in Germany, published his tutor “Früher Anfang auf dem Cello”. This standard work for young string players quickly became the most popular and best-selling tutor in the German-speaking countries for beginners on this instrument. His son-in-law Michael Corssen, the co-author of Volumes 3 and 4, is a baroque cellist and conductor who heads a music school in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Egon Sassmannshaus's son, Kurt Sassmannshaus, functioned as co-editor of the English-language edition, “Early Start on the Cello” (BA 8996, BA 8997, BA 8998, BA 8999), adapting his father's successful tutor to meet the needs and requirements of English-speaking children.
The combined knowledge and experience of the Sassmannshaus/Corssen family make these four volumes the most thoroughly researched and thought-through cello tutor for beginners all over the world.