Hayden Gandolfi – Cello

Hi! I’m Hayden and I teach cello at Expressions Music Academy. When I was young, I remember going to my older sister’s orchestra concerts. I didn’t think about violin or viola, I knew I wanted to play the biggest (and therefore coolest) instrument: the cello! So, when I was 9, I began playing in my school orchestra in Royal Oak. I loved orchestra class because it was challenging but also fun, not to mention it meant that I got to take my big, new friend with me to school.


When I was 12, I began cello lessons with Nadine Deleury. My teacher expected a lot from me, but she always patiently explained to me how I could improve. For the first time, I discovered that my new friend had a past, a history created by other people who shared my passion. In lessons, my cello and I traveled through the bustling streets of Paris, to the pastoral German countryside, to the lavish Italian merchant courts. History came alive with the music in a way I’d never experienced before.


A few years later, I myself was traveling to foreign lands with my cello. I spent the summer studying cello in Canada. There I met people from all around the world, older students from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. Talking with the other musicians about their lives and cultures was a riveting experience that I’ll never forget. When I came back home, I assiduously poured myself into cello, beginning my first concerto and learning more advanced sonatas. At 16, my cello and I traveled further than we’d ever been: to Aspen, Colorado, to attend the Aspen Music Festival & School. Then to Ann Arbor to attend The University of Michigan. Then, after I graduated, my cello and I traveled again to live in Manhattan in New York City where I taught privately and at schools like The Lycée Francais de New York, The Florentine School and The iSchool of Music & Art. I love teaching cello and my students describe me as an instructor who is very patient, but also demanding and fun.


From Michigan to New York City and back, my cello and I have been many places, but the most captivating adventure has always been the one I began with: the music itself. As I teach, I hope to share with my cello students the delight I’ve found in music and to inspire them to travel wherever their passions may lead.