Martin Guerra – Cello

Cello! I mean – Hello! My name is Martin and I am the cello instructor here at Expressions. I have been playing cello for fifteen years now and I’d like to share with you a little bit about how it all came to be…


My cousin Marivy is three years older than me and she began playing the violin in the 5th grade. I couldn’t wait for 5th grade to come so that I could play something as well. I didn’t want to be a “copy-cat” and play violin too, so I picked the viola instead. After playing it for about four months I wasn’t getting any better. We returned to school after Christmas Break and none of the cellists in my orchestra wanted to continue – they all quit! My director asked if anyone wanted to switch to cello, otherwise, we would not have any cellists performing at our last concert. I immediately raised my hand and happily gave back my viola in exchange for a cello. The rest was history.


I absolutely loved playing and would practice one to two hours every day. After school I would get home, do my homework, and get right to practicing. When I got to 7th and 8th grade I would practice even more than that! Some kids are addicted to video games, candy, or T.V…. I was addicted to my cello.


My cello teacher in Houston, TX (where I was born) was Charlotte Eads. I began lessons with her when I was in 7th grade. She was my teacher for six years, until I graduated from high school. I owe so much of who I am as a cellist and person to her supportive and nurturing teaching. She would always push me to be more focused and disciplined with my practicing. Even though she always asked me to do more with the music and to work harder I knew she was just trying to make me a better musician. Her insistence and high standards always paid off. I auditioned for music festivals, participated in Solo & Ensemble, and played in the state orchestra and always had very good results. I actually ended up coming here to Michigan (Interlochen Arts Camp) one summer, all the way from Texas, when I was in high school! The only thing more amazing than going to Interlochen was getting my very own cello.


Mrs. Eads’ mother, Barbara Eads, was a very well respected lady of music education in Texas. She knew just about everyone who teaches music in Texas, as she was the very first woman to be elected president of the Texas Music Educator’s Association. Barbara had friends in high places and one of these friends donated a large sum of money to begin a scholarship fund for music students in Houston. I received a phone call from my cello teacher one day and she asked me to come to her home for a lesson. I arrived and noticed a bright green cello case in the corner. She said that with some of the money her mother had received for the scholarship they decided to fund the purchase of a cello for me to use. It came at an incredible time because I was going to be auditioning for colleges in about a year and my parents did not have the financial means to purchase a professional cello for me. I was, of course, floored and could not believe what I was hearing. Mrs. Eads asked me to play it and I immediately fell in love with her (the cello) – I named her Fabiola. We have been making music together for nine years now!


I teach music because I love sharing my story and sharing my knowledge of cello with students and their families. I have been teaching for eight years now and have learned a lot about how to teach the cello from these years of experience. My passion to teach comes from the incredible mentors I have had in my life, and I aspire to do the same for all of my own students.