Michael Sebastian

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Michael Sebastian | Teacher at Asheville Music School

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Bio

Originally from Lancaster, PA, he began taking piano lessons at 9 years old and cello lessons soon after. At the age of 12 he became the youngest person ever to join the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and at age 13, he was featured soloist with the same Orchestra, performing the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto. He attended The University of Michigan, where he was Principal Cellist of the University Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of The Honors String Quartet. While at UM, he was Principal Cellist of The Toledo Symphony and member of The Tolora String Quartet. At the age of 20, he was hired as the youngest person ever to be Principal Cellist of The Florida West Coast Symphony and a member of The Florida String Quartet. He worked with conductors Eugene Ormandy, Robert Shaw, and Arthur Fiedler, performed with chamber artists Joseph Silverstein, and Robert Levin, and played concert tours with artists Bernadette Peters, George Benson, and Johnny Mathis among others. His diverse musical training launched him into roles as keyboardist, vocalist, as well as cellist, for numerous rock and pop groups throughout the US and Canada, and on the high seas with Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

As a Music Director and Conductor, Michael served as resident at Golden Apple Dinner Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, and Flat Rock Playhouse, and Artistic Director at East Village Cabaret. He has performed at Carnegie Hall (NY), 54 Below (Broadway), The Academy of Music (Philadelphia), Ford’s Theatre (Washington, D.C.), and numerous award-winning regional theaters. He teaches private lessons on Cello, piano and voice, and served on the faculties of Interlochen National Music Camp, The University of South Florida, The University of Tampa, and the Bennington Chamber Music Festival. Please visit Michael on the internet at www.MichaelSebastian.info .

Teaching Methods

I firmly believe that every one of us possesses a “song” in their heart. It just takes the right teacher to unlock the doors of creativity, joy and self expression. I have worked with many fine students of the Suzuki and other aural methods of training, finding it a rewarding and exciting way for students to experience the joy of playing musical instruments quickly, particularly at a young age. Through dozens of professional auditions for major orchestras and many years of conducting I became genuinely aware of the value of a strong foundation in the fundamentals of music including sight reading, theory, history, and technique. Musical Theatre allowed me to work with all ages and proficiencies making learning fun and easy to understand. I help students find their comfort level as they become friends with their instrument and the music they produce. I prefer to start beginning students with half hour lessons while they become familiar to the instrument and music with a balance of technique and playing. Intermediate and advanced students will benefit more from hour long lessons as they develop a strong repertoire and strong technical skills valuable for a successful career or serious hobby in music.