Mike Dahlberg was an outstanding cello teacher for both me — an adult learner — and my 5 year-old son... I was impressed with his ability to adjust his teaching techniques to the level of his student. He was playful and patient with my son and equally playful, but also challenging with me!
— Steven R., prior student

Intermediate and Advanced Youth

Is it a struggle to get your high schooler to practice or to practice effectively? Have they recently burned out or considered quitting their instrument? It is important to me that my students develop a sense of purpose and agency - the motivation to work hard and the confidence have what they need to grow and improve. In addition to providing technical and musical instructions, I take time to build a rapport with the student, invite them to define and reevaluate their goals, and encourage them to use their curiosity and creativity to tackle challenges along the way.  This approach helps students:

  • Increase focus and drive

  • Build smart practice habits

  • Overcome roadblocks to learning

...protean and adaptable, Mike is someone who would listen, absorb, synthesize and provide an exceptional path of ongoing development [for students].
— Christopher O'Riley, Pianist and Host of NPR's From the Top

Adult Learners

Do you want hone your skills so you can play chamber music with friends, to join your community orchestra? Or maybe you have always wanted to play the cello but never got started? Whatever your level and end goal, I want to help you gather the tools you need to take your cello playing to the next level. Through a positive and personalized approach I can help you strengthen your technique on the instrument, be inventive with your musical ideas and bring them to life, and gain valuable practice habits that will assist you in and out of the practice room. I love working with adults and welcome short and longterm students regardless of level for online or in-person lessons at my studio in San Jose, CA. 

Young Beginners

Are you interested in having your child start their musical journey on the cello? I offer a fun and dynamic approach to learning the instrument for students as young as five years old (though recommend starting after age 6 or 7 for most students). For beginners, I recommend starting with 20-30 minute lessons twice a week to establish good habits and momentum. Lessons include:

  • Exploration of the ways the instrument can make sounds and how to use sounds to tell a story

  • Games to learn fundamentals of how to sit, hold the instrument, pluck and draw the bow

  • Simple songs to play in duets or alone

  • Basic ear training to begin to develop recognition of pitch, rhythm and harmony

Rates and Location


Rates below are offered on a sliding scale and scholarships may be awarded to committed students with financial need. Lessons may take place either at my studio near Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA or at a student's house (for nominal travel fee) if they reside within 10 mile radius. All interested students should contact me by clicking the "Inquiries" button below. You should receive a response within 24 hours to set up a free trial lesson, at which time we will assess whether we would like to move forward with a full course of lessons. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or concerns.

  • $60 / half hour

  • $80 / forty five minutes

  • $100 / one hour