Salem Belladonna

Cello, Music Theory, Piano, Songwriting

Lesson Fees
from $25.00 / 30 Minutes

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I am a cellist, pianist, composer, producer, and singer-songwriter with over 20 years of training and experience in musical performance. I have my BFA in Cello and Composition from the California Institute of the Arts. I attended a performing arts high school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where I received my high school degree with a focus in cello. I’ve been teaching cello, piano, songwriting, and music theory since 2015 from my own private studio, as well as in local music schools and camps. I’ve written and recorded parts on cello, piano, and voice for use in other artists’ songs and films. I’ve performed as a cellist in various local operas, ensembles, orchestras, and musical productions. Recently I've been focused on writing the soundtracks for feature films such as The Outwaters (currently in festivals) and Tinsman Road (2023). I've been publishing music since the age of 14, beginning with my first album, Circus of Alice (released under the name Madison Chase).

As a songwriter, my distinctive sound has been referred to as “creepy pop” and “dark cabaret”. Passionate about exploring the middle ground between seemingly disparate forces, I draw musical inspiration from a variety of genres, including classical, metal, pop, rock, R&B, bluegrass and folk. The magic is in blending it all up and creating new eclectic sounds! Aware of the impact that art has on our experience, I hope that my music will encourage listeners to explore and redefine their own relationships with darkness. I believe that our deepest healing is found by illuminating our shadows and cultivating peace in the dark.

When I’m not making music with peers and students, I can be found hiking, dog cuddling, drinking tea, and practicing yoga.

My holistic approach to teaching encourages students to apply their newfound skills to their real lives, bringing the lessons out of the practice room and into the world. In my 20+ years of training and experience, I have studied many approaches to habit-building, practice efficiency, and musical self-care. Unfortunately, this last component of self-care seems neglected in many western studios and schools today. I believe that the way we treat ourselves during times of challenge directly impacts how successful we will be in overcoming that challenge. My studio focuses on building patience and awareness of self, so that when you are digging into the difficult (but super cool) stuff, you’ll have the inspiration you need to get the most out of it!

Cultivate a musical practice that will bring peace and joy into your life. Learn how to craft the sounds that soothe and inspire you and your loved ones. Develop practice habits that are designed to work with you, your mind, and your schedule.

BFA in Cello and Composition, California Institute of the Arts (2018), High School Degree with a focus in Cello, University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2014)

Cello: For beginners, I prefer to start with Suzuki Cello School Volume 1. If you're already studying, we will review the books you're currently studying and find the material that works best for you!

Piano: For beginners, I prefer books from the Alfred's Basic Piano Library. For children, I recommend starting from Lesson Book Level 1A. For adults, I use Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course Lesson Book Level 1.

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