Zuill Bailey, International Artist
Melissa is a forward-thinking, insightful and creative pedagogue and artist. Her extremely personal, dedicated and inspired work made her my partner of choice for the creation and launching of the Sitka Cello Seminar, which was launched in the summer of 2014. I have hosted Melissa as a guest artist at several of my festivals including El Paso Pro Musica and the Sitka Music Festival and collaborated her at the Bach Suites Cello Workshop in the summer of 2015.
Isa Al Najem
“The brilliant thing about her lessons is that it doesn't matter what level or age you are, her teachings are accustomed to who's in front of her, it’s never a “One-size-fits-all” system. She would solve an issue just by asking me questions until we reach the root of the problem before even touching the cello, rather than saying “Okay, this is how I do it.” The lesson is never really about her or her playing, it’s always about you. Not only did I come out of her class as a better cellist, but a better human being because she didn’t teach the cello, she taught me how to think.”
Sitka International Cello Seminar student ‘16, ‘17
Boston University, ‘18
Cellist and Oud player
"I have been studying with Dr. Kraut for five years now and they have been the most transformative years of my life. As a cello teacher, she is brilliant and patient, but learning how to play the cello has been a relatively small part of our time together. Our lessons have always been life lessons, and they have been an invaluable part of my development as a person. She taught me how to be a cellist, but also how to be disciplined, passionate, vulnerable, empathetic, and brave as a human being. Dr. Kraut has many incredible qualities that make her the teacher that she is, but the one that stands out is her fierce dedication to her students. The musical and personal growth of each and every one of her students is always a top priority for her, and she takes the time to understand her students so that she is able to communicate with them in the best possible way. She has the rare ability as a teacher to make a student feel that they are seen and accepted for who they are. I feel so very fortunate to call Dr. Kraut my mentor."
Cellist, Callisto Quartet
I cannot hold DK (a nickname all of her students use) in higher esteem for the teacher and person that she is. She fostered a mindset which helped to deepen my understanding of my own artistic voice and uncover the tools needed to work on the craft of bringing music to life at the cello. Her approach is both intuitive and integrated, teaching each student to challenge their perceptions and helping them find their own way as cellists, people, and artists. I’m so thankful to her for the encouragement and support she gave to me as a young vulnerable student trying to find my voice. My time as her student was one of my favorite musical experiences, one that has sent positive shockwaves into every aspect of my life.
Tanya Lesinsky Carey
If you want insightful support, in depth pedagogy, and sensitive musicianship, Melissa Kraut is the go to person. Her students' accomplishments are a testament to her effectiveness, her circle of friends is evidence of her engaging people skills, and the success of her teaching seminars exhibits her ability to organize and share with others the depth of her knowledge and experience.
Tanya Lesinsky Carey
Artist-Teacher Roosevelt University
Author of Cello Playing is Easy Series
Suzuki Teacher Trainer
"Studying with Dr. Kraut was a transformative experience for me. She is an incredibly knowledgeable and passionate teacher, with the rare ability to develop an individualized approach for each student. Her lessons encourage and facilitate both musical and technical growth. Dr. Kraut understood my goals, and was very effective in helping me achieve them."
Section Cellist of the North Carolina Symphony
Cellist in Cello Fourum (www.cellofourum.com)
Private Teacher & Chamber Coach for the Mallarmé Youth Chamber Orchestra
Recording Engineer and Producer:
I want to take a moment to celebrate an incredible woman, Dr. Melissa Kraut. She is so many things - cellist, pedagogue, thinker, public speaker, professor, helper, mother, performer, teacher trainer, founder of festivals and workshops, and many more! In all of those capacities she brings her vast knowledge, her perceptive and innovative thinking, her care and creativity, and her intangible ability to understand and help people. She turned my playing and my thinking around when I was stuck and in pain. She helped me to become a healthier, happier musician. She is so inspiring, and I get to tour with her for three weeks! What an honor to share the stage with a true master of her craft.