Isabel Fairbanks

About: Isabel Fairbanks

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  • Role : Strings
  • Website :
  • Experience :
  • Specialist in : Traditional and Suzuki Cello, P.S. Outreach, and Saturday Music Project Faculty (Cello)

Instrument you teach: Cello

Do you play any other instrument in your spare time? I played piano for five years, so once in a while I’ll play for fun.


Boston University—Bachelor of Music (BM)

Manhattan School of Music—Master of Music (MM)

Where are you from? Coventry, CT

Favorite age group to teach: I love teaching all ages–every age group comes with its own joys and challenges.

Favorite style of music to teach: Classical music

Favorite song: “Barcarolle” from Tales of Hoffman, by Offenbach

Favorite piece of music: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor,” and the Schubert Cello Quintet

Favorite food: It changes every week, but my all-time favorites are chocolate and fresh fruit.

Favorite color: Turquoise and orange

What’s your favorite musical memory? All the times I’ve collaborated with my wonderful colleagues both at TBMS and at performances outside of the school. Playing music with other people is the most lovely and rewarding experience we can have!

What do you like best about teaching music? I like watching my students grow both as musicians and as people. Music has an unusual and magical way of changing us; something that we learn in the practice room or at a lesson always manages to work its way into the rest of our lives in a wonderfully transformative and restorative way. Music makes us better and happier people!

Who is your favorite composer or musician? My favorite composer is Johannes Brahms, and my favorite cellists are Truls Mork and Jian Wang.

What is the first piece of music you ever learned? “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

How many hours a day do you practice? Between two and four

Accomplishments: I’ve had a wonderful time playing in all sorts of venues in NYC and beyond. I’ve been very lucky to perform in Carnegie Hall and in the mountains of Banff, Alberta at the music festival this past summer, as well as at the Friendship Summit at the United Nations a few years ago.

Fun Facts: I love doing yoga, cooking, and spending time outdoors, both in New York City and out in nature. I also love to eat delicious food.