Meeting the cello

My amazing friend Santiago Carvalho has been playing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for over 40 years.

Last night, I had my first ever cello lesson!

Incredibly, Santiago lent me an instrument that was made in 1621!!

I only managed to scratch out a barely-there rendition of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,' but the sound and the feeling of the cello was amazing.

Afterwards, I gave Santiago a little drawing lesson.

I've never taught anyone drawing before, so perhaps I pushed him in at the deep end, but he did very well. We set off with 20-second studies of my hand, and drew several versions on top of each other.

Step one: relax the mind, let go of inhibitions, and become very present to the process, rather than worrying about instantly creating a Michelangelo.

Perhaps it is the same with instruments – I won't be playing Strauss any time soon, but just getting the feel of the cello in my hands was a magical new experience for me.