When I was five years old I told my mom that I wanted to play violin. My mom, assuming it was a passing phase, ignored me until I was six, but after a year of requesting violin lessons she decided I was serious and sought out a violin teacher for me in our hometown of Oakville. She phoned Pierre Gagnon, a well-known violin teacher, to ask if he had any room in his studio. Luckily, Pierre’s wife Susan answered the phone that day. Susan said that Pierre’s studio was full, but that she taught cello and if I was interested she could take me on as a cello student. I remember coming home from school one day and being told that I was going to take cello lessons. I asked, “what’s a cello?” My mom answered that it was “like a violin, but bigger, and you sit down when you play.” That sounded great to me, and off we went!
I have no doubt that had I actually started on violin I would have quickly switched to cello. First, the sound of the cello comes the closest to mimicking the human voice. The timbre is similar, and the range of the cello (being much bigger than violin!) is closest to matching the range of the human voice. When I play, I always imagine I am singing through my instrument.