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Testimonials

"I began playing the cello in third grade, and at first I sounded like I was trying to push an angry cat through a wooden box, but this changed quite quickly once I began taking lessons with Alicia. Alicia was the best teacher I could hoped to have had and now I am playing solos with my orchestra and have carried the cello through to college. She is a master of teaching in the Suzuki method and by the end of my years with her I was finished with all ten books of the Suzuki series. Anyone would be lucky to have her as their teacher and I can wholeheartedly say that without her I would have probably stopped playing the cello not too long after I took it up."
- Liam Holland, Georgia Tech
" As a long-time colleague of Alicia, I write with great regard for her as a cellist and teacher.  Among our many colleagues I find in her a particular combination of  attributes rarely to be discovered together in one individual.  The interaction of these gifts has created in her a musician and teacher of great caliber.  Her presence in her locale is a resource that would vastly enrich any community. She has settled in a place away from the main musical, cultural, and intellectual centers of the U.S. as she has followed her husband’s career.  This is a boon to Knoxville, Tennessee and anyone living near enough to get to Knoxville for cello lessons.
Alicia possesses a rare sense for the needs of the individual sitting in front of her, both on a personal level and in the development of the person into an accomplished cellist and musician.  A clear analytic ability brings her students physical fluidity at the instrument.   Alicia is adept at with students of all ages and a wide range of personality types.  She is successful with students who began with other teachers and come to her mid-stream in their development (and who may arrive with technical issues that require persistent remedial attention).  She also has the knowledge and ability to start students at a tender age as the Suzuki philosophy recommends and take them all the way to artist-level playing. Indeed, one of her greatest accomplishments is her ability to weave the presence of artistry into the training of even the least-experienced beginner.
Alicia Randisi-Hooker is an artist-teacher who has at her command technical ability and understanding, performance experience, a deep and ongoing education, refined musical sensibilities, and personal rapport that make her one of the finest choices anywhere in the world of cello studies.  I recommend her unreservedly."

- Lisa Liske-Doorandish, cellist; Registered Suzuki Teacher Bks 1-10; Faculty or Former Faculty: Washington & Lee University, Southern Virginia University, Hollins University; Former Associate Principal Cello: Roanoke Symphony Orchestra; Director, Community Cello Works

"I'm really glad Mikala mentioned you in her bio. We've often remarked when attending a student cello performance how lucky Mikala was to have you set her up with her cello at the beginning. She plays with ease and comfort so that the cello seems an extension of her own body. We both remember the airplane exercise for promoting movement and relaxation when playing. Mikala uses it, as well as "I love my little cello", with her own students today. You were infinitely patient with a little girl who was too shy to talk to her teacher. As Mikala learned to trust and eventually love you, she came out of her shell and blossomed into the relaxed performer she is today. Throughout her training with you Mikala reviewed and improved pieces she had previously learned, thus improving her ear and her sense of striving for ever-elusive perfection in her playing. When she is playing in the Philadelphia area (and even at Aspen), people will ask Mikala if she was a former student of Alicia Randisi - it's the question that comes before the complement on her grace, power and ease with her instrument. Thank you for your dedication to your students. As the years pass and I meet other teachers and their students I realize how exceptional and rare your teaching talent is."
- Sandra S., mother of Mikala, Oberlin 2010, Fellowship recipient, Cleveland Institute of Music

"I am the mother of one of Alicia's cello students, and am also a violin teacher who is extremely picky about choosing music teachers for my own children. My "focus challenged" ADHD son started Suzuki cello lessons with Alicia when he was 8 years old, and under her kind, but persistent and meticulous tutelage progressed to become principal cello of the Tennessee All State orchestra in high school. He is now a cello performance major at a university well- known for its music program. As a college freshman, he is principal cello of the undergraduate orchestra. I attribute much of his success to Alicia's demanding but loving expertise as a Suzuki teacher. We are both lucky to have had the experience of working with her."
- Susan S., mother of Alex, Florida State University scholarship recipient

"Miss Alicia is a wonderful teacher. She is encouraging, inspiring, and gentle. Listening to her play during your child's lesson will make you want to take lessons yourself!"
- Lynda P. mother of 10 year old Dan and 16 year old Ted, Webb School of Knoxville

"How can I explain the joy of a parent to know her child has such an exceptional teacher? It would be enough that Bonnie would progress evenly through her time with Alicia, but there is something more important happening here. It is the formation of a caring but sensible human being. I believe it is Alicia's respect and understanding as well as her musicianship and teacher-hood that is helping to build Bonnie's new sense of herself as competent and worthy."
- Mea S., former Academy of Children's Music parent

"A fine cellist and wonderful person!"
- Lev Aronson, (deceased) former principal cellist, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, professor of cello, Southern Methodist University

"Alicia is THE teacher for young and older beginners alike. There is no one who is as adept at the technical and musical setup of students of the cello. Certainly, there is no one whom I would entrust more with the responsibility of introducing the art of cello playing to beginners and expanding upon it as their develpoment matures. I cannot recommend her more highly."
- Bartholomew LaFollette, Menhuin School graduate (UK), Young Concert Artists Trust, international concert soloist and award winning former student

Where are they now?

Here is a list of some of the universities and schools of music Alicia's students have attended:

Music Majors, with scholarships:

The Yehudi Menuhin School and Guildhall College of Music (UK)
Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music
Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
The University of Michigan School of Music
Rudi Scheidt School of Music, University of Memphis
University of Alabama
Baldwin Wallace College
Esther Boyer College of Music, Temple University
Florida State University, Tallahassee
Butler University

Non-majors:

Georgia Tech University
Ohio Wesleyan University
University of Tennessee
Maryville College
Alicia Randisi-Hooker and former suzuki cello student now international performer