background & philosophy

Over the last two decades, Rivas has brought his teachings to Europe, Asia, South America and North America. He has trained students from a wide range of ages, levels and socio-economic situations. Inspired by his own early music training at El Sistema in Venezuela, Rivas believes that music is one of the most pure and powerful art forms, capable of transforming individuals as well as communities.

Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA 2016

Longy School of Music of Bard College, Cambridge, MA 2016

coaching and master classes

One of the most important characteristics of Rivas’ teachings is the way he encourages and shows his students how to exceed unimaginable levels of excellence. The key factor in this process is trust. While being a demanding teacher, Rivas also strives to make students aware of mind-body balance, the importance of creating and maintaining healthy habits, and discussing our role as artist in society.

PRivate lessons

Rivas has taught cello lessons at the university and preparatory levels alike. His emphasis on a solid technique, based on healthy and “smart” practice habits has helped many students across continents to achieve their full potential. In addition, Rivas’ own active career as a passionate performer serves as a role model for students to find the right balance between technique and music making.


  • 1 hour in-person or online lessons

  • Beginners - Advanced students accepted

  • Two student recitals a year (for students in Southern California only)

  • Preparation for orchestra or college auditions or competitions

  • Advise when renting an instrument

Hourly Rate: $100

For more information about in-person or online private lessons, inquire at the Contact Page

Vivace Vilnius Music Festival, Lithuania, 2015

Vivace Vilnius Music Festival, Lithuania, 2015

El Sistema South Korea Conference, Seoul, 2017

El Sistema South Korea Conference, Seoul, 2017

training workshops for Teaching artists

For the past few years, Rivas has given training workshops for artists that are interested in teaching. With a focus on group lessons, Rivas is able to share the experience that he has gathered over the decades of teaching at music programs such as El Sistema.

Canaima youth Orchestra Documentary

“Watch this documentary and see for yourself the power of music at its best”

— Aristides Rivas