"Anyone of any size can play the bass beautifully with proper body mechanics...I want students to learn how to use their whole bodies to make a beautiful sound on the double bass."
An Army “brat” until age 7, bassist Rebekah Griffin Greene lived in Kansas, Germany, and Maryland before settling in Pacific Grove, California and finally moving to Los Angeles for college at USC. Then, “lured by NYC’s status as the mecca of music in the US, [she] moved out...on a train with 14 suitcases and a bunch of instruments in 2000. I studied bass at Stony Brook while teaching beginning strings in Southampton during the week and bass in the City on Saturdays. I loved my weekends in New York City! I moved to the City right after graduating with my M.M. in bass in 2002 and have lived in Queens since then.”
Rebekah’s choice of the double bass “was an accident! I had violin in mind, but for some reason I raised my hand when the music teacher said ‘there’s some basses left’...I just went with it, but after about five minutes of playing I was happy as a clam...at the end of the year she picked me to represent our elementary school in the district festival...I was so thrilled and proud! That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship...The more I study the bass, the more I love it.”
Regarding her teaching philosophy, Rebekah maintains, “Anyone of any size can play the bass beautifully with proper body mechanics...I want students to learn how to use their whole bodies to make a beautiful sound on the double bass. After exploring the incredible acoustics and potential of this instrument, practice becomes a joy. I teach diligence, discipline, technique, repertoire, and the love of the bass.”
Even with younger students, bass study is possible. “Yes, I would teach bass to a 5-year-old. There are 1/10th size basses that they use. Although I do not teach Suzuki, I use similar methods, group classes, stickers, games and try to involve the parent as much as possible.”
As a performer, Rebekah loves “working on solo pieces the most...I love to play the melody [and] pieces I wrote myself,” though she “love[s] all performances, since they all create a beautiful energy and connection between the players and the audience,” with orchestral, jazz and Baroque music standing out as favorites. Rebekah cites musical influences as diverse as Stravinsky, Sting and Charles Mingus, and classical and jazz bass influences from Francois Rabbath and Clark Suttle to Ray Brown and Paul Chambers.