Watermelon Music offers private instruction for most instruments, with 18 teaching studios upstairs at our Davis location. Lesson availability and pricing varies from instructor to instructor. For more information about private instruction times and rates, please contact individual instructors directly.

Instructor Detail

Celia Cottle
(530) 756-4377
Music allows us to communicate with one another at an entirely different level.  By studying music, you can also get better in touch with your own feelings and find an outlet to express them where words fall short.
Playing an instrument gives you all kinds of neurological benefits, and the skills you can develop are greatly enhanced with the guidance of a good private instructor because the lessons are individualized.   It has been shown that music education improves reading and verbal skills, mathematical and spatial-temporal reasoning, raises student IQ, and gives students better grades.   Music education helps you learn languages more quickly and makes you a better listener.   It slows the effects of aging, strengthens your motor cortex, improves your working memory and it makes you better at managing anxiety as well.   Music education also enhances a person's self confidence and self esteem.   I especially love teaching music because a person's propensity for creativity can be encouraged through improvisation.
Music has always been an important part of my life.   Cello was the first instrument I took up with any kind of structured instruction through the lessons provided at a public school in Seattle Washington.  Then, when I was in 8th grade, we moved to Alameda, CA and my Dad signed me up with David Megill, a wonderful woodwind instructor.  I’ve been deeply in love with clarinet and saxophone ever since.  In high school, I was the 1st chair clarinet concert master and had my own jazz bands.  We played for car wash openings, various families events, at pizza places, and even at some venues in San Francisco.  
After graduating high school, I came to UCD to become a Veterinarian although I spent lots of time in the music building practicing and playing in various chamber music groups and the UCD Concert Band.  Unfortunately, at that time, women were not allowed to play in the all male UCD Aggie Marching Band.  I was the first coed to make it into the UCD Jazz Band where I eventually played all 5 saxophone section chairs over a period of 15 years.  Throughout my undergraduate and graduate years, I taught private clarinet and saxophone lessons to local children and adults in Davis and at Tim’s Music Store in Sacramento.  I also played in several area combos and later received calls to play saxophone and clarinet as an independent contractor with various big band leaders, Bill Rase, Buddy Harpham, Len Casey, George Bruno, and John Skinner in Sacramento.   I have performed with the Sacramento Symphony and the Merced Symphony as well as in back up bands for some artists like The Four Tops, The Mills Brothers, Don Rickles and Joan Rivers.  I played baritone sax in a professional sax quartet for 18 years.
I had the good fortune to study privately with many excellent teachers in San Francisco, Oakland, Pleasanton, around the Bay area, and the Sacramento area, who have had a tremendous influence on me.  While I was always actively enrolled in my school music programs, and gained valuable knowledge and experiences there, I know how important those private lessons were in my development.  Aside from enjoying the great relationships I had with my teachers, it was always exciting for me to learn what they had to teach because I love that there is always something greater to achieve, and evermore to accomplish musically.  A private teacher can teach you so much more because they can meet you where you are as an individual and show you musical doors especially for you that you can open that you might not have otherwise ever knew existed.   
I teach because I want to help others develop their talent and abilities so they can really know and share that special joy music can bring.  It is especially fun when you get together with your friends and compound that joy as a band to share the music with an audience.  To this end, I have put together many youth big bands and jazz combos since the mid 1980’s such as Saxidentally, J Street Jazz Band, Jazzamatazz, the J Street Jazz Cats, Sax By Popular Demand, the Crazy Eights, Ten ’til Midnight, the Awktives, Groove Extension, Vibe6, and many others, that have performed for local benefits, retirement homes, and local Community events, most recently, the Downtown Davis “Art About Town” on May 11, 2018.
I enjoy working with all ages of students.  Although the majority of my students have been between the ages of 9 and 19, the youngest saxophone student I’ve taught was 7 years old and the oldest was 89.  
Here is a summary of my experience:
*  Received the "Harmony in Our Lives Award”, November 2003 for contributions to the musical enrichment of the Davis Community
*  Received the Inaugural Jazz Education Award on February 11, 2012 from the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society
*  A member in good standing with Jazz Educators Network for quite a while to the present and before that, the Jazz Educators Association for many years
*  Past member of the UCD Jazz Band for 15+ years  — played all 5 sax section chairs (alto 1&2, tenor 1&2, and baritone sax) over the years during that time.
*  Played in pit orchestras for many university and community musical productions 
*  Received BS degree with highest honors from UCD
*  Received MS degree in Genetics from UCD
*  Have been a private saxophone and clarinet instructor in the Bay Area and Sacramento Area for over 35 years
*  Was the band director at St James and Holy Rosary for 5 years
*  Have run community youth Jazz Bands in Davis since the mid 1980’s
*  Had 2 private big band Jazz Bands, J Street Jazz Cats, Sax By Popular Demand perform at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee for 16 years
*  Had the following youth combos perform at the Sacramento Music Festival during past years: Crazy Eights, Ten ’til Midnight, Awktives, Vibe6, Groove Extension 
*  Had a youth band Crazy Eights perform at the Sacramento State Fair 2 years in a row (then they went off to college)
*  Directed a band named Vibe6 that auditioned and made it into the Monterey Jazz Festival where they won 3rd place in their division in 2015.  My saxophone student, Sophie Seng won the outstanding saxophonist award there.