As a multi-instrumentalist with a traditional classical education, Michael Santander brings structure and understanding to his lessons, while encouraging students to explore interesting opportunities and experiment with their sound. Having taught private cello lessons for over 20 years, Michael has students who have grown to become professional teachers and performers themselves. He believes playing the cello should be the best part of your day, and works to ensure his students are not only successful, but truly love playing the instrument.
Michael began his musical journey with cello lessons at the age of 3. Starting with the Suzuki method, he continued to study classical cello through private lessons and playing in school and local youth orchestras. Music has always been a passion for Michael, and that love for learning spread into playing the flute, trumpet, and baritone in high school in addition to cello. After studying music education and cello performance at NAU with Dr. Mary DiBartolo, Michael returned to Tucson to teach and perform.
He also began writing, recording, and performing with local pop/rock groups on guitar and bass, and has always found opportunities to incorporate his classical cello roots in all areas of his musical adventures. Working closely with multiple recording studios as a session musician, Michael’s cello playing can be heard on dozens of recordings from artists around the world.
Michael is a member of the ASTA (American String Teachers Association) and can be found performing on cello, guitar, and bass with a variety of acts throughout the Southwest. He is also the General Manager of IMC and is passionate about supporting Tucson’s music community through this locally-owned business. Michael lives on Tucson’s Eastside with his wife, son, and two dogs. In addition to music, he loves hiking, swimming, and spending time outdoors.