Hello, I’m Mark Nichols. I’m from Manhattan Kansas and I’ve been a nerd since before being a nerd was popular.

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Starting in the late fall of 2009 I’ve been playing the violoncello. Ever since I was a small boy I’ve always loved the sound of cellos, and as an adult I always wanted to learn to play. When I met my wife, in 2006, she had her son’s cello leaning in the corner of her studio. In November 2009 I screwed up my courage and started taking lessons. Daily practice is now a part of my routine and I am thrilled with playing and learning. That there are many studies and reports showing increased mental function and reduced loss of mental ability among aging musicians is icing on this already delicious cake.

In the spring of 2019 I purchased a mandolin and started to teach myself how to play, mostly by ear. Being able to take musical knowledge from cello to mandolin has been an uplifting experience. I didn’t fully realize how much I already knew.

Also in 2019 I started learning to play the piano. This is largely to augment my musicianship on the cello and mandolin, but also to be able to play piano.



My cello is a pre-owner Hans Stainer 100 made in 2005 by Eastman Strings. I suspect it was about $1700 new. My bow is a Coda Bow Diamond SX that I paid $630 for. I use Jargar strings with Gustave Berardel rosin. Someday I hope to reach this instruments limits so I can buy a new one.


I have a Savannah model SA-110 mandolin that cost me $120 new. I added a D’Addario leather strap, and a D’Addario Micro clip-on tuner for ease of tuning. For a very inexpensive, mass produced, mandolin the Savannah sounds very nice.


My wife was her own private piano studio with two concert grand pianos, a Yamaha C7, and a Kawai.

About this site

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The snippets of myself exposed on this site are only part of the whole. While you may get an idea of who and what I am by reading my postings, you cannot fully know me just by this site.


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