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The Violin Geek Podcast

The Violin Geek Podcast

By Laurel Thomsen
Welcome violin geeks everywhere (or viola, fiddle, cello, guitar, trumpet...)! With all the detail and troubleshooting of a one-on-one lesson, violinist and violist, recording artist, author, and string teacher Laurel Thomsen shares daily discoveries, insightful interviews with top performers and music industry leaders, and tips for practicing, polishing, and becoming the best musician you can be. Episodes are accessible for beginners, yet contain the depth of thought appreciated by the advancing student and seasoned performer alike. Happy Practicing!
Improvising with heart: an interview with fusion violinist Bahman Sarram
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest Bahman Sarram (Bviolin), violinist, composer, producer, for a talk on ethnic violin playing, improvising, electric instruments, Dave Matthews, jamming, and playing from the heart. Visit Bahman at www.bviolin.com and check out his "Philosophical Beat Podcast".  To learn more about Laurel Thomsen, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Please visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and post your comments or suggestions, or share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:31:46
April 13, 2013
Practice Mastery #2
Ok, we did the HOW. Now it's WHAT should you practice? In this episode Laurel Thomsen offers a range of elements you might need to add to your practice routine. Ideas for beginners and advanced players alike! To learn more about Laurel Thomsen, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com  Please visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and post your comments or suggestions, or share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
59:00
January 19, 2013
Performance psychology for musicians: an interview with Dr Noa Kageyama
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest Dr. Noa Kageyama, the Performance Psychology Professor at Julliard, for a talk on learning to become not just a better player, but a better performer. If you want to develop a successful pre-performance routine, play confidently in front of an audience, make a great first impression, and learn tricks for effective playing and practicing, please listen in and take notes! Visit Dr. Noa at www.bulletproofmusician.com, on Facebook, and check out his home study course "Beyond Practicing". Visit Laurel Thomsen at www.laurelthomsen.com Please also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook, post your comments or suggestions, and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an topic idea, have a question answered on the podcast, or look into private lessons in-person or online via Skype? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:10:55
December 29, 2012
Tailpiece innovation for tonal excellence: a chat with luthier Nicholas Frirsz
A tailpiece that can make you sound better? Join Laurel Thomsen and master luthier Nicholas Frirsz as they discuss instrument making, Frirsz's innovative and elegant tailpiece design, how it came about, and what it could do for your sound. Visit Nicholas and check out his tailpieces at www.frirszmusic.com  Visit Laurel Thomsen at www.laurelthomsen.com Please also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook, post your comments or suggestions, and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an topic idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
57:21
December 14, 2012
Practice Mastery #1
In this episode, Laurel Thomsen shares her tips on how to practice for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. From building technique to polishing repertoire and preparing for performance, make sure you're covering all your bases and setting yourself up for a lifetime of happy practicing. Note: this episode is all about the "how" of practicing. In part two we'll give ideas for the "what" of practicing. To learn more about Laurel Thomsen, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com  Please visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and post your comments or suggestions, or share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:02:55
December 1, 2012
Overflow your creativity: a chat with gypsy minstrel Maesyn
Join Laurel Thomsen and a special guest - gypsy minstrel violinist, Maesyn, for a chat about how to overflow your life with abundant creative inspiration. Feeling down about your playing or wondering how to get back that spark you first felt for playing? Listen in as Maesyn offers surprising solutions. Please visit Maesyn at https://maesynmusic.com, on Facebook, YouTube, and on Twitter. To learn more about Laurel Thomsen, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Please visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and post your comments or suggestions, or share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:21:10
November 3, 2012
Practice Tidbits #5: your tempo, your beat
As basic as it might seem, beginners and more advanced players alike can struggle with how to find appropriate tempos for practice and performance. In this episode, violinist Laurel Thomsen walks listeners through finding perfect tempos every time and discusses a few of the more tricky situations, like what to do when the time signature or tempo itself changes mid way through a piece. To learn more about Laurel Thomsen and her performing, teaching, writing, and recordings, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Please visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and post your comments, questions, or suggestions, and share your support with a "like". Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
27:42
October 27, 2012
String teaching for the modern student: a chat with fiddler and instructor Lauren Rioux
Join Laurel Thomsen and a special guest - fiddler and string teacher Lauren Rioux, for a chat about string teaching in the modern era. Lauren offers tips for keeping students engaged, teaching harmony, how to support a student's exploration of various genres, and ultimately, to empower the student with the gift of music. Please visit Lauren Rioux at www.laurenrioux.com, on Facebook, YouTube, and on Twitter. To learn more about Laurel Thomsen, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com  Please visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and post your comments or suggestions, or share your support with a "Like". Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:10:46
October 12, 2012
Dive deep and get jazzed about your playing: a chat with violinist and educator Christian Howes
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest artist and educator, Christian Howes, for a discussion on fostering creativity, the three key factors to consider for great improvisation chops, how creating set parameters for improvisation can open a world of possibilities, and how diving deep into the structures and processes of music can help you get "pumped up" about playing, whether you play Jazz, classical, or bluegrass. Check out Christian's albums, online Creative Strings Academy, workshops, and tour dates, at www.christianhowes.com You can also, find him on Facebook, YouTube, and on Twitter. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:24:10
September 29, 2012
Singing and fiddling with passion: a chat with "bad ass" fiddler Laura Cortese
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest, the awesome fiddler Laura Cortese, as they discuss performing, learning to transmit meaning and emotion to an audience, tips for creating a groove, and how to sing and play fiddle at the same time. Hear Laura's tune "Perfect Tuesday's" from her Acoustic Project album, and be sure to check her out at https://thisislauracortese.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. To learn more about Laurel, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and to see updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:03:02
September 14, 2012
Sound better now!
Nine ways, other than more practice, to sound better now! To learn more about Laurel, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and to see updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
34:43
September 6, 2012
Eradicate Bow Jitters
Whether you've been playing for months or years, the cause of jitters, sputters, and tremor type sounds in your sustained bow strokes can be so elusive they're among the most annoying and frustrating issues a string player will ever encounter. In this episode, violinist, string teacher, and author Laurel Thomsen gets down to bow basics and covers a variety of suggestions that may be just what you need to eradicate your unwanted bow bounces for good. To learn more about Laurel, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and to see updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
46:36
August 10, 2012
Intonation Mastery #2
Learn to adjust your fingerings to harmonize perfectly with open string drones, be they in fiddle tunes or presented as "easy" double stops in classical pieces, after all, not all fingerings are made equal when dealing with the complex harmonic series' of violin family instruments! To learn more about Laurel, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and to see updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
26:36
July 27, 2012
Intonation Mastery #1
Learn to use sympathetic vibrations to clue you in for perfect intonation. "It's a pretty cool technique!" ~LT To learn more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Check out photos, musings, and video links, and see updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances through "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook. Want to offer a comment or have your question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
16:52
June 27, 2012
Warm ups for your body and brain
Welcome to episode 50 (coming in at exactly 50 min. no less!). Today musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen offers a guided warmup series for body and brain. If you experience tension or pain when you play, want to improve your playing posture or posture in general, or want to experience more focus and energy while you play and practice, this one's for you! To learn more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Want updates about Laurel's educational material and performances? Just search Laurel Thomsen Music on Facebook and consider offering your support with a "like". Want to offer a comment or have your question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
50:01
May 23, 2012
Tuning by ear for advancing players
Learn to tune your violin or viola in the professional classical way, just like symphony members do world wide. To learn more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Want updates about Laurel's educational material and performances? Just search Laurel Thomsen Music on Facebook and consider offering your support with a "like". Want to have your question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
35:35
April 27, 2012
Practice Tidbits #4-identify the magic spots
Sometimes changing your mental approach is all it takes to find the courage to dive deep, address the challenges, and take your playing to the next level. Join musician, educator, and author Laurel Thomsen as she explores a powerful quote taken from mandolinist Mike Marshall. To learn more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Want updates about Laurel's educational material and performances? Just search Laurel Thomsen Music on Facebook and consider offering your support with a "like". Want to have your question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
09:22
April 7, 2012
Not all sheet music is created equal
Don't know the difference between Urtext, fascimile, and interpretive sheet music editions? In this episode musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen sheds light on the pros and cons of each type of edition, common publishing companies within each family, and which needs of a student or performer could be best served by each type. To learn more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Want updates about Laurel's educational material and performances? Just search Laurel Thomsen Music on Facebook and consider offering your support with a "like". Want to have your question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
24:20
March 18, 2012
Choosing fingerings
Today we cover a listener question about fingerings for the Giga, or Gigue, from J.S. Bach's Violin Partita #2. Using this piece as an example, musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen gives guidelines for choosing good fingerings - those that facilitate clarity, phrasing, and interpretive flow. A version of the Gigue with Laurel's recommended fingerings and bowings can be found on her site, www.laurelthomsen.com, through the "Podcast" link in the navigation bar. To learn more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com Want updates about Laurel's educational material and performances? Just search Laurel Thomsen Music on Facebook and consider offering your support with a "like". Want to have your question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
36:14
February 25, 2012
5 reasons to review old repertoire in 2012
Happy New Year! Dust off that old sheet music and make time to review your old repertoire. In this episode violinist/teacher Laurel Thomsen gives 5 reasons to make review a regular part of your practice in 2012. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
13:51
January 4, 2012
Practice Tidbits #3: the "round robin"
Learn a simple way to master repertoire and techniques faster and more fluently. Musician/teacher/author and self-proclaimed violin geek Laurel Thomsen shares a practice technique she says has allowed her to learn complicated techniques in a third the time. It's all about focus and setting up the right conditions for your brain to learn. So, don't just slog away on your fiddle while your mind is elsewhere. Listen to this podcast and then get to work! To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
17:44
December 18, 2011
So you want to play weddings?
In today's episode violinist/violist Laurel Thomsen offers advice on how to prepare, market, and perform for weddings and other events. Whether you want to contribute to the special day of friends and family members, make some extra cash on the side, or start a whole new business, learn what it takes to be successful. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
38:51
November 6, 2011
Repertoire for the do-it-yourself beginner, an update
(Formerly the Violin & Viola Practice Power Podcast) In this episode violinist/violist and string teacher Laurel Thomsen updates her earlier podcast of the same name with further method book/video info for the beginning student or teacher of beginning students. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
10:38
September 29, 2011
Practice Tidbits #2: strengthening the 4th finger
If your 4th finger just doesn't seem as secure and strong as your other three you've come to the right place! Musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen instructs how to isolate the origin of the most effective finger motion and practice strengthening your fourth finger through tapping and trills. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
11:30
August 20, 2011
A mistake that became a song
In this episode musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen shares an improvisation she recorded that came about quite by accident. If you want to "get out of your head" and get creative, as she found, try an alternate tuning! Enjoy! To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
13:25
July 31, 2011
Better musicianship through "audiation"
So what's "audiation" and what does it mean for your musicianship? In this episode musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen discusses how learning to audiate (the ability to make meaning out of the sounds of music, similarly to how we find meaning in the sounds of language), allows us to become fluent in music. This opens us up to being able to play "by ear", recall and notate music previously heard, improvise, compose, etc. So, if you want to go deeper and really "tell a story" through the music you play, start here. Enjoy! To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
25:38
July 13, 2011
Practice Tidbits #1: end your phrases!
In the Practice Tidbits series musician/teacher laurel Thomsen gives you specific tips for technical issues. Today, learn common phrase, passage, and piece ending issues and how to clean them up. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
12:54
June 23, 2011
Make mistakes!
Do you fear making mistakes? Well, start making them! Sound strange? Listen and musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen will explain the benefits of making a practice of making mistakes. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
09:59
June 4, 2011
Rhythm Trainer Series #3: dotted rhythms, triplets, syncopation
Today's Rhythm Trainer episode focuses on dotted rhythms, triplets, and syncopation. Musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen demonstrates how to subdivide each note value and guides you in practicing playing each figure with a metronome. If you're pretty solid with the basic quarter notes and eight notes, but need help when it comes to more unusual rhythms and note values this might be just the thing for you. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
25:32
May 29, 2011
Self Hypnosis for Musicians-an interview with Sam Brown
In this episode musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen chats with Sam Brown, drummer and creator of the "Self Hypnosis for Musicians" CD and "Musicians Hypnosis" iPhone app. Do you want to get over stage fright, learn faster, feel more creative when you play, tap into "the zone"? We chat about how hypnosis/hypnotherapy can help musicians and Sam has been kind enough to start listeners off with a complimentary MP3 download available on his site at http://www.musicianshypnosis.com/mp3/Visualisation-for- laurel.mp3. Enjoy! For more about Sam Brown check out www.sambrown.co.uk To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
49:04
May 16, 2011
Repertoire for the do-it-yourself beginner
So, you want to play the violin or viola? Where should you start if you don't have a teacher? For the adult beginner or returning player, musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen suggests a team effort of technique videos, technique books, and method/repertoire books to give you the best chance at success on your own. There are an overwhelming variety of videos, books, and methods out there! In this episode Laurel takes some of the guess work out of the equation so you can make a more informed decision about where to invest your time and money. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
31:05
May 1, 2011
News and Updates March 2011
Get the latest scoop from musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen and in honor of St. Patricks Day hear "Drowsy Maggie", a tune Laurel recorded in 2006 for the CD "Sweetfire". For more about Laurel please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
06:21
March 17, 2011
Practice Tips #5 - Add rhythmic variety
You've isolated your problem areas. You've practiced them over and over again, and yet, mastery eludes you. Sound familiar? Learn how adding rhythmic variety to challenging passages during your practice helps create fluency, increases passage speed over time, and helps to keep you interested and engaged so every minute of your practice time is effective. A very results-oriented method! To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
32:00
March 14, 2011
Practice Tips #4 - Avoid flailing! Isolate the issues
Are you a clock-watcher? Do you stumble through your practice? You'll get much more out of your practice and enjoy it more if you avoid flailing and instead spend focused time isolating and analyzing the issues that cause you to break your creative flow. Today musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen encourages you to identify and overcome problem areas so you can quickly and effectively get back to music making. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
10:52
February 12, 2011
Happy Holidays!
In this short holiday podcast musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen gives her holiday gift to listeners - 50% off their first month of violin or viola lessons via Skype (also see details/ restrictions below) and also gives a tip for how to approach practice during the holiday season. 50% off Skype lesson offer fine print: -Applies to new students only. -Effective through February 2011 when you mention the podcast. Lessons can take place after February 2011, but Laurel Thomsen must be contacted and the lessons scheduled before the end of that month. -Dependent on mutual availability, mutual rapport, and the quality of the mutual internet connection and computer set-up. -A month of lessons counts as 4 lessons over no more then four weeks time. -The four lessons must be paid in full before the first lesson commences. -There will be no refunds for cancellations. Cancellations with more than 24 hours notice may be able to be rescheduled depending on mutual availability. -After the first 4 weeks, if the student chooses to continue with lessons it will be at the regular rate. -The student may choose to not continue lessons after the offer period without further obligation. For more information about lessons, to download the private lesson contract and view the lessons Q&A visit www.laurelthomsen.com/Teaching
06:21
December 16, 2010
Rhythm Trainer Series #2: Quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes
Come explore quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. In this podcast musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen demonstrates how to subdivide each note value and guides you in practicing playing each value with a metronome at both a slow and a fast tempos. Finally, you'll learn to combine these notes values to form various rhythms. The possibilities are endless! After you're done with this workout you'll know exactly how to fit these note values into any beat, plus you'll learn a tip for bowing faster note values with ease in the bow arm rather then nervous tension. To learn more about Laurel and her performing, teaching, and writing, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com To check out photos, musings, video links, and get updates about Laurel's educational materials and performances, visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "Like". Want to offer a comment or have a question answered on the podcast? Post to Laurel's Facebook wall or send an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com
39:56
November 29, 2010
Befriending the "Practice Sabateur"
What do we do if part of us wants to practice regularly, but part of us repeatedly gets in the way? Using an NLP process, musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen shares a way to befriend the "Practice Sabateur" and find a way for this part of you to actually help you develop regular pratice habits. Joyful practicing is the goal today with higher self esteem as the added bonus. Let's end the battle and get to the good stuff! For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
22:57
November 15, 2010
Practice Tips #3 - practice scheduling
Sure, when to practice is when you have time, but putting just a bit more thought into it can make your practices more effective. Musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen offers ideas to help you find your best practice times throughout the day and discusses the benefits of bi and tri-daily practice scheduling. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
09:05
October 31, 2010
Tips for renting or purchasing a playable instrument
Whether renting or purchasing, no matter what your budget and playing ability is, and even before considering tone and looks, it's important to get an instrument that is playable. Follow these tips to greatly improve the likelyhood that you'll come home with a healthy violin or viola! For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
22:13
October 17, 2010
Practice Tips #2: daily jumpstart
Practice, practice, practice... We have all (hopefully) experienced its benefits so why does it sometimes feel so hard to pick up our instrument and play? Musician/teacher Laurel Thomsen offers tips for what to do when you have limited time, don't know what to start with, or feel overwhelmed and down on yourself about not practicing enough. Learn the importance of clear practice goals and celebrating your successes along the way. Jumpstart yourself and start practicing daily, today! For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
12:55
October 3, 2010
News and Updates September 2010
Counting down to the 6 month anniversary of the podcast: Laurel's first "Strings" magazine article is published!! Also learn about a free online music theory resource, possibilities for lessons with Laurel, and an offer to podcast listeners :-) For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
05:18
September 19, 2010
Practice Tips #1: creating your practice environment
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice! Tips and ideas to help you start a daily violin or viola practice routine or strengthen the one you have. Today I provide ideas for finding and setting up a practice space. Are you a "Communal Space Practicer" or a "Private Space Practicer"? Why might this matter? Troubleshoot practice area issues, get your supplies in order, and most importantly, get practicing! For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
19:55
August 28, 2010
Beginner Intonation Workout #1-the second finger
Whether you're new to the violin or viola or you've just taken off the tapes you've used up until now to find your finger placements, today we practice training your ear for in tune 2nd finger placements. We'll cover all the high and low 2nd finger placements on all the strings for both violin and viola and we'll combine these pitches with our open strings to form the intervals of the major and minor 3rds and also arpeggios. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
25:00
August 14, 2010
Transforming the Self-Critical
We all experience negative thoughts about ourselves from time to time. When it's frequent and leads to hopelessness and frustration it can be debilitating to our progress as a musician and have a negative impact on our self esteem. Laurel Thomsen shows us how we can transform our negative self-talk into a vehical to aid us in getting back to and meeting our true needs and desires. If you want to find joy in playing and see consistent progress, come listen. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
19:58
August 7, 2010
Tuning for Beginners: chromatic tuners
Chromatic tuners, like the ones we can clip to our instrument's scroll, can be great tools to help us develop good intonation skills. However, they can also delay that process if we don't use them to learn why and how we need to make corrections. Get tips on how to use them effectively. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
10:01
July 29, 2010
News and Updates July 2010
I have just completed some supplemental worksheets to go along with the Intermediate Intonation Workout Series. Print out the PDF's at http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Podcast_downloads.html Also, learn about a new upcoming episode series and other news about my work and the podcast. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
06:22
July 24, 2010
Intermediate Intonation Workout #4 (violins only): "E" String Finger Patterns
Train your ears for excellent intonation on your violin or viola. Laurel Thomsen helps you tune 9 basic finger patterns on the "E" string in first position. Whew! After this you'll be ready for any strange scales and keys that might come your way. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
18:52
July 17, 2010
Intermediate Intonation Workout #4 (viola's only): "C" String Finger Patterns
Train your ears for excellent intonation on your violin or viola. Laurel Thomsen helps you tune 9 basic finger patterns on the "C" string in first position. Whew! After this you'll be ready for any strange scales and keys that might come your way. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
19:34
July 17, 2010
Tuning for Beginners #4 (violins only) -The "E" String
Learn to tune your "E" string by ear from a given "E" in this "violin only" episode. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
06:25
July 2, 2010
Tuning for Beginners #4 (violas only) -The "C" String
Learn to tune the "C" string by ear from a given "C" in this "viola only" episode. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
05:59
July 2, 2010
The Excellent Musician: a visualization
Athletes have long used visualization to improve performance, and you can too! Today we use a visualization technique to develop the excellent musician in you! Come gain the inner resources you need to achieve success. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
39:25
June 18, 2010
Intermediate Intonation Workout #3: "G" String Finger Patterns
Train your ears for excellent intonation on your violin or viola. Laurel Thomsen helps you tune 9 basic finger patterns on the "G" string in first position. Whew! After this you'll be ready for any strange scales and keys that might come your way. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
19:49
June 12, 2010
Tuning for Beginners #3-The "G" String
Learn to tune your "G" string by ear from a given "G". For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
04:41
June 5, 2010
Rhythm Trainer Series #1: Whole, Half, and Quarter Notes
Beginners and those who need a rhythm brush up - come explore whole, half, and quarter notes. We'll practice playing each of them with a metronome separately at different tempos, and combined to form various rhythms. After you're done with this workout you'll know exactly how to fit these note values to any beat. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
19:24
May 30, 2010
Intermediate Intonation Workout #2: “D” String Finger Patterns
Train your ears for excellent intonation on your violin or viola. Laurel Thomsen helps you tune 9 basic finger patterns on the "D" string in first position. Whew! After this you'll be ready for any strange scales and keys that might come your way. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
19:25
May 23, 2010
Tuning for Beginners #2: The “D” String
Learn to tune your "D" string by ear from a given "D". For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
03:57
May 16, 2010
Conscious listening for great intonation and expression
Not all listening is conscious, or honest! Developing a solid connection between what we think we sound like and what we actually sound like is pivotal to great intonation, rhythm, and personal expression. How are you listening? For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
29:07
May 9, 2010
Intermediate Intonation Workout #1: “A” String Finger Patterns
Train your ears for excellent intonation on your violin or viola. Laurel Thomsen helps you tune 9 basic finger patterns on the "A" string in first position. Whew! After this you'll be ready for any strange scales and keys that might come your way. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
24:18
May 2, 2010
Introduction to the Intonation Workouts
Get the inside scoop on everything you'll need to know for success with the upcoming Intermediate Intonation Workouts. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
11:20
April 25, 2010
Tuning for Beginners #1: The “A” String
Welcome violin, viola, and fiddle beginners! In response to a need to help students tune in my lessons studio I'm offering up this lesson to help you also learn to tune your "A" string by ear, just like you would in an orchestra. For more about Laurel check out www.laurelthomsen.com
09:32
April 18, 2010