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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 private 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 to beginners, yet contain the depth appreciated by the advancing student or seasoned performer alike. Happy Practicing!
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Practice Mastery #1

The Violin Geek Podcast

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Stories About Songs - "If A Wave"
Stories About Songs - "If A Wave"
In this episode we travel behind the scenes again, into the making of one of the songs Laurel wrote and released earlier this year, along with Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dan Frechette, on their album "After the Fire." This time, Laurel shares the origins of her hopeful and empowering song, If A Wave. We learn about the meaning behind the metaphor heavy lyrics, what factors informed the duo's arrangement choices and Laurel's approach to composing the violin lines, as well as the making of the song's music video which has just been released on YouTube.  Watch the "If A Wave" music video https://youtu.be/B9TC0m0ZSyo Listen to and/or download If A Wave or the entire album "After The Fire" on various platforms https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/danfrechetteandlaurelthomsen/after-the-fire Order physical signed copies or exclusive downloads of the album "After the Fire" https://www.danandlaurel.ca/Shop/ For more about Dan Frechette, including his 100+ albums of original songwriting, please visit https://www.danfrechette.com Visit Laurel Thomsen's website, with info about her performances, recordings, and teaching can be found at https://www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in her Violin Geek blog or on a podcast, have a topic you'd like her to cover or someone you'd like her to interview, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to  post your success story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
22:32
November 07, 2022
Intonation Mastery #3: Avoiding External Factors + Practicing For Better Tuning
Intonation Mastery #3: Avoiding External Factors + Practicing For Better Tuning
Ten years since recording the first episodes in this series, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen revisits the topic with fresh tips to help you sound more in tune on your violin, viola, cello, or bass. In this episode we cover several factors with our instrument which can affect intonation, as well as tips for how we can approach practice to better support developing good intonation. In the next episodes we'll cover specific exercises, technical concerns, and scale tuning. So enjoy this episode, and stay tuned, literally! Show notes: Past Intonation Episodes: Intonation Mastery #1: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-mastery-1 Intonation Mastery #2: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-mastery-2 Conscious Listening https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=conscious-listening-for-great-intonation-and-expression Intonation Workouts: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-workout Past Violin Geek Blog posts about intonation: Audiation: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=simple-4-step-audiation-procedure-to-clean-up-intonation and https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=student-question-too-tone-deaf-to-play-the-violin Improve Your Intonation Now: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=improve-your-intonation-now ~ For more information and info about her performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit host Laurel Thomsen's website https://www.laurelthomsen.com To check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog, a companion to the podcast,    sharing tips, insight and inspiration since 2007, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related    question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek  podcast   or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview,  or have a   story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com.   Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola,  or   fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or  Zoom.  You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or  suggestions  to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
29:17
October 21, 2022
Following Your Passion to a Unique Career - an interview with DJ violinist and entertainer Asher Laub
Following Your Passion to a Unique Career - an interview with DJ violinist and entertainer Asher Laub
In today's episode we speak with Asher Laub, a New York City based Classically trained violinist turned improvising DJ violinist, entertainer, producer, composer, and entrepreneur. We learn about how Asher has been able to chart a unique career path, making a name for himself, performing high energy stage shows across four continents. We discuss gear and the importance of having control over your sound on stage, some of the challenges you might face when transitioning from Classical music into other genres, as well as a major setback Asher experienced and how he was able to get back on his feet. We also hear samples of his song Dreaming Awake and his song Neon Dreams. Show notes:  Asher’s website https://www.asherlaub.com Asher’s music video and recent single “Atlantis” http://found.asherlaub.com/atlantis1 Asher on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/5FmqE64ExrxQPuFUXtgG1H Asher's song and music video "Gratitude" mentioned in the episode https://youtu.be/K4OKnojV1vY Asher's Michael Jackson-Palladio Medley music video mentioned in the episode https://youtu.be/iFN7oEuGDXI LR Baggs Preamps https://www.lrbaggs.com/acoustic-preamps-pedals The Electric Violin Shop https://www.electricviolinshop.com Fishman V-300 Concert Series Violin Pickup https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/v-300-concert-series-violin-pickup/ Fishman V-200 Classic Series Professional Violin Pickup https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/v-200-classic-series-professional-violin-pickup/ Fishman V-100 Classic Series Violin/Viola Pickup https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/v-100-classic-series-violin-viola-pickup/ ~ For more information and info about her performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit host Laurel Thomsen's website https://www.laurelthomsen.com To check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog, a companion to the podcast,   sharing tips, insight and inspiration since 2007, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related   question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek podcast   or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, or have a   story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com.  Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or   fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.  You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions  to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:26:38
September 23, 2022
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 3: Spine, Low Back, and Hips
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 3: Spine, Low Back, and Hips
Note: this is a hands-on video episode. If your podcast app does not support video podcasts, while it may be possible to follow along with only the audio, please find the video here https://youtu.be/YGOs71Lu6RM  In this supplemental video series of the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares a variety of simple warmups, mobility exercises, and massage techniques to help musicians and non-musicians avoid tension related to playing or daily life habits, and possibly reduce or even overcome pain when it does set in. Certified as a massage therapist, yoga teacher, level 3 Acutonics practitioner, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and with experience working  with a variety of additional mind-body healing modalities, including  acupressure and Trigger Point Therapy, Foundation Training, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, Yoga Nidra and various meditation styles, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, EDGU, and Qi-Gong, Laurel's goal  through this series is to distill some of the techniques she's found most valuable in helping herself, her private music students, and her clients. This video is not intended to diagnose or treat any health concern, but  to simply offer ideas for self-care. Please consult your doctor about injuries or chronic pain, and before exploring any new exercise. And ALWAYS listen to your body and its needs. 1:18 Knocking on the Door of Life - Qi Gong Warmup 3:24 Waving the Spine Side to Side - Qi Gong Warmup 5:44 The Fountain - Qi Gong Warmup 7:58 Spinal Cord Breathing - Qi Gong Warmup 9:00 Quadratus Lumborum Release - Trigger Point Massage 15:30 Glute/Hips Massage - Trigger Point & General Massage 20:09 The Founder - Yoga/Foundation Exercise  22:52 Good Mornings - Foundation Training If your podcast feed does not support video podcasts, or if you'd like to bookmark this episode for future watching, it's also available here https://youtu.be/YGOs71Lu6RM  Please consider sharing it with friends and family members who you think might benefit, and subscribing on YouTube to avoid missing the upcoming videos in the series. Listen to and download the complete version of Laurel's song "Asilomar" https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/asilomar For more tips, inspiration, insight please check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog: Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/  To learn more about Laurel, ask a question or suggest a topic for her to  cover, or to get in touch about private lessons (violin, viola, fiddle,  cello) or help overcoming general or playing-related pain and tension, visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com For further resources and information about many of the practices and techniques mentioned, enjoy Laurel's post "Cross-training for Musicians" https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=cross-training-for-musicians
26:09
August 26, 2022
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 2: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 2: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back
Note: this is a hands-on video episode. If your podcast app does not support video podcasts, while it may be possible to follow along with only the audio, please find the video here https://youtu.be/RWbF3jrwwdY            In this supplemental video series of the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares a variety of simple warmups, mobility exercises, and massage techniques to help musicians and non-musicians avoid tension related to playing or daily life habits, and possibly reduce or even overcome pain when it does set in. Certified as a massage therapist, yoga teacher, level 3 Acutonics practitioner, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and with experience working  with a variety of additional mind-body healing modalities, including  acupressure and Trigger Point Therapy, Foundation Training, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, Yoga Nidra and various meditation styles, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, EDGU, and Qi-Gong, Laurel's goal  through this series is to distill some of the techniques she's found most valuable in helping herself, her private music students, and her clients. This video is not intended to diagnose or treat any health concern, but  to simply offer ideas for self-care. Please consult your doctor about injuries or chronic pain, and before exploring any new exercise. And ALWAYS listen to your body and its needs. 0:51 Shoulder Rolls - Warmup  3:10 Trapezuis Release - Active Stretch and Trigger Point Massage  11:07 Head/Neck Plank - Cervical Spine Reset  15:06 Sternoceidomastoid Release - Trigger Point Massage  17:58 Upper Back/Shoulder Squeezes - Muscle Activation Exercise  21:00 Pinkie Knuckle Knocking - Acupressure Massage  22:47 Full Body Shaking - Warmup/Cooldown If your podcast feed does not support video podcasts, or if you'd like to bookmark this episode for future watching, it's also available here https://youtu.be/RWbF3jrwwdY  Please consider sharing it with friends and family members who you think might benefit, and subscribing on YouTube to avoid missing the upcoming videos in the series. Listen to and download the complete version of Laurel's song "Asilomar" https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/asilomar For more tips, inspiration, insight please check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog: Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/  To learn more about Laurel, ask a question or suggest a topic for her to  cover, or to get in touch about private lessons (violin, viola, fiddle,  cello) or help overcoming general or playing-related pain and tension, visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com For further resources and information about many of the practices and techniques mentioned, enjoy Laurel's post "Cross-training for Musicians" https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=cross-training-for-musicians
25:11
August 05, 2022
Traveling with Your Instrument - Tips and Stories!
Traveling with Your Instrument - Tips and Stories!
People are starting to hit the road again, but what does this mean for our instruments? In this episode, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares tips for safely getting your instrument from point A to point B, whether by car or plane. Having averaged 150 tour dates per year pre-pandemic, Laurel also shares stories about her experiences traveling with her violin (and the what-not-to-dos she had to learn on the job). We hope you enjoy this episode, and come away feeling more confident, armed with the knowledge and tools you need to avoid any travel disasters with your precious instrument! Links mentioned in the show: Boveda Musical Instrument Humidity Control Packs USA Domestic Flight Information Document - CARRIAGE OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS United Breaks Guitars Video  Rachel Barton Pine - Flight Drama  Laurel's Violin Case with backpack straps and steel reinforcement (this is a newer version, but it's essentially the same) MusicPro Insurance  Today's music was an original Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen song called "Glory in My Soul" from our 2016 album "Between the Rain." Check out the music video for the song, featuring clips around the CA Central Coast and from our travels here. To listen and/or download the track visit us on BandCamp here. ~ For more about host Laurel Thomsen, including her performance, lessons and courses, and recordings, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com To check out Laurel's companion labor-of-love, the Violin Geek Blog, visit: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question or topic you’d like to have covered, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, have a story or insight to share, or would like to inquire about concert booking or violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com.  Happy Practicing!
58:13
July 28, 2022
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 1: Arms and Hands
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 1: Arms and Hands
Note: this is a hands-on video episode. If your podcast app does not support video podcasts, while it may be possible to follow along with only the audio, please find the video here https://youtu.be/YSXoh_Fn09E In this supplemental video series of the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares a variety of simple warmups, mobility exercises, and massage techniques to help musicians and non-musicians avoid tension related to playing or daily life habits, and possibly reduce or even overcome pain when it does set in.    Certified as a massage therapist, yoga teacher, level 3 Acutonics practitioner, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and with experience working  with a variety of additional mind-body healing modalities, including  acupressure and Trigger Point Therapy, Foundation Training, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, Yoga Nidra and various meditation styles, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, EDGU, and Qi-Gong, Laurel's goal  through this series is to distill some of the techniques she's found most valuable in helping herself, her private music students, and her clients.    This video is not intended to diagnose or treat any health concern, but  to simply offer ideas for self-care. Please consult your doctor about  injuries or chronic pain, and before exploring any new exercise. And ALWAYS listen to your body and its needs.   0:51 Arm Drops - Warmup  3:20 Arm Circles - Warmup  7:57 Nerve Flossing - Stretch  11:59 Wrist Stretches - Range of Motion Exercise  16:20 Wrist Knocking - Acupressure  19:02 Wrist Circles - Range of Motion Exercise  21:08 Trigger Point Therapy - Massage  27:30 Wrist Shaking - Warmup/Cooldown  28:55 Effleurage - Light Lymphatic Massage   If your podcast feed does not support video podcasts, or if you'd like to bookmark this episode for future watching, it's also available here https://youtu.be/YSXoh_Fn09E Please consider sharing it with friends and family members who you think might benefit, and subscribing on YouTube to avoid missing the upcoming videos in the series. Listen to and download the complete version of Laurel's song "Asilomar" https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/asilomar For more tips, inspiration, insight please check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog: Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/  To learn more about Laurel, ask a question or suggest a topic for her to  cover, or to get in touch about private lessons (violin, viola, fiddle,  cello) or help overcoming general or playing-related pain and tension, visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com   Link to the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook mentioned https://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-Therapy-Workbook-Self-Treatment/dp/1572243759   For further resources and information about many of the practices and techniques mentioned, enjoy Laurel's post "Cross-training for Musicians" https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=cross-training-for-musicians
29:51
July 02, 2022
How Do I Get Out of Pain? - Playing Health in the Spotlight
How Do I Get Out of Pain? - Playing Health in the Spotlight
Pain and injury related to playing a musical instrument like the violin, viola, or cello, or general pain and tension that makes practicing and performing difficult, can be common. In this episode of the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares insight into the cause of pain and tension, and hope that it doesn't have to mean an end to our playing. But where does one start the process of finding the cause, unraveling the old habits, and getting back to a feeling of ease and joy? Tune in to find out and be sure to check out the companion video episode where Laurel demonstrates a variety of warmups, exercises, and therapies designed to target pain and tension in the arms and hands which she and her students have found helpful. Over the next few months, watch for videos focusing also on the neck, shoulders, and upper back, as well as the low back, hips, and spine. Enjoy! Laurel's companion warmup/exercise video is available here https://youtu.be/YSXoh_Fn09E Please consider sharing it with friends and family members who you think might benefit, and subscribing to Laurel's channel on YouTube to avoid missing the upcoming videos in the series. Show notes: Read this episode in Laurel's Violin Geek Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/ Listen to and download Laurel's song "Asilomar" https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/asilomar Information about Neurogenesis https://bebrainfit.com/brain-cells-regenerate/ Information about Feldenkrais https://feldenkrais.com/ Wiki about Ed Simmons https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Simons_(conductor) Video of Issac Stern performing shortly before his passing at 81 https://www.youtube.com/embed/xZgGli6gDHE TED Talk with Tao-Porchon Lynch, the world's oldest yoga teacher, at 95 https://www.youtube.com/embed/oTmaTD5H0iM List of musicians who died while performing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Musicians_who_died_on_stage List of conductors who died on stage https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Conductors_(music)_who_died_while_conducting Theory about the natural lifespan of humans https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/humans-could-live-up-to-150-years-new-research-suggests/ The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook https://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-Therapy-Workbook-Self-Treatment/dp/1572243759 Information about enzymes in the body https://youtu.be/dgJGmCmh9uI Information about the benefits of making mistakes https://www.youcubed.org/evidence/mistakes-grow-brain/ Laurel's Improve Your Bowing Technique multi-media course https://www.laurelthomsen.com/online-courses/ Information about the benefits of smiling https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/jul/27/mentalhealth.drugs ~ Visit Laurel's website to learn more about her performances, recordings, online courses, and private teaching https://www.laurelthomsen.com Listen to and/or download Laurel's new album "After The Fire" https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/danfrechetteandlaurelthomsen/after-the-fire Order physical signed copies or exclusive downloads of the new album "After the Fire"
42:48
July 02, 2022
"Back to Bach" - rediscovering your path and passion with Israeli/German violinist Maya Lorenzen
"Back to Bach" - rediscovering your path and passion with Israeli/German violinist Maya Lorenzen
Today we speak with Maya Lorenzen, an Israeli/German violinist who has wrestled internal and external conflict to chart a career path and rediscover her passion for making beautiful, heartfelt music. She’s now helping her students do the same. Maya's new solo album, "Back to Bach," while born out of the loneliness of the pandemic, finds fresh connection to self and soul, with Bach's 2nd Partita married with two modern works by female composers, also inspired by Bach. We learn more about Maya's inspiration for the album, enjoy a few clips, discuss her approach to practicing double stops, her research into the history of violin fingerings, and she shares tips for how to manage practice time and overcome setbacks. We also hear about her experience traveling and performing with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and how they are helping middle eastern countries and artists become "equal in music." Enjoy! Learn more about Maya Lorenzen https://www.mayalorenzen.com Listen to, download, or purchase a copy of "Back to Bach”: Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/album/3mGuxqECU3vkyJ72fXB6jN?si=Z6XAAnInTpykccvIc6KcLQ Apple Music - https://music.apple.com/us/album/back-to-bach/1610877338 Keep up with Maya on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mayalorenzenviolinist Book a 30 minute Discovery Call with Maya: https://calendly.com/mayalorenzen/30-minute-call Other people and organizations mentioned during the episode: Sheet music for Missy Mazzoli’s “Dissolve, O My Heart”: https://missymazzoli.com/works/dissolve-o-my-heart Sheet music for Jesse Montgomery’s "Rhapsody No. 1": https://www.jessiemontgomery.com/work/rhapsody-no-1-violin West-Eastern Divan Orchestra: https://west-eastern-divan.org ~ For more information and info about her performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit host Laurel Thomsen's website https://www.laurelthomsen.com To check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog, a companion to the podcast,  sharing tips, insight and inspiration since 2007, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related  question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek podcast  or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, or have a  story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com. Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or  fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:27:48
May 27, 2022
Female Composers in the Spotlight - an interview with Dr. Cora Cooper
Female Composers in the Spotlight - an interview with Dr. Cora Cooper
In this episode of the Violin Geek Podcast, Laurel Thomsen chats with Dr. Cora Cooper, professor of violin, viola, chamber music, and string pedogogy at Kansas State University, and the editor of "Violin Music By Women" and "Viola Music By Women," graded anthologies of almost entirely unknown, but wonderfully inventive and enjoyable pieces by women composers. We discuss Dr. Cooper's inspiration for the project and she shares some delightful stories about her search for material and the process of compiling the volumes. We gain tips for presenting and integrating new music into the teaching studio, and insight into her approach towards helping students identify technical challenges and practice more effectively when there's less time. Links: Violin Music By Women website and blog, including sound files for the volumes: https://www.violinmusicbywomen.com Purchase the anthologies plus much more at Sleepy Puppy Press: https://www.sleepypuppypress.com Tips for integrating the first book of the violin anthology into a Suzuki method approach: https://www.violinmusicbywomen.com/blog/guest-blog-by-claire-allen-integrating-repertoire-from-violin-music-by-women-with-suzuki-books-1-2-part-1-of-3 Mary Cohen's "Violin Technique in Practice" book: https://www.fabermusic.com/news/mastering-violin-technique-with-mary-cohen05062020-1 ~ For more about host Laurel Thomsen, including her performance, teaching, and recordings, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com To check out Laurel's companion labor-of-love, the Violin Geek Blog, visit: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek podcast or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, or have a story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Also, please reach out via email if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.  Happy Practicing!
01:20:39
April 15, 2022
"Counting Down the Hours" - finding freedom and joy with Classical violinist and fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin
"Counting Down the Hours" - finding freedom and joy with Classical violinist and fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin
In this episode we hear from Maura Shawn Scanlin, a Boston, MA based Classical violinist and fiddler who is bridging musical worlds with incredible poise and grace. Her new album, "Counting Down the Hours," with her duo "Rakish" is a joyful exploration of Celtic, Classical, and Americana sounds. We learn more about its inception and inspiration, and enjoy a couple choice tracks from the album. We also discuss Maura's approach to performing and arranging in different genres of music, how the practice discipline of her Classical training has also helped her learn fiddle tunes, and she shares tips for how we can learn to fiddle with more stylistic accuracy. Enjoy! Learn more about Maura Shawn Scanlin https://www.maurashawnscanlin.com Listen to, download, or purchase a copy of "Counting Down the Hours" https://rakishmusic.bandcamp.com/album/counting-down-the-hours Learn more about Maura's Duo "Rakish" https://www.rakishmusic.com Learn more about Maura's String Quartet "Rasa" https://rasastringquartet.com Other people and resources mentioned during the episode: Other musicians featured on "Counting Down the Hours": Conor Hearn (Guitars, Bouzouki, Vocals), Seamus Egan (Tenor Banjo, Mandolin, Percussion), Dan Klingsberg (Bass). Website for exploring Irish fiddle tunes: https://thesession.org/ Gavinies Etudes https://imslp.org/wiki/24_Matin%C3%A9es_(Gavini%C3%A8s,_Pierre) Martin Hayes http://www.martinhayes.com Liz Carroll https://www.lizcarroll.com ~ For more information and info about her performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit host Laurel Thomsen's website https://www.laurelthomsen.com To check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog, a companion to the podcast, sharing tips, insight and inspiration since 2007, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek podcast or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, or have a story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com. Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
57:38
March 17, 2022
Learn to Love Your Metronome
Learn to Love Your Metronome
If the metronome inspires fear, dread, or frustration in you, if you're not sure how to even use it, or if you find practicing with it is getting a bit stale, this episode is for you! Join string player and educator Laurel Thomsen as she explores the goals of metronome practice, explains the steps we need to take as we build up our metronome practice, and shares tips for becoming more confident and creative in your practice with it.  Show Notes: Metronome mentioned - Matrix (my MR-700 is no longer available, but this MR-800 seems quite similar): https://amzn.to/3sTODNw Apps mentioned - Warchal Metronome: https://www.warchal.com/metronome.html Time Guru: https://avibortnick.com/time-guru/ Dr Betotte: http://www.ssworkssoftware.com/drbetottetc/drbetottetc.html Listen to and/or download "Sure Fire Way of Taking" https://officialramblingdanfrechette.bandcamp.com/album/new-disguise-2015 Laurel's Violin Geek Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/ Visit Laurel's website to learn more about her performances, recordings, online courses, and private teaching https://www.laurelthomsen.com Listen to and/or download Laurel's new album "After The Fire" https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/danfrechetteandlaurelthomsen/after-the-fire Order physical signed copies or exclusive downloads of the new album "After the Fire" https://www.danandlaurel.ca/Shop/ Please email Laurel at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, theory, technique, or practice related question you'd like answered on a podcast or in her Violin Geek blog, have a topic you'd like her to cover or someone you'd like her to interview, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:03:43
February 18, 2022
Stories About Songs - "Money Shouldn't Talk That Strong"
Stories About Songs - "Money Shouldn't Talk That Strong"
In this episode we are celebrating today's release of Laurel Thomsen's fifth album with her partner, Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dan Frechette, and travel behind the scenes into the making of one of the songs Laurel wrote for the album, "Money Shouldn't Talk That Strong." We learn about the song's origin and lyrics, the duo's recording process, particularly Dan's approach to layering guitar, bass, and drums, and Laurel's approach to composing and recording violin, viola, and cello, as well as the making of the song's music video which is also being released today. We listen to the song, as well as samples of rough tracks the duo made along the way. Enjoy! Listen to and/or download the album "After The Fire" https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/danfrechetteandlaurelthomsen/after-the-fire Watch the "Money Shouldn't Talk That Strong" music video https://youtu.be/Im_ZjbZ0zPc Order physical signed copies or exclusive downloads of the album "After the Fire" https://www.danandlaurel.ca/Shop/ For more about Dan Frechette, including his 100+ albums of original songwriting, please visit https://www.danfrechette.com Visit Laurel Thomsen's website, with info about her performances, recordings, and teaching can be found at https://www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related  question you’d like answered in her Violin Geek blog or on a podcast,  have a topic you'd like her to cover or someone you'd like her to  interview, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if   you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or  lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to  post  your success story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
50:10
January 21, 2022
Stories About Songs - "Make Me Come Alive"
Stories About Songs - "Make Me Come Alive"
In this episode of the Violin Geek Podcast we get a behind the scenes glimpse into the making of Laurel Thomsen's new single being released today, "Make Me Come Alive," in collaboration with her partner, Canadian singer-songwriter Dan Frechette. We learn about the song's origin, the duo's recording process, the making of the music video which is also being released today, as well as the harrowing story behind their new album, due for release on January 21, 2022. We listen to the song, as well as samples of rough tracks the duo made along the way. Enjoy! Listen to and download "Make Me Come Alive" https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/danfrechetteandlaurelthomsen/make-me-come-alive Watch the "Make Me Come Alive" music video https://youtu.be/jNue8FBwT3s Order signed physical copies or exclusive downloads of the new album "After the Fire" https://www.danandlaurel.ca/Shop/ For more about Dan Frechette, including his 100+ albums of original songwriting, please visit https://www.danfrechette.com Visit Laurel Thomsen's website, with info about her performances, recordings, and teaching can be found at https://www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related  question you’d like answered in her Violin Geek blog or on a podcast,  have a topic you'd like her to cover or someone you'd like her to  interview, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if   you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or  lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to  post  your success story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
34:53
December 18, 2021
"A Grand Journey" - bridging musical worlds with violinist Alexandr Kislitsyn
"A Grand Journey" - bridging musical worlds with violinist Alexandr Kislitsyn
In this episode we hear from Alexandr Kislitsyn, international violin soloist, chamber musician, educator, producer, and the newest member of the acclaimed Trio Casals. We learn about the trio's recent release, "A Grand Journey," featuring four debut works "inspired by traditional melodies and cultural flavors" for piano trio and solo piano, and enjoy a couple choice tracks from the album. We also discuss Alexandr's approach to practice, his attitude toward staying focused and inspired, and we learn about some of his upcoming projects and the way in which he's fusing his Classical background with modern sounds and interests. Enjoy! Learn more about Alexandr https://www.alexandrkislitsyn.com/ Follow Alexandr on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/alexandr.kislitsyn Buy or stream "A Grand Journey" from Trio Casals https://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6367/ Learn more about Trio Casals https://www.parmarecordings.com/triocasals/ Stream Alexandr's most recent electronic music single "2Light9:" https://band.link/tn5SN ~ Learn more about and pre-order Laurel Thomsen's upcoming fifth duo album "After the Fire:" https://www.danandlaurel.ca Visit Laurel Thomsen's website, with info about her performances, recordings, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in her Violin Geek blog or on a podcast, have a topic you'd like her to cover or someone you'd like her to interview, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if  you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post  your success story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:10:02
November 24, 2021
Arranging Pop and Non-Classical Genres for Solo Violin or Ensemble
Arranging Pop and Non-Classical Genres for Solo Violin or Ensemble
Learn what it takes to create a compelling arrangement of a Pop, Rock, or Jazz tune and the factors that help determine whether a song is a good candidate for solo violin treatment or if it needs an ensemble or band to do it justice. If, like host Laurel Thomsen, your performance life has been requiring you to learn new songs in various non-Classical genres lately, or if you have a favorite song you hope to translate to your instrument, we discuss the tools within a violinist's and other bowed string player's technique that can help bring tunes originally written with vocals and lyrics to life in new ways. We also explore musical roles within an ensemble and discuss how different instrument choices can elevate an arrangement. Finally, we cover some tips on how to present performance and repertoire options to a client during the booking process to ensure that expectations are met and song requests are realized. A word of thanks from Laurel: Many thanks to the clients who have booked me for their weddings and events over the years, and who help me stretch outside my comfort zone with new song requests. Also, thanks to the other musicians adding their musical contributions to this episode: Dan Frechette, acoustic guitar - www.danfrechette.com, and Dan Robbins, doublebass - www.danrobbinsmusic.com. All other instruments featured (besides those included on the two karaoke backing tracks) were performed by Laurel Thomsen. Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in her Violin Geek blog or on a podcast, have a topic you'd like her to cover or someone you'd like her to interview, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:36:13
October 10, 2021
Championing the Viola and Modern Classical Music - an interview with acclaimed soloist Brett Deubner
Championing the Viola and Modern Classical Music - an interview with acclaimed soloist Brett Deubner
Laurel Thomsen interviews acclaimed viola soloist Brett Deubner, listening to and discussing choice tracks from his recent albums "Mother Earth" and "Transfiguration," learning about his experience working with composers and debuting new music, and sharing tips for performance confidence, moving past setbacks, and creating a clear viola tone whether as a soloist, in an ensemble, or on recording. Links from the episode: Learn more about Brett Deubner and purchase his recordings, please visit https://www.brettdeubner.com  Learn more about Brett's online viola course https://deubnervvs.thinkific.com/ The "Mother Earth" album: https://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6351/ The "Transfiguration" album: https://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6355/ Stanley Grill, the composer of the pieces featured on "Transfiguration": https://www.stangrillcomposer.com/ Judith Markovich, the composer of the "Remember" track: https://www.judithmarkovich.com/ Maurizio Bignone, the composer of the "Mother Earth" track: https://mauriziobignone.com/ Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related  question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a   story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire  about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via  Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success  story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:46:49
September 03, 2021
Virtual Teaching for Success - Laurel Thomsen interviewed for FAR-West Teaches
Virtual Teaching for Success - Laurel Thomsen interviewed for FAR-West Teaches
In this episode Laurel Thomsen is interviewed by award-winning vocalist and FAR-West Board Vice-President, Susie Glaze about her experience with teaching violin and viola online. Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, back in 2009 in fact, Laurel transitioned to primarily teaching online. Here she offers over a decade worth of tips and insight to make the most of the time we spend learning online, with ideas for prospective online teachers and students alike.  Enjoy the YouTube video version of this interview here https://youtu.be/FpiE5TJ_Fow Suzie Glaze website https://www.susieglaze.com FAR-West https://far-west.org Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen Duo (featured music) http://danandlaurel.ca Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com For info specifically about: Lessons with Laurel, see http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Teaching.html; Online Lessons with Laurel, see http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Lessons_via_Skype.html, and Laurel's blog with more tips for online teachers, see http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2013/9/30_Advice_for_Skype_music_teachers.html Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a  story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to  www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing!
01:10:43
August 16, 2021
DIY Empowerment for Creatives with Justine Lucas of Madwoman Productions
DIY Empowerment for Creatives with Justine Lucas of Madwoman Productions
If you're a musician, artist, dancer, or maybe a business owner, and you're looking to create more compelling videos, photos, performances, and presentations, listen in as Laurel Thomsen speaks with Justine Lucas, singer-songwriter, director, producer, and the creative spark behind Madwoman Productions, a San Francisco based company helping independent artists and entrepreneurs be seen and heard.  Madwoman Productions: https://madwomanpro.com Madwoman Workshops info and links: Videography 101: July 28th, 2021 at 2:30pm PST https://madwomanpro.com/videography101/ Videography 102: Aug 25th, 2021 at 5:30pm PSThttps://madwomanpro.com/videography-102/ Photography 101: Oct 20th, 2021 at 5:30pm PST https://madwomanpro.com/photography101/ Performance 101: Nov 17th, 2021 at 5:30pm PST https://madwomanpro.com/performance101/ DIY Video Making, 6 week course coming soon https://madwomanpro.com/diyvideo/ Justine Lucas and Madame Z http://www.justinelucas.com Madame Z collaborator Jonah Udall http://www.jonahudall.com/ Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a  story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to  www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.
01:35:32
July 10, 2021
Recording a violin, viola, or cello
Recording a violin, viola, or cello
You’ve just perfected a difficult passage of your favorite concerto and  grab your smartphone to capture this monumental practice achievement.  You run through the passage again and while not perfect, you still feel  pretty good about your progress. You listen back, expecting to hear  exactly what you thought you heard while you were playing, but it sounds  nasally, distorted, and thin. Sound familiar? What’s going on? Tune in as host Laurel Thomsen helps you avoid the common pitfalls of recording a bowed stringed instrument.  Original post on the Violin Geek Blog http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/6/3_Recording_a_violin_or_viola_101.html GarageBand https://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/ Audacity https://www.audacityteam.org/ Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom). You can also post your success story, comments, or suggestions to my Facebook music page at www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.
14:10
June 04, 2021
Learning to love the process
Learning to love the process
"When we let our passion for the violin extend into the actual process of  learning, welcoming even our out-of-tune notes, missed shifts, and bad  tones as opportunities to find and fix problems, like any great  mechanic, we position ourselves for a lifetime of music making." In this "pep talk" episode from the Violin Geek Blog, host Laurel Thomsen takes inspiration from aviation technicians!  Original blog post http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/5/27_For_the_love_of_the_process.html Original inspiration https://www.instagram.com/p/CPRaJFXB6Y7/?utm_medium=share_sheet Hilary Hahn practice example https://www.instagram.com/p/CJr-9NhDC2F/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link Huberman Lab Podcast episode 20 https://hubermanlab.libsyn.com/how-to-learn-skills-faster-episode-20 For more about Laurel, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com and if you have a question, comment, or suggestion for a topic, please send her an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com Happy Practicing!
10:09
May 27, 2021
Improve Your Intonation Now
Improve Your Intonation Now
"When awareness is channeled appropriately, even most beginners have the skills needed to listen carefully and make elegant intonation adjustments." Join Laurel Thomsen for tips to immediately improve your intonation on the violin, viola, or cello, or the intonation of your students.  Original Violin Geek Blog post http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/3/31_Improve_your_intonation_now.html Laurel's website, including info on her online lessons and courses, her recordings, and her performances http://www.laurelthomsen.com Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen Duo http://www.danandlaurel.ca Their fifth album will be released later in 2021 and the intro music to this episode features a sneak peek.  If you have a comment or question, or a topic you'd like Laurel to cover in her podcast or blog, please send her an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com. For those interested in lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, please send her an email. More information about her teaching methods can be found here http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Teaching.html
18:00
April 01, 2021
Traditional folksongs in conflict with political correctness and racial equality
Traditional folksongs in conflict with political correctness and racial equality
This difficult conversation concerning the origins of many popular folk song melodies came up in my teaching studio recently. Especially in light of the police brutality and BLM protests of this past year, addressing the historical context of folk songs seems to be an increasingly important piece of the learning.  Adam Miller blog post mentioned https://www.folksinging.org/political-correctness-and-traditional-folksongs-can-they-coexist/ Original Violin Geek Blog post http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/2/21_Traditional_folksongs_in_conflict_with_political_correctness_and_racial_equality.html More about Laurel Thomsen, including her albums, performance schedule, and online lessons at www.laurelthomsen.com Please reach out if you have any violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related questions you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or if you have a story or insight to share. Also, if you’d like to share additional information, or perhaps get some violin, viola, or  fiddle coaching or lessons with me in person or via Skype (or FaceTime, or Zoom), please email Laurel at laurel@laurelthomsen.com.
10:01
February 22, 2021
Discovering great new artists and heartfelt songs
Discovering great new artists and heartfelt songs
A special episode from the Violin Geek Blog! See http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Archive.html for more. The question posed on a forum was: "How can people find great music and new artists if they don't go to bars or listen to Spotify?" In today's mini episode, Laurel Thomsen fills us in on what a house concert is and why it may be your ticket to discovering your a new favorite artist, as well as meeting a new best friend, or even the love of your life.  Links mentioned: concertsinyourhome.com undiscoveredmusic.net sofaconcerts.org loficoncerts.com  To learn more about your host, Laurel Thomsen, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like." Want to offer a show idea or guest, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
11:58
June 04, 2019
Tips to help prepare for an orchestra, ensemble, or band practice
Tips to help prepare for an orchestra, ensemble, or band practice
A special episode from the Violin Geek Blog! See http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Archive.html for more.  As soon as a performance is on the horizon, the pressure mounts and our enjoyment of playing can easily turn to stress. Join Laurel Thomsen for some practice tips to help prepare for an orchestra, ensemble, or band practice.  To learn more about your host, Laurel Thomsen, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like." Want to offer a show idea or guest, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
09:47
February 07, 2019
A Theory Behind the Flesch and Galamian Arpeggio Sequences
A Theory Behind the Flesch and Galamian Arpeggio Sequences
A special episode from the Violin Geek Blog! See http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Archive.html for more. Two pedagogues. Two similar arpeggio patterns. Is the order of the Flesch and Galamian arpeggios arbitrary or do they contain some deeper wisdom?  To learn more about your host, Laurel Thomsen, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support  with a "like." Want to offer a show idea or guest, schedule a private  lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send  Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
07:42
January 10, 2019
Audition Breakthrough
Audition Breakthrough
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest Will Timmons of AuditionBreakthrough.com as they discuss tips for getting the mind and body prepared to "Audition like a Pro." Until April 15, 2017 use coupon code "violin geek" to receive a discount for the 2017 online Audition Breakthrough Summit which features a number of guest speakers diving deep into the topic of audition mastery. To learn more about your host, Laurel Thomsen, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" Want to offer a show idea or guest, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:18:32
March 20, 2017
Tour Stories Part 2
Tour Stories Part 2
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest co-host Dan Frechette, as well as special guests Cara Luft and Quiles & Cloud, as they share a variety of memorable stories from their experience on the road. Learn more about Dan Frechette by visiting him at www.danfrechette.com as well as his website with Laurel - www.danandlaurel.ca. Learn more about Cara Luft, check her tour schedule and buy music at www.caraluft.com and www.thesmallglories.com. Learn more about Quiles & Cloud, their touring, and new Cd coming out soon at www.quilesandcloud.com. Finally, to learn more about your host, Laurel Thomsen, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:08:44
February 04, 2016
Tour Stories Part 1
Tour Stories Part 1
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest co-host Dan Frechette, as well as special guest artists Boscoe's Brood and Toby Gray, as they share a variety of wacky, intense, and memorable stories from their time on the road. Learn more about Dan Frechette by visiting him at www.danfrechette.com as well as his website with Laurel - www.danandlaurel.ca. For more about Boscoe's Brood and to hear music visit www.boscoesbroodmusic.com. To learn more about Toby Gray and check out his music visit www.highwaybuddah.com. Finally, to learn more about your host, Laurel Thomsen, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:21:23
January 10, 2016
Canadian Fiddlers Part 3 - An interview with Grammy and Juno winner Tania Elizabeth
Canadian Fiddlers Part 3 - An interview with Grammy and Juno winner Tania Elizabeth
In this episode, host Laurel Thomsen shares a recent live interview with fiddler, vocalist, and recording artist Tania Elizabeth. Formerly a founding member of Canada's The Duhks, Tania now tours full time with the Avett Brothers as well as in a duo with her husband Andy Stack in The Stacks. Tania shares important insight into performance as an art, considerations when developing arrangements, and a discussion of a woman's challenges in the music industry. At the end we hear an infectious track from Tania's CD, "Gods and Omens", called "Blue Ridge". Learn more about Tania, her tour schedule, and find this track and many more via www.taniaelizabeth.com. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:21:14
December 18, 2015
Complete Vibrato Mastery
Complete Vibrato Mastery
In this episode, Laurel Thomsen introduces her new online course "Complete Vibrato Mastery" and demystifies vibrato with tips for vibrato applications and the prerequisites to learning vibrato. Until they run out, podcast listeners may use the coupon code "violingeekpodcast2015" to receive a $20 discount on a lifetime membership to the course. Visit www.completevibratomastery.com for more information. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
33:07
December 09, 2015
Canadian Fiddlers Part 2 - Three Time Grand-Master Fiddle Champion Patti Kusturok
Canadian Fiddlers Part 2 - Three Time Grand-Master Fiddle Champion Patti Kusturok
Welcome to Part 2 of a series of interviews featuring fiddlers from Canada! This episode shares an interview with fiddle champion, educator, and recording artist Patti Kusturok. We talk about Patti's latest project, "365 Days of Fiddle Tunes" and learn more about the various types of tunes popular in Canadian music, as well as hear a track from Patti's latest CD, "'Milestone", called "En Ganske Snill Mann". This track and many more may be purchased and downloaded via www.pattikusturok.com and check out "Fiddle Chick Patti" on YouTube. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like." Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
52:17
October 16, 2015
Canadian Fiddlers Part 1 - prolific fiddle composer and prodigy Calvin Vollrath
Canadian Fiddlers Part 1 - prolific fiddle composer and prodigy Calvin Vollrath
Welcome to Part 1 of a series of interviews featuring fiddlers from Canada! Canadian fiddle music is a strong tradition and pulls from a wide variety of cultural heritages. This first episode shares an interview with dynamic fiddler, composer, and teacher Calvin Vollrath. Enjoy the stories, insights, and inspirations Calvin shares, as well as a track from his latest CD, "'Certified' Canadian Fiddler", a tune called "One for Donnell" which he wrote for Canadian fiddler, Donnell Leahy. This track and many, many more may be purchased and downloaded via www.calvinvollrath.com. Also, please visit the site of his music camp in Northern Alberta at www.campcalvin.ca and consider joining in the fun. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:19:09
September 25, 2015
It's only a test
It's only a test
If you're listening it means that podcast host Laurel Thomsen has successfully overcome the technical difficulties that put the Violin Geek on the sidelines. It's only a test, but here we expand to talk about some less commonly considered factors that might help you be better prepared for an upcoming audition, jury, or performance. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
21:18
September 13, 2015
Memorizing Music
Memorizing Music
In this episode Laurel Thomsen shares tips and processes from her personal experience and teaching studio and from forum readers for being able to play music from memory. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
37:41
September 10, 2014
"Playing Less Hurt" - an interview with musician's health advocate and author Janet Horvath
"Playing Less Hurt" - an interview with musician's health advocate and author Janet Horvath
Join Laurel Thomsen and special guest Janet Horvath, cellist, musician's health advocate, and author of the book "Playing Less Hurt" as they explore topics of injury prevention for musicians. Visit Janet online, order her book, and check her tour schedule at www.playinglesshurt.com. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, schedule a lesson, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:01:39
August 28, 2014
Beyond Talent - a talk with author and career consultant Angela Myles Beeching
Beyond Talent - a talk with author and career consultant Angela Myles Beeching
Join host Laurel Thomsen and author/career consultant Angela Myles Beeching as they cover topics from Beeching's book "Beyond Talent", including tips for writing an engaging bio, negotiating bookings and asking for what you're worth, and advice for staying motivated and planning a successful career. Visit Ms. Beeching online, order her book, and sign up for her Monday Bytes Blog at http://www.angelabeeching.com To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, schedule a lesson, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
59:49
August 14, 2014
Rhythm Troubleshooting
Rhythm Troubleshooting
Sometimes problems with rhythm aren't caused by what we thought they were. Join violinist Laurel Thomsen as she runs through the most common rhythm issues. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
25:49
April 28, 2014
Practice Tidbits #6 - first impressions
Practice Tidbits #6 - first impressions
Did you know that your first impression is not your first note? Gain tips for how to prime your audience for our successful performance. To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
12:15
March 15, 2014
The Classical versus the Romantic Shift
The Classical versus the Romantic Shift
Not all shifts are created equal. Learn how to refine your shifting technique for optimal expression! To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Also visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like" . Want to offer an idea, schedule a private lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
15:23
February 28, 2014
Scales 101
Scales 101
What is a scale? What are the types, how do we figure out how to play them, and why do we have different ones? To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like." Want to offer an idea, schedule a lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
29:03
January 23, 2014
Family life in the arts - an interview with Hilary Orzel-McSherry
Family life in the arts - an interview with Hilary Orzel-McSherry
Join host Laurel Thomsen and violinist/author Hilary Orzel-McSherry as they talk about growing up in a family of musicians. They dispel some myths (no "starving musicians" here) and offer insight for those wanting to live a creative life and share it with a family. Find Hilary's new book with her husband Drew McSherry at https://www.amazon.com/Terrance-Trapezoid-Drew-McSherry/dp/0692744029 To learn more about Laurel, check her tour dates, or download her CDs visit www.laurelthomsen.com Visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook and share your support with a "like." Want to offer an idea, schedule a lesson via Skype, or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
01:05:19
November 22, 2013
Blues Fiddle - a lesson
Blues Fiddle - a lesson
Join Laurel Thomsen and get the blues...a Blues fiddle lesson that is, with singer- songwriter Dan Frechette. Learn the Blues scale in a variety of keys, the Blue notes, different types of Blues rhythms, bowing and note treatment, and how to get not only the right notes, but the right feel. Check out Dan and Laurel's new site and CD at www.danandlaurel.ca and "like" them on Facebook. To learn more about Laurel, download her CDs, or schedule a lesson via Skype, visit www.laurelthomsen.com and visit "Laurel Thomsen Music" on Facebook. Want to offer an idea or have a question answered on the podcast? Send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com
55:15
October 22, 2013
Improvising with heart: an interview with fusion violinist Bahman Sarram
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
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
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
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
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 01, 2012
Overflow your creativity: a chat with gypsy minstrel Maesyn
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 03, 2012
Practice Tidbits #5: your tempo, your beat
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
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
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
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!
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 06, 2012
Eradicate Bow Jitters
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: Tuning Against Open Strings
Intonation Mastery #2: Tuning Against Open Strings
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: Using Sympathetic Resonances
Intonation Mastery #1: Using Sympathetic Resonances
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
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
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
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 07, 2012
Not all sheet music is created equal
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
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
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 04, 2012
Practice Tidbits #3: the "round robin"
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?
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 06, 2011
Repertoire for the do-it-yourself beginner, an update
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
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
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"
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!
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!
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 04, 2011
Rhythm Trainer Series #3: dotted rhythms, triplets, syncopation
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
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
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. Books mentioned in the episode Technique Books: (Good for the shelves of all players. All are applicable to violinists and violists) -Principles of Violin Playing & Teaching, by Ivan Galamian -The Teaching of Action in String Playing: Developmental and remedial techniques for violin and viola, by Paul Rolland -Basics: 300 Exercises and Practice Routines for the Violin, by Simon Fischer -The Twelve Lesson Course: A New Approach to Violin Playing by Kato Havas (You might consider also purchasing the companion book: A New Approach to Violin Playing) Rote method books: (Focuses on music reading through exercises and short pieces. May need supplementation with technique books and/or videos.) -Sound Innovations for String Orchestra (both violin and viola versions available) -Countless others, all roughly the same idea Repertoire type method books: (Offers a progressive series of repertoire. May or may not teach music reading or specific technique. May need supplementation for these.) -Suzuki Method by Shinichi Suzuki (The ABRASM series is comparable, and now also comes with audio CDs) -Mark O’Connor Fiddle Method by Mark O’Connor (now also available for viola) -American Fiddle Method by Brian Wicklund (both violin and viola versions available) Repertoire supplements: Fingerboard Geography by Barbara Barber Fiddle Magic by Sally O’Reilly Fiddle Rhythms by Sally O’Reilly Music Theory: Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory, book and 2 CDs (Alto clef version now available as well.) Technique video links from the episode: (Applicable to violinists and violists.) www.violinmasterclass.com www.violinlab.com 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 01, 2011
News and Updates March 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
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
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!
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
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"
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
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
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 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 03, 2010
 News and Updates September 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
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
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
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 07, 2010
Tuning for Beginners: chromatic tuners
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
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
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
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
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 02, 2010
Tuning for Beginners #4 (violas only) -The "C" String
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 02, 2010
The Excellent Musician: a visualization
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
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
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 05, 2010
Rhythm Trainer Series #1: Whole, Half, and Quarter Notes
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
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
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
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 09, 2010
Intermediate Intonation Workout #1: “A” String Finger Patterns
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 02, 2010
Introduction to the Intonation Workouts
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
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