The Violin Geek Podcast

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! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support read less

"Learning By Ear" - a chat with fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger
Dec 16 2022
"Learning By Ear" - a chat with fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger
In today's episode we speak with celebrated New England based fiddler and songwriter Lissa Schneckenburger, who's been helping students increase their confidence and improve their skills through her popular ear-training workshop for years, and now as the 14-week self-paced online course, "Learning By Ear." We learn about the inspiration behind the course, why ear-training is an important skill for all musicians, not just fiddlers, and Lissa shares tips for approaching both the rhythmic and melodic challenges we might encounter when trying to learn a tune by ear. Along the way we also enjoy clips of her inspiring fiddling and heartfelt songwriting.  Show notes: Lissa’s website https://lissafiddle.com Lissa's "Learning By Ear" course https://lissafiddle.com/store/learning-by-ear-video-series/ Lissa's new album pre-order and info https://lissafiddle.com/store/new-album-pre-order/ Sign up for Lissa's 100 day practice challenge https://mailchi.mp/3fc4542bc6f1/tune-a-week Purchase "The Fair Maid by the Sea Shore" and other songs from her album "Song" https://lissafiddle.com/store/song/ Purchase "Petronella," "Lamplighter’s Hornpipe/Suffer the Child," and other songs from her album "Dance" https://lissafiddle.com/store/dance/ Purchase "When My Baby Cries" and other songs from her album "Thunder in My Arms" https://lissafiddle.com/store/thunder-in-my-arms/ About Robert M.  Childs, the maker of Lissa's fiddle and the Childsplay group https://childsplay.org/fiddles.html ~ 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 email if you’d like to inquire about online violin, viola, or fiddle coaching/lessons with Laurel via Skype or FaceTime.  You're also welcome to post your success story or comments about the episode to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic. Happy Practicing! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Stories About Songs - "If A Wave"
Nov 7 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Intonation Mastery #3: Avoiding External Factors + Practicing For Better Tuning
Oct 21 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Following Your Passion to a Unique Career - an interview with DJ violinist and entertainer Asher Laub
Sep 23 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 3: Spine, Low Back, and Hips
Aug 26 2022
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 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 2: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back
Aug 5 2022
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 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Traveling with Your Instrument - Tips and Stories!
Jul 28 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 1: Arms and Hands
Jul 2 2022
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 --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
How Do I Get Out of Pain? - Playing Health in the Spotlight
Jul 2 2022
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" https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
"Back to Bach" - rediscovering your path and passion with Israeli/German violinist Maya Lorenzen
May 27 2022
"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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Female Composers in the Spotlight - an interview with Dr. Cora Cooper
Apr 15 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
"Counting Down the Hours" - finding freedom and joy with Classical violinist and fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin
Mar 17 2022
"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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Learn to Love Your Metronome
Feb 18 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Stories About Songs - "Money Shouldn't Talk That Strong"
Jan 21 2022
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Stories About Songs - "Make Me Come Alive"
Dec 18 2021
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
"A Grand Journey" - bridging musical worlds with violinist Alexandr Kislitsyn
Nov 24 2021
"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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Arranging Pop and Non-Classical Genres for Solo Violin or Ensemble
Oct 10 2021
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Championing the Viola and Modern Classical Music - an interview with acclaimed soloist Brett Deubner
Sep 3 2021
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
Virtual Teaching for Success - Laurel Thomsen interviewed for FAR-West Teaches
Aug 16 2021
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! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support
DIY Empowerment for Creatives with Justine Lucas of Madwoman Productions
Jul 10 2021
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. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support