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://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support read less
MusicMusic

Episodes

Getting comfortable with Uncomfort: Tools for Overcoming Performance Anxiety
2d ago
Getting comfortable with Uncomfort: Tools for Overcoming Performance Anxiety
It's frustrating and disheartening when all our preparation in the practice room doesn't make it out onto the stage. Instead of presenting the polished piece we've been performing in the comfort of our room, we're suddenly overcome by hyper-drive vibrato, sweaty palms, or a bow that jitters and skids as we squeak out our phrases. We're overwhelmed by mental calculations about difficult upcoming passages and worries about how we'll even be able to make it to the end of the piece, versus the thoughts we'd love to be having about sharing the character and emotion of the music and connecting with our listeners. Sound familiar? If so, I hope you enjoy this exploration into performance anxiety that goes far beyond imagining the audience in their underwear! I share my own journey through debilitating stage fright as a teen, and the tools, including hands-on mind-body practices we'll experience during the episode, which I've used to foster more confidence and focus on stage, and to help get comfortable with the uncomfortable symptoms of performance anxiety. I hope you find new tips to help you and/or your students in what I have to share! ~ For more information and info about my performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit my website ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.laurelthomsen.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ To check out my Violin Geek Blog, the 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 me to interview, or have a  story or insight to share, please send me an email at ⁠laurel@laurelthomsen.com⁠. Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about online violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with me 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
"Make Great Music with Ease" - a chat with violinist and Art of Freedom Method creator Jennifer Roig-Francolí
Jan 15 2024
"Make Great Music with Ease" - a chat with violinist and Art of Freedom Method creator Jennifer Roig-Francolí
Happy New Year! We want our music making journey to be positive and comfortable, so we can express ourselves with freedom. Listen in as I chat with Jennifer Roig-Francolí, a professional violinist, certified Alexander Technique instructor, and the creator of the Art of Freedom Method. We learn about Jennifer’s path from concert violinist to her role as a coach, specializing in helping musicians of all kinds play with more ease and joy, less pain and performance anxiety, and less tension and stress. Jennifer has just released a new book titled “Make Great Music with Ease!: The Secret to Smarter Practice, Confident Performance, and Living a Happier Life,” and we explore how bringing more awareness to our lives can help us become better players, but also people, in all the various roles we play. Show Notes: Jennifer's website: https://artoffreedom.me Buy Jennifer's new book: ⁠https://a.co/d/bvY3TcY "TheCyCle" video Jennifer recommended in the episode: ⁠https://youtu.be/Zr1c4T9KgFM?si=-vNgq1AsKfzMRWzJ Check out Jennifer's album "Solo Con Spirito! https://artoffreedom.me/product/solo-con-spirito-celebrating-50/Connect with Jennifer through her YouTube channel with multiple playlists (teaching, music, etc.): https://www.youtube.com/@JenniferRoigFrancoliFacebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/J30DPC/ ~ 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, the 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 online 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 ⁠⁠⁠⁠https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic⁠⁠⁠⁠. Happy Practicing! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Finding a comfortable and effective chin and shoulder rest
Dec 4 2023
Finding a comfortable and effective chin and shoulder rest
It's holiday time! Why not give the gift of comfort to yourself, your child, or your student, with a more suitable chin or shoulder rest! In this episode, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen shares the factors we need to consider when shopping for a more secure, effective, and comfortable chin and shoulder rest. And as we'll find, the most popular models might not be serving most of us very well! View the video version of this episode: https://youtu.be/mCxxoNa88fE Show notes: Ergonomic, lifted, and custom chinrests: https://www.chinrests.com/chinrestline Non-custom lifted chinrests: https://fiddlershop.com Chinrest models mentioned: Hamburg, Teka, Original Flesch Shoulder rest models mentioned: Wolf Forte Secondo, Poly Pad, Bon Musica, Kun Seven Intro/outro music: "Unexpected Waltz," written and performed by Laurel Thomsen. To listen and download visit https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/unexpected-waltz ~ 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Music Careers, Part 3
Nov 13 2023
Music Careers, Part 3
In this last installment of her Music Careers series, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen explores music careers that are more "behind the scenes," as well as a few that don't neatly fit into other categories. Despite not necessarily placing us in the spotlight, most could become stand-alone full-time careers, or a supplement to a performance or teaching career. And, especially if we’re not drawn to performance or teaching, I think this particular episode shows us options where we can still contribute, sometimes in very important ways. ~ 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Russian versus American Music Education - a conversation with Russian violinist and educator Michael Dvoskin
Oct 9 2023
Russian versus American Music Education - a conversation with Russian violinist and educator Michael Dvoskin
In this episode we enjoy a fascinating conversation with Russian born violinist and educator Michael Dvoskin about the differences between violin training in Russia versus the United States. Michael also shares his story about immigrating to America, and tips for students preparing for an audition or recital. In effort to create both a successful and enjoyable musical education, there's a lot we can learn from both countries' approaches. We hope you enjoy! Show notes: - Michael's website https://kandmmusicschool.com/ - Yuri Yankelvich book mentioned https://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780199917624/ ~ 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, 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Making Time for Music: a chat with violinist Julia Reddy
Sep 11 2023
Making Time for Music: a chat with violinist Julia Reddy
Today we speak with violinist, educator, and Violin Class podcast creator and host Julia Reddy about making time for practice. We discuss how to ramp back up after a hiatus, how to make the most out of limited time, how to effectively divide up our practice time and focus our attention for results, and how to balance our practice routine when juggling solo repertoire and technical work with orchestral or audition preparation. We hope you enjoy! Show notes: - Julia's website https://juliareddy.com - The Violin Class podcast website https://www.violinclass.co - Julia's free warmup PDF https://www.violinclass.co/warmup - Listen to Julia's arrangement and recording of Maurice Ravel's Deux Mélodies Hébraïque for violin and guitar https://juliareddy.com/kaddish Techniques and etudes mentioned: Son filé exercise demonstrated https://youtu.be/WnH6EvvzCk8?si=pNCq8lvxGxveAahT Schradieck School of Violin Technics https://imslp.org/wiki/School_of_Violin_Technics_(Schradieck%2C_Henry) Ševčík Op. 1 https://imslp.org/wiki/School_of_Violin_Technique%2C_Op.1_(%C5%A0ev%C4%8D%C3%ADk%2C_Otakar) ~ 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, 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Finding our voice, from Classical strings to Hot Jazz - A chat with violinist Gabe Terracciano
Aug 10 2023
Finding our voice, from Classical strings to Hot Jazz - A chat with violinist Gabe Terracciano
Today we chat with Grammy-nominated violinist Gabe Terracciano, who's expanding the range of the violin as a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet and the Hot Toddies Jazz Band, among other exciting projects. We hear about Gabe's transition from nearly quitting early Classical lessons to discovering and falling in love with Jazz, discuss what it's like to be a band leader in New York City, hear tracks from The Hot Toddies recently released full-length album, and gain tips for improvising for the first time and finding our own voice within whatever genre of music we play. Show notes: Gabe’s website https://gabeterracciano.com The Hot Toddies Jazz Band https://www.hottoddies.band The Hot Toddies new album and “Quarantine EP” https://www.hottoddies.band/buy Gabe’s solo album “Three Part Invention” https://gabeterracciano.bandcamp.com/album/three-part-invention Some Jazz and Swing artists mentioned: Vince Giordano https://vincegiordano.com Andy Stein https://www.andysteinmusic.com Artie Shaw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artie_Shaw Woody Herman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Herman Glenn Miller https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Miller Stuff Smith https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuff_Smith Jean Luc Ponty https://www.ponty.com Zbigniew Seifert https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zbigniew_Seifert Other mentions: Prohibition Productions https://www.prohibitionproductions.com ~ Laurel's new music video "New York City Sundance" https://youtu.be/CcvpvsyzGaY 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, 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Rediscovering Baroque Bows - a chat with historical bowmaker Ralph Ashmead
Jul 10 2023
Rediscovering Baroque Bows - a chat with historical bowmaker Ralph Ashmead
The bow is a string player's primary "tool for tone," but like any tool, sometimes we need more than one to get the job done. In this episode we speak with historical bow maker Ralph Ashmead, learning all about the differences between Baroque, Transitional, and Modern bows, the reasons why we might choose one over another, and exploring the factors that caused bow design to change over time. Having crafted bows for over 40 years, we hear Ralph's story into bow-making, and learn about his process for choosing wood and "wrestling" bows into being. Our chat concludes with tips for players looking to purchase a historical bow, and practicalities, like what to do when it comes time to re-hair your Baroque bow. Show Notes: Ralph Ashmead website (check out the gorgeous pictures of his bows!!): https://www.ashmeadbows.com/ Rachel Barton Pine on Baroque bows and Bach https://youtu.be/b73g8LR3zD4 ~ For more information 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. You're also welcome to post your comments, suggestions, or a success story to ⁠⁠⁠https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic⁠⁠⁠. If you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, please visit the Teaching tab on her website and reach out via email at ⁠laurel@laurelthomsen.com⁠. Happy Practicing! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Where am I supposed to put my thumb on the violin neck? Principles and considerations.
Jun 14 2023
Where am I supposed to put my thumb on the violin neck? Principles and considerations.
A lot of us often wonder, where am I supposed to place my thumb on the violin (or viola) neck? What finger should it be closest to? Should it be stationary? Should it move? Is there a spot that will magically help it stop gripping and finally relax? Today we explore this question recently posed by a podcast listener. Always a frequent topic among Laurel's private students and the students in her "Complete Vibrato Mastery" course, please also check out the companion YouTube video to see all Laurel's demos in action. Show notes: Video version of this episode: https://youtu.be/iVl1xqZM5ek ~ For more information 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Music Careers, Part 2
May 23 2023
Music Careers, Part 2
In this second installment of her Music Careers series, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen explores music careers and activities that require knowledge and skill in music, but not necessarily on one particular instrument. It’s rare for even very talented musicians to be able to make a living at performance alone, so piecing together a variety of activities within our career is a great way to ensure our financial security, and stay passionate about everything we're doing. And even if we’re not planning to make a career of music, we may find that being involved with music in ways beyond playing our instrument very fulfilling and supportive to our overall drive to keep music in our life.  ~ 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Strengths and Challenges of Adult Learners - an interview with Rachael Ridge of "The Adult Violin Academy"
May 1 2023
Strengths and Challenges of Adult Learners - an interview with Rachael Ridge of "The Adult Violin Academy"
In this episode, we talk to Rachael Ridge, an Indiana based violinist and violin teacher, and the creator of "The Adult Violin Academy," a self paced online, video based course geared towards adult learners and their unique needs. We discuss the strengths that adult students bring to the table, as well as common challenges, like finding enough time to practice while juggling a job and a family, as well as physical pain and/or injury. We also talk about the importance of mindset. As much as we might consider playing a musical instrument to be a physical and musical pursuit, there are also mental and even emotional components that can easily derail our progress. Even if you aren't an adult student, but a teacher, professional, a younger student, or even just a music lover, there are many helpful tips and insights for everyone in this episode! Show notes: Rachael Ridge https://www.rachaelridge.com/ Rachael's "Adult Violin Academy" https://www.rachaelridge.com/adult-violin-academy The "Active Violinist" Instagram https://www.instagram.com/activeviolinist/ ~ 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, 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Music Careers, Part 1
Apr 3 2023
Music Careers, Part 1
Whether or not we plan to make a career of music, this series will be relevant for everyone! If we keep at it, we all reach a point where we're ready to take our music beyond the practice room, but as one of Laurel's students recently asked: "What can I do with this violin besides become Hilary Hahn or TwoSet?" Thankfully, there are many more options, and hopefully something for everyone, including for those who enjoy being in the spotlight, those who prefer group dynamics, those who want to be self-employed, and those who'd prefer to not have to think too much about the business side of their musical activities. In this first installment of her Music Careers series, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen explores performance based roles that require us to be skilled on our particular instrument. In future episodes in this series, we'll explore options that will require knowledge and skill in music, but not necessarily on one particular instrument. As Laurel has found herself, piecing together a variety of activities within our career is a great way to ensure our financial security as musicians, and stay passionate about everything we're doing. Show notes: Laurel's new "Colfax Harbor" music video https://youtu.be/moYNxsEfBac Angela Myles Beeching career coaching/resources https://angelabeeching.com Berklee School of Music careers articles https://www.berklee.edu/careers ~ 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Challenges of the Adult Beginner Violinist: Laurel's interview on the Violin Class Podcast
Mar 10 2023
Challenges of the Adult Beginner Violinist: Laurel's interview on the Violin Class Podcast
Last summer I was honored to chat with Julia Reddy of the Violin Class podcast about life, music, managing our inner critic, improving our self-esteem, and the experience of starting over with technique and getting to the other side. Julia has been on maternity leave, so the episode has just released and I hope you enjoy our conversation! It was nice to revisit what we'd discussed. Please consider subscribing to Julia's podcast for more tips and interviews geared towards helping and inspiring adult violin students. Check out Julia Reddy's Violin Class podcast https://www.violinclass.co/ ~ 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
Intonation Mastery #4: Issues within our Technique and Approach
Feb 13 2023
Intonation Mastery #4: Issues within our Technique and Approach
In this fourth installment of her Intonation Mastery series, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen explores common issues within our technique that may contribute to intonation issues, as well as some considerations within our approach to tonality, and tempered versus non-tempered intonation applications (this latter topic is definitely worth a deep dive on another episode in the future!). While listening and practice, the topics covered in previous installments of this series, are probably our best tools to improve intonation, technical problems and tensions can easily hold us back. Show notes: Patti Kusturok GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/f/patti-kusturok-medical-assistance-fund Laurel's new "Together Again" music video https://youtu.be/M4Rp1TmfCEc 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 Intonation Mastery #3: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-mastery-3-avoiding-external-factors-practicing-for-better-tuning 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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support
"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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/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! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/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 --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/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 --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/violingeek/support