87 episodes

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

The Violin Geek Podcast Laurel Thomsen

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

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

    Championing the Viola and Modern Classical Music - an interview with acclaimed soloist Brett Deubner

    Championing the Viola and Modern Classical Music - an interview with acclaimed soloist Brett Deubner

    Laurel Thomsen interviews acclaimed viola soloist Brett Deubner, listening to and discussing choice tracks from his recent albums "Mother Earth" and "Transfiguration," learning about his experience working with composers and debuting new music, and sharing tips for performance confidence, moving past setbacks, and creating a clear viola tone whether as a soloist, in an ensemble, or on recording.

    Links from the episode:

    Learn more about Brett Deubner and purchase his recordings, please visit https://www.brettdeubner.com 

    Learn more about Brett's online viola course https://deubnervvs.thinkific.com/

    The "Mother Earth" album: https://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6351/

    The "Transfiguration" album: https://www.navonarecords.com/catalog/nv6355/

    Stanley Grill, the composer of the pieces featured on "Transfiguration": https://www.stangrillcomposer.com/

    Judith Markovich, the composer of the "Remember" track: https://www.judithmarkovich.com/

    Maurizio Bignone, the composer of the "Mother Earth" track: https://mauriziobignone.com/



    Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com

    Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related  question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a   story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire  about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via  Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success  story, comments, or suggestions to www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.

    Happy Practicing!


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support

    • 1 hr 46 min
    Virtual Teaching for Success - Laurel Thomsen interviewed for FAR-West Teaches

    Virtual Teaching for Success - Laurel Thomsen interviewed for FAR-West Teaches

    In this episode Laurel Thomsen is interviewed by award-winning vocalist and FAR-West Board Vice-President, Susie Glaze about her experience with teaching violin and viola online. Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, back in 2009 in fact, Laurel transitioned to primarily teaching online. Here she offers over a decade worth of tips and insight to make the most of the time we spend learning online, with ideas for prospective online teachers and students alike. 

    Enjoy the YouTube video version of this interview here https://youtu.be/FpiE5TJ_Fow

    Suzie Glaze website https://www.susieglaze.com

    FAR-West https://far-west.org

    Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen Duo (featured music) http://danandlaurel.ca

    Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com

    For info specifically about: Lessons with Laurel, see http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Teaching.html; Online Lessons with Laurel, see http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Lessons_via_Skype.html, and Laurel's blog with more tips for online teachers, see http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2013/9/30_Advice_for_Skype_music_teachers.html

    Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a  story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to  www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.

    Happy Practicing!


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support

    • 1 hr 10 min
    DIY Empowerment for Creatives with Justine Lucas of Madwoman Productions

    DIY Empowerment for Creatives with Justine Lucas of Madwoman Productions

    If you're a musician, artist, dancer, or maybe a business owner, and you're looking to create more compelling videos, photos, performances, and presentations, listen in as Laurel Thomsen speaks with Justine Lucas, singer-songwriter, director, producer, and the creative spark behind Madwoman Productions, a San Francisco based company helping independent artists and entrepreneurs be seen and heard. 

    Madwoman Productions: https://madwomanpro.com

    Madwoman Workshops info and links:

    Videography 101: July 28th, 2021 at 2:30pm PST https://madwomanpro.com/videography101/

    Videography 102: Aug 25th, 2021 at 5:30pm PSThttps://madwomanpro.com/videography-102/

    Photography 101: Oct 20th, 2021 at 5:30pm PST https://madwomanpro.com/photography101/

    Performance 101: Nov 17th, 2021 at 5:30pm PST https://madwomanpro.com/performance101/

    DIY Video Making, 6 week course coming soon https://madwomanpro.com/diyvideo/



    Justine Lucas and Madame Z http://www.justinelucas.com

    Madame Z collaborator Jonah Udall http://www.jonahudall.com/



    Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com

    Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a  story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions to  www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Recording a violin, viola, or cello

    Recording a violin, viola, or cello

    You’ve just perfected a difficult passage of your favorite concerto and  grab your smartphone to capture this monumental practice achievement.  You run through the passage again and while not perfect, you still feel  pretty good about your progress. You listen back, expecting to hear  exactly what you thought you heard while you were playing, but it sounds  nasally, distorted, and thin. Sound familiar? What’s going on? Tune in as host Laurel Thomsen helps you avoid the common pitfalls of recording a bowed stringed instrument. 

    Original post on the Violin Geek Blog http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/6/3_Recording_a_violin_or_viola_101.html

    GarageBand https://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/

    Audacity https://www.audacityteam.org/

    Laurel Thomsen's website, including info about her recordings, concerts, and teaching can be found at www.laurelthomsen.com

    Please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, or have a story or insight to share. Also, get in touch if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom). You can also post your success story, comments, or suggestions to my Facebook music page at www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support

    • 14 min
    Learning to love the process

    Learning to love the process

    "When we let our passion for the violin extend into the actual process of  learning, welcoming even our out-of-tune notes, missed shifts, and bad  tones as opportunities to find and fix problems, like any great  mechanic, we position ourselves for a lifetime of music making."

    In this "pep talk" episode from the Violin Geek Blog, host Laurel Thomsen takes inspiration from aviation technicians! 

    Original blog post http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/5/27_For_the_love_of_the_process.html

    Original inspiration https://www.instagram.com/p/CPRaJFXB6Y7/?utm_medium=share_sheet

    Hilary Hahn practice example https://www.instagram.com/p/CJr-9NhDC2F/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    Huberman Lab Podcast episode 20 https://hubermanlab.libsyn.com/how-to-learn-skills-faster-episode-20

    For more about Laurel, please visit www.laurelthomsen.com and if you have a question, comment, or suggestion for a topic, please send her an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com

    Happy Practicing!


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support

    • 10 min
    Improve Your Intonation Now

    Improve Your Intonation Now

    "When awareness is channeled appropriately, even most beginners have the skills needed to listen carefully and make elegant intonation adjustments." Join Laurel Thomsen for tips to immediately improve your intonation on the violin, viola, or cello, or the intonation of your students. 

    Original Violin Geek Blog post http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Violin_Geek_Blog/Entries/2021/3/31_Improve_your_intonation_now.html

    Laurel's website, including info on her online lessons and courses, her recordings, and her performances http://www.laurelthomsen.com

    Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen Duo http://www.danandlaurel.ca Their fifth album will be released later in 2021 and the intro music to this episode features a sneak peek. 

    If you have a comment or question, or a topic you'd like Laurel to cover in her podcast or blog, please send her an email to laurel@laurelthomsen.com. For those interested in lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, please send her an email. More information about her teaching methods can be found here http://www.laurelthomsen.com/Teaching.html


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/violingeek/support

    • 18 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Violinguy88 ,

Wonderful yet intimidating

I'm listening to lots of classical music podcasts in preparation for my own podcast launch, and I have to say, Laurel's effort here is outstanding. Good sound quality, great information, clearly presented, and without the stick-up-the-@#! monotone of the NPR casts. Everything I strive for as I get ready to do this myself If this is representative of private violin/classical music podcasts (non-NPR or radio), then I've got my work cut out for me.

Chuck G Violin

rubberfaerie ,

So Grateful!!! Thanks Laurel!!

This is such an incredible treat! So helpful. I have a private instructor and also chew on this to utilize both. My only suggestion is for the podcasts are for the interviews / conversations with another. I would love to be able to hear the other individuals complete thoughts, their personal views and rabbit trails even. I totally understand that Listening in itself is an art form but in those type of situations its really important to talk less and allow the guest the platform. Still love em but would love them more! <3 Thank you again SO MUCH for taking your precious time and energy to do these Laurel!!!!

Robert McManus ,

Great for a Cellist!

I love Laurel's genuine and charming spirit as she guides her listeners through an expanding world of music.

As a cellist I find her podcast very applicable and inspiring, especially her casts regarding intonation and creativity.

Keep up the great work!!!

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