103 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 • 24 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

    Stories About Songs - "If A Wave"

    Stories About Songs - "If A Wave"

    In this episode we travel behind the scenes again, into the making of one of the songs Laurel wrote and released earlier this year, along with Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dan Frechette, on their album "After the Fire." This time, Laurel shares the origins of her hopeful and empowering song, If A Wave. We learn about the meaning behind the metaphor heavy lyrics, what factors informed the duo's arrangement choices and Laurel's approach to composing the violin lines, as well as the making of the song's music video which has just been released on YouTube. 

    Watch the "If A Wave" music video https://youtu.be/B9TC0m0ZSyo

    Listen to and/or download If A Wave or the entire album "After The Fire" on various platforms https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/danfrechetteandlaurelthomsen/after-the-fire

    Order physical signed copies or exclusive downloads of the album "After the Fire" https://www.danandlaurel.ca/Shop/

    For more about Dan Frechette, including his 100+ albums of original songwriting, please visit https://www.danfrechette.com

    Visit Laurel Thomsen's website, with info about her performances, recordings, and teaching can be found at https://www.laurelthomsen.com

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

    Happy Practicing!


    ---

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

    • 22 min
    Intonation Mastery #3: Avoiding External Factors + Practicing For Better Tuning

    Intonation Mastery #3: Avoiding External Factors + Practicing For Better Tuning

    Ten years since recording the first episodes in this series, violinist/violist, teacher, and host Laurel Thomsen revisits the topic with fresh tips to help you sound more in tune on your violin, viola, cello, or bass. In this episode we cover several factors with our instrument which can affect intonation, as well as tips for how we can approach practice to better support developing good intonation. In the next episodes we'll cover specific exercises, technical concerns, and scale tuning. So enjoy this episode, and stay tuned, literally!

    Show notes:

    Past Intonation Episodes:

    Intonation Mastery #1: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-mastery-1

    Intonation Mastery #2: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-mastery-2

    Conscious Listening https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=conscious-listening-for-great-intonation-and-expression

    Intonation Workouts: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=intonation-workout

    Past Violin Geek Blog posts about intonation:

    Audiation: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=simple-4-step-audiation-procedure-to-clean-up-intonation and https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=student-question-too-tone-deaf-to-play-the-violin

    Improve Your Intonation Now: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=improve-your-intonation-now

    ~

    For more information and info about her performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit host Laurel Thomsen's website https://www.laurelthomsen.com

    To check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog, a companion to the podcast,    sharing tips, insight and inspiration since 2007, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog

    If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related    question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek  podcast   or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview,  or have a   story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com.   Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola,  or   fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or  Zoom.  You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or  suggestions  to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.

    Happy Practicing!


    ---

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

    • 29 min
    Following Your Passion to a Unique Career - an interview with DJ violinist and entertainer Asher Laub

    Following Your Passion to a Unique Career - an interview with DJ violinist and entertainer Asher Laub

    In today's episode we speak with Asher Laub, a New York City based Classically trained violinist turned improvising DJ violinist, entertainer, producer, composer, and entrepreneur. We learn about how Asher has been able to chart a unique career path, making a name for himself, performing high energy stage shows across four continents. We discuss gear and the importance of having control over your sound on stage, some of the challenges you might face when transitioning from Classical music into other genres, as well as a major setback Asher experienced and how he was able to get back on his feet. We also hear samples of his song Dreaming Awake and his song Neon Dreams.

    Show notes: 

    Asher’s website https://www.asherlaub.com

    Asher’s music video and recent single “Atlantis” http://found.asherlaub.com/atlantis1

    Asher on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/artist/5FmqE64ExrxQPuFUXtgG1H

    Asher's song and music video "Gratitude" mentioned in the episode https://youtu.be/K4OKnojV1vY

    Asher's Michael Jackson-Palladio Medley music video mentioned in the episode https://youtu.be/iFN7oEuGDXI

    LR Baggs Preamps https://www.lrbaggs.com/acoustic-preamps-pedals

    The Electric Violin Shop https://www.electricviolinshop.com

    Fishman V-300 Concert Series Violin Pickup https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/v-300-concert-series-violin-pickup/

    Fishman V-200 Classic Series Professional Violin Pickup https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/v-200-classic-series-professional-violin-pickup/

    Fishman V-100 Classic Series Violin/Viola Pickup https://www.fishman.com/portfolio/v-100-classic-series-violin-viola-pickup/

    ~

    For more information and info about her performances, recordings, and teaching, please visit host Laurel Thomsen's website https://www.laurelthomsen.com

    To check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog, a companion to the podcast,   sharing tips, insight and inspiration since 2007, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog

    If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related   question or topic you’d like to have covered on the Violin Geek podcast   or in the blog, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, or have a   story or insight to share, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com.  Also, please reach out if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or   fiddle coaching or lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.  You're also welcome to post your success story, comments, or suggestions  to https://www.facebook.com/laurelthomsenmusic.

    Happy Practicing!




    ---

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

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 3: Spine, Low Back, and Hips

    Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 3: Spine, Low Back, and Hips

    Note: this is a hands-on video episode. If your podcast app does not support video podcasts, while it may be possible to follow along with only the audio, please find the video here https://youtu.be/YGOs71Lu6RM 

    In this supplemental video series of the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares a variety of simple warmups, mobility exercises, and massage techniques to help musicians and non-musicians avoid tension related to playing or daily life habits, and possibly reduce or even overcome pain when it does set in.

    Certified as a massage therapist, yoga teacher, level 3 Acutonics practitioner, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and with experience working  with a variety of additional mind-body healing modalities, including  acupressure and Trigger Point Therapy, Foundation Training, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, Yoga Nidra and various meditation styles, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, EDGU, and Qi-Gong, Laurel's goal  through this series is to distill some of the techniques she's found most valuable in helping herself, her private music students, and her clients.

    This video is not intended to diagnose or treat any health concern, but  to simply offer ideas for self-care. Please consult your doctor about injuries or chronic pain, and before exploring any new exercise. And ALWAYS listen to your body and its needs.



    1:18 Knocking on the Door of Life - Qi Gong Warmup

    3:24 Waving the Spine Side to Side - Qi Gong Warmup

    5:44 The Fountain - Qi Gong Warmup

    7:58 Spinal Cord Breathing - Qi Gong Warmup

    9:00 Quadratus Lumborum Release - Trigger Point Massage

    15:30 Glute/Hips Massage - Trigger Point & General Massage

    20:09 The Founder - Yoga/Foundation Exercise 

    22:52 Good Mornings - Foundation Training



    If your podcast feed does not support video podcasts, or if you'd like to bookmark this episode for future watching, it's also available here https://youtu.be/YGOs71Lu6RM  Please consider sharing it with friends and family members who you think might benefit, and subscribing on YouTube to avoid missing the upcoming videos in the series.

    Listen to and download the complete version of Laurel's song "Asilomar" https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/asilomar

    For more tips, inspiration, insight please check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog: Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/ 

    To learn more about Laurel, ask a question or suggest a topic for her to  cover, or to get in touch about private lessons (violin, viola, fiddle,  cello) or help overcoming general or playing-related pain and tension, visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com

    For further resources and information about many of the practices and techniques mentioned, enjoy Laurel's post "Cross-training for Musicians" https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=cross-training-for-musicians


    ---

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

    • 26 min
    Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 2: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back

    Functional Fitness for Musicians, Part 2: Neck, Shoulders, Upper Back

    Note: this is a hands-on video episode. If your podcast app does not support video podcasts, while it may be possible to follow along with only the audio, please find the video here https://youtu.be/RWbF3jrwwdY           

    In this supplemental video series of the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares a variety of simple warmups, mobility exercises, and massage techniques to help musicians and non-musicians avoid tension related to playing or daily life habits, and possibly reduce or even overcome pain when it does set in.

    Certified as a massage therapist, yoga teacher, level 3 Acutonics practitioner, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and with experience working  with a variety of additional mind-body healing modalities, including  acupressure and Trigger Point Therapy, Foundation Training, the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais, Yoga Nidra and various meditation styles, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, EDGU, and Qi-Gong, Laurel's goal  through this series is to distill some of the techniques she's found most valuable in helping herself, her private music students, and her clients.

    This video is not intended to diagnose or treat any health concern, but  to simply offer ideas for self-care. Please consult your doctor about injuries or chronic pain, and before exploring any new exercise. And ALWAYS listen to your body and its needs.



    0:51 Shoulder Rolls - Warmup 

    3:10 Trapezuis Release - Active Stretch and Trigger Point Massage 

    11:07 Head/Neck Plank - Cervical Spine Reset 

    15:06 Sternoceidomastoid Release - Trigger Point Massage 

    17:58 Upper Back/Shoulder Squeezes - Muscle Activation Exercise 

    21:00 Pinkie Knuckle Knocking - Acupressure Massage 

    22:47 Full Body Shaking - Warmup/Cooldown



    If your podcast feed does not support video podcasts, or if you'd like to bookmark this episode for future watching, it's also available here https://youtu.be/RWbF3jrwwdY  Please consider sharing it with friends and family members who you think might benefit, and subscribing on YouTube to avoid missing the upcoming videos in the series.

    Listen to and download the complete version of Laurel's song "Asilomar" https://laurelthomsen.bandcamp.com/track/asilomar

    For more tips, inspiration, insight please check out Laurel's Violin Geek Blog: Blog https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/ 

    To learn more about Laurel, ask a question or suggest a topic for her to  cover, or to get in touch about private lessons (violin, viola, fiddle,  cello) or help overcoming general or playing-related pain and tension, visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com

    For further resources and information about many of the practices and techniques mentioned, enjoy Laurel's post "Cross-training for Musicians" https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog/?id=cross-training-for-musicians


    ---

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

    • 25 min
    Traveling with Your Instrument - Tips and Stories!

    Traveling with Your Instrument - Tips and Stories!

    People are starting to hit the road again, but what does this mean for our instruments? In this episode, violinist/violist and educator Laurel Thomsen shares tips for safely getting your instrument from point A to point B, whether by car or plane. Having averaged 150 tour dates per year pre-pandemic, Laurel also shares stories about her experiences traveling with her violin (and the what-not-to-dos she had to learn on the job). We hope you enjoy this episode, and come away feeling more confident, armed with the knowledge and tools you need to avoid any travel disasters with your precious instrument!

    Links mentioned in the show:

    Boveda Musical Instrument Humidity Control Packs

    USA Domestic Flight Information Document - CARRIAGE OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

    United Breaks Guitars Video 

    Rachel Barton Pine - Flight Drama 

    Laurel's Violin Case with backpack straps and steel reinforcement (this is a newer version, but it's essentially the same)

    MusicPro Insurance 

    Today's music was an original Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen song called "Glory in My Soul" from our 2016 album "Between the Rain." Check out the music video for the song, featuring clips around the CA Central Coast and from our travels here. To listen and/or download the track visit us on BandCamp here.

    ~

    For more about host Laurel Thomsen, including her performance, lessons and courses, and recordings, please visit https://www.laurelthomsen.com

    To check out Laurel's companion labor-of-love, the Violin Geek Blog, visit: https://www.laurelthomsen.com/violin-geek-blog

    If you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question or topic you’d like to have covered, have someone you'd like Laurel to interview, have a story or insight to share, or would like to inquire about concert booking or violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with Laurel via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, please send Laurel an email at laurel@laurelthomsen.com. 

    Happy Practicing!






    ---

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

    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Waitlossgyrl ,

Welcome Back!

I was so sad when you seemed to take a break from the podcast. I made it a routine to search for new episodes several times a year. I’m so glad to see new uploads! Thank you!

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!!!!

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