Learn to play comfortably, beautifully, and confidently through Laurel’s systematic approach to technique, repertoire, and musicianship, tailored to your interests, anatomy, and learning style.
Discover principles that will allow you to move beyond the squeaks, intonation issues, and tensions that many find disheartening about the early stages of learning to play the the violin, viola, fiddle, or cello.
Learn effective and efficient practice strategies which incorporate deliberate practicing techniques and breakthroughs in the science of learning to embrace the joy and discipline a musical life has to offer.
Uncover tension patterns and reset technique that may be hindering your playing progress, mobility, freedom of expression, and creativity, while developing effective practice strategies, a balanced repertoire, and a skill set tailored to your personal musical goals, such as:
Take your violin, viola, fiddle, or cello playing beyond the basic notes and rhythms to explore emotion, style, and contrast!
Bolster your violin, viola, or fiddle technique and transcend it, masterfully crafting your interpretations and honing your performance and audition skills.
Develop consistency in your playing and learn to manage your physical, mental, and emotional energy for remarkable performances.
Performance anxiety got you down? We have tools to help that.
Don’t know where or how to share your music with the world? Laurel can help coach you to the next level of your career.
Laurel Thomsen's small but peaceful and private studio is located in Bonny Doon, an unincorporated area in the mountains above Santa Cruz, California, surrounded by redwood, oak, and madrone forests, hiking trails, deer, squirrels, lizards, quail, wild turkeys, and a short drive to the vast Pacific Ocean.
While her home studio is located in a rural area, it’s central to students willing to make the drive from a range of Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay Area locations:
In 2009 Laurel expanded her teaching studio to include violin, viola and fiddle lessons online via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom and has since taught hundreds of students around the world, including students in Europe, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, South Korea, Canada, China, Japan, India, Central and South America, The Virgin Islands, and The Bahamas.
Students who otherwise would not have access to good private teachers, who travel frequently or have unusual school or work schedules, who have needs beyond their local teachers’ ability or experience, or who want to add an additional dimension to private lessons happening concurrently with a local teacher, have found the perfect fit with Laurel’s Skype violin, viola, fiddle, and cello lessons.
As a pioneer in the virtual music lessons movement, in 2012 Laurel was featured in a New York Times front page article, has been interviewed for articles about online teaching in Strings magazine, and was featured in a story for the Microsoft blog.
Laurel quickly embraced online teaching and now over 90% of her students are online. She has been thrilled with opportunities to connect with students around the world, while at the same time, sharing her own music with audiences around the globe. While in the past she had to make the choice between staying at home and teaching or going out on tour, Laurel is now able to maintain her full teaching studio while traveling, providing the same consistency and dedication her students expect and appreciate.
Click here to learn more about Laurel's violin, viola, fiddle, and cello lessons via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom, how to set yourself up to take online lessons, and how to get the most out of your online lessons experience, or contact Laurel to learn more about online lessons, rates, and availability.
Click here if you’re a music teacher and would like advice on setting up your own online music teaching studio.
Laurel offers one-off and short term coaching to violin, viola, fiddle, and cello students, in-person or via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.
Please contact her for a consult if you:
For violin, viola, fiddle, and cello students unable to take lessons in-person or via Skype or another video conferencing platform for whatever reason, Laurel offers a video exchange format. Video exchange lessons may be especially helpful for students who are very busy and want occasional help to ensure they’re staying on track.
Laurel is open to teaching private group lessons and in school settings, enjoys coaching youth string orchestras, hosting workshops, and teaching as a visiting clinician in public and private schools.
View her workshop topics here, and please contact her to inquire about a visit to your group, school, or orchestra.