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Category: practice tips

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This seems to be the topic in my lessons studio lately. Especially as the Covid-19 pandemic wears on, the days and weeks seem to run together and many of us are looking to create some memorable success. With many other aspects of life sidelined, ...

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With the COVID-19 shutdowns and for many of us, more time to practice our musical instruments, it’s important to avoid mental burnout and physical injury by keeping our expectations in check. I’ve had some students, excited to see the progress they ...

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I’ve written a number of posts over the years discussing effective ways to practice and ideas for helping create better practice habits or reinvigorate a practice routine. With my students, I prefer to focus on the quality of practice over stressing ...

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Periods of overwhelm are common at any stage of learning to play the violin, viola, cello, fiddle, or any instrument for that matter. The technical aspects of any instrument, but especially violin family instruments, can be unforgiving, yet we all ...

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No matter our playing level or age, clean playing and fast playing are often at odds. Over my years of teaching the violin and viola, I’ve noticed that students tend to fall into two camps - those who try to play near tempo from the start, often with ...

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Performers and athletes often talk of being “in the zone.” Some might describe it as being in a place where they loose themselves in the activity or music and it appears as though it is happening all by itself, smoothly and automatically. Some might ...

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Yet again a new school year is in full swing and with practice questions floating around my studio, I thought I’d take some time to add on to a blog post I wrote about the topic last year. If you’ve read that post you’ll notice that some sections are ...

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I received this message from a fellow string teacher recently. It’s the BIG question isn’t it!?

In my experience, it’s worth taking some time to ask questions about the student’s day to day schedule and practice set-up at home. Sometimes it’s ...

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It’s September again and with an influx of new violin, viola, and fiddle students as well as many longterm students getting back into the swing of lessons after vacations and time off over the summer, there’s been a lot of talk about practice lately ...

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A student’s first lessons with a new private music teacher are usually a mixture of excitement and possibility, nerves, and often a bit of overwhelm. Over the course of a few lessons, a perceptive teacher will identify certain areas of technique, posture, ...

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If you feel like your music practice has you going in circles, in this Violin Geek Podcast series we cover several tips that can help you improve your practice and performance, including the importance of taking care with phrase endings, ideas for ...

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In this episode of the Violin Geek Podcast I share tips on how to practice for maximum efficiency and effectiveness. From building technique to polishing repertoire and preparing for performance, make sure you're covering all your bases and setting ...

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Every day we are offered choices. This food or that food. This activity or that activity. Every thing we decide to fill our time with means that we are choosing not to fill that time with other things. How do we decide what interests to devote our ...

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In this Violin Geek Podcast series I cover all the most important elements of good practice, including the need to create a dedicated practice space, and to consider how we schedule practice and think about practice when we're doing other things. We ...

Please email Laurel 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, have a story or insight to share, or if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with Laurel, in-person or via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.

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Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

Site by Laurel Thomsen
Photography by Michelle Magdalena

laurel@laurelthomsen.com
831-224-0913
Skype: laurelthomsen

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