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As we all know, music lesson regularity and continuity are essential to progress. In an effort to decrease cancellations with current students, and to provide instruction to students in rural areas and foreign countries without access to good teachers or any at all, I am very excited to now offer online violin, viola, fiddle, and cello lessons via Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom. With the Defense Language Institute, and Naval Post Graduate School located here in Monterey, I’ve had many students stay for a year or two before being stationed elsewhere. Over the years I've heard from many of these relocated students that it has been hard or even impossible to find good teachers, or any teachers in their new areas. I've had some of these students back for a lesson here or there if they get the chance to visit Monterey. For many of them, those were the only lessons they'd had since they moved.

If you are a relocated or prospective student and you haven't been able to find a good teacher, or if you have one but would occasionally like a second opinion, the first step towards starting online lessons is to contact me to schedule a short Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom interview/test run during which we will determine if this lesson format will work for you. I also encourage all current students with a computer and internet capabilities to set up a time with me for a brief test run. Even if you live close by, you never know when you might want to exercise the option to stay home and still keep your lesson, such as when:

  • You have a minor illness that isn’t keeping in bed, but that you would hate to pass on.
  • Your ride’s work schedule has made it impossible for him/her to bring or pick you up today.
  • You have limited time during the day and would like to fit your lessons into a lunch break or time between college classes.
  • You are going on an extended vacation or traveling for business.
  • You would prefer not to have to flight traffic after a tiring work or school day.
  • Your car won’t start.
  • You would be over 10 minutes late to your in-person lesson.

I don't think that video lessons can ever replace the quality of in-person lessons, but technology has come a long way, will only get better, and I think this is a great option when you would otherwise have to cancel your lesson or go without.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and if you would like to set up a time for a test run. 

Please email Laurel at 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

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