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Tag: practice

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If the metronome inspires fear, dread, or frustration in you, if you're not sure how to even use it, or if you find practicing with it is getting a bit stale, this Violin Geek Podcast episode is for you! Join me as we explore the goals of metronome ...

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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 ...

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As the account goes, someone once asked child prodigy and virtuoso violinist Jascha Heifetz: “How are you able to play so well in tune?” To that, Heifetz replied something to the effect of: “I don’t. I adjust before anyone notices.” Although playing ...

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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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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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While all of us have experienced the dreaded memory slip, some people seem to have the easiest time memorizing their pieces and tunes, others can't have the hardest time making the parts stick. If the latter sounds like you, in this episode Laurel ...

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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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Improvising and listening go hand in hand, so don't separate them! I understand, but am still always a bit surprised when I hear an improviser running up and down the fingerboard, disregarding the phrasing (and sometimes tempo) of the group, articulation ...

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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 ...

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Never heard of Parkour? I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago when a friend tried it. Wikipedia describes it, based on the original French name, l'art du déplacement (the art of movement), as a “physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle ...

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If you’re a string player, have you ever thought about left and right side independence? Perhaps not. The violin family instruments require such asymmetrical positions and motions, I suspect that many string players have never considered how interconnected ...

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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