Use the search bar to sort posts by category or keyword. If you're enjoying a topic, you can also click categories listed below, or the tags listed at the top of a post to organize a new list of posts with the same categories and/or tags. Enjoy!

Tag: teaching

Posted on: | Category:

Violin methods like Suzuki, the Solos series by Barbara Barber, and exam systems like UK's ABRSM, Canada’s The Royal Conservatory, and Australia’s AMEB offer graded repertoire intended to systematically prepare students for the major concertos of the ...

Posted on: | Category:

I had the pleasure of making the recent online acquaintance of David France, violinist, teacher, and the founder and executive director of Revolution of Hope, a Boston based program which helps bring the joy of playing music to the lives of inner city ...

Posted on: | Category:

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 ...

Posted on: | Category:

The age old story goes - you set up your bow hold, perfectly, just as your teacher showed you, but as soon as you start playing, the pinkie finger stiffens, or worse a joint fails and it buckles. Your tone starts to suffer. Your hold feels tense, and ...

Posted on: | Category:

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 ...

Posted on: | Category:

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 ...

Posted on: | Category:

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 ...

Posted on: | Category:

Not all shifts are created equal. And no, we’re not talking nightgowns!

Learn how to refine your violin or string family shifting technique for optimal expression! Did you know that the finger you “travel” on during a shift makes a subtle but ...

Posted on: | Category:

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 ...

Posted on: | Category:

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 ...

Posted on: | Category:

As the holidays approach it may be time to take advantage of seasonal sales and surprise the budding string player in your life (maybe even yourself) with a new instrument. First things first though. What size? A string teacher can size students best, ...

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.

The Violin Geek Blog is a free resource and always will be. We also don't sell advertising, meaning that what you read is a labor of love. If you'd like to support Laurel Thomsen's efforts and help ensure they continue, please consider making a donation. Thanks for your support!


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

Become a VIP fan!

Join Laurel's periodic newsletter and be the first to learn about her adventures, music, tour dates, and new recordings. On occasion we'll also offer mailing list only downloads and discounts.
© 1996-2022 Laurel Thomsen, Email me