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Tag: teaching

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This question was posed by a violin teacher whose student wanted to quit after a handful of lessons. Do we just let our student go in these instances, or should we try to encourage them to stick it out a little longer?

Students of all ages ...

Musician Tips
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Whether or not we plan to make a career of music, this series will be relevant for everyone! If we keep at it, we all reach a point where we're ready to take our music beyond the practice room, but as one of Laurel's students recently asked: "What ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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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 ...

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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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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 ...

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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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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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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 me 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 me, in-person or online 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

Skype: laurelthomsen

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