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Welcome violin (or viola, cello, guitar, trumpet...) geeks everywhere! Are you a violin, viola, or fiddle student interested in taking your playing to the next level? A professional performer wanting to brush up on your skills after a hiatus? A musician getting bored in your practice and needing some new ideas to chew on? Or, a fellow string teacher wishing to gain playing and practice tips to help your students? If so, you've come to the right place. In the Violin Geek Podcast, violinist/violist, recording artist, author, and string teacher Laurel Thomsen shares her daily discoveries and tips for practicing and polishing, string playing technique, and becoming the best musician you can be.

With all the insight and troubleshooting of a one-on-one violin, viola, or fiddle lesson, discover episodes that help you overcome practice humps, learn faster, master new techniques, and increase your playing and personal confidence. Learn to train your brain for excellent intonation, choose fingerings with style, tune your instrument by ear, play confidently with a metronome using various note values and rhythms, how to play by ear, improvise, and enjoy interviews with amazing artists and teachers. Episodes are accessible for beginners, yet contain the depth of thought appreciated by the advancing student and seasoned performer alike. Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Happy practicing!

"This podcast is truly an example of what one should be: informative, concise, candid, and comprehendible yet insightful!"

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Recent Episodes

"What is a professional trumpeter doing listening to a violin podcast? Well, I'm learning many things applicable to my teaching and music making. Laurel's podcast is a wonderful place to go to think about music and how one enriches their life with music in it. She is knowledgeable and personable, and her approach is straightforwad and honest, with encouragement and joy for what she does. After listening to a couple podcasts, I'm now a subscriber, and you should be too, especially if you enjoy having music in your life."

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The Violin Geek Podcast is a free resource and always will be. We also don't sell advertising, meaning what you listen to is a labor or 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!

"I love Laurel's genuine and charming spirit as she guides her listeners through an expanding world of music. As a cellist I find her podcast very applicable and inspiring, especially her podcasts regarding intonation and creativity. Keep up the great work!!!"

Robert iTunes subcriber
The Inspiration Behind the Violin Geek Podcast

Laurel Thomsen here. In early 2010 I found myself recording a series of intonation "workouts" for some of my private students. Some of my beginners were struggling and I wanted to create something they could listen to and play along with at home to help solidify the sound of the finger patterns we find within the various key signatures.

After spending quite a few hours creating these practice recordings, one for each string on the violin and viola, I lamented that they'd only reach a relatively small number of my private students. Podcasts were fairly new at the time and I didn't know much about them. I may have never even listened to one in fact. But because the recordings I'd made were audio tracks and not video, which might have turned them into a YouTube channel instead, I got the idea to put them out as a podcast, calling it the "Violin & Viola Practice Power Podcast."

What started as a series of intonation workouts quickly grew into a vehicle to express many of the insights I was exploring with students, in the practice room, and on the stage. The Violin Geek Podcast was born. While writing has always been my favorite means of communicating my ideas besides playing music, in a podcast format I found a way to share ideas requiring a particular tone - be they spoken words, a melody or exercise on the violin, or an interview, that I couldn't as easily convey in my blog or a magazine article.

After a year or so of being the solo voice of the podcast, I'd been on an interviewing spree for Improve Your Bowing Technique, a course Strings magazine had commissioned me to create. Feeling confident, I started reaching out to other artists and music industry professionals, and began to include their inspiring interviews on the podcast as well.

Due to intense touring and a string of technological glitches, I was less active with the podcast from 2016-2019, turning more towards my outlet of the Violin Geek Blog, but I've enjoyed my return these past couple of years, especially since Covid-19 has put a damper on much of my touring and performing. I look forward to the all topics and interviews I have in store!

Need more help with your playing? Besides her in-person studio, Laurel offers private violin and viola lessons online via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. Please visit her general Teaching page as well as her Online Lessons page for more information.

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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