Laurel Thomsen

Category Names: 
Violin, Fiddle, Viola
Featured Teacher on Lessonface Since March 2014

Price per lesson

From: $40.00 / 30 Minutes
To: $75.00 / 60 Minutes

Book a Lesson with Laurel Thomsen



The creator and host of iTunes' popular Violin Geek Podcast, Strings magazine contributor since 2010, the author of the multi-media guide series' Improve Your Bowing Technique and Improve Your Violin & Viola Technique, and a Skype lessons forerunner as reported on the front page of the New York Times, classically trained, genre bending violinist and violist Laurel Thomsen has enjoyed nurturing the progress of students of all ages and abilities one-on-one since 1996, with quite a few former students now enjoying their own music careers.

From her start as a classical violin and viola performance major and experiences competing at state and national levels, to charting her own course as an international touring performer composer, and recording artist with a variety of bands and ensembles across a variety of genres, as well as her innovative, dedicated, holistic, and perceptive approach to string instruction, "Laurel Thomsen is a valuable resource for our changing times".

Laurel's poise and professionalism have earned her consistent respect and admiration from musical collaborators, audiences, and students. Her genuine and thoughtful manner puts others at ease and her passion for teaching, delightful sense of fun, and natural charm readily appeals to all generations. As a teacher, she is particularly recognized for her talent for troubleshooting challenges and offering solutions to issues that may have hindered progress for years. The majority of her Skype students actually find her not because they don't have a local teacher, but because they aren't receiving the thorough approach to technique in these lessons and are not seeing the progress that some time in Laurel's studio can provide.

Besides her methodical approach to technique, Laurel specializes in pure tone production and bowing styles, and also enjoys helping students who, as she has done, want to combine classical and fiddle music influences and learn to develop the ability to convey emotion and story though music. Laurel experiences music as a form of dynamic communication with her collaborators, her audience, her students, and her creative self, and whether on stage or in the teaching studio, she enjoys diving into the creative unknown and seeing how she can expand the boundaries to beautiful, honest artistry.

The attitude and enthusiasm Laurel Thomsen has brought to teaching and coaching since 1996 is strongly rooted in her own daily discoveries as a musician and the pedagogy of Ivan Galamian, Paul Rolland, Shin’ichi Suzuki, and Kato Havas. Caring, passionate, and perceptive, Laurel values holistic approaches. Her methods stress the importance of both the muscles and the mind when learning to play a musical instrument. Lessons emphasize natural biomechanics and encourage confidence and self-esteem to facilitate playing that is free of tension, both physically and mentally.

Ready to take your playing to the next level?

Beginners - Learn through a systematic approach to technique, repertoire, and musicianship that will have you playing beautifully and confidently without the common squeaks and tensions that many find so disheartening about being a beginner on the violin, viola, or fiddle. Learn effective and efficient practice habits and embrace the joy and discipline a musical life has to offer.

Intermediates - Develop a well rounded repertoire and skill set tailored to your musical goals and dreams. This may include Classical music, fiddle styles, the ability to improvise and play by ear, and honing skills like shifting, vibrato, and more advanced bowing techniques, such as spiccato and sautille. Take your playing beyond notes and rhythms to explore emotion, style, and contrast.

Advanced players - Learn to express technique seamlessly, master your interpretations, and hone your performance skills. Develop consistency in your playing and learn to manage your physical, mental, and emotional energy for top notch performances. Performance anxiety got you down? I have tools to help that. Don’t know where or how to share your music with the world? I can coach you to the next level of your career.

Highlights of Laurel’s teaching experience and extracurricular offerings:
-Has taught hundreds of private students since 1996, and as reported by the New York Times and Strings magazine, to growing numbers of online students since 2009.
-Has authored over 50 articles on technique and practicing for Strings magazine
-Authored of the String Letter Publishing book and video series' "Improve Your Bowing Technique" and "Improve Your Violin and Viola Technique"
-Is the creator and host of the "Violin Geek Podcast", with over 70 episodes on iTunes
-Has been playing violin and viola since 1991, with over 12 years in formal classical training, and as a professional touring performer and recording artist across several genres for over 15 years. Laurel’s performance experience ranges from symphonies and traditional music, to tribute bands and creating original string arrangements for singer-songwriters.

Laurel loves teaming up with students to help meet their individual needs and goals. If you'd like a well rounded approach and skill set and a affirming lessons atmosphere, you've come to the right place. Please get in touch to schedule a lesson or be placed on the waiting list.