Violin, Viola, and Cello
Mrs. Thomsen holds a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While pursuing her graduate degree, she served as teaching assistant in the violin studio of Professor Elizabeth Chang and as a member of the university’s string quartet-in-residence. She is a 5-time recipient of Sunriver Music Festival's Young Artist Scholarship. During her career, she has performed in chamber ensembles, orchestras, and operas throughout the United States, including Oregon, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. In 2007, Mrs. Thomsen discovered her love for teaching as well as performing, and has pursued teaching ever since. She apprenticed with Suzuki teacher-trainer Martha Shackford in the summer of 2009 and completed Suzuki Violin Units 1-3. Her passion for teaching violin is what led her to open her own studio in Schenectady, NY.
Joshua holds a Bachelor of Music in Guitar Performance from Cedarville University. His past teachers include Ray Jung, Lawrence Pitzer, and Patrick Anderson. He was initially drawn to the guitar by rock music and going to bluegrass festivals with his grandparents in the Adirondacks. While in college, he studied classical guitar and jazz improvisation. In addition to teaching lessons, he also coaches youth bands and serves as Assistant Worship Leader at Open Arms Church in Schenectady.
Levels offered: Beginner - Advanced
Violin lessons are available for all levels of skill and interest, from the casual beginner to pre-professional musicians who plan to pursue a music degree in a conservatory. Beginners will primarily use the Suzuki method, learning both to play "by ear" and to sight-read notes. Intermediate lessons will be supplemented with studies in vibrato, shifting, higher positions, and bow technique. Advanced students will leave the Suzuki repertoire behind and study pieces from throughout classical music history, from Baroque to 20th-century compositions.
It is strongly recommended that serious students and parents consider the Suzuki Violin Program. If you have questions about what is best for your situation, ask Mrs. Thomsen.
Levels offered: Beginner - Intermediate
Viola lessons are available to beginning and intermediate students, and as a supplement to school orchestra classes. The viola has a slightly lower range than the violin. Its tone is often described as deep, rich, and mellow, making it a staple of chamber music and orchestral playing, Beginners will primarily use the Suzuki method, learning both to play "by ear" and to sight-read notes. Intermediate lessons will be supplemented with studies in vibrato, shifting, higher positions, and bow technique.
Lessons are available for the following instruments:
Covid -19 Update, August 2020
Due to COVID-19, masks are mandatory for all in-person lessons. In-person lessons will be held at:
Niskayuna Reformed Church
3041 Troy-Schenectady Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12309
Remote lessons are also available via private Zoom link.
For more information about safety measures we are taking or to reserve your lesson, please contact us.
Levels offered: Beginner
Cello lessons are offered to beginning students and as a supplement to school orchestra classes. Lessons will focus on developing a beautiful tone and sound production. Creating a solid postural foundation will prepare students to continue with more advanced studies. Beginners will primarily use the Suzuki method, learning both to play "by ear" and to sight-read notes. As the student advances, lessons will be supplemented with studies in vibrato, shifting, higher positions, and bow technique.
Levels offered: Beginner - Advanced