Advanced Violin Seminar

Advanced Violin Technique Seminar With Joshua Peckins

For the 2019/20 academic year, selected components of this Seminar will be offered online at

Online Course: Selected components from this seminar will be offered online at

This “online option” will not include performance opportunities, live instruction or feedback from Mr. Peckins, and other components of the in-person seminar.  It is a wonderful opportunity, however, for independent students to access many of the important ideas in this seminar at a lower cost and with the convenience of recorded lectures available online.

Scroll to the bottom of this page to view application info and details for the online option, or read the “Course Description” and “Details of Seminar” below to learn about the concept behind the full, in-person seminar, which may be offered in the future.

Course Description

This unique seminar aims to give students a thorough understanding of violin technique, a deep awareness of the professional world of violin playing, and greater ability in their own performance.

Technique, Context, Performance

Inspired by the renowned post-graduate Technique Class taught in Vienna, and never before offered in Boston, this seminar will guide advanced and intermediate students through a detailed curriculum of violin technique, focusing on building practical skills and deep technical knowledge.  Through recordings, the seminar will also expose students to legendary violin masters of the past and present, as well as competitions, festivals, and ensembles, with class discussion about violin technique in application and the multitude of artistic possibilities available to violinists.  Finally, students will perform for each other in masterclass format, honing their performance skills and receiving feedback from other students and Mr. Peckins.

  • Weekly, 2-hour masterclasses with violinist Joshua Peckins
  • Study an effective, concept-based syllabus of the complete classical violin technique
  • Discover legendary violinists, festivals, and competitions through recordings and class discussions
  • Perform and build concert experience, with feedback from students and Mr. Peckins
  • Inspired by the renowned post-graduate Technique Class taught at the Vienna University of Music, and never before offered in Boston

This seminar offers students a rare chance to study the teachings of master violin pedagogues in an organized, practical curriculum to help them advance their technique and deepen their concept of violin playing.  Put into context with legendary recordings, class discussion, and student performances, the goal of this unique course is to help ambitious violin students develop an advanced technique, gain a broad awareness of the professional violin world and how their personal studies fit into that context, and hone technical and creative skills in performance.

“​Most powerful is one, who has oneself in one’s own power.”​ -Seneca


Details of Seminar

The seminar has three components:

1. Rigorous Technique Training

A systematic, thorough study of practical violin technique based on the pedagogical works of Galamian, Flesch, Frischenschlager, Yankelevich, and others.  This is the core of the Seminar, and is ideal for motivated students currently frustrated by a lack of knowledge or confusion over the specific mechanics and physical/mental techniques of virtuoso playing.  Students will learn exercises and practice methods to overcome common technical problems, and will learn to conceive of technique as a skill set that can be systematically trained as a means to achieve artistic freedom. This will be taught following a detailed curriculum of Mr. Peckins’ design, including freedom of movement, all bow strokes, double stops, vibrato, glissandi, sound production, posture, as well as virtuoso skills such as chords, harmonics, ricochet, left hand pizzicato, etc.  Students will also develop skills for self-assessment and further, independent study of technique.

2. Musical Context

Exposure to recordings of master violinists of the past and present, including legendary figures such as Heifetz, Neveau, Hahn, and Oistrakh, as well as contemporary competition contestants/winners, festivals, and ensembles. Specific recordings will coincide with techniques currently being taught in class.  Class discussion will focus on how the techniques are demonstrated by the masters, as well as the professional/artistic possibilities available to violinists. Students will gain a wider perspective of violin playing in the professional world, and will learn to see their personal work in a larger context.

3. Performance Experience

Students will perform solo repertoire in masterclass format, and will receive feedback from the class and Mr. Peckins. Students will gain valuable experience applying the skills taught in this seminar to their own performance, and will learn to give constructive, supportive feedback.

When I think of myself in those years, it seems to me that I was playing quite freely and fluently, tonally pure. But there is still have many years of hard work over the sound, rhythm and dynamics. Of course, most importantly, a deep comprehension of the inner content.” – David Oistrakh



This seminar offers violin students a forum to learn a thorough, cohesive concept of violin technique, and to explore the richness of their field. This seminar does NOT seek to replace the vital guidance of one-on-one training that occurs in private lessons, but rather to present a detailed survey of violin technique and master violinists. Though still a practical course at its heart, this quasi-pedagogical approach lends itself best to a seminar format, and will give students the broad knowledge base that is necessary for long-term and independent learning. Extended listening sessions, group discussion, and in-class performance, furthermore, are not practical in private lessons.


Instructor Information:

Violinist Joshua Peckins has taught for over a decade in Vienna and Boston, and is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep School.  Currently among the most active recitalists in New England, and with advanced degrees in Violin Performance from Yale, New England Conservatory, and the Vienna University of Music, he has performed from Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s Performing Arts Center and is both a dedicated performer and teacher.  Click here for a full performance bio or click here for a full teaching bio.

Click here to listen to live performance recordings by Mr. Peckins.


Joshua Peckins’ Beliefs and Seminar Philosophy:

“I believe strongly in the necessity of a systematic, thorough approach to training violin technique. Students must understand ​(with analytical study) and ​train​ (with diligent practice of exercises) every aspect of violin technique, learning each one independently and as part of a cohesive whole. Many students, even at advanced college levels, lack fundamental understanding of vital concepts, such as the clear differences between specific bow strokes, types of glissandi, and even a natural way to position and move the hands. These are but a few examples, but the problem is all too present, and leads to much frustration among violinists!

“Furthermore, I am a strong believer in late bloomers, who often are talented and motivated, but simply lacked rigorous technical training when younger. Students in this category can radically change their career trajectories by making a rigorous study of violin technique, even in their later years. It should be the mission of all teachers and music schools to help these students achieve this radical change, rather than (immorally and often falsely) to discriminate between prodigies and also-rans.

“Common technical frustrations, such as tension in the vibrato, a weak fourth finger, lack of control in off-the-string bow strokes, lack of core sound in upper registers, etc., usually are caused by specific, objective mistakes in the technique.  The solution in this case is not just ‘more practice,’ but rather a clear understanding of the correct physical mechanism and mental approach.  These things can be explained and taught, and there are time-tested exercises used by top violinists to train these specific skills.  Unfortunately, many students have never been exposed to this level of clarity, focus, and organization, and therefore waste countless hours of effortful, but confused, practice.  Worse yet, they may never achieve their full potential, which would require just as many hours of effortful practice, but with a clear understanding of what to train and how to train it.

“It is easy for successful musicians to take for granted the backdrop of information that informs and motivates their individual pursuits. By this “backdrop of information,” I mean knowledge of the great musicians, the great orchestras and chamber ensembles, the important international competitions and festivals, legendary recordings and performances, the vast Classical repertoire, etc. A shocking number of students today cannot recognize the vibrato of Heifetz, the glissandi of Kreisler, the tone of Elman, let alone name the current rising stars on the concert stages of the world. Through exposure to this larger world, presented with context and class discussion, I believe students can gain an invaluable awareness that will inspire and guide their personal violin studies and dreams.

“This course is inspired by the Technique Class taught by Professor Michael Frischenschlager at the Vienna University of Music, which I had the great fortune to take for several years as a postgraduate student. There are other long-standing traditions of seminar-format violin classes, where students of talent and ambition come together to pursue great violin playing. While this course cannot hope (and certainly does not propose!) to live up to achievements of the legendary violin classes taught by Frischenschlager, Heifetz, and others, it draws inspiration from them and attempts to follow in their footsteps.

“I have taught variations on this seminar on numerous occasions, not only in private lessons for individual students, but also as dedicated sectional coach for New England Conservatory’s top youth orchestra, YPO, and as violin coach for NEC’s Festival Youth orchestra.  Students have always received it with interest, even with hunger for the information, which I believe demonstrates a profound need for such a course.  My private students have attended monthly studio classes for the past many years, which include technical study, performance/feedback, and discussions about great musicians. These experiences have convinced me of the value, as well as the practicality, of this seminar.” – Joshua Peckins, violinist and Seminar instructor

The violinist is that peculiarly human phenomenon distilled to a rare potency – half tiger, half poet.” – Yehudi Menuhin


Application Info

For the 2019/20 academic year, selected components of this Seminar will be offered online at

Online Course: Selected components from this seminar will be offered online at

This “online option” will not include performance opportunities, live instruction or feedback from Mr. Peckins, and other components of the in-person seminar.  It is a wonderful opportunity, however, for independent students to access many of the important ideas in this seminar at a lower cost and with the convenience of recorded lectures available online.

Intended Participants: The ideal participant is analytically minded, curious about violin technique and playing, and motivated to radically improve his/her technique through intensive study.  College students, dedicated amateurs, as well as professionals looking for a thorough review are encouraged to apply.  Teachers looking for a comprehensive survey of violin technique may also be interested.  This course is recommended for college age students and older, but may be appropriate for highly motivated and advanced high-school students.

Audition: No audition is required for the online class.

Prerequisites: Students must have a minimum technical level to benefit form this course.  This is not a “how to play for beginners” course – it is intended for students already at an advanced or upper-intermediate level, looking to refine and advance their skills.  If you are comfortable playing double-stops, 3-octave scales, and have studied Kreutzer’s 42 Studies (or equivalent), then you probably have the minimum necessary level.

Location: You can access the online lessons online anywhere you have Internet access and a device capable of streaming HD video.

Schedule: Lessons will be available online 24/7, so you can study the lessons at your own pace.  New lessons will be added to the website periodically over the course of the 2019/20 academic year, starting October, 2019.

Application Deadline: You can begin this course at any time.  If you start the course mid-year or later, you can simply start at the beginning of the course and progress at your own speed.

Tuition: In order to take the online course, you must subscribe to the Peckins Studio Online, with the option to cancel anytime.  Details of the current subscription fee are available at

In Person Option: The full version of this seminar, with weekly in-person masterclasses, may be offered in the future.  Only the online option is currently being offered.

How to Apply: Please visit

(C) 2019 Joshua Peckins. All rights reserved.