There is method to the mastery


If performing with ease and confidence would change your life, this is for you.  

The Virtuoso Master Course opens on January 13, 2020 and runs for six months. During that time, you'll work closely with me and a select group of other violinists. I'll get you into the best shape of your life through a mix of technical workouts, group sessions, and one-on-one time. You'll leave with the confidence to take your gains onto the stage with you, under pressure when it counts.

Apply for the course

Do you leave your best playing in the practice room?

Take control with my Practice Makes Performance system

After all the years you've spent taking lessons, pursuing degrees, and refining your technique, you'd think that performing would feel automatic. But it rarely does! Without the right practice system, personalized for you, the gains you make behind closed doors may disappear on stage.

The three elements of Practice Makes Performance


Every bow stroke in practice is a rehearsal for your performance


The right scales, etudes, and studies to strengthen your playing


Combining the physical with the mental game for lasting results

"Ever since I left school and moved to a new city, I was preparing alone for many years, with nobody to play for. So I knew there were things to improve on, but I couldn’t pinpoint them. You targeted them right away though! I'd never had that perspective before, the 'other side of the audition screen'."

Susan Paik (Colorado Symphony)

About me

I'm Nathan Cole, First Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and for the past fifteen years, I've been helping professional violinists solve problems, realize their potential, and win auditions.  

My parents were professional musicans (flutists in fact), but they never pushed me to spend all day in the practice room. I did that to myself once I got to conservatory and saw that I had some catching up to do!

But there was a problem: even though I was spending more time practicing, I wasn’t learning the difficult rep any faster. I was inconsistent day to day, and worst of all, from the practice room to the stage. By the time I realized I needed help, I was out of school and on my own.

That’s when I decided that if I ever wanted to find out how far I could take my playing, I had to develop my own practice method. It had to give me steady gains that would stay with me under pressure. And it had to fit around my full-time orchestra job.  

I’ve spent the last fifteen years sharing this system with professional (and soon-to-be-pro) violinists, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Nathan Cole, violin

A six-month plan tailored for you

There are a million things you could practice every day. I'll cut through the clutter and make every minute count.

Personal assessment

We'll start with an individual session to figure out where you are, and where you dream of being in six months

Studio classes

Every week we'll meet again as a group, to play for each other, ask questions, and get feedback

Daily routine

I'll put together a daily practice routine for you, selecting from classic etudes, scales, and my own exercises

One-on-one time

Periodically, you and I will spend an hour on our own to assess and fine-tune your program

Weekly workouts

Every week I'll lead our group through a fun and challenging half hour that you can add to your routine for the week

Video library

Lifetime access to a brand-new suite of video lessons covering setup, scales, etudes, practice techniques, and more


My complete video library of orchestral excerpts, as well as my marked parts: the bowings and fingerings I play in auditions


Special guest sessions with my friends and colleagues: principal orchestral players, violin soloists, and master teachers

Is the Virtuoso Master Course right for me?

I'm really busy right now... I can't make the time commitment.

If you can't commit to some schedule of daily practice, then you're right: this Master Course is not for you, at least not yet! But if you're busy with the violin, because you're performing or working toward an audition or recital, then consider whether you're using your practice time as efficiently as you could be. I can tailor your practice for your individual needs, so that you don't waste any time on the way to your goals.

I don't think of myself as a virtuoso. Am I at the right level for this course?

A virtuoso is, in the end, "one who excels at the technique of an art"! Is that what you're after? Me too! We're all on a journey to be the best we can be. How much further could you be on your journey in six months? With my guidance, I'll bet it's a lot further than you think! All I require is that you have a working knowledge of the basic tools: scales, etudes, bow strokes, daily practice. I'm more interested in where you're going than where you've been.

Online lessons seem like a poor substitute for in-person training.

If you're going to take a single lesson, I would absolutely recommend in-person over online! The problem is that for real change to take place, you need sustained effort. You need ongoing feedback and targeted instruction. And master teachers rarely have time for that outside a conservatory setting. That's why I've developed the Master Course to be so much more than just a series of "lessons". It's a world of violin technique, personalized for you, with my guidance every step of the way. You'll make more progress in six months than you would with a year of traditional lessons.

I can't afford a course like this right now.

It's true that the Virtuoso Master Course is a four-figure commitment. You’ll have to decide when you want to start making real changes to your playing, and what those changes would mean for your life and career. I’ve designed this course to be more affordable than six months of private lessons, with much more support and varied resources to get you the results you need.

What kind of support will I get day to day?

As a member of the Virtuoso Master Course, you'll immediately get access to our private discussion forum. In addition to the insight from your fellow Course members, I’ll be there as well to clarify any points from our sessions or from the video library. Of course, you’ll also be meeting with me and the group live twice a week (and if you can't make a live session, you won't miss out since they're all recorded).

I have a different question or concern...

I'm happy to answer any questions, so use the button below to send me a message.

"It has been a very long audition journey (my 29th one) and after very little success this past year (not advancing a single time for 8 auditions) I finally advanced at the New York Philharmonic! Your webinars and your videos were a vital part of my preparation and I cannot express my thanks enough for having the course as a major tool for my success this time around."

Hye-Jin Koh (New World Symphony alum)  

Getting back to basics, and beyond

If it feels like your shifts are a bit “off”, or double-stops aren’t as pure as they should be, or vibrato is labored… you’re not alone. I coach professionals every day, and not one of them is free from these or similar issues!

If you let these fester, they’ll compromise your efforts in the practice room and, more importantly, on stage. They may even introduce tension, which inevitably leads to injury. That pushes your goals even further away.  

The good news is that every technical problem on the violin has a solution, and those solutions have been sitting around in scale or etude books for the last two hundred years. But do you know how to find them? Let me handle that part for you, with a video library covering topics including:

  • setting up the left and right hands
  • supporting the instrument
  • battle-tested practice techniques
  • scale routines
  • vibrato
  • left-hand facility and ease
  • double-stops
  • shifting
  • all major bow strokes
  • sound production
  • classic etudes: Dont, Kreutzer, Sevcik, Schradieck

The Virtuoso Master Course: limited places available

This will be the only way to work with me personally in 2020  

  • Achieve your big goals: recitals, auditions, repertoire
  • An initial one-on-one session to set your personal daily routine
  • Weekly live studio class
  • Weekly live workout
  • Premium video library covering setup, fundamentals, scales, etudes
  • Monthly one-on-one time to fine-tune
  • Private discussion forum
  • BONUS 1: my collection of audition excerpt videos and marked parts
  • BONUS 2: special live sessions with fellow master teachers 

Where do you want to be in six months?