April 28, 2012

Creative Strings Residencies | Outreach in Schools

Teachers- Want to create an amazing event for your students?

Consider a Creative Strings Residency – a guest artist collaboration focused on contemporary styles, improvisation, and related subjects. Combine cutting edge education with inspiration via classroom sessions and collaborative concerts.

✔️Contribute to the sustainability of your program

✔️ Provide students an opportunity to collaborate onstage with a world class performing artist

✔️ Enjoy increased community support and recognition for your program

✔️Fraction of the cost & hassle of bigger trips and from the comfort of home.


Among the top 5 best jazz violinists

I consider Chris Howes to be among the top 5 best jazz violinists of the new generation.

During 1-3 days, Creative Strings provides training in new skills for students and teachers including:

  1. Improvisation, composition, and arranging.
  2. Creative self-expression
  3. Harmonic and rhythmic fluency; Applied theory
  4. Fluency in contemporary styles
  5. Demystifying amplificationeffects, and loops

How Creative Strings is different:

Eclectic– Instead of focusing on one genre, you can choose from many.

Substantive Pedagogy- Instead of using classroom time exclusively for rehearsal,  we teach from in-depth curriculum. (See videospodcasts, and articles.)

Affordable; Flexible fundingWe can help you find creative ways to fund your event.

Spotlight on Students– While other programs make it all about the guest artist, we focus the spotlight on students.

-Repertoire which challenges and features students
-Informance portions of concert feature students demonstrating new skills.
-Classroom learning (instruments in hand).

Nissa de la Torre Nebraska ASTA Past President

I co-hosted a Creative Strings Workshop

From start to finish, Chris was easy to work with. Not only was he fair, respectful, and open to collaborative ideas, but he approached the event with ownership and flexibility. He was constantly available and approachable to help with anything I needed to prepare for the workshop. He showed up ready to serve the specific needs and interests of the attendees, and he shaped his content and delivery to their appropriate pedagogical level, making sure everyone kept up with the content.

I would highly recommend Christian for any string education event, from school-aged children through professional level players and teachers. I'd be thrilled to work with him again.

 Christian Howes

Christian Howes Yamaha Violin

A former Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, Christian is widely established as one of the world’s most respected improvising violinists and string pedagogues. A Suzuki-trained, accomplished classical violinist, he brings a unique perspective to help students and teachers broaden their knowledge.

Christian Howes provides training (which) align with the New York State Standards for the Arts for creating musical works through student generated improvisation (NYS Standards 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 8.1). Access to a world class jazz violinist and educator provides a broader societal and cultural context of the role of string instruments in contemporary music (NYS Standard 7.2).” (Webster Schools- Rochester, NY)


Chris's work was transformational!

Your work was transformational. Several students have told me that they were inspired by your work and want to find a way to continue to connect with you.


Detailed Guide and Description of Clinics DOWNLOAD HERE


teach your students improvisation with a violin school residencyYou don’t have time for prima donnas!

Hire a guest artist with a heart and mind for educating, and create a transformative experience for your students.



Great teachers care

A note from Chris

After 20 years of visits to hundreds of classrooms, I'm humbled in appreciation at the work full-time teachers do. By listening to their feedback, my teaching has evolved and so has our residency program.

I now realize the first thing teachers do that makes them great: they care.

I have a long way to go, but I believe it starts and ends with listening, serving, and a clearly intending to create an amazing experience for the teachers and students."

A guest artist collaboration is only worth considering when it checks all the boxes:

✔Unique, substantive pedagogy; Inspiring artistry

✔Creating a win for teachers, admin, parents, and students alike

✔Easy to put together and easy to work with.

We check all of these boxes.  Our vested interest is in partnering to help teachers create successful events.


Structured and well-sequenced curriculum

Christian Howes is amazing. He is not only a fine violinist, but a wonderful pedagogue with a structured and well-sequenced curriculum. The students were inspired by their work with him, and the teachers had tools that they could take back into the classroom immediately. His personal journey and the musical outcome of his unique and vast experiences are evident in his terrific playing and teaching. We look forward to having him back!

Brenda Brenner Former ASTA President



Logistics Were a Breeze

Chris and his team made the logistical part of the residency a breeze! We had a three-day event with over 200 students in band, choir, & orchestra ages 9-17. Everyone involved offered outstanding communication and attention to detail. It made my job easy!


Sponsored Access to Online Learning-Yamaha and D’Addario have generously provided sponsorship to allow schools to utilize online learning via Christian Howes’ Creative Strings Academy in anticipation of his visit.

For sample repertoire and concert structure, learn more here.


How can I explore bringing this to my school?

Email or call Tiffany Goodmantiffany@goodmanartists.com // 773-283-2830

First, we’ll work with you in planning a time for Christian to come into your school.  Once a date is chosen, you’ll receive your unique login for the Creative Strings Academy so you and your students can dive headfirst into the online curriculum.

We’ll work closely with you to promote, schedule, and program, and there will be a mutually agreed itinerary to serve the needs of your district, whether it includes teacher training, k-12 student workshops, assemblies, concert, and any media appearances.

All of this will culminate in a final performance highlighting the students. The event is an opportunity to fundraise, promote your program, recruit, and nurture support from your community.

Share the overview PDF with your colleagues, or request sample curriculum by emailing chris@christianhowes.com


Email or call Tiffany Goodman to learn more: tiffany@goodmanartists.com // 773-283-2830


  • Ask about optional programming related to Character Education and Entrepreneurship.


Fabulous experience

We had a fabulous experience with Christian! The event actually took on an even higher level of impact than was expected. I knew that Christian was going to work "magic" but he took the student and faculty body by storm!

Dr. Pamela Kelly
Director of String Ensembles, Ravenscroft School

I think differently about music

I can't seem to find enough adjectives for describing the Creative Strings Workshop! It changed my way of thinking about music.

Brings the real world to the classroom

Christian's musical ability and jazz creativity is of the highest caliber and second to none in this genre. As a clinician and guest artist he is extremely accommodating as he brings the real world into the classroom.

Mitchell Lutch
Director of Bands, Central College

Couldn't stop talking about the workshop

I had a parent email me and tell me her daughter couldn’t stop talking about the workshop Chris came and did for my students. My student's mom said her daughter thought it was one of the "coolest things she's ever, ever, ever done”.

Corrie Franklin
Orchestra Director, Chapel Hill High School


Creative Strings is a non-profit organization with a mission to support music education through outreach, summer conference, and online curriculum.