An intensive music retreat for performers and teachers seeking transformative growth in a immersive, supportive setting. Limited to 20 people per session.

Creative Strings Workshop Asheville

A music retreat for performers and teachers seeking transformative growth.
Session A: Sunday, June 25th -Friday, June 30th
Session B: Sunday, July 2nd- Friday, July 7th

Build Musicianship, Gain Confidence

Do all this and more in a supportive environment (max 20 people) w/ Christian Howes & friends.

Most playing levels welcome- your desire to have a transformative musical experience is more important than your current playing level. Participants range from seasoned pros to adult learners with as little as 3 years playing experience. Email chris@christianhowes.com or schedule a free exploratory call. Teachers- get professional development to meet national standards for music education in improvisation, composition, arranging, and eclectic styles. Schedule a free exploratory call
Hear from 2022 participants:

Immerse Yourself

Find focus and calm in the beautiful Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy at the Christmount Retreat and Conference Center

Christmount Conference Center has plenty of space, indoors and outdoors, plus easy access to mountain hikes, water holes, woods, rivers, and other attractions.

Stay on-site in a private room with mini-fridge, microwave, bathroom, and two queen beds.

Practice and rehearse in the conference rooms, on the deck, outside in nature, or in your room.

Enjoy eating in the dedicated dining hall or outside near the garden.

From Sunday check-in (around 3 pm) to Friday breakfast- you’ll be surrounded by music, nature, and friends!

Local residents can also choose to commute each day- although we’d love for you to stay with us!

Want professional development but don’t want to travel? Take an online workshop instead.

Important: Participants will be subject to federal, state, and venue-based health and safety policies at the time of the events.  No refunds will be given to individuals who fail to adhere to policies. You can review current venue policies here

Transform your Musicianship

Connect with motivated  players and teachers in a supportive and nurturing environment.

Experience progress and accountability without vibing or negative judgment with the support of Christian, guest artists, and other participants.

Prior to the retreat we’ll set goals so that we can focus on the areas that you want to improve. The experience is totally customizable to your goals.  For example, two different participants on the same day in the same week might have the following experiences:

9:00 am Breakfast

10:00 am Conducted Free Improv

11:30 am Rehearse in large ensemble

12:30 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Tune-writing workshop

2:30 pm independent practice

3:40 pm 1-on-1 coaching

4:00 pm go for a swim

6:00 pm dinner

8:00 pm fiddle jam on deck

10:00 am Conducted Free Improv

11:30 am Rehearse in large ensemble

12:30 pm Lunch

1:30 pm Tonal improvisation workshop

2:30 pm Small group coaching

2:50 pm Small group rehearsal

4:00 pm independent practice

5:00 pm Grocery store run for late night snacks

6:00 pm dinner

8:00 pm social hour

Share your Music

All participants are invited but not required to participate in a range of performances throughout the week. The Creative Strings Asheville Retreat 2022 included the opportunity to perform at White Horse, Black Moutain Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  We expect to provide similar opportunities in 2023.  See the 2022 press release 

Plan Your Trip


Tuition is currently $1195 $995.

Lock in the current tuition rate when you register below.

Choose Your Food and Housing

Housing options:

Participants may book on-site through us (strongly recommended) or stay off-site on their own.

On-site rates are per room, per night.  Partners and other related non-participants are welcome.

Participants may also choose to lodge with other participants.  We can facilitate roommate searches, but cannot guarantee that you will find a match.

The rate for 2022 was $75/room/night.  Final onsite prices will be confirmed no later than a month before the retreat. 

Food options:

In 2023, we wiill be offering two meal plans for onsite meals:

  • breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • lunch/dinner only

Costs for similar meal plans in 2022 ranged from $113- $153. Final meal plan prices will be confirmed no later than a month before the retreat. 

Off-site meals (on concert evenings) will be the responsibility of individual participants. 


Register today

Select Your Session

If you would like to attend both sessions, you can!  Just complete a separate deposit for each session.

Deposits are non-refundable except in the case of complete cancellation of the event by the organizers. Credit for future events may be granted in extenuating circumstances at the organizer’s discretion.  

Not sure if joining us at Asheville is the right choice for you?  Schedule a call for more information.

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