February 21, 2018

Creative Strings Workshop (plus performances) – Brooklyn (March 15, 2018)


Join us on this night for NYC string players to connect, grow, and enjoy!

An interactive workshop from 7-8:45 will be followed by performances by Christian at  9pm and 10:30pm in the hip, comfortable Williamsburg Music Center.

All attendees to the workshop receive free entry to both sets.

The workshop is for string players seeking inspiration and professional development in improvisation, contemporary styles, and creative practice. 

Students, professionals, amateurs, and teachers are all welcome.


Williamsburg Music Center
367 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Full price: $50

*Get a discounted ticket for $35 if you order by March 5th

Workshop gets FREE entry to BOTH sets


Thursday, March 15th:

Workshop: 7 pm – 8:45 pm

Set 1: Christian Howes Presents Mezzi Schizzi, 9 pm

Set 2: Christian Howes with Cedric Easton (drums), and Evan Gregor (bass), 10:30 pm



  1. Become creatively self-expressed and develop your musical voice.
  2. Internalize harmony, voice-leading, scales, modes, and apply them.
  3. Become fluent in contemporary styles so you can jam with musicians outside of classical music, create YouTube covers, and more.
  4. Be able to use amplification and effects.
  5. Teachers: Gain age-appropriate sequences to share with students
  6. Gain comfort in improvisation, composition, and arranging.

Detailed Curriculum:

Improvisation, Contemporary Styles, and Related subjects for classically trained string players. Christian will draw from modules listed below during the Brooklyn workshop.

Tonal Improvisation, Arranging, and Composition

* This session teaches composition, voice leading, harmony, arranging, and improvisation through an integrated and comprehensive approach.


Amplified strings, Looping and Effects In The Classroom, Practice Room, And Stage

Short/description: This session presents an overview of how to use loops and effects as a tool for teaching, practice, and performance. Gain insights into the basics of looping technology, how to create loops, common issues with looping, and how to get your students excited about creative practice.

Related Video:


  1. As literary and musical form – Harmonic, Melodic, and Rhythmic applications.
  2. Insider tips including how to combine the major and minor pentatonic and/or blues scales
  3. How bass lines and inner voice patterns show up in common iterations of 12 bar blues


Free Improvisation and Non-Tonal Composition ? ?

Participants will compose in small groups using “composition games.” During this interactive session you will feel empowered by the end of the session to perform your compositions and apply what you learned in your daily practice or teaching.

Related Videos:

Conducted Group Improvisation

Using cue cards and a system of hand signals, Christian conducts a large ensemble in group improvisation.  Engage in call and response, looping, “musical wrestling”, vamps, modal grooves, occasional musical chaos, with a multitude of stylistic applications. Students can also conduct the improvising ensemble.

Conduction is a popular practice among contemporary ensembles worldwide, including small groups and even orchestras. Christian’s approach to conduction borrows from a variety of sources and caters to the skill set of classically trained string players.

Modal approach to improvisation:  Advanced and/or Intermediate.  How to apply a modal approach as an improviser, arranger, or composer.

Internalizing Harmony on the Violin, Viola, and Cello (advanced only)

An exhaustive approach to internalizing harmony on bowed string instruments. Including voice leading arpeggios, scales, and double stops and triple stops. Internalizing chord progressions via bass line, inner voices, and sequential patterns.  

Related Videos: “Anatomy of a Groove” Playlist

Have a question? Email Chris

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