Don’t miss out: Time-Sensitive Opportunity

Are you ready to go past playing prescribed parts?

Let me guess: You’re not a typical musician…or if you are typical, that’s no longer working for you.

If you’ve been playing for at least 1-2 years and want to go past playing prescribed parts- to make music in more varied, creative ways…

Then listen:

I am not a typical coach. I serve musicians who have been disappointed by other methods, schools, and teachers:

-Fiddlers told they had to do it the classical way or “just keep memorizing tunes and licks”, without being shown how to do backup, improvise, or gain technique in a way that worked for them.

-Classical players who want to go beyond classical without being forced into a “Jazz theory” box.

-Adult learners who don’t want to be taught in children’s learning models

– Longtime players and teachers who want to be able to function in more musical situations beyond the limit of playing prescribed melodies. 

I don’t care about your age, instrument, genre of choice, or learning style…

Rather, I teach musicians who want to enjoy music more and get better in a way that works for them.

I actually love the challenge, the difference, in figuring out what works for every student. It makes it more interesting. 

After 20 years of working on my teaching- I’ve discovered I’m shockingly good at helping students find their way forward, from wherever they’re at.

You can read plenty below about my method and all the courses available. I have recently expanded my flagship program, Creative Strings Academy, to provide you with monthly Practice Classes live on Zoom.

The classes include players, teachers, amateurs, and pros with many interests. You can get a lot out of it regardless of your level of advancement (assuming at least 2 years of playing experience.)

We have a full-time member of the NY Met, a violinist with a master’s degree from Juilliard, people in their 70s and 80’s who have been playing fiddle tunes for a few years self-taught….Suzuki and Orchestra Classroom teachers… A self-taught violinist living in Kenya… A member from Japan who doesn’t speak English.

We cover skills that apply across multiple styles of music. So whether you’re into Folk/Roots/Bluegrass/Worship/EDM/R&B/Jazz/Pop/Latin….you will be covered.

If you’ve seen my “play after me” lessons, these classes are exponentially deeper…

I prompt you with “FORMS” in these practice classes so you can decide what to play. You’ll improvise the entire time, even if you’ve never improvised. 

It’s like a Yoga or fitness class because you’ll be doing your practice the whole time. If you are passionate about your practice as a musician (or teacher), or want to enjoy music more and/or progress in your skills, this can profoundly help you- especially if you come regularly.

Students tell me my practice-along classes bring motivation, focus, enjoyment, clarity, and many aha moments. 100 students joined during the past 7 weeks of an intensive sprint of lessons.

I’m now opening classes every month for Creative Strings Academy members. You will now get monthly invitations to these classes if you are an active member. You don’t have to pay anything extra. 

You’ll play the entire time during the class except for Q and A at the end (when you can also receive 1-1 coaching from me in front of the class).

You’ll have access to our Private Facebook Group, where you can get personal reviews on your videos from me and other members.

I charge $300 per hour for private lessons, but every new member can take a 30-minute private lesson with me for free.  The private lesson with me will be valuable in terms of clarity you’ll get, which will save you time and reduce lots of pain and frustration.

You’ll get my support with anything that applies to your situation whether from musical practice (technique, harmony, improvisation in multiple styles)…. career support (how to get better gigs, etc..)  to teacher training (how to teach the things I teach.)

You can download 8 of my books and gain streaming access to the most extensive catalog of courses in the world designed for teaching bowed string players to improvise in eclectic styles.

This is a brand new addition to this sales page because I recently decided to make this change after 15 years of running Creative Strings Academy. So, just know that if you sign up below, you’ll pay $39.95 to get access, and you can get everything above. You can cancel anytime.

I plan to raise the cost of this program soon. If you join today, you will be grandfathered in at this insanely low rate.

Why should working with me help you if other things haven’t?

I could give you a lot of reasons why my teaching is unique:

To keep it brief… I’ve got “10,000 hours” in FOUR buckets of expertise

  • Classical Training (10k hours)
  • Eclectic Musical Styles and Situations (10k hours)
  • Entrepreneurship and Career Coaching (10k hours)
  • Teaching and Teacher Training (10k hours)

That’s 40k hours of expertise that positions me to help musicians and teachers go past playing prescribed melodies- to help you Holistically be the most satisfied, confident musician (or teacher) possible,

The bottom line is that I have helped many students, and I’m ready to help you.

So if you’re passionate about taking your musical practice beyond the limits that you have felt confined by, you can sign up below and try it out

Imagine being able to create your own works like this:

JOIN TODAY and get started

Creative Strings Academy Membership

24/7 Access to all premium courses mentioned on this page

Free, introductory 30-minute private lesson for first-time registrants

Digital Books to download and keep forever including:

  • Easy Tonal Improvisation Workbook
  • Jazz Scales for VIolin, Viola, and Cello
  • Jazz Arpeggios for Violin, Viola, and Cello
  • The Chromatic Universe (Chromatic Etudes and Mini-Pieces)
  • Easy Chords for Violin, VIola and Cello
  • The Violin Harmony Handbook
  • Quartal Etudes (Fourths)

Monthly review or video exchange

Join now, cancel anytime

Price: $39.95

Act now to access ALL premium courses below on this page.

“The only course I know for bowed string instruments to go beyond classical music with elements for the complete understanding of musical activity (harmony, rhythm, melody, etc.)

Hear what members are saying

What to Expect

You’ll get sequential video training w/ PDFs teaching you how to improvise and arrange in:

– Solo, Duo, Trio, Quartet

– Classical, latin, jazz, pop, folk, R&B, et al

– Bass, inner voices, melody, rhythm

– Arrange on the fly 

– Sound full playing unaccompanied

You'll Also Get:

⚫ Exercises to ingrain harmony in your fingers quickly

The 70-page Violin Harmony Handbook- “an incredible resource; well-thought-out.”

 Easy harmony for noobs

⚫ Complex voicings  for  advanced 

⚫ Rhythm and groove for many styles and configurations

⚫ Clinics you can play along with.“It’s powerful that you were able to take high school students as far as you did. Anyone can learn this stuff.”

jazz scales for violin, viola, and cello visual icon
ultimate Scales Resource

Think,Flesch, Galamian, and Kreutzer for contemporary players“. Scales provided in extended range for violin, viola, and cello in all twelve keys. The forward explains how to optimize scale practice to develop harmonic fluency.

(Sells normally for $19.95)

arpeggios book icon
ultimate Arpeggios Resource

Commonseventh chords are provided in all inversions for violin, cello, and viola, in all keys. The forward outlines how to use this book to expand your harmonic vocabulary and improvise with greater comfort and ease.

(Sells normally for $19.95)

Violin harmony handbook visual icon
70-page Violin Harmony Handbook

Packed with practice exercises, a chord glossary, and solo transcriptions. It’s like Paganini for improvisers.

(Sells normally for $29.95)

-Private mentoring from me through video exchange


Limited Time Offer– Schedule a free private Zoom lesson when you join today.

Creative Strings Academy Membership

24/7 Access to all premium courses mentioned on this page

Free, introductory 30-minute private lesson for first-time registrants

Digital Books to download and keep forever including:

  • Easy Tonal Improvisation Workbook
  • Jazz Scales for VIolin, Viola, and Cello
  • Jazz Arpeggios for Violin, Viola, and Cello
  • The Chromatic Universe (Chromatic Etudes and Mini-Pieces)
  • Easy Chords for Violin, VIola and Cello
  • The Violin Harmony Handbook
  • Quartal Etudes (Fourths)

Monthly review or video exchange

Join now, cancel anytime

Price: $39.95

About me, Christian Howes:

Classically trained from age 5, I became hungry for new challenges in my teens.

That curiosity helped me develop the skills to go beyond classical, the freedom to be creative, and insights to teach others.

While an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, my work was adopted and is still used, as required study for all string majors.

I decided to create an affordable way for string players to receive my training.

I’ve taught classes at Juilliard, Eastman, Oberlin, Miami, and hundreds of colleges, schools, and conferences while refining this online platform and hosting retreats worldwide.

Players who credit my teaching as an influence include:

Michael Doucet (Grammy-winning Cajun fiddler), Aubrey Haney (Acclaimed Nashville Session Fiddler )

Leah Zeger (Hans Zimmer), Alex Hargreaves (Chris Thile), Andrea Whitt (Shania Twain & Zucchero Farinacci)

Mike Barnett (Ricky Skaggs), Jeremy Kittle (Turtle Island Quartet), & more…

You’ll get:

Immediate access to all courses.

A link to schedule a free private lesson

Access to personal feedback from me monthly via email or video exchange


A World of Improvisation, Contemporary Styles, & Related Subjects

You might be thinking, “I’ve already studied theory!”

Because of our training, most classical players struggle to hear and apply harmony. 

We improvise inconsistently if at all.

Since we already know how to play our instrument, we’re led to assume wrongly:

“If I just listen and try harder, I’ll get it.”

Another common mistake is to practice too many new things at once.

 I encourage you to separate practice into three pillars:

Stylistic & Rhythmic Forms
Creative Processes

Since this is based on fundamentals, you’ll gain the ability to adapt your playing to many styles without memorizing licks or obsessing over stylistic nuances.

Busting the Myth of “Having a Good Ear”

Like most Suzuki kids, I was proud of my ability to learn melodies by ear.

I didn’t realize how limited my ears were until I joined a rock band in high school and discovered that I could not recognize:

  •  notes below the register of the violin
  •  chords
  •  melodies that were different than classical

When I combined listening with reading, my ears developed faster.

I had just needed to know what to listen to and look for.

How to Visualize Harmony on a String Instrument:

I struggled to apply harmony on the violin fingerboard.

Then I discovered that visualizing it on paper could speed up the process, like training wheels on a bike.

I developed a visual aid for this. like a diagram. 

The diagram shows all the points of connection in the chord progressions.  By reading along with it, and applying a few exercises, you’ll never look at harmony the same way again. 

This is all in my course, “Easy Tonal Improvisation”.  

The course sells for $69, but you can access it (and all my courses) with your membership.

Once you understand the framework of Easy Tonal Improvisation, I’ll show you:

– the quickest ways to memorize harmony without the diagram.

– the ultimate scale and arpeggio resources for violin, viola, and cello.

-how to master complex harmonies in the Violin Harmony Handbook.

The best part:  Instead of practicing more, you’ll accomplish more in less time by integrating the practice of improvisation, harmony, and technique.

Honoring Your Creative Process

You might assume that you need to spend years mastering harmony before you can be creative.

With my framework, you’ll be able to start in five minutes, regardless of technical ability or theoretical understanding.

My creative process exercises will show you:

-How to create something new every time you pick up your instrument

-How to improvise free from harmonic constraints

-How to constructively evaluate your creative works

Wherever you’re at now in terms of technique, theory, or style.

Classical training provides important foundations.

But let’s face it- It also leaves a lot out.

I’ll help you bridge that gap via the three pillars of my approach:


-Stylistic & Rhythmic Forms

-Creative Process

Whether you’re just beginning to go beyond classical, an intermediate improviser, or an advanced jazz player, you’ll become a more versatile and creative player (or teacher) with access to the courses below, including video, downloadable PDF’s, and backing tracks.

Training for All Levels (Violin, Viola, & Cello)

Jazz Scales for Violin, Viola, and Cello eBook (Download)

Scales in extended range for violin, viola, and cello in all keys.  Including how to practice them.

Sells normally for $19.95

Arpeggios for Jazz Violin, Cello, and Viola (Download) 

arpeggios for jazz violin cello and viola Seventh chords are provided in all inversions for the ranges of violin, cello, and viola, in all keys. The extensive forward outlines how to use this book to expand your harmonic vocabulary and  improvise with greater comfort and ease.

Sells normally for $19.95

Free Improvisation Master Series (Video Download)

Begin creating now regardless of your current level. Gain concrete steps to help you develop a personal sound.  Develop a clear value system for improvisation in any setting.

Sells normally for $50.00


Teaching Improvisation Series (Video Download)

Improvisation for classical musiciansFor teachers! This series focuses on ways to teach improvisation to students of all ages.

Sells normally for $24.95



violin harmony handbookThe 70-page Violin Harmony Handbook is packed with conceptual, intuitive, and analytical practice exercises, a chord glossary, and solo transcriptions.

(Think “Paganini for improvisers!”)

Sells normally for $34.95

Jazz Violin Harmony Fundamentals Series Bundle (Videos and Handbook – Downloads)

Concepts discussed in the handbook above are demonstrated in this series of videos.

Sells normally for $45.00


Easy Tonal Improvisation (Video and Worksheet Download)

Great for any player with basic reading skills. Using the “chord stacks” diagram, you’ll glide through chord progressions, literally connecting the dots to form coherent melodies, accompaniments, or arrangements in many styles. Great for making Youtube covers, looping, arranging your parts for a band, and more.

Sells normally for $24.95

Bach Prelude For Electric Violin and Loop Pedal Series

Jazz Violin Tutorial w/ Loop Pedal on Bach PreludeA four-part series related to  Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in G Major. Use a loop pedal to create layers of improvisations. Play in odd time signatures and structure your improvisation with more variety.

Sells normally for $24.95

Blues Improvisation Series (Video and Backing Tracks Download)

 If you want to sound “less classical-sounding”, this will help you play more authentically within Blues-related idioms including Pop, Rock, R and B, Jazz, Gospel, or Hip Hop.  Learn to develop harmonic tension and release by combining two blues scales (most people miss out on this!)

Sells normally for $24.95


How to Play Bossa and Samba for Bowed Strings- While Bossa and Sambas are traditional forms from Brazil, they’re at the core of more music than you probably realize. You’ll learn how to feel the clave and adapt your melodies to fit the clave. You’ll be able to create your own accompaniment parts and arrange in these styles.

Sells normally for $24.95

These are appropriate if you’re an advanced improviser or you’re interested in playing Jazz:

Diminished Scale Master Series (Video and MP3 Download)

The Diminished scale is an essential sonic color in modern jazz. One of the most magical scales, you’ll get step-by-step exercises to integrate this Modern Jazz vernacular into your playing.

Sells normally for $19.95

Bebop Scales Master Series (Video and Worksheet Download)

This course will help you play fast streams of 8th notes over jazz standards, sound authentic within the Jazz lexicon, and play over 2-5-1 progressions easily. The secrets of the bebop scale, known to seasoned jazz musicians, are laid out clearly for violinists, violists, and cellists.

Sells normally for $19.95

Melodic Minor Series (Advanced)

The melodic minor scale is one of the essential tools used by expert jazz players to express modern jazz vernacular, and in this series, you’ll quickly understand how to add this sound to your vocabulary.

Sells normally for $19.95


 ** New: “Playing Without A Net”. See the top of this page for details.

Sells normally for $125


You’ll also discover:

-Chopping & Rhythmic Extended Techniques

-Modal improvisation for Rock, EDM, Bluegrass, & world music.

-How to break out of playing the same licks.

-20th Century Classical-sounding free improvisation

-How to use Amplification, Effects, and Looping,

-How to interpret a chord chart at first sight

-Sequencing and randomness

-The secret to performing unaccompanied without sounding boring or like something is missing

-Bonus transcriptions and scores.

-If there’s something you want that’s missing (within reason), I’ll create it.

“Is it Right for Me”?

If you can say “yes” to any of these questions, I believe you’re perfect for Creative Strings Academy:

-Are you over the age of 12 with at least a few years of experience playing violin, viola, or cello?

-Do you teach private lessons or k-12 strings?

-Do you have a classical or fiddle background?

-Are you a seasoned improviser or jazz player, looking for more advancement and depth?

My Guarantee:

If you spend as little as two hours per week with this course, you’ll gain takeaways including:

-How to make more of your practice time,

-How to dissect the harmonic and rhythmic components of any tune

-How to develop your own personal sound

-How to make sense of different styles of music beyond classical

TeachersGive your students a new curriculum relevant to their needs

You’ll receive seven of my most popular downloadable resources and a free 30-minute private with me lesson valued at $100.

What’s training like this Worth to You?

-You could get somewhat comparable training at a top conservatory paying over $30,000 per year in tuition alone.

-You could do research, hire a private teacher in your city, for about $300 per month.

Or, you could consider everything I’ve shared here, and…

Get it for much less than that

Enjoy streaming access to all course materials.

Download all literature (to keep forever)

Get access to personal feedback from me on a regular basis

Schedule a free private lesson with a leading expert.

If you’re not thrilled with the value you get from this, simply send an email to cancel anytime.

Get Personalized Feedback

When you submit videos or questions, I personally respond, so you can improve the things that are important to you.

Connect One to One

Schedule a free private lesson, and I’ll point out opportunities to grow quickly in accordance with your goals.


Just hit “Subscribe” below and you’ll get immediate access to Creative Strings Academy, all of the current bonuses, access all-area pass to the site for the next 30 days AND a free 30-minute private lesson for new students. 

If you stay beyond 30 days, you’ll be charged $39.95 a month.  You can cancel at ANY time and keep all of the bonuses you received when you joined. Just cancel your subscription through PayPal or email support@christianhowes.com

Creative Strings Academy Membership

24/7 Access to all premium courses mentioned on this page

Free, introductory 30-minute private lesson for first-time registrants

Digital Books to download and keep forever including:

  • Easy Tonal Improvisation Workbook
  • Jazz Scales for VIolin, Viola, and Cello
  • Jazz Arpeggios for Violin, Viola, and Cello
  • The Chromatic Universe (Chromatic Etudes and Mini-Pieces)
  • Easy Chords for Violin, VIola and Cello
  • The Violin Harmony Handbook
  • Quartal Etudes (Fourths)

Monthly review or video exchange

Join now, cancel anytime

Price: $39.95