November 6, 2017

Creative Strings Workshop- Europe (Feb 14-16, 2020)

Improvisation and Contemporary Styles for Bowed String Players

Presented by Baiju Bhatt, Christian Howes; Featuring Stephan Braun

This intensive mini-conference includes masterclasses, group lessons, and chamber music coaching for performers and teachers on bowed strings seeking professional development. 

Creative Musicianship Free Improvisation, Arranging, Composition, Modal, Harmonic, and Rhythmic internalization, Contemporary styles, and related subjects. 

Performers and teachers of all levels are welcome, including advanced jazz players and those with no improvisation training. Teen, adult, professional and amateur are all welcome.

Ecole de Musique Lausanne (EML) – Site de Ribaupierre
Avenue Georgette 5
1003 Lausanne


Nous continuons de voler sur l'élan des beaux jours passés, vraiment! Enseignement, pratique, concerts a volonté, c'était un cocktail magique... Mes notes et lectures au piano au conservatoire hier et aujourd'hui ont reçu une perspective tout à fait nouvelle maintenant. Extrêmement passionnant tout ça...

Ms Veronika Kuijken Violist, Pianist, Teacher

Juste un petit mot pour te dire à quel point on a été comblés par ces trois jours exceptionnels, tant du point de vue musical comme de celui humain. Vous avez créé quelque chose d'extraordinaire dont on a tellement besoin! À part la réussite et la qualité du stage, j'aimerais aussi souligner la richesse des rencontres qu'on y a fait: des liens magnifique sont nés en si peux de temps!

Mr Gabor Bartá Violonist, Teacher


SUPER EARLY BIRD Discounts! Claim Yours Now! 500 CHF 


Saturday, February 14th : 10h-18h
Sunday, February 15th : 10h-18h
Monday, February 16th : 10h-17h


✓Become creatively self-expressed and develop your musical voice.

✓Internalize harmony on your instrument

✓Become fluent in contemporary styles so you can jam with musicians outside of classical music.

✓Be able to use amplification and effects.

✓Get gigs and expand career opportunities

✓Teachers: Gain age-appropriate sequences to share with students

✓Gain comfort in improvisation, composition, and arranging.


Discovering New Musical Horizons

I had a fantastic time at the Creative Strings Workshop - Switzerland. I've been discovering new musical horizons, listening to great lessons on improvisation by tremendous violinist Christian Howes, having inspiring conversations and music with the other participants, listening to excellent concerts. Simply feeling good and in the right place, judgement-free.

Many thanks to all of you and - of course - to the soul of this experience: thank you Baiju Bhatt for making this happen and for being caring and supportive.

I suggest all my friends and colleagues string players willing to be creative with their instrument "throw away your Galamian" and go to the next Creative Strings Workshop!!!!

Ms Elena Califano Violinist, Teacher

Detailed Curriculum:

Improvisation, Contemporary Styles, and Related subjects for classically trained string players.


Tonal Improvisation, Arranging, and Composition

Through a series of interactive exercises, participants will learn how to create functional melodies over chord progressions.

Improvisation and composition are demystified as we discover how to construct melodies, bass lines, and accompaniment parts. 

Participants will improvise over chord progressions in a wide variety of styles.

* This session integrates composition, voice leading, arranging, contemporary styles/techniques, and tonal improvisation.

Amplification, Looping, & Effects In The Classroom, Practice Room, & 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 how to create loops and how to go beyond the basics.

Related Video:

Blues, as a historical and cultural phenomenon

As a literary form

As a musical form – Harmonically/Melodically/Rhythmically, in many iterations

The practice of combining the major and minor pentatonic and/or blues scales

Examining how bass lines and inner voice patterns show up in common iterations of 12 bar blues, and various common rhythmic/dance forms.

Free Improvisation and Non-Tonal Composition

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

Conducted Group Improvisation

Using cue cards and a system of hand signals, Christian teaches and leads conduction of large group improvisation.  Engage in call and response, looping, vamps, modal grooves, occasional musical chaos.

Participants can also conduct the 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 

Applying harmony on violin, viola, and cello. Including voice leading arpeggios, scales, and double stops and triple stops. Internalizing chord progressions via bass line, inner voices, and sequential patterns.  


Music Business – 

The Music Biz Mastermind seminar is based on the program Christian has used to help many professional musicians attract more projects, gigs, students, and clients, as detailed in testimonials from graduates HERE.

SUPER EARLY BIRD Discounts! Claim yours TODAY!

Partners: Compagnie Albertine, EJMA, Red Sun Prod.

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