Creative Strings Workshop

Take your music, teaching, and/or career to the next level with personal support and clear structure over 7 weeks.

Camp is in session! The current round will end February 21st, 2022

Does This Sound Like You?

You wonder if you'll ever learn to improvise, play more styles authentically, or find your own creative voice.

Tired of the same practice routines, gigs & repertoire, and ready to finally get off of the sidelines and join the jam.

Freelancers- You know you can play but you still aren't getting paid what you're worth & you're tired of the feast and famine cycle.

Teachers- overwhelmed and burnt out with online teaching? Want to teach skills which are more relevant to your students' diverse musical interests.

Introducing Creative Strings Workshop

CSW  is a boot camp for musicians who don’t want another degree and do want to clear the most pressing blocks holding them back in their musicianship, teaching, or career.

During 8 course cycles, we’ve had student, amateur, and professional players and teachers from all over the world take their personal playing, careers, and teaching to new heights. 

Hear What Participants Are Saying

is music theory necessary by christian howes


When I was 16 my friends started a band.

I remember thinking, “I’m not creative like them”.  

That thought crushed me.

I wondered, “What if I could learn to be Creative”? 

I joined and kept joining bands, eventually finding my own Creative sound, career path, and teaching method.

I’m Christian Howes.


I help musicians solve these problems: 

  • Inconsistency with improvisation in any style
  • Not knowing the chords to the songs you play
  • You have a stack of things to practice and a million things you feel you need to get better at, but come out of the practice session not really sure what you did, or whether you improved anything in a permanent way
  • Not really knowing how to organize, moment to moment, what to focus on in your practice, teaching, or for your career.
  • You feel unsure of how to join in or initiate creative musical collaborations
  • You settle for gigs you don’t want even though you’re qualified for ones you do want
  • Your students want to play music relevant to their interests but you don’t know how to help them because you never developed those skills. 

All you have to do to move forward is Show up for 90 minutes once per week .

The 7-week full package Includes:

  • 1-1 coaching with me to clarify your goals and action plan.
  • A workbook to track progress & stay accountable.
  • Fourteen 2-hour+ Zoom Group Guided Practice Sessions w/ replays available.
  • Small group discussions on entrepreneurship, pedagogy, and online teaching frameworks for teachers
  • Pop Up Office Hours times for additional Q and A related to your practice, teaching, and/or career
  • Access to our private Facebook group with an extensive curriculum from me and other mentors 
  • 49-day premium email drip course
  • Seven downloadable digital books
  • My Personal feedback on all your work and questions

Accomplish Your Goals doing only the work which is relevant to you

Practice, teach, and/or run your business in only ways that directly create the outcomes you want. 

Whether you’re a hobbyist, freelancer, or teacher, I’ll help you focus on only the actions that are highest-yielding for what you want to accomplish.

You’ll be supported by a structured curriculum, personal feedback, community, and accountability. 


Teach online efficiently
 Attract & engage students
Learn creative musicianship 


Become a more versatile, functional, creative, and bulletproof musician


Attract a more consistent stream of better projects, clients, and income

You’ll also get…

Unlimited Personal Feedback on Your Progress

Post your work to get feedback from me and the mentors.

This workshop has shown me how to get out of my all-improvs-sound-the-same rut. The content is well explained through videos, meetings and invaluable comments on my own uploaded videos from jazz violinist extraordinaire, Christian Howes and his team. Highly recommended!

Cathy Irons
first violinist, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Post your work, finished or not, whenever is convenient for you.


You’ll get units covering musical, pedagogical, and career-related applications like: (click on topic for description)

Use these to expand your or your students’ musical skills:


Gain the ability to compose, arrange, and improvise over tonal chord progressions in any style. Apply the skills to your own projects, like arranging your own covers, writing your own parts in a band, or accompanying your students.


  • 10 play-along videos with Chris and a young student
  • 3 play-a-long video masterclasses with Chris
  • 3 play-a-long videos with Chris and a high school orchestra (90 minutes)
  • A printable workbook so you can work away from your computer or instrument.
  • Backing tracks in multiple styles
  •  Visual diagrams which will help you to always choose the “right notes” from minute one. If you’re classically trained, this will change the way you see harmony forever.


Start creating your own music immediately-no theory necessary. Includes:

    • 11-part play-along series requiring no previous experience
    • 5-part play-along series requiring no previous experience
    • A list of 100 ideas for free improvisations

After spending ten minutes with this module, you will be improvising freely. Guaranteed. Many members record 5-20 improvisations every day using this module alone.


Record composed or improvised performances to backing tracks in various styles. These are great “mini projects” for you or your students.

1. Music Styles

  • Advanced Jazz Harmony

How to use bebop scales to play fast, burning lines over jazz and other styles.
Dive into melodic minor for a Gypsy Jazz or modern sound.
Master blending pentatonic scales together to make your lines sound richer in Blues and related styles.

  • Bossa and Samba

Perform beautiful melodies in these gentle, accessible, Brazilian styles.

  • Blues

Internalize rhythms, scales, forms, and a few key secrets that no one else will teach you.

  •  Rock

Master the anatomy of rock licks and style. Jam out to piees like “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix

2. Fiddle 

Learn tunes by ear or by sheet music. Learn how to apply stylistic bowings or how to accompany, solo, and chop if you want.

3. Modal Improv

Learn to improve using modes. Useful for rock, blues, fiddle styles, jazz and more..

4. Efficient Practice

Learn how to incorporate harmony, rhythm, and improv into your technical warm-ups for increased gains in less time.

5. Rhythmic Internalization

Develop your sense of groove in styles beyond classical

Most teachers are working harder teaching online. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Learn the exact online teaching strategies I’ve used for 12 years by restructuring your teaching to 

  • save time
  • teach better
  • make more money if you work for yourself.

You will learn (amongst other things):

✅ How to make a single piece of content to attract new students, leverage existing students, & create recurring revenue if you’re self-employed. 

✅ How to create an engaged student community in minutes, increasing value & saving time. 

✅ How to effectively run and sell group classes, 1-1 lessons, online courses and more.

✅ 5 easy steps to “Flip Your Classroom”. Instead of teaching lessons live and giving homework, students learn the lesson at home, from a piece of media, and then you help them refine and improve live

The Ripple Effects of Flipping the Classroom

  • Private teachers gain the ability to charge much more for your time if you work for yourself.
  • If you’re a classroom teacher with a salary, you can be more present to the things you want the most for your students; and take care of yourself better.
  • Freelancers (such as performers)- teach with more confidence, even if you don’t have a certification or ed degree.

There are 5 steps, which when combined, make flipping your classroom or studio optimal, using only free technologies that everyone knows.

When you do these things, you will:

  • reduce overwhelm
  • be able to charge much more (if you work for yourself)
  • easily manage more students
  • attract new students and clients
  • focus on higher level values and evolution of your studio or program as a whole
  • cover more standards or objectives
  • personalize to a wider range of levels

If teaching online feels hard, you should not miss this opportunity to flip your classroom or studio.

Entrepreneurs: I’ll show you the tactics and strategies I use to

  • Escape the feast-or-famine cycle.
  • Attract a more consistent stream of projects, clients, and income.
  • Have more time and energy to devote to other things you care about, like music, self-care, and time with loved ones.
  • Gain clarity and confidence to take action on things that serve your vision and align with your values.

You’ll have access to extensive cutting edge curriculum related to musical skills, teaching online, and entrepreneurship.  While you can access some of this curriculum by purchasing our DIY courses, the structure, personal attention, and community of this guided bootcamp is set up to ensure you finally get it done.

Interactive Group Classes & Guided Practice Sessions

Attend fast-paced guided practice sessions every week. 

I and other guest teachers set the material and pace and you practice along, with modifications provided in every exercise to suit your level of advancement.

Replace or boost your regular practice in as little as 90 minutes per week.

Unlike a lecture, Creative Strings Guided Practice Sessions are more like a group class at the gym, yoga studio, or a VR experience for musicians.
*** You have the option to forego our Full Package and enroll in ONLY the weekly guided practice sessions
The 7-week series of group classes includes:
  • styles, skills, and practice frameworks for all levels
  • Scheduled time with a trainer in a group means you get it done.
  • Two days and times offered weekly so students worldwide can conveniently make one per week. (Thursday at 12:00 ET and Saturday at 19:30 ET (7:30 pm)
  • Opportunities to receive 1-1 coaching 
  • Optional break out times for Teachers and Entrepreneurs 

As a professional musician, the highly organized musical plan of being able to understand & play improvisational music with feeling via the live zoom sessions was both highly inspiring and challenging

Michael Doucet
Grammy Award Winning VIolinist

Review- Everything You Get with Full Access:

  • The ability to focus on your goals in a project-based format
  • Personal feedback on your work from me and other mentors
  • Interactive Classes in a community to make sure you get it done
  • Access to premium learning materials
  • Materials to share with your students in school-friendly formats (***Teacher Licensing plans only)
  • Two private coaching sessions with me

What’s this Worth?

  • It’s comparable to a semester of conservatory, where the most affordable programs are priced at a few thousand dollars

    Schools like Berklee, where I used to teach, cost tens of thousands.

    Consider whether other options can offer you:

    • this level of cutting edge curriculum.
    • real time personalized feedback.
    • personalized learning path.
    • a diverse community of committed students
    • a full seven weeks for even close to this price.

The next several years will be dedicated to internalizing your zoom classes and the handbooks. The amount of knowledge gained in 7 weeks online boot camp far outpaced 2 weeks of daily attendance at more traditional jazz camps.

Michael McWilliams

I wish that I could have taken a course like this when I was in college. Christian demonstrates on his violin with ease, explains things clearly, gives individual feedback, there's plenty of review, and he does it all with a philosophy of inclusion and encouragement.

Frances Gall
Violinist from Castlemaine, Victoria

Lean In

When I chose to take a leap 35 years ago and join that band, it put me in a position to lead and thrive as:

Top call violinist in NYC
-Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music
-An online teaching pioneer 
– A recording artist on hundreds of albums and films

-Producing 16 of my own albums, touring the world, producing festivals and workshops, founding a non-profit, and more.

When you decide that your development is worth investing in, you’ll be able to:

-Connect with a wider range of musicians
-Share your music and teaching with confidence
-Attract and follow through on more opportunities

In short, you’ll be ready to thrive in this new world on your own terms.


Meet Your Support Team

 You’ll have the support of these mentors!





Cathy Irons




Sign up Below for the Winter 2022 Session
(January 3rd- February 21st)

Individual Access:

Registration for the Winter session is now closed.  Please check back later for Spring registration.

Zoom Only

  • Access to Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Replays of Live Zoom Classes
  • Opportunity to Receive Feedback During Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Private Facebook Group and Premium Course Materials
  • Unlimited Asynchronous Feedback
  • Two 30-minute Lessons or Consultations
  • Custom lessons package
  • Licensing Permission to Share Materials with Your Own Students

Full Access

  • Access to Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Replays of Live Zoom Classes
  • Opportunity to Receive Feedback During Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Private Facebook Group and Premium Course Materials
  • Unlimited Asynchronous Feedback
  • Two 30-minute Lessons or Consultations
  • Custom lessons package
  • Licensing Permission to Share Materials with Your Own Students

Don’t have the full amount on hand?  Click below to pay in installments.

Deluxe Access

Varies- limited availability
  • Access to Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Replays of Live Zoom Classes
  • Opportunity to Receive Feedback During Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Private Facebook Group and Premium Course Materials
  • Unlimited Asynchronous Feedback
  • Two 30-minute Lessons or Consultations
  • Custom lessons package
  • Licensing Permission to Share Materials with Your Own Students


For teachers who want to use Creative Strings materials in their classroom or studio.

Full Access + Material Licensing

Priced by class/studio size
  • Access to Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Replays of Live Zoom Classes
  • Opportunity to Receive Feedback During Live Zoom Classes
  • Access to Private Facebook Group and Premium Course Materials
  • Unlimited Asynchronous Feedback
  • Two 30-minute Lessons or Consultations
  • Custom lessons package
  • Licensing Permission to Share Materials with Your Own Students

up to 30 students


up to 60 students


up to 100 students



When are the Group Classes Scheduled?

Every Thursday at 12-2 pm US Eastern

Every Saturday at 7:30- 9:30 pm US Eastern

****Classes often go longer than 2 hours.

How Long Can I Access the Zoom Group Class Replays?

For six months following the end of the course.

Can I receive 1-1 feedback during the Group Classes?

Yes you can ask questions anytime and there are masterclass-style 1-1 coaching opportunities following the first 90 minutes of every group class.

Will I receive Personalized 1-1 Attention?

Yes. You’ll receive unlimited personal feedback from me via our secret FB group. When you post video, audio, or written work examples or questions, I respond within 48 hrs or sooner. If you choose not to use the FB group or have something private to share you can email me.

Two Private Lessons or Consults

Schedule at your convenience on my calendar. These allow me to help you orient your goals and practice routines throughout the course so you get the most out of it.

Office Hours

Drop in to ask me questions on Zoom at specified times. Come and go as you like during office hours.

Masterclass coaching and/or small group discussions

following each group class.

How can this workshop help me achieve my personal goals?

A project-based approach allows you to gain skills while creating works you can reflect on, share, and be proud of. 

 I’ll help you choose your starting project(s), goals, and learning path in week one. 


Projects can include practice excerpts, short improvisations, arrangements, recordings, as well as lesson plans for teachers or marketing materials for freelancers.

What if I don’t use Facebook?

That’s fine! You can share privately via email. Many people find FB useful for getting the most out of this course. You do not need to share your public profile to benefit.


  •  Watch what all participants are doing. Network, learn from each other and gain accountability.
  • Curriculum and feedback from other Mentors

What is the Curriculum?

  1. All my premium Creative Strings multi-media courses. It is the most comprehensive curriculum for creative string players on earth.  
  2. Entrepreneurship 
  3. Flipping the Classroom- How to Teach Online Efficiently & Effectively 

What if I don’t want to work on all of these topics?

The course is designed for participants to choose any of these according to their goals. We have separate times and places to discuss the topics you are most interested in. 

During our private consults we will narrow in on the goals that are important to you and I will support you in choosing a path to reach them.

What if I don’t have hours to devote every week or I’ll be away off and on?

  • Participants benefit from this course with as little as 2-3 hours per week. You can replace your normal practice time with this course. Missing days or weeks is not a problem.  Everything is asynchronous except for live group classes scheduled at two times each week for your convenience, and you have access to replays if you miss. You’ll have 8 weeks to make the most of this.
  • Submit your work on your schedule, your pace. Submissions include any and all practice excerpts, videos, questions, et al.

Are there Guest Teachers?

Yes. Not only will we have special guest teachers for portions of  Zoom Group Classes; you’ll receive access to our mentors via the FB group and some of their curriculum.

I Just Want Private lessons. Can I do that?

I offer VIP packages for private coaching. I recommend the course as a typical first step, and/but I am happy to provide info on our limited premium packages. Reach out to

Premium Email Drip Course

Lessons, inspiration, and accountability.

What are the different pricing plans exactly?

Early Registration Price ranges from $399 and up.


  • (Recommended) Premium Access - $899 includes group classes, unlimited asynchronous support, access to premium curriculum in the private Facebook group, and two 1-1 private consults.

  • (On a Budget) Group Classes Only - $399


  • Teacher Special License -  Includes everything in Premium Access PLUS licenses to share lesson plans and curriculum directly with your students.  Pricing is from $1200-1600 depending on number of students, plus custom options.  

I’m a Teacher trying to understand how the difference in plans applies to me?

****** If you are a Teacher you can join any of the plans.


Join the premium access plan specifically for your own PD. 

Join the licensing plan if you’d like the ability to share step by step curriculum and lesson plans directly with students. 


-Schools/Districts often sponsor teachers to participate. Ask us if you need help getting support from your school.

What’s different about the “licensing” plans for Teachers?

If you join the licensing plan it allows you to share curriculum, courses, and work-books directly with your students in privacy-approved formats.

 You’ll get my personal support in overseeing your students’ work. I’ll also show you how to flip the classroom, i.e., teach efficiently/effectively online. Custom curriculum is possible as well for your students.  You do not have to join the licensing plan to gain from the course as a teacher.

I have more questions. Can I speak with a human?

Yes. I will be happy to meet with you personally to answer any questions via phone or Zoom. Schedule 1-1 exploratory call with me at this LINK (acuity) or text me (in USA/CAN) at 614-332-8689

Hear What Participants Are Saying

British Composer Award for Lifetime Achievement, recipient (2018) 

Christian Howes' course is a wake-up call to everyone who says 'I can't improvise'. Whatever level you have reached 'technically'- whether amateur, teacher, performer- this course is life-changing, will unlock your creativity and inspire you to believe in your own potential and unique musical voice.

Sally Beamish
Professional classical violinist & composer for theater, film & TV 

My 3 teen daughters haven’t been that excited about practicing. But when they got done playing to your videos they were so excited that they could actually play along with Senorita and said how much fun you were… and they loved your encouraging comments during the videos. A Mom can only say so much! Way to go!

Martha Hannaford
Fiddler/Vocalist, Concert Promoter and Instructor at Fiddle Bee

A Teacher that Understands

Thanks Christian Howes for providing this amazing platform. I'm so happy and relieved to have found a teacher that understands the frustrations of coming from a rigid classical background, and more importantly one who knows a way out into a wider world!!

Sarah Cross
Conservatorium van Amsterdam Alumni

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.

Leave Your Ego at the Door

Right from day 1, the vibe was open, welcoming and encouraging, and Chris made it clear that this week was all about each player going at their own pace, pushing themselves beyond their own comfort zones, and making new discoveries and connections in our own playing and this creative string community. I felt so supported and encouraged and I made so many friends and professional contacts in this “leave your ego at the door” environment. I truly felt that everyone at CSW entered in the spirit of mutual growth and sharing of knowledge, not some kind of week long competition to play every tune in all 12 keys. I love my Creative Strings community!!!

Sue Buzzard

Chris is extremely generous in sharing his knowledge and insights. He is extremely talented as a performer and teacher and I feel very fortunate to have attended this class.

Heather Lander
Cellist from Australia

A Game-Changer

This workshop has been a game-changer for me. In a short amount of time, I've made huge leaps forward in my playing and grown in confidence. I'm finding that I'm utilizing elements of what I've learnt in everything I do, from creating, to teaching and facilitating, to singing rhythmic patterns as I'm washing up!

Fritha Jenkins
Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts, London

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Dave Kline
jazz/blues/rock violinist

Very inspirational. CAN'T GET ENOUGH! Has given me lots of ideas on what to work on. I now feel I can move forward creating interesting loops. I know how to learn a piece in a way that will allow me to comp better.

Lorenz Weston-Salzer

I wanted to start to feel more comfortable with improv and genres outside of classical. This camp was a great stepping stone to getting my feet wet. There is so much to do still but I at least feel like I have a much better understanding of direction and how to move forward in regards to improv, harmony, rhythm, etc.

Gabrielle Fischler

Chris is a genius creative teacher -- i've rarely seen his level of expansive creativity- it's super inspiring. I've not practiced much in a while, but he has me inspired to play my violin again for fun. I'm just getting so much enjoyment from this- it's so inspiring to take the zooms, and really fun to see what others are doing on fb.

Lori Trew
Orchestra Teacher

Total Fun

Playing in 5 and 7 has improved my rhythm and is total fun! Recording my improvisations helps me to be more creative and is total FUN. I'll probably be drilling I, IV, V, I for a long time. But it's FUN!! Playing scales and chords in extended range is a more FUN way to practice and has helped me understand harmony and know the fingerboard better than I ever learned in music school. I've also always been afraid to play by ear, but have improved by playing along with your videos. It's humbling and FUN!

Belinda Swanson

Love the drip course!

I gained inspiration and am starting to learn the freedom and joy of the non-classical approach. Love the drip course!

Anna Helgadottir

Simple Steps

The simple steps offered--identify triad chord tones, play chord tones, use inner voices to move between chord tones-- make achieving some success a faster process.

Sandra Woolley