Take your music, teaching, and/or career to the next level with personal support and clear structure over seven weeks. Join from anywhere around the world.
Take your music, teaching, and/or career to the next level with personal support and clear structure over seven weeks. Join from anywhere around the world.
Close the gaps in your skills and transform your musicianship, whether you’re a student, amateur, or elite performer.
Show up once per week with your instrument ready to play along. Or choose premium for a more intensive experience.
You can play your instrument but you're unsure if you'll ever be able to improvise, feel confident playing with a band, or have your own creative voice.
When you improvise you're not sure of the chords you're playing over, you repeat the same few ideas, or you feel like your improvisations are too "classical sounding".
You like to practice but when you come out of the practice room you're not sure whether anything you did led to measurable growth in the areas you're most interested in improving.
You're afraid that your skill gaps point to an inherent deficiency in your musicianship because no one has ever given you a clear structured way to overcome them
Gain clear structure to deepen your foundation of improvisation, harmony, & rhythm in various styles, so you can collaborate confidently with other musicians or share your own creative works. For amateurs, mature students, and elite performers.
Teach skills relevant to your students’ interests. Increase student engagement, promote diversity, encourage independent learning, and meet national standards related to improvisation, composition, arranging, and eclectic styles.
Attract a more consistent stream of better projects and income
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 had nothing to lose. Playing violin in a rock band was novel in 1988. I could play anything and audiences would be impressed.
Except I didn’t want to just be a novelty. I wanted to feel on par with the other members of the band. They spoke a different language and I felt somehow on the outside.
As I tried to fit in with my friends in the rock band I realized that there were so many skills and topics I had never received via classical training- like groove, chord progressions, scales, licks, arranging, composition (when to play and when not to play), & how to play amplified.
I learned what I could from rock musicians and kept joining bands, from R&B and Gospel to Bluegrass, Latin, Jazz, and more…
Each time I met a new community of musicians I felt locked on the outside, doubting whether I had what it takes as a musician to gain their respect.
While I could impress audiences with novelty, chops, or tone, the musicians saw through me. Since I lacked experience and knowledge of their musical culture, I’d bulldoze ahead, oblivious to mistakes I was making that were pushing me further away from the very musicians I wanted to be accepted by.
Mocked by musicians who made faces onstage behind my back
Told to “do a two-step and hit a cowbell” (not allowed to play violin!).
Made to sit through jam sessions for hours without being invited up.
Cursed, insulted, even threatened..
Many of these “misunderstandings” could have been avoided if I simply asked the right questions, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Luckily I met mentors along the way. Their help combined with time spent in a wide range of musical situations led me to develop skills, a personal voice, and most importantly, self-acceptance. I finally realized that I am creative, and that I am enough, regardless of my limits.
I eventually built a method to help other string players save decades of painful trial and error.
I help musicians solve these problems:
You’ll learn in 7 weeks what it took me decades of trial and error to figure out on my own.
Many bowed string players tell me that they have trouble remembering, hearing, or applying the chords of songs.
It doesn’t help that:
But while we don’t have shortcuts for learning chords like guitarists or pianists, that’s okay! You’ll get a simply way to “see” the voice leading (i.e., the relationships between all chord tones in a chord progression).
Following my step-by-step process will prepare you to:
You’ll gain the ability to apply this system to all kinds of tonal music based on triads, from folk to rock, pop, worship, and more.
Many musicians postpone improvising until they learn harmony, licks, and/or songs.
In The Creative Strings Workshop you’ll get start improvising right away, whether or not you have technical facility, theory, or stylistic language.
Whenever you invest time in building your own language or sound, tension or resistance can come up around not wanting to sound “bad”.
There’s a difference between playing something unfamiliar vs bad. Exploring your creative voice makes space to grow past artificial constructs and into your true full expression.
Btw, free improvisation doesn’t need to be angular or 12-tone. It can be pretty, spacious, or whatever you want. You get to make it align with your voice, your values…
Through simple concrete exercises, you’ll develop:
Because what good is knowing how to play over changes if you can’t express yourself?
Figuring out what and how to practice can be overwhelming. You’ve got a million things that you feel you need to improve, and you’re throwing all your time at as many as you can, only to come out of your practice sessions unsure if you really accomplished anything.
You may even reach a point where you wonder what the point of practicing is if you aren’t improving.
Rather than getting caught in a spiral of negative self-reinforcement, frustration, and shame, my mindful integrated creative practice framework will allow you to not only make real improvement, but establish a positive mindset.
It’s a method that fosters joy and positive self-reinforcement with every note that you play.
You’re not alone. Inner conflict often stifles progress by locking us into cycles of negativity.
Mindful practice breaks that cycle. You’ll learn to notice what is going on in your body and mind when you play, then use that awareness to make positive changes.
There are so many skills you could practice. It would take lifetimes to master them all. So how do we make the most of the practice time?
You’ll learn to integrate technical, creative, and internalization of new information into each exercise. Like practicing improvisation (creative) over a scale (harmonic internalization) while noticing your bow arm (technical)
We’ll address clear ways to measure strengths and areas for improvement. Instead of vague generalizations like I sound horrible, you’ll be able to articulate specific areas of focus- I improved my intonation in bar 32, and I’ll focus on improvising with space in the second chorus.
I’ll help you prioritize the skills you want to work on based on your goals, values, and life circumstances so that you can integrate the most important things for you.
You know how to practice a fixed melody on a page. In your practice for this class, you’ll be improvising. Your creative voice is unique, valuable, and incomparable. Stop measuring yourself as less than against a standard. Discover the power of your own creativity, and the joy of constant discovery, growth, and inspiration.
While improvisation is often said to be about “finding the right notes,” in many styles of music, the real key is in the groove. I’ll show you how to:
Learn how to function in multiple roles within a musical group:
Each week, we’ll work on multiple song forms in class. You’ll discover how to play the bass line, accompanying parts and fills, and the main melody or improvised solo in multiple styles including Latin, folk, jazz, pop, and funk/R&B, with a focus on the fundamental skills needed which apply to ALL of these styles.
Whether you want to be eclectic in many styles or a specialist in one style, reinforcing foundations universal across all styles will help you feel confident so you never need to feel stuck on the sidelines of any jam again.
In addition to the harmonic vocabulary covered in our introductory Easy Tonal Improv unit, we’ll dive into:
Between the two, you’ll develop the harmonic vocabulary to play in almost any popular style.
For those of you interested in going deeper into jazz territory, we’ll cover bebop, altered, diminished scales, and all your favorite nerdy stuff too.
Join us at the end of class on weeks two, four, and six for Music Business Mastermind. Part Q&A, part open discussion- we’ll cover the topics that are important to you and your music career, whether it’s teaching online, getting more playing gigs, or flipping your classroom/studio.
Show up with your instrument and play along to my prompts. You’ll play 90% of every class ( 90+ minutes).
Like a Yoga or Fitness class, modifications are provided in every exercise to suit your level of advancement.
You’ll be muted, with the ability to ask questions anytime.
At the end of 90-minutes of playing to my prompts, you’ll have the opportunity to get (or observe) 1-1 coaching from me in front of the group.
We provide additional 1-1 coaching times for:
-teachers looking to save time by “flipping the classroom”,
-freelancers seeking to attract more income or opportunities
Classes meet twice weekly Thursdays @ 12 pm & Saturdays @ 7:30 pm Eastern (US). The course is structured so you can show up once a week, but you won’t be bored if you come to both.
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.
Start creating your own music immediately-no theory necessary. Includes:
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
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.
Perform beautiful melodies in these gentle, accessible, Brazilian styles.
Internalize rhythms, scales, forms, and a few key secrets that no one else will teach you.
Master the anatomy of rock licks and style. Jam out to piees like “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix
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
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
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:
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
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.
Create the outcomes you want.
Whether you’re a hobbyist, freelancer, or teacher, 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.
Compare 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:
When I dared to join a band 35 years ago it put me in a position to become:
–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, touring, producing festivals, founding a non-profit, and more.
When you decide that your professional and personal 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 more opportunities
Don’t have the full amount on hand? Click below to pay in installments.
For teachers who want to use Creative Strings materials in their classroom or studio.
Group classes are every Thursday at 12-2 pm US Eastern and Every Saturday at 7:30- 9:30 pm US Eastern
****Classes often go longer than 2 hours. Replays are available.
Many of a participants can only attend one of the two classes a week- so it's perfectly okay if you have to miss!
We'll post the class recording within 24 hours so that you can rewatch at your convenience.
Zoom group class replays are availabl for at least 6 months after the course ends.
If you sign up for the basic package, you'll still have the opportunity to ask questions in class. The last half hour of each class is reserved either for participants to play individually for feedback (masterclass) or ask music business questions (mastermind)
If you sign up for the premium package or higher, you'll be ablet to post your work and recieve 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.
Private lessons can be scheduled online any time during the seven weeks at your convience.
We suggest that you use one as a entry lesson and one as an exit lesson. This format allows me to help you orient your goals and practice routines throughout the course so you get the most out of it.
Yes! I will schedule a limited number of additional office hours throughout the course. Times typically vary so that participants in different time zones can participate. All office hours are drop-in: come and go as you please!
As part of the private Facebook Group, Premium Participants will have access to:
We'll use this curriculum together to help you work on the goals that you want to achieve via a project-based approach.
Basic-level participants will be given limited access to some of my more foundational materials through the replay document.
You can! My curriculum is like a buffet- take what you want. I highly encourage students to focus on their own interests.
In fact (while I don't discourage it)- I would be impressed if anyone ever made it through the ENTIRE curriculum in one session.
That’s fine! You can still get feedback from me by emailing me privately (if you're a full access participant or above!)
You also do not need to post or share anything to:
Nevertheless, many people find FB useful for getting the most out of this course. You can interact and network with other participants and get feedback from multiple points of view if you do choose to post!
All posts are private and will not be shared on your public FB wall.
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.
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 typically recommend the course as a first step and/but I am happy to provide info on the cost of private lessons. Feel free to reach out to my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org
Early Registration Price ranges from $399 and up.
****** 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.
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.
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
Read our testimonials or click on a video to hear participants in their own voice!