Are you ready to change the way you play and think about music? – Christian Howes

STRING PLAYERS AND TEACHERS

Take your music, teaching, and career to the next level with my personal support, clear structure, and accountability through 7-weeks of multifaceted learning with a diverse community of musicians from around the world.

CREATIVE STRINGS WORKSHOP Nov 1 - Dec 20

Where it all began...

When I was 16, a kid named Noah Phipps sat last chair second violin in our high school orchestra;  Noah brought tapes to school of original songs he made on a 4-track recorder.

Kids used to hover around him, unimpressed with my Paganini caprices.

I remember thinking, “I’m just not a creative person like him”.

That thought crushed me- not only because of what it said about my musicianship, but what it said about me. I felt uninteresting.

Then I thought, “What if I could learn to be a Creative Musician”?  I decided to try.

First I joined a rock band. Then I started playing blues, jazz, folk, gospel, pop, Latin… you name it, I did it. I was so committed to finding my own voice and I eventually did. 

Many years later I developed methods to help other classical musicians just like you gain a deeper musical understanding and become more creatively self-expressed.

Hey, I’m Christian Howes. 

I’m the founder of “Creative Strings“, an organization with a mission to expand music education through the creation of online curriculum, an annual summer conference, and dozens of visits to schools annually teaching improvisation, contemporary styles, and related subjects. 

I’ve helped thousands of musicians just like you develop the confidence and ability to…

  • Become more creative, versatile musicians
  • Teach skills relevant to students’ needs
  • Build careers that are profitable without sacrificing integrity 

Lean Into Your Creativity

When you gain the understanding of a functional musician and lean into your creativity, it changes how you feel about music, career, and yourself.

By and large, you’ll be able to:

  • Connect with a wider range of musicians
  • Share your music and teaching with confidence 
  • Attract more professional opportunities 

In short, you’ll be ready to thrive in this new world as a musician and/or teacher, on your own terms.

Facing my fears and joining that band 35 years ago put me in a position to keep innovating as:

  • Top call improvising violinist in NYC from 2000-2010
  • Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music from 2008
  • voted #1 in the Downbeat Critics Poll (“Rising Stars/Violin”) 
  • included in top 3 jazz violinists (JazzTimes critics poll)
  • Violinist of the Year nomination (Jazz Journalist Association)
  • an online teaching pioneer since 2009
  • an entrepreneur, recording and composing for hundreds of films and commercials, releasing 15 of my own albums, touring the world with my musical heroes, publishing courses, literature, and sheet music, coaching hundreds of musicians in career development, producing festivals and workshops, founding a successful non-profit.  

In short, my growth as a musician, teacher, and entrepreneur, was built on taking action, leaning into my creativity, trying things, and putting in the work. 

That’s why I’ve designed this 7-week bootcamp. Because I believe if you take action, with my support, whether in your Music, Teaching, or Career, you’ll be positioned to lead and keep leading

  Email chris@christianhowes.com, schedule a call, or scroll down to learn more

Does This Sound Like You?

-You wonder if you'll ever learn to improvise, play other styles, or find your own creative voice before you retire

-You're tired of the same gigs, same music, same limitations.

- Even though you've been a musician for years you still aren't getting paid what you're worth.

- And to my teachers... are you overwhelmed by having to navigate this new world of online teaching?

Introducing Creative Strings Workshop Online

Creative Strings Workshop Online is a 7-week bootcamp for musicians who want to go to their next level, don’t want another degree, and need structure to clear the most pressing blocks holding them back.

During this bootcamp we’ve had musicians and teachers from all over the world take their personal playing, careers, and teaching to new heights. 

The 7-week Online Workshop Includes:

Whether you’re a student, amateur, pro player or teacher, the moment you join, you’ll get… 

  • Private lessons or consults to clarify your goals and action plan.
  • A workbook to track progress & stay accountable.
  • 14 Play Along Group Classes on Zoom twice-weekly, minimum of 90minutes/each, replays available
  • Access to our private Facebook group with step by step learning units created by me and the mentors 
  • Extensive curriculum from me and other mentors
  • Unlimited access to ALL my Learning Materials (play-along videos, workbooks & more)

Anytime personal feedback on your submissions, work samples, and questions

Achieve Your Goals through Project Based Learning

Our project-based learning approach allows you to develop new 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.

This format makes it easy to focus on the highest yielding activities for your goals by providing:

  • A multi-week curriculum tailored to your needs
  • Guidance and accountability so you complete projects and reach clear goals in your teaching, musicianship, and/or business.
  • For teachers who choose our licensing plan, I’ll help you craft assignments and lesson plans for your students.

Teachers

Teach online efficiently

Attract & engage new students

My students have never been more engaged... I've been listening to 130 of my students submit their creative projects this week. Acapella, Soundtrap, live performances, music videos, iMovie/Wevideo duos, kareoke performances, free improvisations, original tunes- I feel so much more invigorated by my work helping them develop their musicianship through their own creative voice.

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Austin Scelzo
Music Director at Darien Public Schools

Performers

Develop your own creative voice

Become a more versatile musician

The workshop offered videos, feedback and mentors that responded to all my goals (accompaniment, techniques, soloing w harmonic knowledge, connecting my voice with my viola). Also there was an opportunity to connect & watch other attendees on their journeys.

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Alva Anderson
Singer and violist

Entrepreneurs

Attract a consistent stream of projects, clients, and income

Such a positive influence on my life

Prior to the course I was always waiting and it wasn’t going anywhere. After meeting Chris, I have seen some big changes with a ‘let’s make sh*t happen’ attitude! In Melbourne I had my first summer as a consistent session musician. In Tokyo I decided to work on a solo project I never had courage to do before the course. Chris has completely changed the relationship between the violin and myself ever since I discovered this course. Thank you for constantly being such a positive influence on my life with so much love and passion!

Learning Resources

You’ll get access to foundational units and multiple additional units with resources covering musical, pedagogical, and career-related applications like: (click on topic for description)

Teachers/Players: Use these foundational units to begin expanding your or your students’ musical skills:

1. EASY TONAL IMPROVISATION

Learn to compose, arrange, and improvise over foundational tonal chord progressions. Apply the skills to your own projects, like arranging your own covers with multiple parts and more.

Includes: 

  • 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
  • Chord Stacks – My original 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.

2. FREE IMPROVISATION

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
    • And more…

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

3. PLAY-ALONG VIDEOS BY STYLE

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.

In short, you’ll have access to the most extensive course curriculum in the world of creative string playing. Developed for over 15 years in Creative Strings Academy,  the difference is that this is a guided bootcamp, so you actually get it done.

You’ll also get…

Unlimited Personal Feedback on Your Progress

Post your work to get feedback from me and the mentors in your own personal thread.

Post small to big projects, finished to unfinished, whenever is convenient for you.

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!

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Cathy Irons
first violinist, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Interactive Group

Classes

Attend fast-paced, content-packed classes twice every week. Replays available.

  • Scheduled in advance by topics
  • Curriculum taught live so you actually get it done.
  • Opportunities to perform and receive my feedback in front of the group.
  • Dedicated times for Teachers and Entrepreneurs to discuss related topics.

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

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Michael Doucet
Grammy Award Winning VIolinist

Meet Your Support Team

You’ll Get Diverse Perspectives from World-class Coaches

 I want you to get second and third opinions. That’s why I’ve asked these mentors to support you as well.

VICTORIA YEH

Canadian classical & rock double-threat

JASON ANICK

Extreme virtuoso with an extremely big heart!

ANDY REINER

Skiing Fiddler, philosopher, tune-writer, & inventor of fiddle style fusions

GEORGIA RAE

Freestyle eclectic singer-songwriting fiddler poet savante

PHILIP SHEEGOG

Open-minded Juilliard-trained cellist destined to save the world by age 35

JULIAN FERRARETTO

British-Australian bi-continental scholar, dad, and swinging fiddler extraordinaire

NEIL GILFILLAN

Changing Suzuki students lives one turntable-meets-cello beat at a time

Review- Everything You Get with Full Access:

  • The ability to focus on your goals in a project-based format
  • Individualized, timely, unlimited support from me and additional support from our world-class mentors
  • Interactive Classes to connect with community and make sure you get it done
  • Access to all premium content
  • Materials to share with your students in school-friendly formats (***Teacher Licensing plans only)
  • Two private lessons or consultations
  • My extensive Premium Email Course

What’s this Worth?

This can best be compared to a semester at a conservatory, where the most affordable programs are priced at a few thousand dollars

Higher end schools like Berklee, where I used to teach, cost tens of thousands.
Consider for yourself if other options really offer you:

  • this level of cutting edge curriculum.
  • real time personalized feedback.
  • the challenge and value of personalized projects.
  • a diverse community of truly 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.

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Michael McWilliams
Violinist

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.

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Frances Gall
Violinist from Castlemaine, Victoria

Sign up for our November 1st- December 20th Bootcamp Today:

Individual Access:

Players Premium Access - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Players Premium Access - Creative Strings Workshop Online
The full packages: includes access to the private forum, all units, two private lessons, and live stream (Zoom) series and replays.
Price: $899.00

Players Livestream Only Access - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Players Livestream Only Access - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Access to all live-streams (Zoom) and live-stream replays for the duration of the course.

Live classes will take place Thursdays at 1 pm EST and Saturdays at 7:30 pm EST. This schedule was chosen to accommodate people in different time zones. Attendance at both sessions each week is NOT required to get a complete experience (although welcome).

Price: $399.00

Teacher Access:

(Premium Access including Lessons for Teacher PLUS permission to share materials with your students):

Teachers Access + 30 Students - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Teachers Access + 30 Students - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Receive Premium Player Access (course materials and feedback, live streams (Zoom), and lessons) for yourself. Use our premade course materials in your own teaching with up to 30 of your students.
Price: $1,195.00

Teacher Access + 60 Students | Creative Strings Online
Teacher Access + 60 Students | Creative Strings Online
Receive Premium Player Access (course materials and feedback, live streams (Zoom), and lessons) for yourself. Use our premade course materials in your own teaching with up to 60 of your students.
Price: $1,395.00

Teachers Access + 100 Students | Creative Strings Workshop Online
Teachers Access + 100 Students | Creative Strings Workshop Online
Receive Premium Player Access (course materials and feedback, live streams (Zoom), and lessons) for yourself. Use our premade course materials in your own teaching with up to 100 of your students.
Price: $1,595.00

-Teaching more than 100 students?

-Want to plan for next school year?

-Have other questions?

Schedule a call or email chris@christianhowes.com

Hear what my students 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.

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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!

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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!!

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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!!!

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Sue Buzzard
Violinist

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