May 12, 2020

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


Gain confidence, understanding, and creativity to achieve breakthroughs in your music, teaching, or career- through 7 weeks of my personalized support in a community of committed peers.

When I was 16, a kid named Noah Phipps sat last chair second violin in my high school orchestra; He didn’t have the benefit of training I had enjoyed since age 5.
Noah brought tapes to school of songs HE MADE at home, banging on drums, guitars, and singing into an old school 4-track recorder. Kids hovered around him; they were unimpressed with my Paganini caprices.
 I remember thinking, “I’m just not a creative person like him”.  I felt a little crushed by that thought. Not just because of what it meant about my musicianship, but what it seemed to mean about me as a person. I felt uninteresting, unworthy,  and lacking in “cool”.
Luckily, I thought, “What if I could learn to be a Creative Musician”? I decided to try to invalidate my theory that I was just not born to be a creative musician.
I joined rock bands. I was confronted immediately with a sense that all my peers were IN on something I was not.  Despite having only had  a Handful at most of lessons on their respectful instruments, my friends were much more comfortable, functional and creative as musicians than I was.  They seemed comfortable with  harmony, groove, improvisation, songwriting, and more…
 I joined other bands, playing with Blues musicians, fusion, jazz, fiddle, gospel music, et al…  I started to empower myself with musical understanding, and I started to develop a voice.
35 years later, knowing that I truly have a voice of my own is the thing that gives me a sense of fulfillment more than anything else.
 Along the way, I decided to help other classically trained musicians, and as you’ll see from the testimonials of people on this page, understanding and creativity ARE possible for classically trained musicians.
Not only that, but you can thrive in this new world as a self-sustaining musician and teacher, utilizing cutting edge online teaching and marketing.
As a result of my taking that first step at the age of 16 it allowed me to take more first steps later:
-as one of the top improvising violinists in NYC from 2000-2010
-as a pioneer of new curriculum beginning in 2001
-adding parts of my curriculum to the Proficiency Requirements for All String Majors at Berklee College of Music in 2008
-Pioneering Online teaching since 2009
– Building a cutting-edge online learning experience with this 7-week course in April 2020
My growth as an artist and teacher, and the growth of my career, have all been built on my willingness to innovate over the past 35 years.
The benefit of being willing to take these types of innovative actions is that it has always positioned me to keep leading.
This is the opportunity I want o offer YOU right now.
By taking action and learning what I can teach you:
about music,
about Teaching Online,
and about entrepreneurship,
You’ll be positioned to lead and keep leading.
I want to give you the chance to stop holding back and become more creatively expressed in your relation to music,  and in all the ways that it integrates with your life.
A former Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, I train a wide range of musicians,  from stars to adult learners, teachers, and teens.

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

Hear what my students are saying:


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.

Alva Anderson Singer and violist

[After 4 weeks:]

My goals were to get myself to the next level of musical accomplishment on the fiddle, to get focused, and to overcome some of my known barriers. I've made huge strides on all these goals. I feel way more accomplished as a player and I know I'm going to seriously kill when I hit the stage.

[At the end of workshop:]

This has been a super growing experience. I'm on my way to a new level.

  • familiarity and technical ability with entire fingerboard- greatly improved!!
  • focusing on what I'm trying to achieve musically- largely accomplished.
  • increased discipline and tools to practice and continue increasing my skills- largely accomplished.
  • improved ability at different styles such as gypsy jazz and bebop- definitely on my way
  • improved creativity and soloing -I've gained more insights and shifted views that really took me to a higher level

Dave Kline
jazz/blues/rock violinist

You’ll get long-form written lessons in emails to keep you motivated and inspired. One member said they were good for reading in bed. If you’re familiar with emails to my list of 14,000 followers, these emails take it to another level.


Whether you’re a student, amateur, pro player or teacher, we’ve got something for you. The moment you join, you’ll get…

    1. Aprivate lesson to clarify your goals and action plan.
    2. A workbook to track progress & stay accountable.
    3. Access to our private Facebook group with step by step learning units created by me and the mentors
    4. Access to twice-weekly 2-hour group classes on Zoom (replays available)


  • Extensive, comprehensive curriculum developed from my 20+ years of experience
  • Weekly play-a-long group classes (2 hours)
  • Support and advice on recording your compositions, arrangements, and improvised performances
  • Private lessons, exclusive community, & much more…


Project-based learning 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) and learning path in week one.

Our personalized, online format makes it easy for us to focus on what you want to learn by providing:

  • A multi-week curriculum and masterclasses tailored to your needs
  • Guidance and accountability as you complete your independent creative projects.
  • For teachers who choose to license curriculum, I’ll help you craft assignments and lesson sequences for your students.


Develop Your Creative Portfolio

If you are focused on growing your career as a player or teacher, you’ll be able to use your projects to promote your offerings and get more of the gigs/students you want.  Part of the reason to invest in developing your creative works is so you and others can celebrate it.
click here to sign-up now

Thanks Chris!


Give Awesome Projects to Your Students

For teachers who choose our Licensing plans, you’ll have the ability to share course materials directly with students and get them working on projects of their own. They can work solo or in small teams. These courses would otherwise normally cost thousands for your district. click here to sign-up now

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.

Austin Scelzo
Music Director at Darien Public Schools

Here's some examples of projects you or your students might make:

Fiddle Funk Low-Down Looping

"Georgia on My Mind" for String Ensemble

Improvisation for Unaccompanied Violin

Unlimited Personal Feedback on Your Progress

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

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 a range of your work from small to big, finished to unfinished projects,  whenever is convenient for you!

Interactive Group


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 for feedback in front of the group.

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

Three Foundational Units

New to improv? Or just looking to really build a solid foundation? Consider making your first project based on one of these units:


Learn to compose, arrange, and improvise over foundational tonal chord progressions using Pachelbel’s Canon as an example. Apply the skills to your own projects, like arranging your own covers with multiple parts and more.


  • 10 play-along videos with Chris and a young student demoing exercises
  • 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. Especially 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
    • And more…

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


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

The units gave me tools to practice developing solos over a chord progression (easy tonal improv) playing by ear (play-alongs) and ideas for how to think about free improvisation exercises (free improv unit).

Chrissy Jones

Additional Resources

Want more? You’ll get access to multiple additional units with resources covering diverse stylistic interests and applications like: (click on topic for description)

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 more interesting and authentic 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.
Learn to improve using modes. Useful for rock, blues, fiddle styles, jazz and more..
Learn how to incorporate harmony, rhythm, and improv into your technical warm-ups for increased gains in less time.
Develop your sense of groove in styles beyond classical

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.

This course will also show you how to teach & market online
You’ll learn the secrets behind  how I automate, amplify, personalize, and produce content, while providing accountability online.  You’ll be able to gain confidence teaching and/or marketing online so you can:

-save time

-make a bigger impact on your students

-grow your audience


I’ll also show you many other tactics and strategies I used to develop my brand and build my audience, whether you want to acquire more gigs from bandleaders, tour, teach, or grow your fan base or student roster.

Diverse Perspectives from World-class Coaches

 I want you to get second and third opinions too. That’s why I’ve asked…


Canadian classical & rock double-threat


Extreme virtuoso with an extremely big heart!


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


Freestyle eclectic singer-songwriting fiddler poet savante


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


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


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 curriculum
  • Individualized, timely support via private online forum from me and our world-class mentors
  • Weekly Interactive Group Calls to connect with community and make sure you get it done
  • Access to premium content (the same content available at my live camps and in my online Creative Strings Academy)
  • Materials to share with your students in school-friendly formats (teacher Licensing access plans only)
  • Two private lessons or consultations
  • My extensive Premium Email Course

Who's it For?

Players and teachers ages 12 and up, including adult learners, amateurs, elite professionals, and students.


Wide Range of Abilities and Interests

It was very helpful to see the wide range of abilities and interests in the participants. I think Chris does a great job of relating, has a very caring attitude and is someone I can aspire to be more like. All the mentors and guest teachers have been great.

Mark Hall Retired President of Industrial Equipment Company, Motorcyclist, and Violinist

What’s this Worth?

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

Higher end schools like Berklee, where I used to teach, cost tens of thousands, without the level of flexibility and access to curriculum we are offering.
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.

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

My Guarantee:

Show up, schedule a lesson, and post within seven days. If you're not satisfied, I'll refund you and keep just $50 for the first private lesson.

See What Our Spring and Summer Participants Had to Say

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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 Course Only Access - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Players Course Only Access - Creative Strings Workshop Online
Includes access to all units, written materials, and 1 private lesson. (No live stream access.)

EARLY BIRD PRICING ends 11:59 PM EST on October 4 Prices will increase October 5

Price: $499.00

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: $1,295.00

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: $1,495.00

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: $1,695.00

-Teaching more than 100 students?

-Want to plan for next school year?

-Have other questions?

Schedule a call or email chris@christianhowes.com



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

Super Happy

I'm super happy with all of the information and resources. The workshop gave me a lot of information that I can work on for years

Kalina Jankova - Music Entrepreneur and Educator

Opened my mind

This workshop opened my mind further to what’s possible.

Elizabeth Ball - Founder of Classical Kicks

Great Workshop

This workshop has been great! I’m learning a lot, and I feel really motivated to work on the topics.

Nicole McKenzie - Co-director of Sandcastle Music Together

If you have a question, Email  chris@christianhowes.com, or schedule a call