64 episodes

Simplifying growth for musicians- especially violin, viola, fiddle, and cello players and teachers- with tips, insights, tools, and stories to grow in their practice, teaching, and career. Exploring intersections in creativity, music education, string playing, music business, and culture, Creative Strings is a non-profit organization supporting music education via online curriculum, orchestra classroom outreach, in-person retreats/conferences, and more. Executive director and host Christian Howes is a classically trained Jazz violinist helping string players to be versatile and creative.

Creative Strings with Violinist Christian Howes Christian Howes

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 28 Ratings

Simplifying growth for musicians- especially violin, viola, fiddle, and cello players and teachers- with tips, insights, tools, and stories to grow in their practice, teaching, and career. Exploring intersections in creativity, music education, string playing, music business, and culture, Creative Strings is a non-profit organization supporting music education via online curriculum, orchestra classroom outreach, in-person retreats/conferences, and more. Executive director and host Christian Howes is a classically trained Jazz violinist helping string players to be versatile and creative.

    The Value and Nuances of Teaching Improvisation for Music Educators

    The Value and Nuances of Teaching Improvisation for Music Educators

    Marcello DeFrancesco interviews Christian Howes as research for his PHD in music education. They discuss questions related to improvisation, nuances of learning techniques, the influence of genres like Jazz on improvisation, and the critical role of educational institutions in fostering creativity. Delving into personal experiences, they explore improvisation's impact on emotional and interpersonal growth, address stage fright, and the intersection of technology with musical education. This engaging dialogue not only sheds light on improvisation's significance in music learning but also champions diversity and cultural appreciation in the musical landscape.

    • 56 min
    Jazz Violin vs Classical Violin: the difference in Bowing Technique

    Jazz Violin vs Classical Violin: the difference in Bowing Technique

    Violin bow techniques vary between classical and jazz violin playing- listen to learn why it's important to know them both. Follow Dr. Lynn Kuo at her wonderful Youtube Channel  @violynnkuo 

    Our discussion reveals insight into bow usage, articulation, and maintaining bow contact for rhythmical precision. Dr. Kuo shares insights on optimizing sound production and adapting bow control for different musical styles, offering practical advice for violinists seeking to expand their repertoire and technique. Sponsored by Electric Violin Shop.

    • 28 min
    Secrets of Versatile High-Functioning Musicians

    Secrets of Versatile High-Functioning Musicians

    In this episode, Christian Howes dives deep into strategies for musicians to master their craft more effectively. Addressing both teachers and players, he provides a comprehensive seven-week program designed to elevate your musical prowess. From tonal improvisation to advanced jazz harmony. Whether you're battling with the intricacies of bowed string instruments or seeking to find your unique creative voice, this podcast promises not just instruction but also transformative guidance. To join Christian's Creative Strings Workshop or to learn more, visit ⁠christianhowes.com⁠.

    Brought to you by The Creative Strings Workshop. Early registration (discount) for the fall 7-week course goes away soon- register here: ⁠https://christianhowes.com/csw_online6/⁠

    New students can also take a free lesson with me with a trial of my home study course here: ⁠https://christianhowes.com/csa/⁠

    • 15 min
    Overfill Your Orchestra: How Orchestra Teacher Angela Harman runs a Thriving Orchestra Class

    Overfill Your Orchestra: How Orchestra Teacher Angela Harman runs a Thriving Orchestra Class

    Orchestra teachers- get the exact tactics used by renowned orchestra teacher Angela Harman to Overfill her classroom program, retain students, assess, and more as she delves into her effective strategies on how to attract and retain music students. To watch this episode on video click here: https://youtu.be/204l1uu5n2c?si=GKME4dvjLJxlC1i3 Gain insights into a day in her life as a middle school orchestra teacher, uncovering the tools and techniques that foster creativity and engagement in the music classroom. Angela’s passion for teaching is rooted in inspiring and nurturing budding musicians. This is a must-watch for every educator aspiring to elevate their teaching skills and student engagement

    You can contact Angela at:

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/orchestra.t...
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orchestracla...
    Webpage: https://orchestraclassroom.com/
    Blog: https://orchestrateacher.blogspot.com/

    • 34 min
    A String Quartet that Grooves w/ Quartet Davis

    A String Quartet that Grooves w/ Quartet Davis

    In this episode I sit down with Emily Edelstein, Molly Tucker, Camille Vogley-Howes, and Karl Henry from Quartet Davis, an exciting string quartet pushing the boundaries of classical, folk, jazz, and pop music. We discuss their debut album, “Three Lefts Make a Right” and go into their creative process and how they came together while studying at Oberlin College. 

    Throughout the interview, we play extended excerpts of the songs from “Three Lefts Make a Right” and delve into various topics, such as the challenges and triumphs of being young musicians, the democratic nature of the band, their exploration of free improvisation, and the importance of gendering in music. We also gain insights into their experiences at Oberlin College and modern conservatories, shedding light on the evolving landscape of musical education.

    This podcast episode is made possible by our sponsor, Electric Violin Shop. Need guidance on electric strings, gear, or amplification? Visit electricviolinshop.com or call their knowledgeable team to get expert advice and answers to all your questions. Creative Strings is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to positively transform music education through this podcast, providing, presenting, and curating stories about musicians at interesting intersections. We also offer free play-along videos on YouTube, yearly in-person retreats in the USA and Europe, and more. Visit creativestrings.org or email me at chris@christianhowes.com with questions.

    Timecodes:
    (0:00) Intro
    (1:56) Welcome Quartet Davis
    (2:49) La Sansonette
    (5:13) Learning and performing differently
    (6:58) Jealous Guy
    (10:05) Bonding as a string quartet
    (12:19) Being democratic as a band
    (15:54) Working on Free Improvisation
    (22:39) Hembrannarmarsch
    (26:34) Without Spring
    (29:48) Gendering in music
    (36:26) RajRajRaj
    (40:04) Playing written music vs by ear vs fully improvised
    (56:57) Fear of asking for help
    (60:22) Time After Time
    (71:10) Oberlin College and Modern Conservatories
    (78:41) Tremilly

    • 1 hr 24 min
    3 Keys to redesign your practice & become a more Functional Musician

    3 Keys to redesign your practice & become a more Functional Musician

    To watch this episode as a video go to: https://youtu.be/Wtg32uHwnoo

    Learn three powerful changes you can make to your practice routine to become a more functional musician. Instead of playing classical etudes, you can do improvised scales/exercises. Try to improvise over "elemental music forms" instead of playing over hard songs/grooves/progressions. Devote 15-30 min to internalize a small amount of harmonic or rhythmic material. To learn more about this go to our dedicated blogpost: https://christianhowes.com/2023/06/14/better-practice/

    • 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Guemshciewislsn ,

Priceless Resource

The amount of wisdom that Chris and his guests spin out every episode is astonishing. I can listen to any episode three or four times and still have reason to come back to it.

MichaelNo ,

Insightful and inspiring

Insightful and inspiring interviews from professionals in the industry. Balances the creative with the buisness aspects. Highly recommended!

StringPlayer246 ,

This podcast rules!!

I love listening to these insightful interviews. They've been really helpful in working on my string playing and musical career. Can't recommend this enough!!

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