**Update** — Christian Howes now offers his improv method in an online video lesson subscription program called ‘Creative Strings Academy.’ Sign up for a free trial subscription here!
Over a year ago in his article “The Turning Tide in Strings Education” EVS’s Duncan Monserud identified the changes in attitude towards non-classical styles that have taken place in recent years within the world of strings pedagogy. What has become increasingly accepted within strings education is actually the nebulous coming-together of teaching influences from many styles and methods outside the classical tradition, up until now labeled ‘alternative styles’ and considered an optional addendum to the traditional classical strings education.
Violinist and educator Christian Howes has boldly taken the next step in calling for the integration of ‘alt-styles’ values — namely the teaching of improvisation, harmony and composition skills to young strings players, regardless of style — into the mainstream methodology. His must-read article in the latest issue of Strings Magazine, “Let’s Rebrand the So-Called Alternative Styles Movement” intrepidly puts forth a new manifesto not only to rebrand the amorphous ‘alt-styles’ movement, but to redefine the mainstream strings education in a more holistic and comprehensive manner. We applaud Mr. Howes’ initiative and will continue to do our part to foster any means of putting the tools of musical creativity in the hands and hearts of string players.
Julie Lyonn Lieberman
Julie Lyonn Lieberman is a renowned violinist, pedagogue, composer, author of a multitude of violin method books and style primers and–not least of all–a historian. Over the years Ms. Lieberman has researched, interviewed musicians, written articles and produced radio programs documenting the too-often overlooked role of the violin in America’s musical heritage. The ‘String Player’s Corner’ on her website julielyonn.com is a veritable treasure trove for violinists, violists and cellists interested in non-classical styles. In addition to offerings from her extensive catalog of books and media you will find here what is truly a primary source in American violin history–the five-part radio program entitled ‘The Talking Violin.’ Read the rest of this entry »
by Blaise Kielar, owner, Electric Violin Shop
At Electric Violin Shop a big part of what we do is to interpret the electronics world for string players for whom amplification gear is quite foreign. This involves making expert gear recommendations as well as offering top-notch support after the sale. Inexperienced electric players can have difficulty troubleshooting their new equipment and often overlook minor tweaks or user errors that cause them difficultly. I remember one violinist who was ready to junk an electric violin, when all that was needed was a fresh battery! We understand the varying levels of comfort folks have when new to electrics. Our focus is not just to get you amplified but to keep you satisfied in your new musical surroundings—and we’re always just an email or phone call away.
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