Christian Howes

  1. Creative Strings Podcast ep. 18 - Changing Perceptions and Culture with 'Black Violin'

    In episode 18 of the Creative Strings Podcast, Christian Howes talks with Kev Marcus and Will Baptiste of Black Violin about how they got started, their influences and goals, how they created such a powerful movement around their work, and what this means for the string world and culture in general.

    Key topics:
    • How Kev and Wil discovered their musical sound
    • Their atypical education as string players
    • The core of their powerful message
    • Stereotypes they have busted through and their attitude about these stereotypes
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  2. Creative Strings Podcast Episode 14/15 - Songwriting Strategies: A 360 Degree Approach w/ Mark Simos

    Mark Simos, associate professor in songwriting at Berklee College of Music and author of Songwriting Strategies: A 360º Approach joins Christian Howes to discuss the process of capturing song ideas and developing them into full songs or compositions. In part 1 of this two-part episode you will learn about learn about:
    • The 360 degree approach
    • “Song Seeds” – how to capture a short idea and grow it into a full composition
    • Translating song seeds across variations in lyric, melody, rhythm and harmony
    • Using different forms of restraint to enhance your creativity
    Part 2 covers:
    • Improvisation as a historic part of the classical composition process
    • Songwriting and improvisation as part of a balanced music education
    • Tune writing and generating new material
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  3. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 13 - Violinist.com founder Laurie Niles

    At the Heart of the violin world, Violinist.com founder Laurie Niles sits down with Christian Howes to discuss the start-up and success of one of the largest communities of violinists across all styles and experience levels. Scroll down to listen in on:Christian and Laurie
    • The exciting early days of the internet and the evolution of violinist.com as a medium
    • Characteristics of violinists and the violin community
    • Bridging the gap and finding common ground between beginners, teachers, elite players…
    • Things that are working in the business of classical music
    • What the classical vs creative violin communities share alike
    • much more
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  4. Creative Strings Podcast Ep 12: Social Media & Entrepreneurship for Musicians with Colin Thomson

    ModernMusician.co‘s Colin Thomson joins Christian Howes to discuss social media and business strategies for musicians. Listen below for straight talk on:
    • How to build an audience across social media platforms
    • Key tips for musicians on Instagram
    • Ways to grow revenue as a musician
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  5. Creative Strings Podcast episode 11: Storytelling, Philosophy, & Old Time Fiddle with Joe McHugh

    At the intersection of story telling, philosophy, and old time fiddle music lives Joe McHugh. Scroll down to take a journey! Listen and discover:
    • How to recognize and employ story telling in everything around us
    • Envisioning silence as a canvas. “It’s all silence”
    • The violin as literary symbol and bridge to other dimensions
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  6. Creative Strings Podcast, Ep 10: 'Young Guns' Discuss Practicing

    Christian sits down with four of the hottest young Creative Strings players to discuss practice techniques, exercises, moving between various fiddle styles, and more.  Listen in with or without your instrument to develop specific practice strategies and gain tons of insights into your own creative musicianship including:
    • Conceptual approaches for practicing and structuring improvisation
    • Tricks for better internalizing harmony
    • Connections between fiddle styles and jazz
    • Tone production across different styles
    • Dexterity exercises
    • Playing faster
    • Rhythmic exercises away from your instrument
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  7. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 8 - How to Get More Gigs as a Performing Musician

    In episode 8, Christian gets down to business--music business that is--in his interview with Tiffany L. Goodman of Goodman Artists. Tiffany has been representing artists in jazz, classical and world music since 2009. Topics covered in this information-packed conversation include:
    • the importance of video in your marketing
    • tips for building a presence with photos, a website, and social media
    • the difference between a manager and agent
    • tips for cold calling and using your network
    • how to develop and maintain an agent-artist relationship
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  8. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 7 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 2)

    Episode 7 is part two of Christian Howes's interview with conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. This half of the interview explores more concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:
    • Fundamental elements of totality of the sound
    • Balance, playing in ensembles, tempo, tone
    • Teaching and conducting
    Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!
     
     
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  9. 2015 ASTA National Conference -- Things To See

    It's that time of year again when thousands of string teachers, students, artists and product exhibitors descend on city to commence the yearly American String Teachers Association Nation Conference.  This year the location is Salt Lake City, Utah.  Due to staffing at our shop (two new babies born into the EVS family--congratulations Susie and Ted!) we are unable to be physically present at ASTA this year, however through our good friends among the teachers, presenters and exhibitors we will be there in spirit!  If you are an electric player in attendance or a teacher interested in incorporating electric instruments and eclectic styles into your program, here are some of the events we recommend at the Salt Lake City ASTA conference...
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  10. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 6 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 1)

    Episode 6 is part one in a two-part interview between Christian Howes and conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. This fist half of the interview delves into several concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:
    • How music can move all of us
    • How to convey deeper beauty through music
    • The creation and release of tension on the micro and macro levels.
    Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!
     
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  11. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 5 -- Jason Anick on Jazz Violin Practice

    Jazz violinist Jason Anick is an instructor at Berklee College of Music and at the annual summer Creative Strings Workshop and Festival.  Jason was brought up on classical violin training, yet as early as his teenage years he began finding ways to incorporate jazz and other styles into his formal musical training.  In school, although studying the classical violin, his ensembles were all jazz groups. Listen to the podcast to learn how Jason combined the best of classical and jazz practice routines to develop bulletproof musicianship, including
    • his routines and regimens — scales, transcriptions, improvising, working with backing tracks, self-recordings
    • his successful mindset for doing business as an artist and maintaining a confident and striving optimism in the music industry
    Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

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  12. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 4 -- Performance Psychology for Musicians with Dr. Noa Kageyama

    Dr. Noa Kageyama is the founder of the Bulletproof Musician and holds a Master's degree in Violin Performance from Julliard and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Indiana University.  In this episode of the Creative Strings Podcast Dr. Kageyama discusses how to practice for performance in order to overcome distraction, nerves and stage fright and stay in the creative moment during musical performance. Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

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  13. Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 3 -- Matt Glaser on Music Education, Improvisation, and Mindfulness

    Matt Glaser Matt Glaser (Photo by Phil Farnsworth)
    In this episode of the Creative Strings Podcast, Christian Howes talks with Matt Glaser, an accomplished Jazz and Bluegrass violinist and the Artistic Director of the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music.  This is a great episode both for students aspiring to learn improvisation and alternative styles, as well as for string teachers navigating the changing terrain of strings education in this era of stylistic diversity. Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!

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  14. Holiday Savings From Christian Howes Online Store

    Christian HowesJazz violinist and educator Christian Howes has graciously extended holiday discount specials to customers of Electric Violin Shop! Take 50% off instructional items in the Creative Strings Shop this month! (Starting as low as $1, these make perfect stocking stuffers for musicians) Get deals on summer camp tuition, our home study course, fun string ensemble charts, and more!
    Use coupon code "DECEMBER" right before checking out to receive your savings on scores, instructional courses, ebooks, and more: Visit the Creative Strings Shop here.
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  15. How to Use Looping and Loop Pedals to Practice, Perform, Teach and Improve Musicianship

    Christian Howes by Christian Howes (re-blogged with permission -- click here to view original post)

    Music tip – “How To Use Looping and Loop Pedals”

    Creative Strings Academy - Learn improv and try a FREE one month trialI received a question...from a Creative Strings Academy member about “how to use looping and loop pedals” to practice and develop more music in his life. Here is his question and my answer below: “I was wondering if a looper of some kind could help fill in the gaps for me as a bassist. As I understand it, I see you building tunes for the ground up. You lay down a bass track, then some comping and maybe some harmony and then practice jammin’ with the loops. Can you do that with jazz standards as well? Thanks again for the inspiration and ideas. I know I would need some kind of bass pick up and…?” My (short) answer:
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