creative strings podcast

  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 - founder Laurie Niles

    At the Heart of the violin world, 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 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 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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  5. 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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  6. 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 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 to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!
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