Howes advises that students learn not only their own parts but also examine how those parts fit into the whole. “What’s happening in the melodies?” he asks. “What’s happening in the countermelodies?”
When Howes does a school residency, he teaches students about composition, arranging and improvisation. “[Teach] them how to nurture their natural creative abilities in a musical context,” he says.
Instructors should expose students to a variety of musical traditions. Connecting different cultures was one of Howes’ main goals when he started Creative Strings Academy. “The purpose is to help people feel more connected, to change the music education community at large, to make it more integrated,” he says.
This article originally appeared in the 2018 V2 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.