About the Authors and how String Fever Came to be.
Rob Roy is a long time Strings Teacher in the Vancouver, B.C., Canada School District. Recently retired as the Strings Director at Killarney Secondary School, his 22 years of teaching experience has included years of Elementary strings teaching where he was especially known for developing huge elementary strings groups in a non-affluent area. Faced with the challenges of teaching such large groups, he began searching for ways to free himself from conducting at the front of the class so that he could help individual students. His initial search lead him to have music colleague Frank Ludwig create MIDI. accompaniments for his Secondary students. The student response was so positive that he asked Frank to create more. Not wanting to break copywrite, Frank suggested that they write original songs or use public domain material that would allow other schools to use the material. Out of this came Fever I. Rob had cited the need for Christmas material for that Winter Concert which always comes upon teachers too quickly, hence the inclusion of 8 Christmas arrangements including the Chinese carol “Stars of Ice”. Other songs included “exercises” which Rob felt were key to developing good technique. Frank treated the exercises as songs in making accompaniments which would make the learning fun. Songs include the swing arrangement of “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and the Roy/Ludwig blues song “Bluestrings”.
Fever I began to attract the attention of other strings teachers. The only complaint was that students enjoyed it so much that they wanted more! Rob and Frank then created Fever II, again using Rob’s string teaching experience to create melodies which developed technique. Again Frank created accompaniments which provide students with a variety of styles ranging from “funk-rock” to ballad. Multi-cultural songs were added to further teaching strategies and music awareness.
Once again, teachers were excited by the progress made by students and how much they enjoyed the variety of material. Enrollment was growing. Rob then came to Frank to say that the next logical step was to create a foundation document: a method book. The String Fever Method Book was born.
Again, Rob created the methodology, and Frank created the accompaniments. (“Frank, my kids are ready for third position. Here are the notes. I need some songs by Monday!”) (Frank: “groan!”). Frank also began including concepts that he found worked well in teaching Bands and Choirs, hence the inclusion of units on swing rhythms and degrees of the scale. As Rob beta tested the new songs and concepts he found that the string students readily picked up these additional concepts, and that they enjoyed them. When Rob and Frank had completed what normally would have been Book I, they decided that they would carry on and include Book 2 concepts all in one big Method Book in order to save students and teachers money. Teachers can then proceed directly to repertoire (including Fever I & II of course!). Again, local teachers got involved, many contributing important suggestions and encouragement as we developed the book. Thanks in no small part to them, the books have evolved to their current state, which has been found to be so successful in teaching strings and which is growing in its use both in the classroom and also in private teaching practice.
Frank Ludwig - A long time teacher of Bands and Choirs for the Vancouver School Board, Frank now teaches Strings as well, thanks to the help offered by the String Fever Method. Prior to and concurrent with his teaching practice, Frank is known for his work in the entertainment industry as can be seen on this website. Frank continues to write and record music for a variety of artists at his digital recording facility; Quantum Sound, in Delta, B.C. He also continues to be a music technology presenter at workshops etc., and conducts the Vancouver Concert Band