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Welcome to String Fever!

String Fever is a comprehensive method for beginning and developing string players of all ages. 

* Available for violin, viola, cello, and string bass, books are available in hardcopy or as pdf downloads with free mp3's

First in the String Fever series is the Method Book with 130 songs and 2 accompaniment CDs. The concepts in the Method Book are applicable to first time beginners and extend to advanced concepts such as improvisation and advanced bow techniques.  The comprehensive Method Book replaces levels 1, 2 and 3 in other products. 

String Fever I and String Fever II are additional collections of melodies and ensemble parts for 24 songs.

String Fever is perfect for the classroom but is equally effective as a tool for individual study.  On your own or with the orchestra, String Fever is a terrific way to learn to play strings.

* Conductor's score, piano accompaniment parts, and MIDI stream file accompaniment disks also available.


How "we" caught "the Fever"

Over a number of years I had created MIDI (computer-generated) accompaniments for colleague and friend Rob Roy (no, not the movie guy),who has taught strings for years, with tremendous success, in the Vancouver school system. When performing in concert, his groups enjoyed having a fuller accompaniment than just piano, especially on rock tunes where it just didn't sound right without the drums etc. When he asked me for the third consecutive year, I told him that it was a too much work for just one school as we didn't own the songs and I didn't want to violate copyrite. I said that I would feel better if we did songs that were original or traditional. Noting that he needed Christmas tunes for newer players, we created the blue book with a balance of new songs and a variety of Christmas songs. Inspired somewhat by Stephan Grapelli, we included an original blues song so that we could establish that string players can do more than just play Classical and Baroque music.

We included the cd in every book so that students always had a "band" to practice with and that there was always a tuning and tempo reference. The results in the classroom were tremendous. When me made it available to other teachers in the area, the only complaint was that "the students love this so much that what are we going to do next year!"

With this in mind we created the Fever II book. More original songs and a variety of traditional songs including our own bed-time version of "the Dreidle Song.: Again,the response was wonderfull.

Rob then advised me that the process we were engaged in was so successful in teaching, that we really should create the foundation book. We then started the Method Book. When we had covered all the concepts normally covered and then some, we just kept going because my experience had been that once students finish the first level, the schools can't really afford another book for the number of concepts covered. Instead they move on to repertoire. As a result, the Method book even touches on advanced concepts such as improvising and degrees of the scale and how they impact chords.

The books made it so easy to teach and included such good technique developers (Rob's string teaching experience was so evident throughout the procedure. For example, the "Early Morning Soap Opera" is really an exercise framed within a song) that I started a string program at my school. Within 2 years we had an 80 piece orchestra. At my next school I also established a string program. I found that the books ensured proper technique even though my experience was more in band and choral. 

Due to ever rising postal costs, in June 2020, we are moving to a downloadable pdf format with free mp3 accompaniments.  Hardcopy books will still be available.

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 copyright, 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