String Fever is part of our education programming where children “Learn by Doing.” This afterschool program teaches beginning violin in a group setting to young students at the 4th to 8th grade age-levels. These students work with our dedicated master teachers who also play violin and viola in the orchestra. The children learn the basics of musicianship and violin playing. The students start off simply and carefully, often with a paper box instrument and stick for a bow. They learn where to place their feet, how to stand, and how hold a bow. Often they are given instructions through song. They develop discipline, patience, and self-control as they progress. Students soon advance to an actual instrument once they learn how to respect it and treat it with care. The students learn the names of each string, E-A-D-G, and then move on to coordinating their tiny fingers into position… before they know it, they are masters of the Monkey Song!
The program parallels the academic year with one to two classes weekly, and is unfortunately limited at this time to a handful of schools. The students are encouraged to practice and parents are encouraged to support them. At the end of the year we bring together nearly 200 students from all the String Fever sites for a final recital on stage at the Community Center Theater. The experience of being backstage and then performing on stage before a proud audience is thrilling and most memorable for the students. For most of these children and early teens, the seed has been planted and the musical journey has begun.