FRIDAY 3:30 workshops



11-Care And Feeding of the Hammered Dulcimer – Cliff Cole (ALL) … Fri 3:30

In this workshop we will cover topics like how to change a broken string on the HD and how to clean those hard to get places. We will discuss tuning strategies and ideas on how to keep the dulcimer in tune (and why it might be going out of tune.) We will also discuss tuners and the different types of hammers that you can use.


12-The Joy of “Noodling” – Marya Katz (MID) … Fri 3:30

Noodling is the act of simply playing notes with (seemingly) no particular tune in mind, just letting the hammers move around the instrument in (almost) random fashion. However… yes, there is order to this chaos! We’ll explore noodling on various chord patterns, using pentatonic scale tones, and finding the differences in noodling for major or minor keys. Along the way we’ll also discuss how this noodling can be helpful when playing actual tunes, composing or arranging, and playing backup.


13-Riffing on Pachelbel’s Canon – Jody Marshall (ADV) … Fri 3:30

Have you been meaning to learn “Pachelbel’s Canon” but aren’t sure where to start? In this class you’ll work on a dulcimer-friendly arrangement that doubles as a great exercise, incorporating various chord patterns and note values. In the process, you’ll learn to accompany yourself as you play some of the Canon’s most recognizable melody lines. (Bonus: When you’re asked to play for your niece’s wedding, you’ll be all set!)




19-Singing in the Tradition – Norm Williams (ALL) … Fri 3:30

A presentation/discussion about the singing of traditional songs, ballads, gospel songs, and hymns… a-cappella and accompanied by the mountain dulcimer and/or other instruments. Explore what singing is in the American tradition. We’ll give examples and resources for your interest. We’ll also allow some time to identify and explore your own traditions. 



14-Traditional-Style Playing with a “Noter” – Tom Irving (BEG) … Fri 3:30

A “noter” is a stick that old-time players used to play melodies easily (and quickly) on one string while the other strings droned. When Jean Ritchie brought dulcimer music to the masses, this was one of the ways she played. It’s simple to learn, and has a characteristic, sweet sound that’s still used by many traditional players. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the history and uses of a traditional noter, styles of playing, and some favorite songs. No experience necessary.


15-Playing with a Partner – Nina Zanetti (NOV) … Fri 3:30

Making music with another players is a special joy. This workshop is for players who are just developing their own skills and who have done little or no duet-playing. We'll use a variety of fun, simple arrangements to cover the basics of how to enjoy playing music together. We’ll begin with some rounds, for practice in listening and staying together, and then will progress to familiar tunes arranged in ways that will make duet-playing easy, fun, and immensely rewarding. 


16-Bass Dulcimer: Playing IN the Box – Kirk House (INT-ADV) … Fri 3:30

How to improvise using the pentatonic scale. This workshop will explore a technique known to guitarists as “playing in the box.” It was used almost exclusively by the great bluesman B.B. King, as well as many others. We will learn what the pentatonic scale is, and where it lies on the dulcimer fretboard, and how it can be utilized in improvising on the bass dulcimer. Come prepared to have a lot of fun!


17-Playable Flat-Picked Versions of Jam Tunes - Stephen Seifert (INT-ADV) … Fri 3:30

My kind of flat-picking isn't about memorizing hard picky arrangements. I'm going to show you how I take our favorite jam tunes and create across-the-strings pick-strum versions. After this class, you'll know how to do the same. 

FRI 4:45 workshops




21-A What-i-mer? – Nate Pultorak (BEG) … Fri 4:45

So, you have a Hammered Dulcimer! What is this thing, where did it come from, and what can YOU do with it? These questions, and more will be answered in this introductory workshop, where you might even come away with one of your first tunes! 


22-Hearing Chord Changes – Jody Marshall (MID) … Fri 4:45

Don’t know the tune? You can still play along in a jam by learning to hear chord changes. We’ll focus on training the ear to hear how chords move from one to another, and along the way we’ll review the “geography” of chords on the hammered dulcimer and learn some simple approaches to accompanying different kinds of tunes.


23-Singing With the Hammered Dulcimer – Marya Katz (ADV) … Fri 4:45

The hammered dulcimer is not only a wonderful instrument for playing tunes and arrangements, it is also an excellent accompanying instrument. This session will explore techniques for both playing as backup for others AND playing to accompany yourself. (Yes, we WILL be singing!)




29-Shaker Music for Everyone – Nina Zanetti (ALL INSTRUMENTS) … Fri 4:45

The Shakers produced a huge body of sacred music, including lively dance tunes and ethereal meditations. “Simple Gifts” is the most well-known example, but there are possibly as many as 10,000 hymns. After a brief introduction to the Shakers – who they were, what they believed, what they left us – we’ll focus on their music, learning tunes from the various periods of Shaker music from colonial days until the early 20th century. Come play, sing, or dance to tunes from this special body of American folk music.



24-Learning to Sing with Your Mountain Dulcimer – Carolyn Brodginski (BEG) … Fri 4:45

We’ll focus on using the dulcimer as a rhythm instrument while you do the singing, playing chords rather than melody. We'll review different ways to play some of the most common chords in DAD and CGC tuning ... learn an easy way to transpose into a key that suits your vocal range ... and talk about the new options for arranging a song when you add vocals. Come tuned to DAD, bring a capo and be prepared to sing!


25-Whiskey – All Over Your Dulcimer! – Norm Williams (NOV-INT) … Fri 4:45

Or “4 Keys & 5 Tunings … and More:” Using the tune, “Whiskey Before Breakfast,” we’ll focus on the use of the capo, alternate tunings, and playing across the fretboard. You’ll really get to know the tune, strengthen your rhythm, and help you better understand the breadth of this “simple” instrument. Starting in DAD.


26-Improving your Fingering – Judy House (NOV-INT) … Fri 4:45

All hands are different, but if you find a fingering system that works, you should stick to it! Developing a fingering system often feels awkward at first, because you aren’t used to it, but with time and practice, it will become a habit. Come take a look at some various fingering ideas and start developing your personal system today!


27-Piedmont Picking – Carol Walker (ADV) … Fri 4:45

Guitarists no longer have a monopoly on this advanced fingerpicking system, also sometimes referred to as Alternating Bass or Travis Picking. If you’re looking for a spiffy, new challenge to keep your fingers moving and your brain alive, this is it! We’ll work our way through some basics and then apply these techniques to various tunes. You’re gonna love the way you sound! DAD tuning (might also use DGD and DAA – bring a capo.)


SAT 10:00 workshops



31-Hammered Dulcimer 101 – Marya Katz (BEG) … Sat 10:00

For those who have either never tried the dulcimer or have one that you've tapped on a few times and then put in the back of your closet or under your bed, this session is for you! We'll learn some techniques to find where the notes are by playing rhythms and nursery rhymes, explore the mysteries of tuning all those strings, find how it feels to produce a clear tone, and learn a simple tune in the key of D (our favorite!). It would be helpful to be able to read traditional music notation but is not necessary for this session. A recording device is also recommended. All handouts will be supplied.


32-Tunes You Already Know (Playing by Ear) – Cliff Cole (MID) … Sat 10:00

This is a fun workshop to help you build your repertoire by learning tunes that you "already know." We will work from a list of common songs such as Happy Birthday and Oh Susanna. Participants are encouraged to bring a tune or two that you already know well, to share. 


33-Develop Hand Interdependence with a Hymn – Stephen Humphries (MID-ADV) … Sat 10:00

Learn how to expand your hand interdependence with a folksy and syncopated version of the hymn “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.” This arrangement, from Stephen’s upcoming album of hymns and new book of hymn arrangements, incorporates both accompaniment and melody in each hand at different times. Handouts with the hymn arrangement and exercises will be provided.





39-Playing in an Ensemble – Kirk and Judy House (ALL INSTRUMENTS) … Sat 10:00

A totally different concept from what we’ve been doing all these years, let’s learn the ins and outs of playing multiple parts all at the same time. Thrilling? You betcha! Come see what all the hoopla is about. Spend the class learning new music, performance skills, and loads about playing with others! You don’t want to miss this! We will cover one to two multi-part pieces in class. Bring your Standard, Baritone, or Bass Dulcimer or any stringed instrument you play!




34-Mountain Dulcimer 101 – Carol Walker (BEG) … Sat 10:00

Even if you've never played a dulcimer before, I personally guarantee that you'll be playing a tune within the first five -- yes, that's 5! -- minutes of instruction. We'll explore all the basic elements, including comfortable playing position, tuning the instrument, playing simple chords, reading dulcimer tab, and simple strumming techniques, to get you off to a flying start! DAD tuning


35-Learn the Way Grandpa and Grandma Did - Stephen Seifert (NOV) … SAT 10:00

We'll practice three methods separately and together to help you learn tunes and techniques a lot quicker. This might be your breakthrough moment; this stuff really works. 


36-Playing with Expression – Nina Zanetti (INT) … Sat 10:00

You’ve picked a beautiful tune, mastered the notes, and maybe even memorized it. Now you’d like to “play it with feeling.” In this workshop, you’ll learn technical strategies for making your playing as expressive and elegant as beautiful singing. You’ll get to try out these “tools” on some pretty tunes. We’ll also spend time exploring what it means to “play with feeling” and whether mindset and ease can influence how we achieve that. DAD


37-A Classical Approach to the Dulcimer – Carolyn Brodginski (ADV) … Sat 10:00

An instrument is just a vehicle to make music. Any kind of music. So why not add some classical music to your repertoire? In this workshop we’ll tackle the Bach/Gounod “Ave Maria”, and if there is time, "The Happy Farmer" by Schumann. Finger picking is preferred, but not required. Bring your dulcimer with the 1+ fret.


38-Dealing with the Troublesome Dulcimer – Dwain Wilder (ALL) … Sat 10:00

This is a workshop in learning how to assess whether something you know is wrong can be fixed by you or a repair shop. We'll also get into problems that are difficult to pin down, various buzzes and peculiar noises such a sympathetic buzzes, and how to locate their source and how to fix the problem simply (in some cases). Bring your troubled dulcimers and we'll use them as case studies for the class.




SAT 11:30 workshops



41-Hammered Dulcimer 102 – Jody Marshall (BEG) … Sat 11:30

So you’ve got this multi-stringed trapezoid and little sticks to hit it with. Now what?! In this class, we’ll put those little sticks to good use with some skill-building exercises and an easy tune. We’ll also learn to recognize some of the dulcimer’s visual patterns. (Ability to read music is not a prerequisite, but music will be provided.)


42-Dance Tunes from Brittany – Marya Katz (MID) … Sat 11:30

The Breton musicians created some lovely dance tunes that were often meant to be performed in medleys. These rather short (in length) tunes are easily accessible to the hammered dulcimer and allow opportunities for simple embellishments in the Celtic style.


43-Accents and Rudiments – Stephen Humphries (ADV) … Sat 11:30

When it comes to incorporating melodies into rhythmic styles of playing, there is nothing more effective than having full control over the placement of accents. Come learn how to develop a new level of expertise with rudiments and how to make them musically useful by adding accents to create melodies. Handouts with exercises and examples will be provided.




48-Hey! Where’s the Beat??? – Carol Walker (ALL INST.) … Sat 11:30

When you understand the relationship of the beat to the rhythm, a whole new world will open up for you! For instance: You’ve found a new piece of music that’s nicely tabbed out, but you have no idea how it sounds, and there’s no one around who can play it for you. Now what??!! After working through the basic examples in this workshop, you’ll have the tools to figure out practically any rhythm. BONUS: You’ll discover why a metronome deserves a special place in your musical toolbox. 


49-Performance Ready – Carolyn Brodginski (ALL INST.) … Sat 11:30

Been wanting to get up the nerve to play at an open mic, or take your show on the road? This workshop will help you prepare, and be ready for that big debut. From set list selection, to dealing with nerves, to connecting with your audience, and more, you’ll learn the tools you need to play for your family or the crowds at Carnegie Hall.



44-Mountain Dulcimer 102 – Ellen Pratt (BEG) … Sat 11:30

In dulcimer 101, you learned all the basics of how to hold and play a dulcimer. In Mountain Dulcimer 102, we will go more in-depth, and apply those principles of fretting, strumming, and chording as you learn a few new songs to increase your repertoire. You'll also get some practice drills to take home with you to  hone your new skills. 


45-What Can I Bring to the Jam? – Norm Williams (NOV-ADV) … Sat 11:30

For those who have jammed, or want to, but desire to add something more. What can we add to the group’s music to enhance the experience for us and others? Discussion of counter-melodies/harmonies, rhythm, and backup chording. We’ll also discuss repertoire, etiquette, and jam types. No paper required for this workshop. Come tuned to D. 


46-A Bunch of Capo Tunes and Tips - Stephen Seifert (INT) … Sat 11:30

We'll use the DAD tuning; capo at 1, 3, and 4; and we'll work through a number of approachable arrangements to give you a feel about what makes each capo position special. Don't play everything in D. If you're not using a capo, you're missing out on a lot the dulcimer has to offer. Let me show you. 


47-Creating an Ensemble Arrangement – Kirk & Judy House (INT-ADV) … Sat 11:30

We will take a familiar melody and try our hand at writing a 3-part arrangement with melody, harmony, and bass parts. In writing an arrangement, the sky is the limit! This can be thrilling or, you may want to pull your hair out before it’s all over…but humbling (and wonderful) when you hear a group playing your arrangement!


SAT 1:30 workshops



51-Which Hand Should I Use? – Sam Edelston (BEG) … Sat 1:45

When playing a tune on hammered dulcimer (and just a handful of other instruments, like the xylophone) your two hands often take turns hitting the melody notes. Some new players find this mystifying or daunting, while some others just take a haphazard approach. In this workshop, we’ll create order out of chaos, and you’ll learn some simple tools that will make your playing much more natural.


52-Vespers: A Study in Expressiveness – Nate Pultorak (MID) … Sat 1:45

It is a comfortable evening as the church bells quietly toll in the distance and a slight breeze rustles the leaves. Out of the quiet of the waning day is born the song Vespers by Dave DePasqua, which works on rubato technique and dynamics. Come learn this peaceful, beautiful tune.


53-Why Not play Blackbird on the HD? – Cliff Cole (ADV) … Sat 1:45

Why should guitar players have all the fun? Cliff has transposed Paul McCartney’s classic tune “Blackbird" to the hammered dulcimer. Players with extended-range instruments will be able to use their extra bass strings, but this arrangement will work on practically any HD. It is challenging, but fun. You can even teach yourself to sing along with it.




59-Live Looping – Stephen Humphries (ALL INST.) … Sat 1:45

Do you ever wish you could play with other musicians but don’t have the opportunity to do so? Do you ever desire to play more than one part or instrument at a time? Come learn how to get started doing these things and more. In the workshop, we’ll use the “Loopy HD” app (for Apple devices), but all the same concepts apply to other apps/devices/platforms, as well. Handouts with resources and useful ideas will be provided.




54-Introduction to Jamming – Judy House (BEG-NOV) … Sat 1:45

If you are new to playing the dulcimer or new to jamming, come join in the fun! We will be learning what it means to “jam,” jam etiquette, basic songs you should know in order to join others in a jam, and have loads and loads of fun and laughs, too! I hope to see you there!


55-Keep Calm and KEEP GOING! – Carol Walker (NOV-ADV) … Sat 1:45

I used to be a Very Shy Performer who absolutely HATED getting up on a stage, but if I can do it, so can you! Whether you want to sing and play at an open mic or just serenade the family dog, I'll share experiences that will help you have more confidence on any stage. I'll incorporate some of your own concerns, anonymously of course, regarding stage fright and anything else. (IMPORTANT! When you register for this workshop, please send me an email and tell me what YOUR biggest performing issues are. Please put “Keep Calm” in the subject line. Thanks!


56-DGD: Darn Good Ditties – Ellen Pratt (INT) … Sat 1:45

Tired of DAD all the time? Do you want to play in an easy alternative tuning? We will explore the key of G using the DGD tuning. We will play some old-time jam tunes and a few original tunes.


57-Arpeggios to Improve Tunes You Already Play - Stephen Seifert (ADV) … Sat 1:45

When I add cool stuff to plain tunes, I follow what I call safenotes. They guide me so I can come up with cool ideas that always fit what's happening in the music. I'll show you how to learn and use arpeggios to know where ALL these safenotes are. 

SAT 3:00 workshops



61-Instant Holiday Hits! – Jody Marshall (BEG) … Sat 3:15

Learning to recognize the dulcimer’s visual patterns is key to learning to play. The simplest pattern for playing a scale, for example, is often referred to as a “box” because it forms a square, boxy shape. We’ll explore this shape in different places as we learn one or more well-known Christmas songs that fit neatly within it. (Ability to read music is not a prerequisite, but music will be provided.)


62-Developing Good Rhythm – Stephen Humphries (BEG-MID) … Sat 3:15

Find the path of least resistance on your instrument by learning some foundational rhythmic patterns. We will use these rhythms to explore scales and simple melodies while also developing effective hammer motion. No matter what style of music you want to play, learning a few fundamental rhythmic patterns will help you on your journey. Handouts from Stephen's book on rhythm & rudiments will be provided.


63-Accessorize Your Playing! – Nate Pultorak (MID-ADV) … Sat 3:15

It has been said that what separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. Whether or not that is entirely true, this workshop will add some color and sparkle to your music with fun techniques such as muting, plucking, and valley notes. 




68-How to Play Rhythm Bones – Ron & Dawn Jordan (BEG) … Sat 3:15

Are you here because your Significant Other plays an instrument but you don’t? Do you love a good, strong rhythm? If you can tap your foot to music with a modicum of accuracy, this class is for you! No musical knowledge is required.  We’ll have a pair of bones for everyone to use during class and teach you what they are and how to hold them, and help you become the most annoying … uh … very best bones player you can be!


69-Two-Finger Thumb Lead Banjo  – Ellen Pratt (ALL) … Sat 3:15

Here’s an easy-to-learn style of fingerpicking to add to your banjo repertoire. You may have heard it in recordings by Bascom Lunsford, Frank Profitt, Mike Seeger and others. You'll leave this workshop with the tools and practice tips to help you play songs using a Two-Finger Thumb Lead style on banjo. Come tuned in open G (gDGBD). Knowing how to fret a G, C, and D chord would be helpful, but not necessary as I will include instruction in chord shapes as well. Novice and up.





64-“Old Time” Songs & Tunes for Mountain Dulcimer – Norm Williams (BEG) … Sat 3:15

Learn three or four simple, not-so-familiar, Old Time Appalachian songs/tunes and their background. We’ll focus attention on timing, rhythm & singing. DAD tuning.


65-Introduction to Flatpicking – Judy House (NOV) … Sat 3:15

Come learn a beautiful way to play slower songs. In this workshop, I will teach how to take a chord and play it by picking one string at a time, and I will show you how to do this in an easy sequence to help with your timing. After we’ve practiced a bit, we will take some well-known chord-melody tunes and learn how to convert them painlessly into beautiful arpeggiated music.


66-Fiddle Tune Grab Bag – Ron Ewing (INT) … Sat 3:15

A varied selection of fun tunes from around the world, based around DAD and DGD, some including a capo, as well as at least one with the 1 1/2 fret (which I can install for those wishing to add one to their dulcimer). The latter makes playing a lot of minor and mixolydian tunes a lot easier, as well as adding a few useful chords.


67-What If It Were Easy? – Nina Zanetti (INT-ADV) … Sat 3:15

Does tension ever prevent you from enjoying music or playing your best? Does making music ever cause you pain? In this workshop you’ll get to explore ways to bring ease into your playing, performing, and practicing. We’ll specifically focus on the effects of mind-set and purpose; how to develop awareness of tension; and a few practical ways to increase ease in our musical endeavors. DAD


SAT 4:15 ... Dulcimer Orchestra performance & Open Mic