FRI 1 workshops

2:00-3:00 ET Friday afternoon 

1:00 CT / 12:00 MT / 11:00 PT



Hammered Dulcimer 101 – Marya Katz (BEG)

Do you have a hammered dulcimer that you’ve never really figured out how to play? Or maybe you've tapped on it a few times and then put in the back of your closet or under your bed? this session is for you!  We'll learn 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 music, but is not necessary.  


Tasty Rolls – Bill Ruyle (MID)

We will be learning the techniques of single stroke, double stroke, and multiple bounce rolls to sustain single notes and double stops to create long melodic lines, drones, and ornaments in our playing. Fun and satisfying!


Hand Separation – Randy Marchany (MID-ADV)

This workshop will demonstrate some basic hand separation techniques to fill out a song arrangement. 




Own Your Singing Voice – Juliana Parker (ALL)


Whatever your experience level, if you want to sing better, learn some exercises that set you up to maintain a healthy voice and gain control over your range. With a couple of key adjustments to your technique, you can make a real improvement in just an hour. Plus, you can learn why singers should treat every day like Thanksgiving.



Mountain Dulcimer 101 – Carol Walker (BEG)

Even if you've never played a dulcimer before, you'll be playing a tune after just five -- yes, that's 5! -- minutes of instruction.  We'll start with all the basic elements (comfortable playing position, tuning the instrument, playing simple chords, reading tablature, and simple strumming techniques) to get you off to a flying start! DAD tuning


Phalanges Pilates – Pam Weeks (ALL)

An exploration of healthy habits to assist your dulcimer playing. We start with posture, stretching, general good body habits, and end up with hand and fingering exercises specific to progressing on the dulcimer. Brainstorming welcomed!


John Prine Songs – Rudy Gabrielson (NOV)

We’ll pay homage to the legendary John Prine whose music has touched generations. We recently lost John to Covid19 but his spirit continues to inspire. We’ll explore the life and music of this amazing human whose 3- and 4-chord songs translate beautifully to mountain dulcimer.


Rhythms, From Appalachia to the World – Mack Johnston (INT)

Rhythm is the soul of dance and singing, and brings us joy.  In this workshop we will: Borrow rhythm patterns from myriad places and traditions: Appalachian, Celtic, African/Caribbean. We’ll also review a process for learning these rhythms, integrating them into your own inner metronome, so you can apply them to dulcimer repertoire. Note: For this class, you’ll need to be able to sight-read rhythm patterns built on quarter/eighth notes/rests.


What the L: Lydian and Locrian – Randy Raine-Reusch (ADV)

Explore the mysteries of the rarely performed Locrian and Lydian modes. Seldom used the Locrian mode is dark and brooding, while the Lydian is light and full of potential for the exploring mind.


FRI 2 workshops

3:15–4:15 ET Friday afternoon

2:15 CT / 1:15 MT / 12:15 PT



Hammered Dulcimer 102 – Cliff Cole (BEG) 

We will build on some of the concepts learned in HD 101. We’ll explore different ways of playing scales and chords using some common patterns inherent in the hammered dulcimer’s layout. You’ll learn how to better utilize notes that occur in multiple places on the instrument, to make hammering patterns easier and smoother to play.


As Easy As 1, 2, 3! – Jody Marshall (MID)

It’s fun to play backup in three-quarter time, whether you’re accompanying a sweeping waltz or a gentle lullaby. We’ll learn some specific ways to approach accompaniment in 3/4, and along the way we’ll touch on the use of chord inversions to create harmonic movement.


6th and 7th Chords – Bill Ruyle (MID-ADV)


We will be exploring how the addition of 6ths and 7ths to major and minor chords can enrich our comping and melodic playing. We will work with some simple chord progressions that can be "spiced up" with 6ths and 7ths.




Practice Smarter, Not Harder – Brett Ridgeway (ALL)

The secret to playing successfully is NOT just practicing, but knowing HOW to practice. Many people waste HOURS of time and effort practicing their instrument, and don’t realize their practice methods often serve as a roadblock toward reaching the end-result they desire. This workshop will teach you some proven techniques, tested guidelines, and provide some hands-on practice experience teaching you exactly HOW to practice for the most efficient and effective results! Why waste hours practicing harder when you can productively practice smarter?




Mountain Dulcimer 102 – Norm Williams (BEG)

We’ll expand upon the skills you learned in the first hour, help you get more comfortable with the dulcimer, and help you along the way to making beautiful music on this beautiful, easy-to-learn instrument.


History of the Appalachian Dulcimer – John Hallberg (ALL)

How did the dulcimer we know and love today evolve from its European ancestors? John will give you a front-row look at some specimens from his world-class collection -- samples that he’s found either in his own explorations or through his association with fellow collectors such as Ralph Lee Smith. This “tour” will include various styles of dulcimer from the different key dulcimer regions. Why are we here? Come find out.


Intro to DGD Tuning – Pam Weeks (NOV-ADV)

An introduction to this easy way to play in the key of G (and related keys). DGD is more related to DAA than you might think! We’ll learn a couple simple tunes with an easy way to add instant harmony.



Musicianship – Ken Bloom (ALL)

Music is much more than just the notes on a staff or the markings on a sheet of tablature. How you play the notes, and how your connect them in phrases, brings the music to life. We’ll examine ways that you can use your left hand, your right hand, and your mind to move people’s hearts or dancing shoes.


Dulcimer Musician’s Paintbox – Melanie Johnston (INT-ADV)

It is easy to fall into the habit of playing a tune the same way every time or to get into a comfort zone of playing in the same style.  In this workshop I will give you a “Paintbox” of colors to play with. We will take a tune, dissect it to find the bare bones melody then use our paintbox to color it in as many ways we can get through in the time allotted. Paint colors will include various rhythms, note and chord additions or substitutions, dynamics, and more.

FRI 3 workshops

4:30–5:30 ET Friday afternoon

3:30 CT / 2:30 MT / 1:30 PT



Rudiments for Beginners – Joshua Messick (BEG)

The hammered dulcimer is a percussion instrument with strings. Basic understanding of percussion techniques (called “rudiments”) will equip you with a foundation to improve your playing. Percussion rudiments can be fun! Please bring lots of question.


Renaissance Tunes – Marya Katz (MID)

Participants will learn a couple of tunes from this time period that translate well to performance on hammered dulcimer.  Included with the tunes will be suggestions for appropriate ornamentation and embellishment practices of the 15th-16th century music.  


Alternative Tunings and Note Bending – Bill Ruyle (ADV)

Sometimes the simplest of melodies can be awkward to play on hammered dulcimer just because of where notes are located on the instrument. In many cases, by lowering the pitch of one or two courses of strings, we can solve some logistical issues. Also, we'll explore some note bending in conjunction with some altered tuning. We will be working with the Blind Willie Johnson piece "Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground," as well as some other examples.




Musical Storytelling Part 1 – Juliana Parker (ALL) – FRI 3

Write your new favorite song. In part one of this two-part workshop, you’ll learn some secrets of the songwriting craft, and you’ll be guided through taking an idea from inspiration to a fully fleshed out song. Participants will be encouraged to write and (in Part 2) share a piece based on what is started during this hour. Writers at all levels of experience or inexperience welcome. You are urged to sign up for both parts of this class.



Rock & Roll for Beginners – Rudy Gabrielson (BEG)

It’s fun. It’s easy. It starts with just three chords and in a few minutes, you can be playing some of the classic rock songs you grew up with.  Shake it up baby! 


What Goes Into Building a Dulcimer – Bernd Krause (ALL)

Ever wonder what goes into building that dulcimer on you lap? I will go through some of the steps to make a dulcimer – mostly with hand tools, but a couple of power tools. I’ll also show some of the variable design options for mountain dulcimers.


A Jam? What Do I Do? – Norm Williams (NOV)

For those who have never jammed but want to, or for those who’ve attempted to join a jam but felt frustrated… We'll discuss some basic "jam etiquette" and share common, easy tunes/songs with one another. For many of us, jamming right now isn’t the same as in normal times, so we’ll make the necessary adaptations. Come and enjoy interacting with other players, playing sort-of together, and communicating with the music.


Flatpickery – Randy Raine-Reusch (INT)

Tricks and techniques of using the flat pick, for speed, accuracy, and tone. 


Dulcimer Orchestra – Mack Johnston (INT-ADV)

For each 3-4 part piece in this workshop, we will explore the individual parts, their roles and contributions.  Beyond our technical learning, we will grow by listening for each other’s contribution to melody, harmony, and rhythm, and appreciating our experience of being a whole that is greater than each of us.  We will close each piece by inviting participants to choose a part and play it along with our broadcast of a sound file of the assembled piece. Bring your standard, baritone, and bass dulcimers, if you have them – you’ll have a chance to play all parts. Note: For this workshop, you’ll need to be comfortable with rhythms, and with note and rest values; both regular and dotted.  


What Diatonic Players Can Learn From Jazz – Stephen Seifert (ADV)

Here’s a fresh take on traditional tunes: We’ll take a well-known tune, syncopate the melody and accompaniment, and give it a jazz swing feel. To take the accompaniment up a notch, we’ll talk about how 7th chords are built in the context of jazz. And we’ll talk about how to improvise or “solo” using a bebop jazz scale. All with just the frets you have. (This class was originally scheduled to be taught by Ryan Husain.)


SAT 1 workshops

10:00–11:15 ET /morning class

9:00 CT / 8:00 MT / 7:00 PT



The Way-Laid-Back Hammered Dulcimer Workshop – Brett Ridgeway (BEG)

This is a no-stress workshop that will help you understand the layout of your instrument, locating octaves, duplicated notes, harmony and grace notes, basic chords, and in the process, changing “all those strings” into something that makes sense! Plus, we will teach a performance ready tune for that little boost of encouragement!


Blues for Beginners – Cliff Cole (BEG)

Can you really play the blues on the hammered dulcimer? Of course you can! Learning the basics of blues is easy and fun (but mastering it takes a lifetime). We will explore some common blues scales and chording patterns and learn a blues tune or two. If there is enough time, we will delve into singing while playing. Don’t forget your cheap sunglasses!


Warm-up drills – Randy Marchany (MID-ADV)

This workshop teaches you some basic warmup drills to improve your hammer techniques. Once you learn them, you can combine them in any order as a warmup before you start your regular practice. The ultimate goal is to play a tune without looking at your hammer dulcimer. 


Chromatic Scales – Joshua Messick (ADV)

Yes, you can play a chromatic scale on your standard full-size hammered dulcimer, even without the ‘chromatic option.’ In this workshop, you will learn how to map the chromatic scale and also learn a tune that uses chromaticism. This skill will help you better visualize your entire instrument. A 15/14 (or larger) hammered dulcimer is recommended. Questions are encouraged.




Singing in the Tradition – Norm Williams

Presentation/discussion & singing of traditional songs, ballads, gospel songs and hymns…a-cappella and accompanied by the mountain dulcimer.


Beginning Bowed Dulcimer – Ken Bloom (BEG)

This is the class for the fledgling player and for those who are curious about this very old but not so well known way of playing the dulcimer. I will go over some history as well as all the basics. This will be both a good intro and a review of the foundation of bowed dulcimer playing.




Basics for Beginners – Ellen Pratt (BEG)

This class is for the complete beginner, or someone who hasn’t played in a long time. We will cover everything from bridge to nut! Don’t worry- if you don’t know what a bridge or nut is, we’ll cover that, too! You will learn how to strum, how to change the pitch of the strings, and how to play a couple of easy songs. I’ll also provide practice materials and give you a list of suggestions which will make playing the dulcimer even more fun!


Chords Rule! – Melanie Johnston (BEG-NOV)

Once you can play some simple basic tunes on your dulcimer, it’s time to start learning chords. They will change your life! In this workshop we will work on the first chords you need to know to play back-up or beginning chord-melody style music in DAD tuning. Come tuned in DAD


Professor Walker’s Warmups – Carol Walker (NOV-INT)

Warmups can do wonderful things to improve your playing, regardless of your level of experience.  But if you've ever wondered what kind of warmups will give you the best result in the least amount of time, this is the workshop for you. Note: If you took this workshop last year, most of this year’s material still will be new to you. DAD tuning


Rockin’ Rhythm – Rudy Gabrielson (INT)

As Chuck Berry said, “Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music, any old way you choose it......It’s gotta be rock and roll music, if you wanna play dulcimer with me.” Or something close to that.  We’ll learn several classic rock tunes along with some techniques to get your mountain dulcimer rockin’   Turn your amp up to eleven.


Freeing Up Your Playing With Pentatonic Scales – Jerry Rockwell (INT-ADV)

We'll show you how to flatpick your way through some easy pentatonic scales, using alternating pick strokes, and then we'll apply these to these to the main chords you use every day. You'll see that there aren't any "wrong notes" when you play the pentatonics over some simple chord progressions. Finally - using the examples of some recent original pentatonic tunes of mine, we will give you some insights into how to build your own pentatonic tunes.


4-Note Chords – Pam Weeks (ADV)

Once you add a 4th separate string to your dulcimer, so many possibilities open up! In this workshop we will explore the world of chords on a dulcimer with 4 equi-distant strings, tuned DADD (and maybe another tuning if there's time). We will address transforming 3-string tab to 4-string, as well as spend time enjoying and understanding the new chord possibilities with the added string. What fun! 

SAT 2 workshops

11:30–12:30 ET morning class

10:30  CT / 9:30 MT / 8:30 PT



Movable Chords for Hammered Dulcimer – Brett Ridgeway (BEG)

One of the many joys of the hammered dulcimer is that even things that are easy to play can sound very beautiful on it. Because of the way the strings are laid out, you can take a single chord shape and move it to different places on the instrument to play an entire song.


Taking Care of Your Hammered Dulcimer – James Jones (ALL)

The external and internal structure of your instrument … tuning and intonation … factors that affect the ease of playing … how hammers affect your playing and tone … everything you ever wanted to know about strings (including how to change them) … dealing with buzzes … protecting your dulcimer … amplification and more.  Bring your questions.


Joining the Jam – Cliff Cole (MID-ADV)

Joining the jam with other musicians is fun and wonderful; but it also can be daunting for some players at first. We will explore ways less experienced players can approach jamming and become more comfortable playing with other musicians. We will pick a few common tunes to start with: Whiskey Before Breakfast, Over the Waterfall and The Road to Lisdoonvarna; and figure out some HD chording options and ways to approach jamming in a group environment. We will also discuss improvisation and “chording around the melody.” Please learn the melodies of the tunes mentioned above before attending.


Woodland Dance – Joshua Messick (ADV)

Learn the basic fundamentals of Joshua’s original, “Woodland Dance.” This composition uses many uncommon techniques and methods that will be presented in this workshop.  Sheet music is included. 




We Need a Little Christmas! – Jody Marshall (ALL INSTR.)

This year, we need all the holiday cheer we can get. Let’s get an early start by working on duets of some lesser-known but beautiful Christmas carols. Bring your hammered dulcimer—or your harp, mountain dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, flute, or other instrument of your choice! Ability to read music is recommended (music will be provided in advance), but chords are provided above the staff for those who prefer to accompany rather than reading specific parts. Even though Zoom won’t allow us to all play at the same time, we can still play “together:” I will play the melody and duet parts in succession while you play either the melody, duet part, or chordal accompaniment. Guaranteed to generate plenty of holiday spirit!


Bowed Dulcimer for Experienced Players – Ken Bloom (EXPERIENCED)

This class will concentrate of more details of expressive bowing as well as more advanced left hand techniques. Position shifting and bow "geography" will be important topics as well as solving some of the unique problems that some tunes present. Open to all but aimed at more experienced players.



Mountain Dulcimer Care and Maintenance – Richard Ash (ALL)

The basics of caring for your Appalachian dulcimer. From caring for the wooden body to changing strings, this fun class covers all the fundamentals. How to deal with common problems, such as fret buzz. What supplies to use (and what to avoid!), plus thoughts and recommendations from an experienced builder.


It’s All About the Strum – Mack Johnston (BEG)

Learning a rhythmic, effective strum is the most crucial first step for new dulcimer students.  For many new players it is also the most difficult. The strum brings rhythm and energy to the music, binds musicians together in music-making, and will save your life in that seat of learning, the dulcimer jam. This class will address picks, posture, arm movement and common strumming patterns.


How to Play Chords in Jams – Ellen Pratt (NOV)

In this class, we will learn which chords go with which common  jam tunes and play along with them slowly so that you can “get the songs in your head.”


Whiskey All Over Your Dulcimer – Norm Williams (NOV-INT)

Whiskey Before Breakfast. You can play it low, you can play it high. You can play it in different places on the dulcimer, you can play it in different modes or different tunings. Let’s share some Whiskey and educational good times together.


Classic Rock Phrasing – Sam Edelston (INT-ADV)

Melodies, rhythms, and phrasing in rock music tend to be very different from the steady rhythm of the jigs and reels you may be more accustomed to on dulcimer. (For one thing, the accents move around a lot more.) We’ll shine a light on these differences, help you understand them, and capture the attitude of rock music on your dulcimer. DAD


TablEdit Tips and Tricks for Experienced Users – Melanie Johnston

If you have TablEdit set up on your computer and have been using it for a while, I have lots of tips and tricks to show you. We will talk about managing text and lyrics, working with modules, getting beautiful print-outs, transposing, and more. Bring your questions!


SAT 3 workshops

1:45–3:00 ET afternoon class

12:45  CT / 11:45 MT / 10:45 PT



Major and Relative Minor Triads – Bill Ruyle (BEG)

The relationship between major triads and their "relative" minor triads is easy to understand and very satisfying to hear and play with. We will learn how to build major triads from major scales and how to discover the relative minor triads in very simple steps.


Introduction to Persian Music – Sadaf Amini (MID-ADV)

The tradition of Persian art music embodies twelve modal system, known as "dastgah." Each dastgah represents a complex of skeletal melodic models, called "Maqam," which a performer uses as a basis to produce extemporised pieces.


Classical Tune Transcription – Marya Katz (ADV)

While it is not always practical to transcribe orchestral music to the hammered dulcimer, it IS possible to take some of the other genres of the music of the masters and perform it with grace and beauty.  Participants will learn what types of music to look for, and how to adapt it to their hammered dulcimer repertoire. We will also learn at least one tune for you to add to your repertoire (and by the way, these tunes are perfect for playing at weddings, receptions, etc.).




No Strings Attached Waltzes – Randy Marchany (ALL INSTR. MID-ADV)

For four decades, the hammered dulcimer band, No Strings Attached, was one of the popular acts at dulcimer festivals, and they created a substantial catalog of music. In this workshop, you’ll learn some of the Waltzes from their repertoire. The class will cover French Girl's Waltz, Princess Waltz, Waltz of the Jewel, and others. 


Bowed Dulcimer Repertoire – Ken Bloom (EXPERIENCED)


The bowed dulcimer is capable of playing virtually any type of music and we will explore a few of these genres. The areas we will look at will cover klezmer, blues, Baroque, and jazz as well as some techniques for song accompaniment both as part of an ensemble and solo. This will be a wide ranging class.



Songs for Children – Ellen Pratt (BEG)

New to the dulcimer and want to play songs for children? Join this class to learn songs that children love. I will teach some easy songs using very basic chords so you can focus on your singing and not worry about playing the melody as you sing. You will learn traditional songs like Old Susannah, This Land is Your Land, and a few less well-known songs (children LOVE these) such as Froggy Went A Courtin’ and Rattlin’ Bog.



Name It, Use It!  – Carol Walker (NOV-ADV)

What the heck is an appoggiatura???  How do I play an arpeggio?  Believe it or not, you have probably already been playing these things, but never knew they had proper names.  When you have a name for something, it’s easier to consciously apply it to make your playing better.  This workshop is designed to increase your musical vocabulary while following along on your dulcimer with actual examples and demonstrations of dozens of terms and concepts. DAD tuning



Jam-A-Rounds – Jerry Rockwell (INT)

In this session, we'll have some fun playing an original round I've written, called Skip's Round. This tune is like most rounds in that the parts enter sequentially until you have a full orchestra of parts. Where these Jam-A-Rounds differ is that we can have even more fun varying parts somewhat....and even making up brand new parts! Along the way, we'll also cover some techniques you can use to smooth out your playing, like hammer-ons, and pull-offs, and slides.


The Great North American Raga – Randy Raine-Reusch (ADV)

Indian raga meets Americana from the time of John Fahey and Robbie Basho. Explore methods of building templates for extended improvisation, using what you know. 


TablEdit for New Users – Melanie Johnston

Tabledit is a reasonably priced music notation program that can be used to create music and tablature for a variety of instruments. It is an excellent tool for those who teach, compose or arrange for the mountain dulcimer. This hands-on class is targeted toward getting you set up and on your way to using this program. We will focus on creating tablature for Mountain Dulcimer. You will get the most from the class if you have TablEdit (either the demo or full version) loaded onto your PC or MAC. If you have a second screen, second computer, or tablet available, you’ll be able to watch the instructor in Zoom while you and work along with her in TablEdit in real time. 


SAT 4 workshops

3:15–4:15 ET afternoon class

2:15  CT / 1:15 MT / 12:15 PT



Celtic Gems – Jody Marshall (BEG)

A toe-tapping Irish jig and a lovely Scottish air, both beginner friendly, are the focus of this workshop. If time permits, we’ll also touch on some easy ways to accompany these two gems.


Persian Ornamentations – Sadaf Amini (ADV)

Traditional Persian music has a variety of ornamentation techniques. Some of the characteristic ornaments may be very novel to you. Others may be familiar to you from western music.


Dynamics – Joshua Messick (MID)

Learn how to play more expressively and with controlled dynamics. We will also learn some basic ornaments to add some charm to your music. Questions are encouraged.


Improvisation – Randy Marchany (ADV)

Learn how to recognize some well-known chord progressions and improvise a melody off of them. We'll learn how to improvise in old-time, swing, and other styles of music. 




Backup Guitar for Mountain Dulcimer – Mack Johnston (NOV-INT)

Guitar is the perfect partner for dulcimer, providing a rhythm complement, a bass voice, and a partnering musical line.  In this workshop we will review the guitar’s contribution to playing in duo with dulcimer. We will play several examples and discuss the roles the guitar brings. Note: You’ll need to know basic chords, ability to follow chord letters and charts, and a capo.



Movable Chords for Mountain Dulcimer – Brett Ridgeway (BEG)

Some people confuse simplicity with easiness -- and while they are not the same, using a movable chord position to play an entire song is both! Beautiful in its simplicity and chord progression, and easy to do. This also allows us to understand and use chord substitutions.


Singing & Strumming With Your Dulcimer – Tom Irving (NOV)

 I’ll teach my easy Alphabet Chord Transposing Method and great chord forms to get you in the right key for your voice. Then I’ll share my Tom Strum and the Amazing CWP finger picking style using only one finger for truly beautiful sound! Lots of useful handouts, and a few songs to start your singing career! Music will be made and songs will be sung.


Deciphering Songs by Ear – Ellen Pratt (INT)

Finding the key of songs and playing without tab are two areas that many players find challenging. This class will teach you how to figure out the key a tune is being played in as well as teach you to listen so you can write down what you hear. Bring a pencil.


Adding New Dimensions – Carol Walker (INT-ADV)

Would you like to bring your playing to a new level? With your right hand, you'll learn various ways to bring out the melody against a supportive harmonic background. With your left hand, you'll master the subtleties of musical phrasing with the use of smooth fretting techniques, including vibrato, anchors and slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs, and adding unique chord shapes and colors. The result will be exquisitely beautiful playing that will have your audience exclaiming, "I never knew a dulcimer could sound like that!" DAD tuning, capo required



Jazz on Chromatic Dulcimer – Stephen Seifert (ADV)

Yes – you absolutely can! We’ll take a walk on the bluesy side of jazz, starting with a song. You’ll learn the basics of the ii-V-I jazz chord progression and “chord substitutions.” As for the melody, we’ll spice that up with classic jazz ornamentation, interspersed with some chords, so you can accompany yourself. Just remember, you’ve been hearing music like this all your life, and there’s no reason it can’t be played on a dulcimer. DAD tuning. (This class was originally scheduled to be taught by Ryan Husain.)


SAT 5 workshops

4:30–5:30 ET afternoon class

3:30  CT / 2:20 MT / 1:30 PT



Campfire Songs – Marya Katz (BEG)

Remember some of those old fun songs you used to sing at camp?  Well, they’re just as fun to play on the hammered dulcimer!  We’ll be learning both the melody and a simple back-up part for several of these old favorites, so come on and have a great time! (Marshmallows and chocolate bars are optional.) 


Planxty O’Carolan – Cliff Cole (MID-ADV)

Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) the blind Irish composer and harp player wrote many “planxtyes” These are lovely tunes written for or “about” a person. We will explore some of O’Carolan’s well known tunes – such as Si bheag Si mhor (Sheebeg Sheemore), Planxty Fanny Poer, and O'Carolan’s Farewell to Whiskey – and discuss multiple ways these tunes can be approached on the hammered dulcimer. We will explore more of his tunes as time allows.


Twisted Tunes – Jody Marshall (ADV)

Halloween is just around the corner—and in honor of the occasion, we’ll learn a spooky (but fun!) tune or two that will require the use of some of our poor, neglected chromatic notes. And we’ll employ some interesting techniques too, such as plucking and hand damping. (Music provided in advance.)




Musical Storytelling Part 2 – Juliana Parker (ALL)

Write your new favorite song (part 2). Participants will be encouraged to present whatever came of yesterday’s lesson, and will learn more about the process and the craft of songwriting. We’ll also talk about how to the kinks out of a song and how to edit your work without putting yourself down. You are urged to sign up for both parts of this class.




Easy Harmony – Sam Edelston (BEG)

Years before I ever learned to play the mountain dulcimer, somebody taught me how to play harmony on one. Parallel harmonies are a simple way to prettify a tune – and a tool that keep coming back to as you become a more experienced player. 


Repeat After Me – Jerry Rockwell (NOV)

We'll start with a very basic 12-bar blues in A using the shuffle rhythm. I'll show you this rhythm by singing it and playing it at the same time -- repeatedly -- so you can answer with your own playing (and singing if you want!!). We'll go on to learn a few easy blues licks that only have 3 or 4 notes. We'll also apply our shuffle rhythm to some other familiar chord progressions.


Stompin’ Improv – Randy Raine-Reusch (INT-ADV)

Using Dulcimer Stomp, from Aerosmith’s PUMP album, this is an introduction to improvisation within a simple structure. 


Crooked Quebecois Tunes – Pam Weeks (ADV)

A crooked tune may have an uneven number of measures, or just extra beat in one or more phrases. Quebecois music is full of these delightfully twisted tunes, played for step-dancing or quadrilles, or just for fun! (could also do this with Cajun or southern tunes). DAD, but may change tuning during class.