Hammered Dulcimer Workshops from 2017

The 8-Note Miracle Cure – Brett Ridgeway (HD MID) – Sat 11:30

This simple eight note technique will change you playing from a mediocre rut to a lively, syncopated, fancified tune! It will literally change the way you play opening new doors of freedom and embellishment and so much fun! It will take you way past simple notes to move your playing to the next level!


Around the World On a Dulcimer – Paul Mueller (MID-ADV) – Fri 4:45

Our approach to the versatile dulcimer expands as we explore zither styles using traditional rhythms from different countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  It’s going to be a fun trip!


Backup: Beyond the Basics – Jody Marshall (MID) – Sat 3:15

So you know where your chords are, but now what? How do you use them to accompany others? In this class we'll focus on some specific ideas for backing up jigs, reels, and waltzes, building skills we can draw on in jam sessions and when arranging tunes with a band. 


Chords Demystified – Jody Marshall (BEG) – Sat 1:45

The hammered dulcimer’s inherent patterns may not seem obvious at first, but once you’ve learned them a whole new world of chords, accompaniment, and embellishment starts to become possible. We’ll focus on seeing chord shapes on our instruments, as well as learning to hear chord changes.


Drop, Bounce, and Roll – Cliff Cole (BEG) – Fri 4:45

How do you play a note – the right note – and actually make it sound good? Percussionists use the “drop and bounce” method as their road to cleaner sounding tones, accurate placement, and other skills. After mastering drop and bounce, then the rolls will come more naturally!


French Canadian Music – Tom MacKenzie (ADV) – Sat 3:15

Or, “How to make it sound like you just had some Poutine.” So many tunes to choose from! We will explore the subtleties of French Canadian music; rhythm, ornamentation, etc.  The Hammered Dulcimer was just made for this style of music. Fun, fun, fun.


Hammered Dulcimer 101 –  Jon Weinberg (BEG) – Sat 10:00

An introduction to the dulcimer for new and beginner dulcimer players. We'll cover everything from how to hold the hammers, the logic of the layout of the instrument, where to strike the strings, where to find the notes, and how to play it without getting dizzy from staring at all those strings.


Hammered Dulcimer 102 – Cliff Cole (BEG) – Sat 11:30

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 to 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.


Hand Separation – Jon Weinberg (MID-ADV) – Sat 11:30

You can walk and chew gum at the same time! In four steps, learn to play Jon's simple arrangement of Ashgrove with each hand simultaneously playing a different melody line and a different rhythm.  You can do this!


How to Make Practice Fun – Cliff Cole (MID) – Sat 1:45

Because Mary Poppins had it right: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in a most delightful way. The more you enjoy practicing, the better you’ll get.


Pluck, Pick, and Stick – Jody Marshall (ADV) – Sat 10:00  

Sure, it’s called a hammered dulcimer for a reason – but there’s hidden potential in all those strings. In this class, we’ll coax out the dulcimer’s inner harp and explore its guitar alter ego while learning some great repertoire. Come prepared to do more than just hit your instrument with little wooden sticks!


Questions, Answers & Extra Help  Rich Carty – Sat 4:30

If you have questions about anything you learned at the festival, or just want some extra enrichment, come on in. No appointment necessary.


Songs You Know – Ted Yoder (BEG) – Sat 3:15

Learnable, popular songs you can take home and impress your friends with, and which incidentally teach some useful techniques.


Syncopated Chording – Jon Weinberg (MID-ADV) – Fri 3:30

Without having to know any chord theory, jazz up your fiddle tune accompaniment with this syncopated style of playing chords. Can also be used to jazz up the melody or to "fake it" if you don't know the melody!


TED Tweaks –  Ted Yoder (ADV) – Sat 1:45

Bring something you’ve been playing – or something you’re learning – and we’ll work on it together, in a format that everybody can learn from. Sort of like a master class, but more fun.


Tools for Simplifying and Exploring – Paul Mueller (All levels) – Fri 3:30

We’ll use tools and devices that will make tuning easier and your dulcimer sound better in various playing live and recording situations. These tools can help you to improve your skills and put your creative ideas into action. Exciting possibilities await!


Waltz Away the Hours – Tom MacKenzie (MID) – Fri 4:45

Sometimes, the slower the tune, the harder it is to play. No place to hide with all of that space, so why not use it to accent the tune. The notes you don't play are just as important as the ones you do. We will work on a waltz or two, and show how to add some variation to your playing.


What Can You Do With a Song –  Ted Yoder (MID) – Sat 10:00

Making a song sound like it was made for the dulcimer.

Mountain Dulcimer Workshops from 2017

4-string Beyond DADD – Barb Truex (INT-ADV) – Sat 1:45

DADD may be the most common 4-string tuning, but it is by no means the only good one. Take a leap of faith, and learn how to ease yourself into some other tunings. You just might find one that opens some doors on new musical explorations....and give you some knowledge on working with that guitar player that likes the key of C, or F, or maybe even Bb. 


Adding Punch With the Left Hand – Sandy Lafleur (NOV) – Sat 11:30

Think that the left hand (or right hand for you lefties) is just for fretting?  Add some excitement to your playing with your non-dominant hand.


Baby Steps to Fingerpicking – Carol Walker (NOV) –  Fri 3:30

As a new player back in the early days of my dulcimer exploration, I started looking for other ways to play the instrument beyond the strumming methods I'd been learning. The answer was to put down the pick and start using my fingers. We'll practice different methods of fingerpicking, and apply them to various songs. DAD, and bring a capo, though Carol will have a couple of spares.


Blues Dulcimer – Sofie Reed (NOV-ADV) – Sat 11:30

Here are two great secrets: First, the dulcimer is a fantastic instrument for playing the blues. Second, it’s easy, too. You’ll learn why, and you’ll learn how to do it.


Classical Dulcimer for Wascally Wabbits – Carol Walker (ADV) – Sat 10:00

You weally know more cwassical music than you wealize, thanks to Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, Tom & Jerry, and others. Transcribing music from an 80-piece orchestral score to a 3-string diatonic folk instrument is challenging, but Carol has done it, and will share some examples with you, including a sneak-peek at some classical tunes arranged for two or more players. Bring a capo.


Creating Music –  Laurel Schwartz (NOV) – Sat 1:45

You may be surprised at how musically creative you might be, simply by capturing the sounds that flow naturally out of your fingers. Learn how to put phrases together to make songs. You don’t even need to know how to read music.


DDD Bagpipe Tuning – Ron Ewing (INT) – Sat 11:30

It's a simple tuning, but surprisingly interesting and surprisingly beautiful. We'll cover traditional Old Time, French, and Irish tunes.  Come and explore!


Dulcimer Orchestra – Mack Johnston (INT-ADV) – Fri 4:45

This year’s orchestra workshop will visit 3 Celtic nations, taste music of 4 centuries, and experience the range of beauty from dances to laments.


EAA – George Haggerty (NOV-INT) – Sat 3:15

This one is for folks who play a in DAA and DAD, and might want to try a different tuning using tunes they are familiar with, such as "Old Joe Clark." Come tuned to DAA.


Easy Basic Chords – Linda Collins (BEG-NOV) – Sat 1:45

Everyone can play chords, even beginners! Learn three basic chords and use them within simple tunes. Use these chords to accompany a singer or to play in a session. More advanced players will use provided charts to create more complex harmonies. 


Hornpipes –  Susan Trump (INT-ADV) – Fri 3:30

That lovely step-hop rhythm makes hornpipes some of my favorites to play. Learn the right hand technique you’ll need to enjoy them too. Bring a capo. DAD tuning. 


Let Those Fingers Fly – Brett Ridgeway (MD NOV-ADV) – Sat 1:45

Tired of playing fiddle tunes like a funeral dirge? Not able to keep up? Playing faster, more smoothly, and more accurately is not a matter of talent, but a method of practice. Brett has taught these techniques to all ages and all skill levels on many instruments…AND THEY WORK! As one student exclaimed, "It’s almost like your fingers play by themselves!" 


Let’s Rock! – Sam Edelston (BEG) – Sat 3:15

Did you grow up with some sort of rock or pop music in your house? A lot of it is easy to play on the mountain dulcimer. It’s a fun way to impress your family and friends, and yourself. Come join us!


Mountain Dulcimer 101 – Laurel Schwartz (BEG) – Sat 10:00

Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good place to start. You’ll learn some basics for both your left and right hands, and soon you’ll be making good-sounding music. We’ll be tuned “DAD.” 


Mountain Dulcimer 102 – Melanie Johnston (BEG) – Sat 11:30

In this continuation of mountain dulcimer basics, we’ll work on strumming and strum patterns, rhythm, fingering, tuning, and more. We will employ all you have learned so far to play several simple tunes. 

Music Reading for Dulcimer – Melanie Johnston (BEG-NOV) – Fri 3:30

While you do not need to know how to read music in the classical sense to play the dulcimer, if you want to be able to learn new tunes and interesting arrangements from tablature, you do need to understand a few basics beyond what fret to use. Come learn about note values, roadmaps, time signatures and how and why to “read” a piece of dulcimer tablature before attempting to play it.


Pedals for Your Dulcimer – Jeff Goldenberg (INT-ADV) – Fri 3:30

Bob Dylan got a lot of flak with his startling performance at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 - he went electric. Don't be afraid to connect a mic to a pedal or two, I promise you no one will cry foul, they'll love the new range and scope of the sounds you already lovingly produce. Everybody will get a chance to try things, so come even if you don’t have an electrified dulcimer and are just “electric-curious.” 


Playing in A – Sandy Lafleur (INT) – Sat 10:00

"Believe it or not - NOT every tune is in the key of "D"!  We'll explore several ways to play in the key of "A" on our mountain dulcimers.  Lots of fun and not that hard!"


Put the Tab in Your Tablet – Melanie Johnston (All levels) – Sat 1:45

If you have binders full of music and cart them with you when you go out to play, consider an electronic music database program. There are sheet music / tablature organizer apps for all tablet types. In this class, we will look at a popular program – forScore - specific to iPad. If you have it, bring it to class. If you don’t, you’ll still learn see what these programs can do. We’ll cover getting music into your tablet, annotating, re-arranging, creating setlists, and various other functions.


Questions, Answers & Extra Help  Sandy Lafleur – Sat 4:30

If you have questions about anything you learned at the festival, or just want some extra enrichment, come on in. No appointment necessary.


Singing With the Mountain Dulcimer – Sofie Reed (NOV) – Sat 10:00

As dulcimer players, we want to look down at our instrument, but in order to sing our best, we need to keep our heads up and look at the audience. Find out how you can sound good while playing and singing at the same time. Let’s fill the room with beautiful sounds!


Smoothing Out Your Playing – Linda Collins (INT) – Sat 3:15

What turns notes into music? Connect the notes smoothly to create beautiful phrases. Learn how to overcome “choppy” playing. Apply the new techniques in several lyrical pieces.


Songs of Appalachia –  Susan Trump (NOV) – Sat 4:30

The people who developed this instrument used it to play and accompany the rich style of music they brought with them from their Scottish homeland, which was handed down for generations. We'll learn some of the ancient, traditional songs that are so beautiful and fit so perfectly on the dulcimer. DAD, DAC... we'll see.


Songs You Already Know – Carol Walker (BEG) – Fri 4:45

We'll take a journey back through those timeless "Americana" folk songs that you still remember from many years ago -- the songs that became a part of your musical DNA.  In this workshop, by reading tabbed music and also playing by ear, you'll learn how to play many of those familiar favorites on your dulcimer.   


Strumming and Flatpicking Made Easy –  Susan Trump (NOV) – Fri 4:45

We’ll focus on strumming and strum direction, and then discover how using single string notes adds a new texture and dimension to your music. Come learn a new skill and enjoy some new tunes. DAD tuning.


Throw Away the Music – Barb Truex (INT-ADV) – Fri 4:45

The art and process of: noodling, playing without an agenda, putting notes in a different order, improvising…whatever you want to call it. Being able to enjoy your instrument without always being tied to a sheet of music is fun, practical, and easily portable to almost any situation. Don't get me wrong, reading music is very helpful, wonderful, and useful – but there is another entire world to explore when you take it away.


Two Divided by a Fifth – Jeff Goldenberg (INT-ADV) – Sat 3:15

Take a leap from traditional dulcimer tunings and you'll find some very interesting sounds that are different and beautiful. There's no law that a four-stringed dulcimer's melody strings must be tuned to the same note. This workshop will explore the ways to depart from the standard DAD tuning, providing parallel fourths that adds depth and mystery to your playing.

Other Workshops from 2017

Being Viral – Ted Yoder (Everybody) – Fri 3:30

August 24, 2016 was just a typical Wednesday in his family’s orchard in Indiana when Ted Yoder played a song for his wife, kids, some Facebook viewers, and the local fauna. By Friday, it was getting nearly a million views per hour on Facebook, and … we’ll let Ted tell you what happened, and what interesting experiences it led to. A true story about the power of the Internet.


Don't Fear the Sound System – Don Briggs (All instruments) – Sat 3:15

How to assess a venue and the sound system before you step on stage. Room types, and their advantages and problems. Microphones types, how to use, and what to expect. How to help the sound guy (or gal) make you look like a PRO.


 Ear Training for Everyone – Linda Collins (All instruments and/or voice) – Sat 10:00

We all benefit from ear training. Whether you are trying to pick up a new tune by ear in a session, arrange a new tune on your instrument or learn to sing, certain practices can shorten the learning curve. Enhance your musical experience by training your ear. It's fun!


Fast Jam – Tom MacKenzie (All instruments) – Sat 4:30

It’s play time! Have fun!



Increase Your Stage Presence! – Sofie Reed (All instruments, any level) – Sat 1:45

Performing is much more than just being in front of people and playing/singing a song. You can learn to own the stage, project your personality, and grab the audience’s attention. We’ll do this workshop in the sanctuary and use the stage.


It Takes Two  Mack and Melanie Johnston (All instruments, INT-ADV) – Sat 3:15

Mack and Melanie Johnston play as an acoustic duo with dulcimer, guitar and mandolin family instruments. In this workshop they will teach you some of the techniques they use to create interesting arrangements when second instrument is added. Topics will include chord theory, instrument voicing and how to create and use back-up, texture, harmony and countermelody.  All Instruments welcome.


Laparoscopic Dulcimer Surgery –  Dwain Wilder (ALL) – Sat 11:30

The story of a particularly challenging repair job, where the dulcimer couldn’t be opened up, so methods of performing the internal repair from outside had to be devised. Hear the story, and see the demo. Of interest to builders, repairers, and players of any wooden instrument, as well as people who just like to see clever things.


Open Jam – Mack Johnston (All instruments) – Fri 3:30

Come in off the highway, decompress from the traffic, share some tunes, share some songs, and get into the Nutmeg spirit. Let's make music together. Everybody is welcome. Feel free to join in the middle.


Round Robin – Don Moore (All instruments) – Sat 4:30

A chance to try out all those new tunes and techniques you’ve been learning this weekend … or to relax and un-fry your brain … or just share some music because you feel like it. All instruments, all voices, and all levels are welcome.


Sing-and-Play-Along – Cliff Cole (All) – Sat 4:30 NEW ADDITION

Bring a song to share with others, and join others in singing and playing the songs they brought. All instruments and voices are welcome. A perfect way to use some of the things you just learned, or to simply relax and unwind at the end of the afternoon.


The Singing Voice in All of Us – Christine DeLeon (All) – Fri 4:45

New ways to think about singing that you've never suspected. New ways to approach singing that will surprise you.  Harmony made simple and fun. Why confine something this beautiful to the shower?


Surviving a Jam – Brett Ridgeway (All instruments, all levels) – Sat 4:30

Has there ever been a time when you wanted to join in on a jam, but found the idea of making it through one too intimidating? Have you ever joined a jam, only to find yourself lost and not able to keep up?  Come learn tips that are so simple yet valuable techniques that will help you maneuver through the next jam with ease and enjoyment.  Learn to anticipate chord changes, understanding chords and key changes, keeping time, jam etiquette and how to "mess up well"!  It only takes a few tips and a little practice and you'll be well on your way to becoming a proficient jammer!  This is a hands-on workshop so bring your instrument.


Uke Can Do It – Christine DeLeon (All) – Sat 11:30

Bring your Ukulele and have some fun with simple, playable, and singable songs spanning six decades.  New to the Ukulele?  No problem!  No more than three chords per song and no more than three fingers per chord!