Workshops by Instructor

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InstructorSessionWorkshopLevelWorkshop Description
Alsobrook1Foster Favorites …of course!INTWe are all charmed by Stephen Foster’s enduring melodies that have been with us for generations. This workshop presents a few of my favorites – lovely songs with haunting lyrics.
Alsobrook3Putting the Puzzle TogetherBEGPuzzled by strumming? As you learn few easy tunes, we’ll work on strum patterns that will get your left hand and your right hand to be friends. The puzzle pieces will soon fall into place.
Alsobrook4Round and Round and RoundNOVVirtual Rounds? Yes! “Round-out” your dulcimer repertoire as we explore the beautiful harmonies that are experienced in playing rounds. So that we can actually hear how it all goes together, I record one part and then play the second part live. You provide the third voice.
Beede1Care and Feeding of the Mountain Dulcimer; Just Ask a Builder!ALLStrings, cases, travel, humidity, finishes and more! VSL & tone?
Beede4The Bittersweet Pain of Unrequited Love Songs!INTWhether from 300 years ago or from the 1970s, these songs reflect our fascination with love and loss. The plaintive strains of our mountain dulcimer lends itself particularly well to expressing the humanity of narrative arcs wrapped in melody. Come explore adding a three-minute musical romance novel to your repertoire! We’ll learn one in depth and hit the highlights of the others. Rigs of Rye, Verdant Braes of Skreen, Samuel Harvey, Rafferty
Brodginski2Songwriting PrimerALLWhat comes first? The lyrics or the music? What are the components of a song? What style of music? Blues? Folk? Instrumental? Acapella? What do you write about, and where do you find inspiration? No matter what others may say, there is no one way to approach writing a song. Carolyn will discuss these topics and share what has worked for her (which is not guaranteed to work for everyone else). The goal of this workshop is to provide tools and ideas to help you find your way.
Brodginski3Sweet Songs For The DulcimerINTCarolyn will teach of her two original pieces that have be included in the music sampler of Dulcimer Player’s News. “Sweet Song Of The Mountain”, the unofficial anthem of the mountain dulcinmer, will focus on chords, and playing the dulcimer as an accompaniment to your voice. “Letting Go”, an instrumental reflective piece will focus on finger or flat picking, hammer- ons, and slides.
Brodginski4Singing with the DulcimerNOVWhy is it that so many people don’t sing when they play the dulcimer? Maybe because it has its own beautiful voice? Maybe because the key of D is not in your vocal range? This workshop will focus on using the dulcimer as a rhythm instrument while you do the singing, playing chords rather than melody, and for those who don’t like singing in the key of D, we’ll learn how to transpose some of your favorite roots tunes to a key that suits your vocal range. Bring a capo.
Brodginski5Music…the Real MedicineALLSince the beginning of time, music has been used to communicate, motivate, educate, soothe, incite, excite, entertain…and heal. Learn about the different ways music is used in clinical settings to heal, and what it means to heal. A therapeutic musician since 2016, Carolyn will share her knowledge of music and healing, discuss details of her certification, and share her experiences playing at the bedside at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, Ct
Caeli1Winter SolsticeINTCapo needed. What better way to spend the longest night of the year than by playing centuries-old tunes on dulcimer by fire’s light! These tunes/songs are particularly well-suited for dulcimer, as they were often played on Renaissance lute. Mostly strummed, a few flat-picking notes here and there. Sound files are included for Candlemas Eve, Greensleeves and Pudding Pies and Noel Nouvelet.
Caeli2Technicolor ChordsNOV
INT
Turn “barebones” tab into a rainbow of color chords. To learn the chord- coloring concept, we will restructure “Boil’em Cabbage Down,” then reharmonize the melody of another tune by stacking the chords to create different moods. Once your eyes see the concept and transfer the movements to fingers, this can be applied to your existing music.
Caeli3Christmas Fingerpicked!INTSweet and tender songs of the creche arranged for fingerpicking. We will incorporate rolls, plucks and pinches to bring out the intended character of the songs. One song is from a Tennessee farmer, one is English and one is American, though thought to be British. The tunes are in 3⁄4 and 6/4-time signature.
Caeli4Introduction to Finger-DancingNOV
INT
Finger-dancing is playing chords in a ‘sequence’ instead of ‘simultaneously’. We will take ‘stacked chords’, and make them into ‘broken chords’, playing one note at a time. Your right hand is the work horse in fingerstyle playing and new neural pathways need to be created by incorporating picking patterns and other critical techniques. Sound files of the tunes are included.
Caeli5Legacy Tunes of the AppalachiansBEG
NOV
Build your beginning repertoire with fun tunes from legendary West Virginians Melvin Wine, Charlie Higgins, and an old-time Southern Appalachian song while learning to follow song structure and incorporating basic rhythm. Sound files are included for Silly Bill, Charleston Gals and Sourwood Mountain.
Crocker1Ballads and Folk Tunes from North CarolinaNOV
INT
My Home’s Across the Smoky Mountains in where else but North Carolina. Since I live North Carolina, let’s learn to play a couple of tunes and ballads from this wonderful state. A new one for me is “Swannanoa Tunnel” which I’ll be sharing.
Crocker2Play It in A, and You Can Play It in DADNOVMany times, I have heard players say I only play in D-A-A or only play in D- A-d. Well, here’s your chance to try it both ways. We will do a bit of retuning in this workshop so make sure you have your tuner on hand.
Crocker4All Tied Up in Tied NotesBEG
NOV
Have you ever started learning a new tune and all of sudden seen a mysterious curved line joining two notes that are the same? You’re not alone if you wondered what does that mean and how do I count and play it. This workshop will involve a little rhythm counting of basic note values to understand the tied notes found in familiar tunes.
Crocker5Americana for a Mountain Dulcimer ChristmasINT
+Up
Christmas is coming! In this workshop we will learn a couple of traditional early American Christmas songs. It’s still not too late to add these tunes to your December playlist.
Edelston1Making the Most of Your 1½ FretINTNew chords and voicing you didn’t have before, and some things you can do with them. C, F, G7, D7, Gsus, Csus, Am, Dm, Gm7, D9, E+, A7+5 … stuff like that. Also, see how the 11⁄2 fret can help you play together with other instruments and make you a better singer!
Edelston2Songs You KnowBEGMountain dulcimer is one of the easiest instruments to figure out — and it makes even more sense if you’re playing songs you’ve known forever and can figure out by ear. The objective of this workshop is for you to be able to say, “Yes! I can do this!” DAD tuning.
Edelston3Playing Pop MusicADVThe dulcimer is a natural for playing Top 40-style music. Learn to play some classic chord progressions and rhythms from pop music, from the ‘60s to more recent times.
Edelston4Arranging SongsINTDo you sometimes wish there was tab for a song you like, so you could learn it? If you have a few tools in your utility belt, it won’t be hard to start arranging songs for yourself. We’ll cover some useful techniques and look at some real-life examples. DAD tuning.
Edelston5Unexpected Songs That Don’t Need Extra FretsNOVThere’s the traditional dulcimer repertoire … and then there’s everything else – music that sounds great on the dulcimer, but normally doesn’t get played. In this workshop we’ll broaden your palette with some DAD songs that you probably wouldn’t have thought of, and that won’t require you to add any “clutter” to your fretboard. Have a capo handy, just in case it’s needed.
Gallier2Efficient Chords, Inversions, Chord MelodyINTI will teach 2 different barre shapes that set up standard chord shapes and their inversions (a great way to change melody voicing) in a very efficient way with minimal hand movement. We will learn at least the A part of “How Great Thou Art” as an example. It will cover fingerings, full chord melody, and also individual melody notes pulled from held chord shapes, most of the time just moving one finger. Chord scales will be covered and time allowing, exercises for practice, and making the best use of the thumb on those pesky long stretch chords. dAD tuning
Gallier3The Bluesy 1.5 FretINT
ADV
We will learn a groovy blues instrumental called “Grrrs Groove”, including simple improvisation. Also covered will be the syncopated feel and technique of the blues shuffle rhythm. This tune makes great use of the 1.5 fret and 7th chords that add the blue notes and flavor. Embellishments of bends and slides will also be covered. dAD tuning
Gallier5Happy Lonesome WaltzINTWe will learn this happy sounding waltz, with a slight Cajun swing, phrase by phrase. As we learn it, you will become familiarized with easy triplets, cross-picking through chords for melody, and flat-picked scale fills. Very playable and exactly how I play the first time through from my recording on the “Three Wire Choir” CD. dAD tuning
George1Fun with Hammered Dulcimer – Getting Started is Easy!BEGYou’ll get all the tools needed to start playing the hammered dulcimer, from note locations, how to hold your hammers, to playing chords for back-up and some easy tunes! You’ll get tips for practicing and easy ways around your dulcimer. A good refresher if you haven’t played in a while!
George2Easy Christmas Songs for Hammered DulcimerBEGBy the end of this workshop you’ll be playing some great Christmas tunes with melody and easy harmonies. Be ready for the holidays!
George3Easy Celtic Tunes for Hammered DulcimerBEGLearn a few easy Celtic tunes with melody, harmony, practice tips, and tricks.
George4Tune & Technique for “Tennessee Waltz”INTYou’ll learn to play the melody, harmony and get tips for embellishment, improvisation ideas, as well as how to back-up the melody. Use the technique on other tunes as well!
George5Tune & Technique: “Que Sera, Sera”INTLearn a beautiful arrangement of Que Sera Sera, with back-up parts, harmony, as well as tips to change up the back-up, add “fills” and improvise a little over the chord changes!
Huet1The Essential Chords to Sing with a Dulcimer! NOVYou can sing 90% of the songs of occidental music with 5 chords and you can invent or create your own song with these chords. I’ll give the easy positions to play these chords, and, if all students are ok, we try a few “variants.”
Huet2Make your Dulcimer Sound Like a Harp!ADVYou only have 3 strings (or 4, but with the double chanter you play exactly like you have 3). I’ll give you amazing tricks to sound like you have 6 or more strings and to have almost a harp sound on a dulcimer. It’s nice, it’s beautiful and some times it’s awesome!
Huet3Instrumental PhilosophyALLHow to play without score and like a leader! I give all lot of tricks to play easy and with freedom; to give a show and not seeming to be in a scholar examination! A lot of tricks and some time very different of what teach others – sometimes with examples and some works altogether! Very different, but giving an artistic free seeing on the music and killing the fear of playing in front of audiences!
Huet4Huet Style!ADVTapping, Poly-Strings Tapping, Glissando, and Polyphonic Glissando! One of my special tricks is the THT, two hands tapping: polyphonic tapping, sliding tapping, things to change a song, or just endings, and make with it like fireworks! I’ll give you all my tricks. After that, you can give to others, like love all around the world! Class is only for well-advanced players. Intermediates and beginners do have risks of instrumental crashes, nervous breakdown or impossibility to remember the place of their houses!!
Mueller1Four Cool Euro TunesINT+
ADV
Cool EuroTunes. Learn some great tunes with fun rhythms and melodies from Sweden and France, including “1814,” a Swedish polska (a type of tune in 3/4 time- not a polka!) that has its own harmony part, as well as the lively French hurdy gurdy tune “Horse’s Bransle (Brawl),” and more. DAD, some with 1.5 fret, bring a capo.
Mueller2Beautiful Minor Christmas SongsINT +UpLearn haunting melodies including “The Huron Carol” (“’Twas in the Moon of Wintertime”), “Sing We Now of Christmas” (“Noël Nouvelet”), and “I Wonder as I Wander.” We’ll use both flatpicking and fingerpicking techniques. DAD, bring a capo.
Mueller3Fun with Pachelbel’s Canon in DNOV
+Up
This famous piece repeats the same chord progression over and over, and continuously switches between melodic variations to keep it dynamic. Karen has created lots of dulcimer-friendly variations based on the original that sound especially great when played in groups of any size. And since all the recordings of it are in D, you can play along with the orchestra too! We will also use the chord progression to create harmonies and bass lines. (There may even be an appearance by other songs that use the same progression, like “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”)
Mueller4“Cornwall:” a Contemporary Classic by Force/d’OsscheADVWritten by Albert d’Ossché, “Cornwall” was first released on the “Pacific Rim Dulcimer Project” anthology record in 1977, and along with “Wellyn” is one of the duo’s best-known tunes. Featuring a cross-picked flatpicking pattern and a lovely chord progression, “Cornwall” is a beautiful and rewarding tune to play.
Mueller5Harmonizing with Others and YourselfNOV
+Up
Learn several ways to create a harmony part for a melody line, both for playing duets with others as well as for solo arrangements. We’ll look at identifying intervals on the dulcimer to find easy harmony parts, and use the backup chords to add in bass notes and more, with some fun songs as examples. DAD, Novice and higher-taught for a range of levels
Olson2Greek Modes on Appalachian DulcimerADVHave you ever wondered what the words “ionion” or “mixolydian” mean? In this class I will teach you what the 7 Greek modes are, how they sound, and how they relate to the history of the dulcimer and the traditional tunings. Then we’ll go through a couple examples of how using a capo changes the mode of the dulcimer.
Olson4Classical Dulcimer, Bach EditionADVLearn Bach’s cello suite 1, an iconic cello piece used in many movies and one of his prettiest melodies. The arrangement is for a chromatic dulcimer tuned to DAD; we will be fingerpicking and using some more challenging left hand fingerings. We’ll work together to take on the challenge and have some fun!
Olson5Reel JoyNOVLearn an original composition of mine, which I wrote while my ring finger was injured (you are allowed to use all five fingers;) ). We will be strumming and flatpicking in DAD, with an emphasis on hammer-ons and pull-offs. Feel free to listen to it on my YouTube channel
Seifert1Be a Better BeginnerBEGI remember my time as a beginning dulcimer player with great detail. I think I’m a good player today because I had what it took to be a good beginner. I still use these skills every time I approach something new. I’m going to give you a hands-on tour of various mountain dulcimer skills and practices: strumming, fingering, chording, reading music, learning tunes, and more. I’ll use a number of fun and easy tunes to make my points. DAD Tuning
Seifert2Learn all the Major and Minor Chords FAST!INTLet’s get it done. You won’t believe all the cool stuff you can do once these shapes become automatic. My memory is not that great. I’ll show you all the tricks I used. DAD Tuning
Seifert3My Favorite Arrangement: Silver Bell (NOT the Christmas Song)INTMy mentor David Schnaufer first heard this from Tull Glazener. David created his own arrangement. I LOVED what David did, and now I’ve got my own way of playing it. We’ll have just enough time to get it down. DAD Tuning
Seifert4The Five Major and Minor Pentatonic Scale PositionsINT
ADV
This is the real deal. I’m going to show you how to use the five major and minor pentatonic scale shapes all over the dulcimer to add hot licks and riffs to fast AND slow tunes. I’ve learned this from bluegrass mandolin and rock guitar players. You’ll really like how you sound after you get this down. DAD Tuning
Seifert5My Approach to Playing and Arranging for Four-String Equidistant DulcimerINT
ADV
This is the real deal. I’m going to show you how to use the five major and minor pentatonic scale shapes all over the dulcimer to add hot licks and riffs to fast AND slow tunes. I’ve learned this from bluegrass mandolin and rock guitar players. You’ll really like how you sound after you get this down. DAD Tuning