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FACULTY/STAFF DIRECTORY

 
Class Descriptions

 *denotes perfect sessions for the absolute beginner on mountain dulcimer.

Level 1 = beginner
Level 2 = beyond beginner
Level 3 = intermediate
Level 4 = beyond intermediate

Choose one topic from each session

 

8:30-9:45 -- Friday Session #1

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Rhythms Beyond 4/4 - Part I" (Butch Ross; MD3-4) -- In this workshop we explore waltzes, Scandinavian polkas, hornpipes, jigs, blues shuffles, swinging jazz, Latin rhythms, odd time signatures and more.

"Chord Identification in DAd" (Larry Conger; MD2-3) -- A must for developing a chord-melody style of playing. This workshop will explore the various chords, major and minor, available in DAD tuning while associating their names with specific shapes.

*"New Players & Beginners" (Sarah Morgan; MD1) -- This class will meet as a series of eight workshops throughout the weekend. You should choose this class for every session in order to develop the skills necessary to progress through the beginner level. The dulcimer is an instrument which can be learned very quickly and you can be playing tunes within minutes. Topics covered in these classes will be holding, strumming, fretting, and tuning your instrument, a little on the history of the dulcimer, chords for accompanying others, timing and rhythm as it applies to the dulcimer, and lots of tunes from a variety of genres. Come ready to have a lot of fun learning more about this fascinating instrument. DAD tuning.

"Dulcimer Ensemble Techniques" (Elaine Conger; MD2-4) -- playing well in ensemble fashion takes quite a bit of skill. In this session you'll not only receive a useable arrangement, but you'll gain knowledge in how to make your group sound and play better. (Bass dulcimers will be utilized in addition to standards.)

Hammer Dulcimer:

"Getting Started: Hammer Dulcimer Basics I" (Anne Lough; HD1) -- No experience is necessary to learn to play a few tunes on this ancient, beautiful instrument. The workshop will cover basic scale layout, playing technique and enough information to continue to learn tunes independently. A few extra dulcimers will be available for the weekend.

"The Lover's Waltz" (Ruth Smith; HD3-4) --- The Lover's Waltz is a great tune written by Jay Ungar and Molly Mason (Jay wrote Ashokan Farewell). This waltz has a beautiful B section that soars on the hammered dulcimer and is a delight to play!

Guitar

Beginner Guitar" (Steve Smith; G1) -- Starting with the basic terminology of the guitar, how to place your left and right hands properly on the guitar, moving on to begin forming basic open chords in several keys and how to play them cleanly so that they ring true. We will go as fast or as slowly as the class needs to build a solid foundation for playing the guitar well. You will learn to play the chords and chord progressions for many familiar songs. [No experience necessary]

10:15-11:30 – Friday Session #2

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Rhythms Beyond 4/4 -- Part II, Syncopation and Exotic Rhythms" (Butch Ross; MD3-4) -- From "Hand Jive" to "Take 5" and even "Wellyn," we'll look at what makes odd rhythms odd and Latin and dance rhythms so cool. If you've ever wanted to "Begin the Beguine," this class is for you.

"Use of 3-finger Chords" (Larry Conger; MD2-3) --- A great follow-up to the chord shapes workshop. Several arrangements will be presented as time allows utilizing three finger chords.

*"New Players & Beginners, continued" (Sarah Morgan; MD1)

"Dulcimer Ensemble Techniques, Part 2" (Elaine Conger; MD2-4) -- this session continues where the first session left off and will add an arrangement that includes a part for baritone dulcimers.

Hammer Dulcimer:

"Getting Started: Hammer Dulcimer Basics 2" (Anne Lough; HD1-2) - continue to explore the  basic techniques of playing the hammered dulcimer

"Hymns" (Ruth Smith; HD3-4) --- Hymns on the hammered dulcimer are simply inspirational. We will study a favorite hymn in this class, learning the melody, chord based harmonies, arpeggios and embellishments, which can also be adapted to any type of music you play.

Guitar

"Advancing Beginner Guitar" (Steve Smith; G1-2) -- Picking up from beginning guitar, this level introduces various right-hand patterns of rhythm, chord progression structure, and bar chord formation. We will learn how to figure out chord progressions by ear, learning to hear what keys and chord patterns are being used, then, play them ourselves without using music or tablature. We'll also learn to use the simple "Nashville Number System" for song chord charting used for decades in Nashville recording sessions. [Student needs to be able to play basic left-hand open chords smoothly and have a basic steady rhythm ability with the right-h w/ and]

1:00-2:15 – Friday Session #3

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Roots of Rock-n-Roll: Rhythm" (Butch Ross; MD3-4) -- Learn the basics of rhythm from the early days of Rock-n-Roll.  Some rhythms will be harder than others, but you'll be surprised by which is which.

"Exploration of the Capo" (Larry Conger; MD2-3) --- Learn how to properly apply the capo and then use it to play songs in Em, F#m, G, A, Am and Bm. A short discussion will address the various types of capos on the market today and a few loaner capos will be made available to those who do not own one.

*"New Players & Beginners, continued" (Sarah Morgan; MD1)

Hammer Dulcimer

"Hammer Dulcimer: Building Your Repertoire" (Anne Lough; HD1-2) -- Let's learn some new "standard repertoire" jam tunes as well as tunes for your individual and performance playing.

"Hammer Dulcimer: Wedding Ceremony Music" (Ruth Smith; HD3-4) --- A discussion on the basic elements of the ceremony and how to choose appropriate music. We will also learn a good basic wedding tune.

Guitar

"Intermediate Guitar" (Steve Smith; G2-3) -- Picking up from advanced beginning guitar, this level introduces various passing chord runs that make smooth transitions from one chord change to the next. These various musical phrases embellish any tune or song making for much more interesting and pleasing music. [Student needs to be able to play basic left-hand chords smoothly including both open and bar chords.]

2:30-3:45 – Friday Session #4

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Roots of Rock-n-Roll: Chords" (Butch Ross; MD3-4) -- Learn the chords and chord progressions of many of the great tunes in the golden age of rock-n-roll.

"Standard and Baritone Together" (Larry Conger; MD2-3) --- Add an extra dimension to your duet playing Learn how to use the baritone dulcimer to accompany the standard dulcimer and visa versa.

*"New Players & Beginners, continued" (Sarah Morgan; MD1)

Hammer Dulcimer:

"Parlor Songs" (Anne Lough; HD1-2) -- Enjoy these turn of the century sentimental tunes from a bygone era when families and friends would gather in the  "parlor" to sing and play.

"Wedding: Business Aspects" (Ruth Smith; HD All levels) --- Bring your questions about the business aspect of doing weddings. Ruth has seen it all and can help with tips on building your business, customer contact, song choices, contracts, fees, getting the information you need, sound systems, etiquette, preparation, event day details and more!

Guitar

Intermediate Guitar, cont." (Steve Smith; G2-3)

4:00-5:00 – Friday Session #5

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Intro to Improvisation" (Butch Ross; MD4) --- Butch calls this class "I Don't Improvise, I Just Make Stuff Up." It is an improvisation tutorial guaranteed to be a lot of fun for those more advanced players who are looking to enhance their playing skills.

"Tab Reading & Writing" (Larry Conger; all levels) --- This class is designed as an elective/prerequisite for the "Learning To Teach The Mountain Dulcimer" curriculum offered each summer at Dulcimer U. Everyone is invited to join this class to help improve tab reading and writing skills. Learn the essential elements of tablature in this powerpoint presentation.

"Music Theory for the Mountain Dulcimer" (Jim Miller, all levels) --- Learn the basics of music theory as it applies to the mountain dulcimer in this presentation. This class was designed by Jim Miller, a degreed music educator for use as a prerequisite/elective to the "Learning To Teach The Mountain Dulcimer" curriculum at Dulcimer U. Everyone is invited to this class.

"Accompanying Mountain Dulcimer with the Hammer Dulcimer" (Sarah Morgan & Ruth Smith; MD/HD2-3-4) --- Join Ruth and Sarah as they show you how the hammered dulcimer and mountain dulcimer can be played together successfully. Come prepared to ask questions of these ladies with regard to their approach to accompanying the other instrument.

"Autoharp: Getting Started" (Anne Lough) -- Let the music begin as you learn the chord patterns and basic strumming techniques on the autoharp, making it easy to accompany and play along with your dulcimer friends.

"Beginning Ukulele" (Steve Smith) -- Starting with the basic terminology of the ukulele, how to place your left and right hands properly on the uke, moving on to begin forming basic open chords in several keys and how to play them cleanly so that they ring true. Simple right hand ukulele strumming will be taught. We will go as fast or as slowly as the class needs to build a solid foundation for playing the ukulele well. You will learn to play the chords and chord progressions for many familiar songs. BEGINNER SKILL LEVEL [No experience necessary]

"Dulcimer Dialogue" -- share info, tips and tidbits with other dulcimer players, find out what's going on in other clubs, or just sit and play!

SATURDAY SESSION DESCRIPTIONS 2014

8:30-9:45 -- Saturday Session #1

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Getting it Right with Rhythm" (Butch Ross; MD2-3) -- The secret to great playing is great rhythm. Period. Learn how to get a solid rhythms and consistent tempos in fun and interesting ways.

"Using the 1½ Fret" (Larry Conger; MD3-4) --- Do you have a 1+ fret on your dulcimer but avoid using it? Aren't sure of when to use it or why you should use it? Thinking of adding a 1+ fret but aren't sure if you want to take the plunge? This class will explain how, why and where the 1+ fret can be used to enhance your arrangements. Temporary frets that can be taped to the fretboard will be made available to those who don't have one.

*"New Players & Beginners, continued" (Sarah Morgan; MD1)

"Classical Dulcimer Arrangement" (Elaine Conger; MD4) -- this session will present a rather difficult ensemble arrangement for all the families of dulcimers.  Only well-skilled players should sign up.

Hammer Dulcimer

"Chords: Backup" (Anne Lough, HD1-2) -- Making sense of the basic chord shapes and progressions. We'll explore using the chords to embellish your melodies and provide backup for other melody instruments.

"Starting Off Right with Arranging" (Ruth Smith, HD2-4) -- Beginning arrangements can be simple and yet beautiful, so in this class we'll start playing with feeling right from the beginning.  While building an arrangement "bag of tricks" we'll learn a beautiful tune like a waltz, air, or Celtic tune.

Guitar:

"How to Accompany Others on Guitar" (Steve Smith) -- The art of backing up a lead instrument, such as a hammered dulcimer, is a very special skill that must be learned and developed over time. In this workshop, the student will learn the key factors needed to make your guitar and the other instrument involved sound as though they are one instrument. How to follow and support the lead instrument with complimentary chord progressions and leading runs will be taught, along with how to play with dynamics and expression. ALL SKILL LEVELS [All levels of guitar skills will benefit from this workshop, with intermediate skills the desired norm]

10:15-11:30 – Saturday Session #2

Mountain Dulcimer:

"A Tunes (Or How to Make Friends with the Fiddler!)" (Butch Ross; MD2-3) -- Fiddle players love to play tunes in A, and you'll learn some good ones in this workshop. You'll need a capo, but you'll also learn how to play without one!

"Southern Fried Medley" (Larry Conger; MD4) --- A "Poultrio." Learn three fun fiddle tunes with a fowl theme guaranteed to be a hit with your audience! Cluck Ole Hen, Turkey In The Straw and Chicken Reel. Be prepared to hammer-on, pull off, slide, mute and bend your strings! Some of these tunes have previously been taught at Winter Weekend.

"New Players & Beginners, continued" MD1)

"Ensemble Arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon" (Elaine Conger; MD2-3) -- the perfect opportunity for you to utilize and reinforce your study of chord shapes from Friday or simply learn a beautiful Baroque period song that has a harmonic progression found in numerous tunes of today.

Hammer Dulcimer:

"Beautiful Celtic Melodies" (Anne Lough; HD1-2)- Enjoy the plaintive, haunting beauty of these classic Celtic Airs.

"From Heart to Hands" (Ruth Smith; HD3-4) --- Learn to play with greater expressiveness. This class will study basic arranging tools and exercises to help accentuate the beauty in melody lines and emphasize the underlying theme of the music. Repertoire will be drawn from expressive, lyrical music like a slow air, waltz or lament.

Guitar:

"Fingerstyle Guitar" (Steve Smith; G2-3) -- Basic three finger-roll, right-hand pattern and variations. How to play flat-pick melodies using fingers and/or finger picks. How to back up other acoustic instruments with passing chords and supporting ornamentation. [Student needs to be able to play basic left-hand chords smoothly including both open and bar chords.]

1:00-2:15 – Saturday Session #3

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Almost Crooked Tunes" (Butch Ross; MD2-3) -- Crooked tunes are a fun part of old-time music, but can be tricky to play (that's part of what makes 'em fun). The tunes we'll learn aren't really "crooked", but ain't quite "square" either.

"Elvis Love Songs" (Larry Conger; MD3-4) --- Two great Elvis hits based on old melodies. "Plaisir d amour" otherwise known as "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" and "Aura Lee" which became "Love Me Tender." Learn them as separate tunes then create your own Elvis medley.

*"New Players & Beginners, continued" (Sarah Morgan; MD1)

Hammer Dulcimer:

"O'Carolan Tunes" (Anne Lough; HD1-2)  -- the 18th century  harp tunes of Ireland's bard, Turlough O'Carolan, come alive on the hammered dulcimer.

"I Wonder as I Wander" (Ruth Smith; HD3-4) --- Learn this hauntingly beautiful winter favorite "I Wonder as I Wander." We will study four (4) different chord based variations of the melody and sneak in a little hand independence as well as playing with greater expression.

Guitar:

"Ukulele for Guitar Players" (Steve Smith) -- This is a workshop for guitar players who would like to start playing the ukulele. The ukulele chord structure is the same as the guitar's high four strings (D G B E) but tuned (G C E A). Right hand standard ukulele strumming and picking will be covered. Several familiar songs will be taught. INTERMEDIATE GUITAR SKILL LEVEL OR HIGHER [really familiar and comfortable on the guitar with good left-hand dexterity] NO EXPERIENCE OR SKILL ON THE UKULELE REQUIRED AT ALL

2:30-3:45 – Saturday Session #4

Mountain Dulcimer:

"If You Like One Tune, You'll Like 'Em Both!" (Butch Ross; MD2-3) -- Learn to recognize recurring patterns in old-time tunes and use them to help you quickly learn new tunes.

"Mountain Dulcimer Blues" (Larry Conger; MD3-4) --- The basics of 12 bar blues on the dulcimer in DAD tuning. A 1+ fret will be necessary to play the tunes offered in this class. Some material may be a repeat from past Winter Weekend workshops.

*"New Players & Beginners, continued" (Sarah Morgan; MD1)

Hammer Dulcimer:

"Christmas Anytime" (Anne Lough; HD1-2-3) - It's never too early to be thinking towards next Christmas! Start to build your repertoire of some traditional Christmas songs while they are still fresh in your ear.

"Practice Tips and Techniques" (Ruth Smith; HD all levels) --- Everybody can use this. A grab bag of ideas and exercises to help improve skills and make practice more valuable. Technique exercises don't have to be dull. Have fun and be productive as we discover musical phrases used in many common tunes and, before you know it, you have learned a new tune! All skill levels are welcome.

Guitar

"Ukulele Repertoire" (Steve Smith) -- Learn the most popular tune played these days on the Uke: the version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" recorded by Hawaii's Brudah IZ (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole). You will learn to play this tune exactly the way IZ played it , using his chords, rhythm patterns, and lyrics (his are a bit different than the original lyrics. ALL SKILL LEVELS WELCOME

4:00-5:00 – Saturday Session #5

Mountain Dulcimer:

"Q & A with Butch Ross, Larry Conger & Sarah Morgan" --- A panel discussion offering you the opportunity to ask questions of your favorite instructor/performer.

"Music Theory for the Mountain Dulcimer" (Jim Miller, all levels) --- Learn the basics of music theory as it applies to the mountain dulcimer in this presentation. This class was designed by Jim Miller, a degreed music educator for use as a prerequisite/elective to the "Learning To Teach The Mountain Dulcimer" curriculum at Dulcimer U. Everyone is invited to this class. 

Miscellaneous:

"Accompanying Hammer Dulcimer with the Guitar" (Ruth and Steve Smith) --- A demonstration and discussion on how the guitar is used to accompany the hammered dulcimer.

"Autoharp: Intro to Melody Playing" (Anne Lough) - It's easier than you might think to find melodic notes on the autoharp. We will learn to listen for and play the melodic "roadmap" of tunes and learn how and where to place and harmonize different intervals of the scale.

"Dulcimer Dialogue" -- ask your dulcimer peers the questions you can't get answered elsewhere, share your experiences from the weekend, or practice for the open stage sharing circle!

"Jam in the Lobby"

"Naptime" (for those that are on sensory overload by this time of the weekend; this also feeds a request from last year's surveys!)

 

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