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FACULTY/STAFF DIRECTORY

 
Class Descriptions

Please choose your classes wisely and carefully; there will be no allowances for switching classes at the event.

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

 


8:30 - 10:00 - Friday Session #1

Choose one topic from each session:

Mountain Dulcimer:

 New Players & Beginners (Anne Lough; 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 with one of the most patient and knowledgeable instructors in the dulcimer community - Anne Lough. DAD tuning.

 Chord Shapes in DAd (Larry Conger; MD2-3)-- A must for developing a chord-melody style of playing. This Powerpoint presentation will explore the various chords, major and minor, available in DAD tuning while associating their names with specific shapes. You will have a difficult time progressing beyond your present skill level without this knowledge, so plan to join Larry for this informative session.

 Improving Your Flatpicking (Jeff Furman; MD2-3) -- This class will focus on improving the accuracy and fluidity of your flatpicking. We will explore techniques, practice exercises, and repertoire to improve this skill.  Please BRING A CAPO.

 Dulcimer Ensemble Techniques (Elaine Conger; MD2-4) -- playing well in a group setting takes quite a bit of skill. Techniques covered will include maintaining a group pulse, expression, dynamics, performance etiquette, seating arrangement, repertoire choice, and arranging ideas. This class partners with the repertoire session that follows at 10:30.  Participants who take both of these classes are eligible to take the Ensemble Rehearsal class on Saturday morning (8:30) which will culminate in a group performance at the Open Stage Concert on Saturday evening. (Must take all 3 classes in order to perform on Open Stage with group.)

 Playing with Variety (Aaron O’Rourke; MD4) -- Add spice to any simple tune with these tricks for creating rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic variations.

Hammer Dulcimer:

First Embellishments (Linda Thomas; HD1-2) -- This workshop will present the Civil War fiddle tune, “The Girl I Left Behind Me”;  in addition to the basic melody, players will also learn and practice a basic embellishment for the song.  Open to readers and by ear players.

Blackberry Blossom (Jess Dickinson; HD3-4) -- Students will learn to play this traditional fiddle tune.

Guitar

Beginning Guitar (Dan Delancey; G1) -- Players in this workshop will focus on basic chord shapes for playing accompaniment with a pick.


10:30-12:00 – Friday Session #2

Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

 The Moods and Fun with Capo 1 (Jeff Furman; MD2-3) -- The sound of a dulcimer tuned to DAd capo 1 (Em) is moody and captivating.  We will explore this tuning, including scales, fingering, and chords. And, of course, we will play some very cool tunes, too!  Please BRING A CAPO!

 Dulcimer Ensemble Repertoire (Elaine Conger; MD2-4) -- this session continues where the first session at 8:30 left off. Two arrangements will be presented which will utilize standard, baritone, bass & bowed, so bring the varieties you own. Music in this session will be rehearsed again at the 8:30 Sat session which will culminate in a group performance on the Open Stage Concert Sat evening. (Must take all 3 classes in order to perform on Open Stage with group.)

 Irish Jigs and Reels (Aaron O’Rourke; MD4) -- Flat-pick tunes that get played frequently at tradition Irish music sessions. We’ll also discuss ornamentation and how to accompany these tunes on the dulcimer. DAD tuning.

 Tab Reading & Writing Basics (Larry Conger; All Levels) --- Let’s face it. We’re all poor tab readers. Why not learn the basic principles of tab reading and writing with this in-depth presentation? The fundamental principles of good tab will be discussed, followed by an interactive exercise designed to help you identify missing elements in various tab examples. This course is also being offered as a prerequisite to the “Learning To Teach The Mountain Dulcimer” class at Dulcimer U Summer Week. Everyone is welcome.

Hammer Dulcimer:

Playing Chords (Linda Thomas; HD1-2) -- Participants in this workshop will explore the concept of playing hammered dulcimer as an ensemble instrument.  Topics/skills will include playing chords in different keys (G, D, C) and different meters (2/4 and 3/4). Open to readers and by ear players.

 Ragtime Annie (Jess Dickinson; HD3-4) -- Students will learn to play this traditional fiddle tune. (Learning video included)

 Guitar

Beginning Guitar, continued (Dan Delancey; G1-2) -- This workshop will be a continuation from playing basic chord shapes to understanding the proper chords for major key signatures.


2:15-3:30 – Friday Session #3

Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

Stephen Foster Tunes (Jeff Furman; MD2-3) -- There is a reason Stephen Foster’s compositions are still held dear today…he wrote some great tunes!  In this class we will play a number of his tunes which are well-known but not often played. And we will explore techniques and rhythms that honor these tunes. Please BRING A CAPO.

House of the Rising Sun (Larry Conger; MD3-4) --- Requires a 1+ fret and a capo. In this class, you will learn an arrangement of a great old rock tune from 1964 made popular by Eric Burdon and the Animals. The melody is played in two different octaves and the arrangement makes extensive use of the 1+ fret. A challenge for the intermediate level player and perfect for the more advanced player. This tune “has been the ruin of many a poor boy.” Come on! You know you want to learn this song! DAD tuning. Bring a capo.

Licks and Improvisation (Aaron O’Rourke; MD4) -- Learn a few simple rules that will help you play off the cuff with confidence. We’ll also discuss ways to incorporate bluesy notes into just about anything.

Music Theory for the Mountain Dulcimer Player (Jim Miller; All levels) -- This class will help participants to understand and utilize music theory concepts as they relate to the mountain dulcimer, resulting in a working knowledge of the instrument that can be applied to not only playing but also arranging songs for the dulcimer. This course is also being offered as a prerequisite to the “Learning To Teach The Mountain Dulcimer” class at Dulcimer U Summer Week. Everyone is welcome.

 Hammer Dulcimer:

Building Repertoire: Hymns (Linda Thomas; HD2) -- Participants in this workshop will learn the beautiful song, “Wayfaring Stranger”; in addition to a basic melody, an embellished version and back-up will be presented, as time permits.  Open to readers and by ear players.

Shenandoah Falls (Jess Dickinson; HD3-4) -- Students will learn to play this traditional fiddle tune. (Learning video included)

Guitar

Advancing Beginner Guitar (Dan Delancey; G2) -- This workshop will focus on the practice of changing chords, anticipating chord changes, good timing and building speed to accompany dulcimer and other instruments.


4:00-5:15 – Friday Session #4

Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

Fun Old Time Tunes (Jeff Furman; MD2-3) -- There are thousands of great old-time fiddle tunes widely played in jams across the country and around the world.  This class will offer some tunes that are well-known in old-time circles, but less commonly played by dulcimer groups. Let’s see if we can start spreading a few more around!  We will also explore some techniques and rhythms that enhance the fun feeling of these tunes.  Please BRING A CAPO.

Children’s Lullabies (Larry Conger; MD2-3) -- Okay parents and grandparents. This workshop is designed specifically for you! Have you ever wanted to play dulcimer for your kids or grandkids? Do you play just for your inner child? This is your opportunity to add a couple of beautiful lullabies to your repertoire. DAD tuning. Mildly challenging.

Bowed Dulcimer Technique (Jim Miller; Levels 2-4) -- This class is for all of you bowed dulcimer enthusiasts. Jim will address various skills and techniques unique to the bowed dulcimer and will be prepared to answer any questions you may have about your bowed dulcimer or how you can get started playing the bowed dulcimer.

Fancy Flatpicking (Aaron O’Rourke; MD4) -- We’ll review the basics of flatpicking before jumping headfirst into flatpicking licks and tricks that sound harder than they really are.

 Hammer Dulcimer:

Building Repertoire: Waltzes (Linda Thomas; HD2) -- Participants in this workshop will learn the traditional song, “Seamus O’Brien”; players will learn a basic melody with both an embellished version and accompaniment presented as time permits.  Open to readers and by ear players.

 Softly and Tenderly (Jess Dickinson; HD3-4) -- Students will learn to play this beautiful hymn utilizing their skills in modulating from D to G, A, C and back to D.

Guitar

 Advancing Beginner Guitar, continued (Dan Delancey; G2)

 


SATURDAY SESSION DESCRIPTIONS 2015

8:30-10:00 -- Saturday Session #1

choose one topic from each session:

 Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

Hymn Tune Repertoire (Larry Conger; MD2-3) --- This class is always a popular one because it provides participants new material to play in worship and/or devotional settings. Come prepared to learn some familiar hymn tunes in a chord/melody style with a few interesting twists and turns along the way. DAD tuning.

Navigating the Dulcimer Fretboard (Aaron O’Rourke; MD2-3) -- In this class, we’ll look for hidden patterns on the fretboard that will make many tunes easier to play and present many possibilities to explore within the tune.

Dulcimer Ensemble Repertoire Rehearsal for Open Stage (Elaine Conger; MD2-4) -- rehearsal opportunity for those who were in the Ensemble Repertoire class on Friday. This session marks the last chance for participants to get together before the open stage sharing session with your peers later the same evening.

Improving Your Fingering (Jeff Furman; MD4) -- This class will emphasize concepts and techniques to improve your left hand fingering to add smoothness and sustain to your playing. We will play some beautiful tunes that require careful planning and technique in order to play them smoothly.  But the concepts can be used to improve the fluidity of all the tunes you play.  Please BRING A CAPO

Hammer Dulcimer:

Arpeggio and Rhythm Techniques (Jess Dickinson; HD2) -- These techniques are a must for intermediate and intermediate + players who are beginning to perform. We will cover using arpeggios, vamps, syncopation, dynamics, and percussion patterns, to spice up traditional melodies such as “Old Joe Clark” and “I’ll Fly Away.”

Develop an Arrangement (Linda Thomas; HD3-4) -- With the beautiful waltz, “Midnight On the Water”, players will learn melody, counter melody and accompaniment parts to develop an arrangement that can be shared and enjoyed with a variety of instruments.  Open to readers and by ear players.

Guitar:

Playing Guitar Leads (Dan Delancey; G2-4) This workshop will focus on playing melodies within a chord shape (as in Mother Maybelle style).


10:30-12:00 – Saturday Session #2

Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

The Adventures of Liza Jane (Aaron O’Rourke; MD2-3) -- We’re going to take this very common tune to places that aren’t often heard in jams. Come explore all the possibilities of this often-played tune.

Groovin’ on the Bass Dulcimer (Elaine Conger; MD2-4) -- The bass dulcimer will be your instrument of choice once you find out how much fun they are to play!  Learn how to perform with it as an accompanying instrument by mimicking the technique of the upright bass player.  

Adding Notes and Variability to Your Playing (Jeff Furman; MD4) -- This class will focus on concepts and techniques to help you learn how to add notes and variability to tunes you already play. You will also learn some new tunes along the way to help you understand how to apply these techniques.  The result will be more fun for you in your playing, and more interesting music for your listeners!   Please BRING A CAPO.

Tab Reading & Writing Basics (Larry Conger; All Levels) -- Let’s face it; we’re all poor tab readers. Why not learn the basic principles of tab reading and writing with this in-depth presentation? The fundamental principles of good tab will be discussed, followed by an interactive exercise designed to help you identify missing elements in various tab examples. This course is also being offered as a prerequisite to the “Learning To Teach The Mountain Dulcimer” class at Dulcimer U Summer Week. Everyone is welcome.

Hammer Dulcimer:

Embellishments and Decorations (Jess Dickinson; HD2) -- Students will learn common hammered dulcimer embellishments such as 3-note rolls, 4-note rolls, bounces, percussion techniques, and other ways to make playing fast tunes more interesting, and slow tunes more beautiful.

Playing Backup on Hammer Dulcimer (Linda Thomas; HD3-4) -- This workshop will present ideas/techniques for playing back-up on the hammered dulcimer in a group or ensemble.  Topics will include playing in different keys, different meters and different rhythmic patterns.  Open to readers and by ear players.

Guitar:

Playing Guitar Leads, continued (Dan Delancey; G2-4) This workshop will be a continuation of the study of Maybelle style; this level will begin adding single-note phrases.


2:15-3:30 – Saturday Session #3

Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

Creative Accompaniment (Aaron O’Rourke; MD2-3) -- Go beyond basic back up. We’ll discuss different rhythmic ways to improve playing accompaniment to make any group or jam sound better as well as exploring variations in chord choice.

Birds of a Feather - Baritone & Standard Dulcimers Together (Larry Conger; MD3-4) -- In this class, we solve the age old mystery of how to play both a baritone and standard dulcimer together as a duet while in different tunings. This class was offered at last year’s Winter Weekend as was so popular that it is being revisited again in January. Baritones come prepared to tune GDG or ADA. Standard dulcimers should plan to tune DAD.

Tasteful Backup (Jeff Furman; MD4) -- Playing backup with someone is not just two people playing the same tune. This class will explore concepts and techniques that can help you enhance the sound of the music when you are playing with someone else, regardless of the instruments being played.  We will then apply these techniques to some beautiful tunes so we can make beautiful music!  Please BRING A CAPO.

Hear-a-Chord, There-a-Chord (Elaine Conger; all levels) -- “Everywhere a chord, chord……,” but how do you know when and where to use them?  Learn how to hear the 3 primary chord changes in any key and how to distinguish when to play each.  This should help you out in a  jam….or a jelly…..!

Hammer Dulcimer:

12-Bar Blues (Jess Dickinson; HD2) -- It’s not as difficult as some think to play the blues on hammered dulcimer. We will learn 12-bar blues accompaniment and lead for such tunes as “Stormy Monday Blues,” “Milk Cow Blues,” and “St. Louis Woman Blues.”

Building Repertoire: Fiddle Tunes (Linda Thomas; HD3-4) -- This workshop will offer a traditional fiddle tune, “Spring In the Valley”; players will learn the basic melody and an optional harmony part for making this song a great “duet” tune!  Open to readers and by ear players.

Guitar:

Rhythm Guitar for Accompanying Dulcimer (Dan Delancey; G2-3) -- This workshop will focus on rhythm styles using strumming styles, bass runs and arpeggios.


4:00-5:15 – Saturday Session #4

Mountain Dulcimer:

New Players & Beginners, continued (Anne Lough; MD1)

Right and Left Hand Exercises (Aaron O’Rourke; MD2-3) -- The exercises presented in this class will improve overall dexterity and speed in both hands. Special attention will be given to the all-important but often rebellious pinky. DAD tuning.

Bowed Dulcimer Technique II (Jim Miller; Levels 2-4) -- This class is continued from the previous afternoon. In addition to the skills presented on Friday, Jim will also discuss how the bowed dulcimer is used as a solo instrument as well as an accompaniment instrument in a group.

The Art of Harmonics (Larry Conger; MD4) --- Please note the skill level for this class before enrolling. This workshop will address the skills needed to play both natural and artificial (fretted) harmonics on the dulcimer. The majority of the instructional time will be spent helping participants to hone the skill, culminating in playing an entire song developed from harmonics. A challenging skill no doubt. However, harmonics can add beauty and interest to any song. DAD tuning. Please note that this class was offered at Dulcimer U Summer Week in July.

Celtic Tunes (Jeff Furman; MD4) -- This class will focus on techniques and rhythms to enhance the feel of some great Celtic tunes. We will play some fast tunes and some slow airs to put these techniques into practice. All of these techniques can also help you improve the sound of Celtic tunes you already have in your repertoire. Please BRING A CAPO.

Hammer Dulcimer:

Irish Potatoes, Runs, and Caps (Jess Dickinson; HD2) -- In this class, we will learn different and interesting ways to begin tunes, and to “cap off” the last measure of A-parts and B-parts of tunes such as “Whiskey Before Breakfast,” “Arkansas Traveler,” and “Mississippi Sawyer.” These are great tools to have in your tool box of tricks to make your version of a tune sound special.

Building Repertoire: Holiday Music (Linda Thomas; HD3-4) -- This workshop will offer the beautiful song, “In the Bleak Midwinter” as a basic melody, embellished version and the accompaniment will be presented as time permits.  Open to readers and by ear players.

Guitar:

Rhythm Guitar for Accompanying Dulcimer, continued (Dan Delancey; G2-3)

 

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