Phyllis Woods Brown has been making music and performing for over 40 years. She studied music at Tennessee
Technological University, Music Education with emphasis on voice, but was delighted
to find her TRUE musical passion in traditional and old-time music when her father
built both her first mountain and hammered dulcimers, and she found the dulcimer community.
Phyllis is a singer/songwriter multi-instrumentalist, and has always enjoyed teaching
others what she has learned. She has taught and performed at numerous venues, ranging
from Dulcimer Festivals, Old Time Festivals, weddings, fundraisers, Christmas celebrations,
church services and special events over 8 states.
Phyllis plays by ear and teaches by music, although reading music is not a prerequisite
for taking her classes. She prefers in the workshop environment to teach HOW to play
rather than WHAT to play, with chords being a primary focus of embellishment and back-up
techniques. Phyllis’ champion philosophy is: “It’s nice to play someone else’s arrangements,
but when a person develops a true understanding of their instrument and learns embellishment
techniques, it’s THEN that they can become a master of the instrument and develop
their own lovely and interesting arrangements.”
For more information, please visit Phyllis’ website: www.phylliswoodsbrown.com.
Jody Marshall, a native of the Washington, D.C. area, grew up in a musical family. Enchanted by
the sound and visual appeal of the hammered dulcimer, she developed a passion for
the instrument and began playing in the late 1980s. Her performance credits include
the White House, the Kennedy Center, and Wolf Trap’s Filene Center for the Performing
Arts. Jody was a founding member of the popular folk trios, Ironweed and MoonFire,
and also performed extensively with the award-winning ensemble, Connemara. She is
also a popular dulcimer teacher, and has been on the faculty of many festivals and
arts workshops across the nation and overseas. From 2010 to 2014, she was the staff
coordinator of the Augusta Heritage Center’s Spring Music Week in Elkins, WV.
The Washington Post describes Jody’s music as “lovely, lively, and shimmering.” She
has several recordings to her credit, including Cottage in the Glen (on the Maggie’s
Music label) and Carol of the Bells. She is also the author of the book, Carol of
the Bells: Seasonal Favorites for Hammered Dulcimer and Other Instruments, as well
as the upcoming A Baker’s Dozen, her new book of duet arrangements for hammered dulcimer
players. For more information, visit www.jodymarshall.net.
The recently retired Jim Miller joins our Dulcimer U staff every summer to lead the organized jams and teach various
electives for our mountain dulcimer week. He is the true perennial of the staff, having
been on staff for as long as anyone cares to remember. This summer, Jim will also
be teaching the beginner level class for our Hammered Dulcimer Weekend. Jim has been
playing and performing traditional music for more than 35 years. An accomplished instrument
builder and teacher, he has taught workshops at numerous festivals as well as won
many awards for his musicianship. For twenty years, Jim was the owner of the Hampton
Music Shop, in Hampton, Tennessee, where he handcrafted over 750 hammered dulcimers.
He has played with Celtic, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues and Old Time bands, and has done
session work on many recordings. In addition to being an accomplished performer and
workshop leader, Jim also is an enthusiastic jam facilitator (Jam-Meister, Master
of the Jam, etc.) who likes to get everyone involved. He plays guitar, banjo, octave
mandolin, bass, steel drum, percussion, autoharp, hammered and mountain dulcimers
as well as his own off-the-wall musical inventions, which are always entertaining.
Jim holds a Master's degree in Elementary Education and has completed the course work
for certification in music education. He recently retired from teaching 4th grade
in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, where he was also leading an after school traditional
string band program. He is still active as a teacher at East Tennessee State University,
teaching dulcimer and autoharp in the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program.
Visit Jim’s website at jimmillerdulcimer.com.