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Afternoon Electives

Dulcimer U Summer Week 2020

Carol Crocker’s Level I Morning class will have the opportunity to continue with Carol each afternoon in a review session of the skills presented that morning.  Beginners, please note that there will be no other electives offered with the beginning dulcimer player in mind; however, there are several electives offered that do not require a dulcimer to participate.  For the adventurous, you’re welcome to participate in a Level 2 elective with the understanding that the instructor will and should only be focused on Level 2 skills within the scope of each elective session. 

MONDAY 1:00-2:30 pm

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS Exclusively for Carol Crocker’s Level I class - A continuation/review of the beginning morning skills class. This will give the participants time to ask those questions they thought of over lunch or get extra help.

MUSIC THEORY FOR THE MOUNTAIN DULCIMER PLAYER (Jim Miller, all skill levels) - This class will cover the basics of music theory as it applies to the mountain dulcimer. Learn about scales, chords, modes, intervals, etc., and how to apply this knowledge to the dulcimer fretboard. (Will be repeated on Wednesday.)

REMEMBERING DAVID SCHNAUFER (Tull Glazener, Level 2, Advancing Beginner and up) - David was one of the most innovative and inspiring dulcimer performers and instructors of our time.   We'll spend the time learning a bit about his life, watching some video clips of some of his performances, and learning one of his original tunes.   Those of you that knew him are welcome to come and share your memories and stories about him as well. (Will be repeated on Wednesday.)

CAUGHT IN A JAM???  (Laurie Alsobrook, Level 2, Advancing Beginner) - What if the tune is being played in a different key and I only know it in D?  What if I don’t know the song?  Answers to these questions and more!  Consider this session your guide for jam survival...plus it will be fun!  For three strings with DAD tuning; please bring a capo.

SONGS OF THE WEST (Irma Reeder, Level 2-3, Advancing Beginner/Lower Intermediate) - Saddle up your mustang and take a ride through the old west!  We’ll have some fun with melodies, parts, accompaniments, and maybe some whistling! Bring your capo just in case.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT  (Jim & Phyllis Gaskins, Level 2-4, Advancing Beginner to Upper Intermediate) - Jim and Phyllis will teach the pentatonic scale for the key of D and how to use it to help you start picking up melodies in sessions. This skill will enable you to feel comfortable and competent participating in general music sessions and provide excellent reinforcement in your learning process. Tuning: DAD or all Ds.

FAMILIAR HYMNS IN THE KEY OF G (Sally Delawter, Level 3, Lower Intermediate) -- It can be hard to sing some of those hymns in D – it’s too high! We will learn a number of favorite hymns in chord melody style, played in the key of G, but we will be tuned in DAD.  No capo is required, BUT you must have a 1 1/2 fret.

DULCIMER ENSEMBLE TECHNIQUES (Elaine Conger, Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) -- playing well in a group setting takes quite a bit of skill. Using PowerPoint and group demonstration/discussion, the class will cover a myriad of topics and techniques including maintaining a group pulse, expression, dynamics, performance etiquette, seating arrangement, repertoire choice, and arranging ideas.

1 ½ FRET BLUES LICKS (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 3-4, Intermediate) - Often, when players first get the 1 1/2 fret, we tend to spend a lot of time playing the “wrong” note on accident. In this class, we’ll play through a few bluesy licks and develop ways to turn our “wrong” notes into a launching point for purposeful improvisation. 

THINKING “INSIDE” THE BOX (Butch Ross, Level 4, Upper Intermediate) -- Learn to use cross-string picking and three finger "boxes" to tame tricky tunes without simplifying melodies or removing notes. Improve speed and dexterity without actually playing faster.

MUSIC OF TURLOUGH O’CAROLAN (Nina Zanetti, Level 4-5, Upper Intermediate and beyond) - Learn a little about the life and times and music of the great Irish harper.  His music sounds wonderful on mountain dulcimer.  We’ll learn several examples of his lovely tunes, including some with variations. These tunes lend themselves well to embellishments, such as trills, rolls, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, so we’ll also explore how to incorporate these techniques into our playing of the tunes.

HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (Larry Conger, Level 5, Beyond Intermediate) - 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. 

TUESDAY 1:00-2:30 PM

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS Exclusively for Carol Crocker’s Level I class - A continuation/review of the beginning morning skills class. This will give the participants time to ask those questions they thought of over lunch or get extra help.

INTRODUCTION TO CHORD/MELODY STYLE PLAYING (Tull Glazener, Level 2, Advancing Beginner) - Chords are one of the basic building blocks of music.   We'll start by reviewing basic chord structures in DAd tuning, and then show how the melody line tends to "fall out" of the chord structure.

FIDDLE TUNES IN G (Phyllis Gaskins, Level 2-3 Advancing Beginner/Lower Intermediate) - Have you tried playing in a jam with other instruments and could only play the tune in D? These tunes will be taught in the same register that the fiddle player would play them and in the favored fiddle & banjo jam session key of ‘G’. Here are some favorite ‘G’ tunes we will be learning: “Big Scioty”,“Merriweather”, “Seneca Squaredance”, “Did You Ever See the Devil Uncle Joe?”, and “Sandy River Belle”.  Tuning: DGD or all Ds.

WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS!  (Laurie Alsobrook, Level 3, Lower Intermediate) - It’s a shame to waste such beautiful melodies and play them only once a year.  Perhaps these lesser-played tunes will soon become your favorites as they are already mine.  Techniques practiced in this workshop will include draw-pluck style of playing.  For three strings with DAD tuning; please bring a capo.

CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP MUSIC  (Sally Delawter, Level 3, Lower Intermediate) - Are you on a praise team at church? Just love to sing contemporary worship songs? Yes, we can play contemporary worship music on the dulcimer. Because this is current copyrighted music, there will be an additional $5 fee to cover the printing rights payable at the beginning of class. You will learn and receive TAB for 4 popular worship songs, played in chord-melody style. We will tune in C/G/C for ease in singing.

PLAYING FOR CONTRA DANCES (Jim Miller, Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) - Learn the ins and outs of accompanying this popular form of dance. We'll cover important topics such as keeping steady rhythm and listening to other players. Learn what to do (and not do) as well as common contra dance tunes. (This class will also be offered on Thursday.)

SINGING WITH THE MOUNTAIN DULCIMER (Irma Reeder; Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) - Let’s learn how to accompany our singing with the dulcimer!  We’ll add an intro, a break, and use strumming and picking to back up the vocals.  Working knowledge of chords needed.  Bring your capo, just in case.

BEST LOVED HYMNS IN TWO KEYS - (Larry Conger, Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) - DAD tuning - This class will present several familiar hymn tunes that are played in two different keys, thereby adding interest to the arrangements. A 1.5 fret will be useful but not required.  A perfect addition to your worship service repertoire.

DULCIMER ENSEMBLE REPERTOIRE (Elaine Conger, Level 3-4, Intermediate) - For skilled players who have a thorough knowledge of theory as it applies to the dulcimer and are fluent tab readers. Improve your ability to play in a dulcimer ensemble by honing your skills in steady beat, expression, dynamics, and overall musicality. Bass and baritone dulcimer parts will be utilized in addition to standards, so bring them if you have them! (Baritones tuned ADa; all others DAd)

MYSTERIOUS MELODIC CONNECTIONS (Nina Zanetti, Level 4-5, Upper Intermediate and beyond) - Tunes are living entities that change and evolve as they are passed along through different times and places. Let's explore the sometimes surprising history of several familiar tunes, some going back to the middle ages. Examples may  include: "Redwing", "Barbara Allen", and "The Friendly Beasts", as well as some surprising musical relationships between Renaissance compositions and dulcimer favorites such as “Boil Them Cabbage”.

TAKE A SAD SONG AND MAKE IT BETTER (Butch Ross, Level 4-5, Upper Intermediate and beyond) - We will take songs that you’ve perhaps grown a little tired of, tear them apart and put them back together again to create fun & energized new versions. We’ll learn fingering techniques that allow you to play “all” the notes. As well as additional musical and rhythm embellishments to teach these old dogs some new tricks.

FINGERSTYLE ORNAMENTATIONS (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 5, Beyond Intermediate) - Fingerpicking works great for many beautiful, soft, slow pieces on the dulcimer; it also presents some unique opportunities to play in a pyrotechnical manner. This class will lean more in the direction of the pyrotechnical side of fingerpicking and use some old-time fiddle tunes to apply some fancy fingerstyle ornamentation. 

WEDNESDAY 1:00-2:30 pm

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS Exclusively for Carol Crocker’s Level I class - A continuation/review of the beginning morning skills class. This will give the participants time to ask those questions they thought of over lunch or get extra help.

MUSIC THEORY FOR THE MOUNTAIN DULCIMER PLAYER (Jim Miller, all skill levels, REPEAT OF MONDAY) - This class will cover the basics of music theory as it applies to the mountain dulcimer. Learn about scales, chords, modes, intervals, etc., and how to apply this knowledge to the dulcimer fretboard.

REMEMBERING DAVID SCHNAUFER (Tull Glazener, all skill levels, REPEAT OF MONDAY) - David was one of the most innovative and inspiring dulcimer performers and instructors of our time.   We'll spend the time learning a bit about his life, watching some video clips of some of his performances, and learning one of his original tunes.   Those of you that knew him are welcome to come and share your memories and stories about him as well.

SONGS WITH THE FUNNIEST TITLES! (Laurie Alsobrook, Level 2, Advancing Beginner) - The titles of some or our tunes absolutely crack me up!  Be prepared to enjoy...we’ll try to keep a straight face when we play a few of these.  While having fun, we’ll work on left hand skills.  For three strings with DAD tuning; please bring a capo.
 
INTRO TO THE BANJAMMER (Mike Clemmer, Level 2+, Advancing Beginner and up) - come experience this interesting and unique creation of Mike Clemmer! (Will be repeated on Thursday)

OLD TIME MODAL TUNES: MIXOLYDIAN AND DORIAN EXPLAINED - (Phyllis Gaskins, Level 2-3, Advancing Beginner/Lower Intermediate) --  With a clearer understanding of the modes in the key of A you will learn to use the capo to play these old tunes: “Storms Are On the Ocean”, “Breakin’ Up Christmas”, and “Sheep Shell Corn by the Rattlin’ of His Horn”. You may use a noter or finger the notes.  Tuning: all Ds or DGD or DAD. Bring a capo.  

CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP MUSIC PART 2  (Sally Delawter, Level 3, Lower Intermediate) -  Sometimes, it’s easier to strum a rhythm back up and sing our worship songs. Because this is current copyrighted music, there will be an additional $5 fee to cover the printing rights payable at the beginning of the class. You will receive chord sheets for 4 popular worship songs. (These are not the same songs as in the previous class; you do not need to have attended the previous Worship music class.) We will tune in C/G/C for ease in singing.

MUSIC OF THE SHAKERS (Nina Zanetti, Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) - The Shakers produced a huge body of sacred music (possibly as many as 10,000 hymns), including lively dance tunes and ethereal meditations.  “Simple Gifts” is the most well-known example, but there are many more tunes, all well-suited to playing on the dulcimer. After a brief introduction to the Shakers – who they were, what they believed, how they lived, what they left us- we’ll focus on their music, learning tunes from the various periods of Shaker music, which spanned from colonial days until the early 20th century.  We may even learn a Shaker dance!

DUETS FOR STANDARD DULCIMERS (Larry Conger, Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) - DAD tuning - Familiar and not so familiar songs will be presented.  These arrangements will feature one part that is a bit more difficult than the other. You do not have to have a duet partner in order to attend this class or play these arrangements. Each tune can stand alone as a solo.

MIDWINTER’S MEMORIES (Irma Reeder, Level 4, Upper Intermediate) - Obscure Christmas songs you can play anytime!  A good working knowledge of TAB and chords will help you as we do some flat picking, finger picking, parts, and accompaniments.  Bring your capo, just in case.

ADVANCED CONCEPTS FOR PLAYING ACCOMPANIMENT (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 4, Upper Intermediate) - Playing back up on the dulcimer isn’t about playing a lesser role… quite the opposite. As an accompanist, you have just as much influence, if not more, than the person in the spotlight. In this way, back up players have a lot of power. In this class, we’ll look at ways to use this power for good and add to any small ensemble with some advanced concepts for playing back up.

SHOW OFF! (Butch Ross, Level 5, Beyond Intermediate) - Learn to make unusual, offbeat and fun sounds on the dulcimer. In short stuff that sounds cool! Learn string bending, natural and artificial harmonics, Two-hand tapping, slapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs and using the dulcimer as a drum. We’ll learn how to do this stuff, but more importantly when to do it.

THURSDAY 1:00-2:30 pm

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS Exclusively for Carol Crocker’s Level I class - A continuation/review of the beginning morning skills class. This will give the participants time to ask those questions they thought of over lunch or get extra help.  

INTRO TO THE BANJAMMER (Mike Clemmer, Level 2+, Advancing Beginner and up, REPEAT FROM WEDNESDAY) - come experience this interesting and unique creation of Mike Clemmer!

DEMYSTIFYING MODES (Nina Zanetti, Level 2+, Advancing Beginner and up) - Have you ever been mystified when dulcimer players talk about modes? In this workshop, we’ll try to clear up the mystery by looking at what a mode is, how they vary, which modes are used in dulcimer music, and how different tunings are related to modes. We’ll play some simple, drone-style tunes in different modes to get a “feel” for the aural quality of each mode. Noters are optional but welcome!

CELTIC TO GALAX (Phyllis Gaskins, Level 2-3, Advancing Beginner/Lower Intermediate) - Many of our old tunes came to us by way of Ireland and Scotland and landed in the mountains.They were played, revised somewhat, and often renamed.Some of them are The Fairy Dance, Miss McCloud’s Reel, Over the Moor to Maggie (Waynesboro), Pigtown Fling (Stoney Point) and Fisher’s Hornpipe.Come hear the Irish fiddle version of these and more! Learn to play the Ol’ Time version. Come prepared to retune and use your capo and (optional) bring a hardwood noter if you have one. Lots of playing - noter or finger-style. Tuning: All Ds or DAD

PLAYING FOR CONTRA DANCES (Jim Miller, Level 3 & up, Lower Intermediate and up) REPEAT FROM TUESDAY) - Learn the ins and outs of accompanying this popular form of dance. We'll cover important topics such as keeping steady rhythm and listening to other players. Learn what to do (and not do) as well as common contra dance tunes. This is a repeat of Tuesday’s class, but you’re welcome to take it again as a rehearsal for the evening’s dance!

FAMILIAR HYMNS, BUT WHAT’S THE TUNE??  (Sally Delawter, Level 3, Lower Intermediate) - Sometimes, when we sing those old familiar hymns, we go on auto-pilot. We will look at well-known lyrics put to a totally different (also well-known) tune, in chord-melody style. They’re not challenging to play, but it will make you think about those words! We will tune in C/G/C for ease in singing.

WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI (Laurie Alsobrook, Level 3, Lower Intermediate) - Here are a few traditional fiddle tunes I learned from two fiddlers out of Kansas and East Texas. We’ll learn songs in the old time style.  Tab will be provided at the end of the class.  Here’s a chance to work on your ear training while learning a few new tunes.  For three strings with DAD tuning; please bring a capo.

ROCK-N-ROLL BEGINNER BOOT CAMP WITH CHORDS (Butch Ross, Level 3+, Lower Intermediate and up) - Did you know it only takes a handful of simple chords to play most of the songs from the early days of Rock-n-Roll? Come learn the common chord progressions and song structures required to play dozens of classic tracks. Learn how to play the same progressions in different keys. Capo required.

SONGS OF THE BRITISH ISLES (Irma Reeder, Level 4, Upper Intermediate) - Take a trip back in time, and play songs that evoke bittersweet memories of green meadows, dramatic seascapes, lost love, and fallen heros.   Bring your capo, just in case.

FLATPICKING PATTERNS (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 4+, Upper Intermediate and beyond) - In this class, we’ll breakdown the mechanics for playing a few useful flatpicking patterns before applying them to some common dulcimer tunes. 

TIN PAN ALLEY AND RAGTIME MUSIC (Tull Glazener, Level 4+, Upper Intermediate and beyond) - We'll work on some multi-part arrangements of some tunes from the "golden era" of American popular music.   

DULCIMER BLUES (Larry Conger, Level 5, Beyond Intermediate) - DAD tuning.  This class requires a 1+ fret to get that "bluesy" sound.  Challenge yourself to learn several old blues tunes from "Midnight Special" to "CC Rider."  A challenge for the intermediate level player.  Bring a capo, just in case.

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