Afternoon Electives

Happy Hour Ensemble Schedule:

Monday = Janita; Tuesday = Elaine; Wednesday = Larry; Thursday = Lorinda

Several morning classes don’t have the option of selecting afternoon electives:

Carol Crocker’s Level I Morning class will all have the same afternoon elective every day except for Wednesday (descriptions below):

  • BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS (Mon, Tues & Thurs afternoons)
  • DEVELOPING COMFORT WITH RHYTHM (Wed afternoon, Judy House)

Judy House’s Year One Teaching Class must all take the following afternoon electives (descriptions below):

  • Monday -- HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE JAM LEADER (Judy House, Level 3 and up)
  • Tuesday -- HONING YOUR LESSON PLAN (Judy House, Level 3 and up)  
  • Wednesday -- IMPROVING YOUR STRUM (Jeff Furman, Level 2 and up)  
  • Thursday -- CHORD SHAPES  (Linda Brockinton, Level 2 and up)

Joe Collins’ Year Two Teaching Class must all take the following afternoon electives (descriptions below):

  • Monday -- ANALYZING BEGINNING DULCIMER TECHNIQUES (Joe Collins, Level 3 and up)  
  • Tuesday --  PRACTICE TEACHING (Joe Collins, Level 3 and up)  
  • Wednesday -- HEAR-A-CHORD, THERE-A-CHORD (Elaine Conger, Level 2 and up)  
  • Thursday -- HISTORY AND MODES OF THE DULCIMER (Janita Baker, Level 2 and up)  

Afternoon Electives:  

MONDAY 1:00-2:30

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS (Mon, Tues & Thurs afternoons) - 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.

MOUNTAIN DULCIMER MECHANICS (Janita Baker, Level 2 and up) - Understanding various aspects of the mountain dulcimer in terms of playability, performance and construction can help prevent and resolve issues that may arise and affect a player’s enjoyment of the instrument.  This workshop will cover topics such as:  what to look for when shopping for a better instrument; identification of problems common to dulcimers which affect either their playability or quality of sound; understanding intonation, effects of different scale lengths, string gauges, etc.; very simple fixes for common problems, i.e., slipping tuners, buzzes, sympathetic tones, or string breakage; and how to change strings, when and why.

SMOOTH OUT YOUR PLAYING (Gary Sager, Level 2-3) - This class will focus on maintaining a steady strum and learning to play faster notes using opposing motions of the pick thus keeping the hand moving at a steady speed. We will address strumming and single notes as well by using a few simple straightforward tunes.

LIFE AND MUSIC OF O’CAROLAN (Linda Brockinton, Level 4-5) - Linda will choose various tunes from O’Carolan that are not only beautiful but have great historical stories.  Because O’Carolan’s harp was diatonic, these songs lend themselves to the dulcimer very nicely.  

LEFT HAND EXERCISES (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 2 and up) - The best playing happens when our hands can relax and don’t have to think.  However, playing relaxed takes practice.  We’ll cover various exercises to help reinforce good fingering choices, improve speed and dexterity, and maintain a relaxed left hand.

PARTNER SONGS (Lorinda Jones, Level 2) - These arrangements form harmonies using simple melody lines and simple D, G and A chords.  A successful way to begin playing with a partner.

PETTING ZOO (Jim Miller, Level 2 and up) - This is a hands-on opportunity to familiarize yourself with the different instruments of the dulcimer family.  We’ll discuss and examine examples of standard, bass, baritone, ginger, dulcimette and bowed dulcimers and have a chance to hear and play each.  Several different builders’ instruments will be available for comparison.

*HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE JAM LEADER (Judy House, Level 3 and up) - Come learn what a jam is, how it works, the value of a jam, tunes to use, how to start and end a tune, and loads of other ideas.  Although this is a required elective for the Year One Teaching Program participants, anyone is welcome to attend.

*ANALYZING BEGINNING DULCIMER TECHNIQUES (Joe Collins, Level 3 and up) - A workshop designed to analyze how you perform specific beginner skills on the dulcimer.  The purpose is two-fold:  1. To make you a better player, and 2. To help you understand the various components of certain dulcimer skills in order to help when teaching others the process.  This is a required elective for Year Two Teaching Program participants but is open to all.

TABLEDIT 4 DAY CLASS
This series of four classes is designed for sequenced learning of the Tabledit program. Each successive class builds on skills and knowledge from the previous class. Students with some previous experience should read though the descriptions for each class and attend the class(es) best targeted to their level and needs. Tabledit is a terrific and reasonably priced (about $60) music notation program that produces clear, professional -looking tablature for all stringed instruments.  It is an excellent tool for those who teach, compose or arrange for the mountain dulcimer. Each class will be taught with the instructor’s PC projected so that all can see actions in real time and will include detailed “how-to” handouts to serve as references. Classroom instruction and handouts will include MAC-specific instruction where there are differences between the PC and MAC platforms. *IMPORTANT* Please go to Tabledit.com and download the latest version of the product for your computer.  Bring to class, your laptop PC or Mac with Tabledit loaded. Registrants will be emailed specific instructions prior to Dulcimer U, and the instructor will be available on Sunday evening prior to classes starting to assist those with download issues or specific questions.

TABLEDIT I: LET’S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING (Melanie Johnston, Level 2 and up) - In this class we will start with a brief overview of the program and its usefulness for dulcimer tablature. We will discuss and set up choices for the General, Display, Preferences, Screen, Advanced and Multitrack sections of the program. We will move from there to set up instrument voice, time signature, key signature, title, tuning, pick-up measures, clef, and number of strings. Along the way we will discuss sources for music to tab, how to determine the string tuning to use for tunes written in common dulcimer-friendly keys and the challenge of accidentals.

ALL ABOARD! (Laurie Alsobrooks, Level 2-3) - Everyone’s repertoire needs a few train songs, so climb aboard!  “Georgia Railroad,” “Freight Train,” “Railroad Bill,“ “Reuben’s Train,” and “Life is Like a Mountain Railway.”

FROM DOUBT TO DYNAMITE (Ginny Oman, Level 2 and up) - Low confidence in your ability to play? Doubting your skills?  Feeling like a duck out of water at times, making it more difficult to enjoy learning and playing the mountain dulcimer?  These are common feelings, so you’re not alone.  With some understanding of the origins of this issue and some basic tools to work with, you can help alleviate many of these all too common stumbling blocks.  Bringing your dulcimer to class is not required; this is a lecture/discussion/fun format.

TUESDAY 1:00-2:30

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS Exclusively for Carol Crocker’s Level I class - A continuation/review of the beginning morning skills class.

WALTZES, LULLABIES AND QUIET TUNES (Janita Baker, Level 3 and up) - An afternoon of quiet, gentle music arranged for dulcimer in either finger-picking or flatpicking style.  The workshop will cover a wide variety of musical genres from classical to traditional in various tunings.  

BEYOND THE KEY OF D (Jeff Furman, Level 4 and up) - This workshop will cover playing tunes in keys other than D.  We will explore this through a combination of using a capo and some alternate tunings to help broaden your musical horizons.  Please bring a capo.

IRISH TUNES IN MINOR KEYS (Linda Brockinton, Level 3 and up) - Two beautiful Irish Airs, one in E minor and one in B minor, will be taught without a capo in DAd tuning.  

NAVIGATING THE FRETBOARD (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 3 and up) - 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.

CHORD SUBSTITUTIONS (Lorinda Jones, Level 3 and up) - Learn when and where a tune can be enhanced with minor chords.  We will review all chords in the key of D, learn how to harmonize a scale with all major and minor chords, and then use those chords to change the sound of a song.

SMOOTH OUT YOUR PLAYING (Gary Sager, Level 2-3) - REPEAT OF MONDAY SESSION - This class will focus on maintaining a steady strum and learning to play faster notes using opposing motions of the pick thus keeping the hand moving at a steady speed. We will address strumming and single notes as well by using a few simple straightforward tunes.

*HONING YOUR LESSON PLAN (Judy House, Level 3 and up) - Come learn the why and how of planning a lesson.  From figuring out goals and objectives to ending a perfect lesson with a great closure, if you want to teach others to play the dulcimer, you need to attend. Although this is a required elective for the Year One Teaching Program participants, anyone is welcome to attend.

*PRACTICE TEACHING FOR YEAR 2 CANDIDATES (Joe Collins, Level 3 and up) - This class is for the Year Two teaching class candidates only.

TABLEDIT II: EASY ENTRY (Melanie Johnston, Level 2 and up - see Monday listing for complete class description) - Automatic rests, Reading Guides, Auto-Advance, Note Duration Quick Entry…… what’s it all about? Which ones should you use and why? Come find out in this class as we enter a tune from standard notation and one from hand-written tab. As we enter the music, we will put into practice and see the effects of the set-up choices we made in class 1. Additionally, we will use two methods to copy and paste measures, and use the “Reading List” feature to create repeats, 1st and 2nd endings etc. After all that, we will proof the piece by listening to it and evaluating  the choices made by Tabledit for frets and strings. We will fix and adjust as needed.

SOMETHING’S FISHY (Laurie Alsobrooks, Level 2-3) - Grab your rod and reel, or your dulcimer, and enjoy the catch of the day!  “Fisher’s Hornpipe,” “Nail That Catfish to a Tree,” “Sally Smacked Me with a Flounder,” and “Salt Creek.”

OVERCOMING PHYSICAL CHALLENGES (Ginny Oman, Level 2 and up) - This class is designed specifically for those who have some hand challenges making it more difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible to play the dulcimer.  Whether it be arthritis, past injuries, numbness, hand weakness or any other cause of hand and finger mobility challenges, this class will provide information and tips about specialized picks, strumming effectively without having to move your hand and arm quickly, specific warm-ups prior to playing, and many other tools to help make your playing more gratifying and successful. Come meet others with hand challenges in a friendly and supportive learning environment.

WEDNESDAY 1:00-2:30

 

*DEVELOPING COMFORT WITH RHYTHM (Judy House, Level 1-2) - Do you think you can stand to put any more fun in your day? This elective will concentrate on playing different rhythms.  We’ll start with clapping and chanting and move on to using different types of fun and crazy rhythm instruments. We will want to explore different time signatures and hear how different rhythm patterns fit together in a piece. This is great for anyone interested in brushing up on their rhythm or just learning about percussion instruments! (Appropriate for Level 1 beginning class.)

LESSER KNOWN SPIRITUALS  (Carol Crocker, Level 2 and up) - Many of us know the spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” There are many more that are just as fun and beautiful.  We will learn to play a few and discuss their background history. Some 3-finger chords will be used.

YEAR ROUND HOLIDAY MUSIC (Janita Baker, Level 3 and up) - How about learning some tunes for July 4th or St. Patrick’s Day?  This workshop will focus on music to celebrate the holidays other than Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

IMPROVING YOUR STRUM  (Jeff Furman, Level 2 and up)  - This workshop will focus on improving the fluidity of your strumming and getting more rhythmic variation in your right hand.  We will cover some basic techniques to improve your strum, offer multiple exercises that you can use to practice these techniques, and we will play with some recorded music as well as with each other to experiment with different rhythms.  (Required elective for Year One Teaching Program participants.)

SOUND REINFORCEMENT (Mike Pentecost, Level 2 and up) - This class will focus on when to amplify and when not to, direct connections vs. microphones, large sound systems vs. small self-contained units, and the parameters of working with a sound engineer. You’ll learn about topics such as EQ and feedback.

INTRO TO FLATPICKING (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 2 and up) - We’ll start by going over some absolute basics of flatpicking on the dulcimer.  This class will also cover establishing good technique and pick direction before we launch into a few tricks for making your flat-picked arrangements fancy.

MAKING SENSE OF THE 1½ FRET (Lorinda Jones, Level 3 and up) - This is a class designed to get you comfortable using your 1½ fret.  You will learn to play in 3 different keys without the use of a capo.  Song examples will include tab for melodies and chords in D minor, G and D chromatic.

"HEAR-A-CHORD, THERE-A-CHORD” (Elaine Conger, Level 2 and up) - “Everywhere a chord, chord……,” but how do you know when and where to use them?  Learn the 3 primary chords in any key and how to distinguish when to play each.  This should help you out in a jam….or a jelly…..! (Required elective for Year Two Teaching Class candidates.)

HYMNS IN MINOR KEYS (Joe Collins, Level 4-5) - Some of our great hymns in the Protestant tradition are hauntingly beautiful songs written in minor keys.  In this workshop, we’ll learn hymns like “Wayfaring Stranger,”  “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me,” and a few others.

TABLEDIT III: HARMONY, TEXT AND SPECIAL EFFECTS (Melanie Johnston, Level 2 and up -- see Monday listing for complete class description) - Ready for a little harmony or to create a variation of an arrangement you tabbed earlier? Then you want to learn how to use the Module function. In this class we will create a module, talk about the “rules” for modules and look at Line Mode vs. Page Mode. We will then listen to the modules separately and together. We will learn how to enter chord symbols and adjust their position. I have a couple of really helpful tricks and cautions to show you here! We will also talk about using the text function to enter lyrics. Lastly we will enter a couple of special effects, e.g hammer-on, pull-off, slide, triplet...

ROUNDS.,..FUN….TOGETHER….NOW! (Laurie Alsobrooks, Level 2) - Attending this workshop can be contagious!  Learn a few new rounds and canons to play or sing with friends.  “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “One Bottle of Pop,” “The Chickens Get into the Tomatoes,” “Jubilato Deo,” “Shalom Chaverim,” and “Music Alone Shall Live.”

PANIC TO PLEASURE: OVERCOMING PERFORMANCE ANXIETY (Ginny Oman, Level 2 and up) - Do you love playing the mountain dulcimer but completely freeze at the idea of playing in front of others?  Whether you are a new player, intermediate or advanced, feelings of stage fright can hinder any level of instrumentalist.  Don’t allow it to keep you from sharing this wonderful music.  Come and learn:  What is stage fright (also known as performance anxiety)? Where it comes from? Why do I have it when many other people don’t? What are the tools psychologically, emotionally, and physically that I can use to help diminish these symptoms?  Come join like-minded stage frightened players in a small, safe, fun, friendly, and very supportive atmosphere.

THURSDAY 1:00-2:30

 

BEGINNER REVIEW OF MORNING SKILLS  Exclusively for Carol Crocker’s Level I class - A continuation/review of the beginning morning skills class.

*HISTORY AND MODES OF THE DULCIMER (Janita Baker, Level 2 and up) - We add great depth to our teaching and playing when we have a grasp of the cultural and musical history of the mountain dulcimer and its diatonic, multi-modal roots. This class will cover the history of the mountain dulcimer and how playing styles have evolved and influenced the design of the modern dulcimer.  We will explore the modal scales upon which the dulcimer’s fretboard is based, discover how the different modal tunings are used, and see what limits, if any, the diatonic fretboard presents to the player.  Simple arrangements will be used to demonstrate the differences and similarities of each tuning.  (Required elective for Year Two Teaching Class candidates.)

*CHORD SHAPES  (Linda Brockinton, Level 2 and up)  - This class will show you how to learn your chords at a glance, as certain fingers will tell you the names of the chords and how to play in different keys without changing your fingering.  Knowing the chord shapes will help you to smooth out your playing and help you to move freely along the fretboard. (Required elective for Year One Teaching Program participants.)

TASTEFUL BACKUP: PLAYING WELL WITH OTHERS (Jeff Furman, Level 3 and up) - Playing music with someone else should go beyond just two or more people playing the same tune at the same time.  How can you make it sound better?  This workshop will explore concepts and techniques used to enhance the music when playing with other musicians and instruments. We will cover duets and larger ensembles.  Please bring a capo.

WHAT THE TAB DOESN’T TELL YOU (Aaron O’Rourke, Level 4-5) - Tablature is a useful roadmap for learning tunes and techniques. However, this roadmap doesn’t include some thrilling side trips, and like any adventure you have to look up from you map every once in awhile if you’re going to fully enjoy the journey!  This class deals with playing ideas used by the pros that you’re not likely to find in tab to maximize flow and add energy to your playing.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: STANDARD AND BARITONE TOGETHER (Larry Conger, Level 3-4) - During this session, we will address the age old mystery of how to play both a baritone and standard dulcimer together as a duet while in different tunings.  This topic was recently offered in Mt. Dora, FL and Dulcimer U Winter Weekend.  It is being re-visited again due to it’s popularity. Baritones come prepared to tune G-D-G or A-D-A.  Standard dulcimers may need a 1+ fret and should plan to tune D-A-D.

PETTING ZOO (Jim Miller, Level 2 and up) REPEAT OF MONDAY SESSION - This is a hands-on opportunity to familiarize yourself with the different instruments of the dulcimer family.  We’ll discuss and examine examples of standard, bass, baritone, ginger, dulcimette and bowed dulcimers and have a chance to hear and play each.  Several different builders’ instruments will be available for comparison.

ROCKIN’ ON THE BASS DULCIMER (Elaine Conger, Level 3 and up) - So you’ve mastered alternating bass patterns and you can play along easily with jam tunes.  You can even play some walking patterns here and there and have attempted a little boogie woogie.  Now how do you play bass dulcimer lines for other genres such as rock, pop and blues?  This, then, is the workshop for you.  Participants will receive complete bass tab arrangements for several popular songs. Yes, you’ll need a bass dulcimer for this class and it will need a 1+ fret.

SOUND REINFORCEMENT (Mike Pentecost, Level 2 and up) - REPEAT OF WEDNESDAY SESSION - This class will focus on when to amplify and when not to, direct connections vs. microphones, large sound systems vs. small self-contained units, and the parameters of working with a sound engineer. You’ll learn about topics such as EQ and feedback.

TABLEDIT IV: PRINT AND PLAY (Melanie Johnston, Level 2 and up - see Monday listing for complete class description) - Surprisingly, printing out your beautifully written tablature so that it looks just the way you envisioned can be a challenge! In this class we will learn how to set fonts, adjust spacing, print size, specify the measures per line then over-ride that for specific lines and force page breaks. We will look at the choices for printing one or more modules and tab only or tab and standard notation. We will learn to circle or color certain tab numbers and hide non-melody notes in the standard notation for a cleaner appearance. Once you have a good Tabledit file (.tef) you can use it as an auditory study aid to help your students. This is especially useful to students who do not read music well and are helped by being able to hear the music. We will learn what you and your students need to know to use this feature.

MASH-UP (Laurie Alsobrook, Level 2) - Just like the Doublemint commercial of yesteryear, this workshop offers two...two...two songs in one!  Come if you dare! “Gray Cat/Shortnin’ Bread,” “When the Saints/Swing Low,” “Home on the Range/My Home’s in Montana,” “Turtle Dove/Shady Grove,” and “Ring Around the Rosie/Hot Cross Buns.”

OVERCOMING PHYSICAL CHALLENGES (Ginny Oman, Level 2 and up) - REPEAT OF TUESDAY SESSION - This class is designed specifically for those who have some hand challenges making it more difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible to play the dulcimer.  Whether it be arthritis, past injuries, numbness, hand weakness or any other cause of hand and finger mobility challenges, this class will provide information and tips about specialized picks, strumming effectively without having to move your hand and arm quickly, specific warm-ups prior to playing, and many other tools to help make your playing more gratifying and successful. Come meet others with hand challenges in a friendly and supportive learning environment.

Office of Web Services