LEVEL I - New Player Skills - Carol Crocker
Hooray! You have chosen to begin the exciting journey of learning how to play the
mountain dulcimer. During our week at Dulcimer U you will be introduced to and become
familiar with basic skills for a new or beginner player. Goals for the week are for
you to be able to play several simple and familiar dulcimer tunes; and to come away
with basic mountain dulcimer playing skills that will allow you continue to play,
expand on what you have learned, and add to your repertoire for the mountain dulcimer.
Some topics will include:
-- How to hold, tune, and care for your dulcimer
-- Basic strumming techniques
-- Becoming familiar with basic music reading skills including note values and time
-- How to read dulcimer tab and play by ear
-- Explore playing basic chords that will help when playing with others (or even in
-- Explore some left-hand fingering techniques
-- Learning about other tunings, DAA, DAC, and DGD
Come enjoy learning to play the mountain dulcimer in a relaxed and encouraging environment…enjoy
the music and enjoy the fellowship with other dulcimer players!
Contact Carol Crocker email@example.com if you have any questions regarding this class.
LEVEL II - Beyond Beginner Skills - Laurie Alsobrook
Tired of Bile them Cabbage Down? Well then, this is the course for you!! Welcome to
Advancing Beginners! During your week at Dulcimer U, we will focus on continuing your
journey with the mountain dulcimer, specifically in:
- reviewing and reinforcing beginner level skills
- advancing your left hand skills, both fingering and chording
- developing confidence with right hand skills - gaining comfort with your strum!
- gaining confidence with two and three finger chords
- playing well with others (chords in the kets of D, G, and A)
- providing an introduction to finger-picking
- demystifying the capo
- developing listening skills to play a tune by ear
- getting out of a "jam" in a jam
- preparing you for the next level by increasing your level of confidence in your playing
The joy of playing a dulcimer is contagious! Enjoy this fun class filled with lots
of encouragement, laughter, fellowship, and smiles...not to mention beautiful music!
Questions about this class? Please contact Laurie Alsobrook at firstname.lastname@example.org
Level III - Lower Intermediate Skills - Karen Mueller
At this level, you have a handle on the basics and are ready to move on and explore
more ways to strengthen your playing. You are somewhat comfortable reading tab and
using simple chords to enhance the melody and play backup with others. We will build
on that knowledge to add more chord positions on the fretboard and learn they why
and how (also known as theory) of using them comfortable and effectively in chord-melody
playing and in jamming.
We'll also explore a wider range of strumming rhythyms to really make the music dance,
and how to choose the best strum pattern for each style of music. Speaking of styles,
we'll be covering a range from folk, gospel, bluegrass and old-time to calypso and
Celtic, including airs and jigs (6/8 time). A variety of techniques wil be used, including
strumming, flatpicking, and fingerpicking, with discussion of how to create easy arrangements
yourself with these techniques. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides will be taught,
and used to make your playing smoother and more musical.
In order to continue to learn and grow after you get home from the workshop, we'll
discuss ways of developing effective practice habits. We'll even look into how to
make friends with the metronome and use it to strenghten our playing.
Throughout this class, there will be continued attention to how our ergonomics work
when we play, in the form of our position and posture, relaxed rught and left hand
movements, and effective fingering. We'll be sure to build in short breaks to stand
up and stretch. The focus will be on connecting with our dulcimers and having a good
time with the music and each other.
If you have questions or need more information about this workshop, feel free to email
Karen at email@example.com
LEVEL IV - Upper Intermediate Skills - Jeff Furman
The theme of this class is, "Playing Beyond the Notes!" At this level, you already
know how to play the mountain dulcimer. Now, do you want to enhance what you already
know and build new skills to improve even more? Do you want to learn how to put more
expression, variability, and creativity into your playing? Do you want to improve
your ability to play with others? If the answer to these questions is yes, this class
is for you!
Topics covered during this class will include:
- Working on left hand techniques to improve smoothness of your playing
- Improving right hand techniques to help with mood and creativity
- Improving your ability to play and choose ornamnets, and to add variability to your
- Strong emphasis on improving your left hand fingering for better accuracy, fluidity,
connecting notes and sustain
- Exploring the many uses of chords including finding melodies and harmonies, adding
tasteful backup, and varying chord voices to enhance your music
- Emphasizing concepts and techniques for playing more expressively
- Getting more comfortable with playing higher up the fret board (you paid for the whole
dulcimer, might as well use it!)
- Playing in keys other than D and playing in tunings other than DAD to expand variability
and interest in the music you play
- Emphasizing listening while you playl rather than just using your eyes!
- And more!
Please bring a capo to this class.
If you have any questions about this class, please contact Jeff via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to register early since space is limited! This is a popular selection and
Jeff's classes are always well-attended. See you in Cullowhee!
LEVEL V - Beyond Intermediate Skills - Sarah Morgan
Please read the entire description before enrolling in this class. No time will be
spent reviewing the skills you should already know.
This class is for folks who want to go beyond the tablature and truly master the mountain
dulcimer! Each day we'll start by focusing on a different aspect of your playing and
correcting bad technique habits. You can expect to get lots of tips and tricks that
will instantly improve your playing. From there, we'll learn one to two tunes that
put our newfound techniques into practice.
- Developing a smooth, consistent, and interesting strumming hand as well as pick selection
- Developing an articulate, smooth system of fingering
- Drills and exercises that will clean up your playing and help build muscle memory
that will reduce mistakes
- Playing melodies across all three strings
- Impressive and fun techniques such as harmonic bends, left hand brushes, and trills
- Learning tunes by ear (I'll teach the tunes phrase by phrase, handing out tab at the
- Arranging and writing intros and interludes
- Easy, simple, and instant improvisation techniques
Repertoire will include some of my favorite, lesser-known Appalachian fiddle tunes,
hymns, folk songs, as well as one or two ensemble arrangements.
If you have questions about this class, please contact Sarah at email@example.com