Schedule/Workshop Descriptions

Scroll down to see the complete 2017 workshop schedule.  Further down the page you’ll find detailed descriptions of the workshops. You can also upload the workshop schedule as a Word document.

If you are registering for the CRDF online:  Once you have decided on which workshops you want to take, you will indicate your choices on the online registration page. 

If you are registering for the CRDF by phone:  Download a hard copy of the workshop schedule (see link above) and circle the workshops you plan to take.  When you call, use your hard copy as a guide to tell our staff which workshops you have chosen.

If you are registering for the CRDF by mail:  Download a hard copy of the workshop schedule (see link above), circle the workshops you plan to take, and mail the marked schedule to us with your other registration information.

Not sure of your skill level?  See how the instructors define skill levels HERE.

Crooked Road Dulcimer FestivalDULCIMER MAINTENANCE:  Ben Seymour will again be on hand to help with dulcimer maintenance and accessory needs.  Meet with Ben to schedule a time with him.  He will be in his workshop at the times noted below.

Thursday Evening, May 25

Everyone is automatically enrolled for the Thursday evening orchestra rehearsal, followed by introductions, festival details/orientation, and jamming.

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (All Participants)–Ah, the joy of the dulcimer players working together as an orchestra!  Led by the maestro himself, Ken Bloom.  Start time is 5:45.
  • Introductions and Orientation–Start time is 7:10.
  • Instructors Jam–Start time is 8:30.

Friday, May 26

Instructor
9:00 – 10:00
10:30 – 11:45
1:15 – 2:30
3:30 – 4:45
Nancy

 

Off to a Good Start – Part 1 of 4

(Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 4 Parts)

Off to a Good Start – Part 2 of 4

(Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 4 Parts)

Using a Capo – Em

(Novice Level and Up)

Jeff

Improving and Enhancing the Basic Foundations – Part 1 of 3

(Beyond Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 3 Parts)

Improving and Enhancing the Basic Foundations – Part 2 of 3

(Beyond Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 3 Parts)

Improving Your Fingering

(Intermediate to Advanced Levels; Bring Your Capo)

Wayne
Introduction to Flatpicking

(Novice Level and Up)

Overhand Tapping

(Advanced Level)

Jew’s Harp and Mouthbow

(All Levels)

Phyllis & Jim
 
Uptempo Galax Dulcimer – Part 1 of 2

(Novice Level and Up: Sign Up for Both Parts)

 Fiddles and Dulcimers Play Cecil and Maud

(Novice Level and Up)

Roddy

Explorations in a Mountain Dulcimer Collection

(All Participants)

Ben

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance

Putting Expression in Your Music

(Novice Level and Up)

Bill

Tunes in DGD

(Novice Level and Up; Bring Your Capo)

Hornpipes for the Mountain Dulcimer – DGD and DAD

(Intermediate Level and Up; Bring Your Capo)

Shaker Music – DAD

(Novice Level and Up; Bring Your Capo)

Mary
 
Round and Around the Music Goes

(Novice to Intermediate Levels)

Sample America’s Shape Note Tunes

(Novice to Intermediate Levels)

Ken Bowed Dulcimer

(Novice Level and Up)

Introduction to  Chromatic Dulcimer

(Intermediate to Advanced Levels)

Playing Across

(Intermediate Level and Up)

Jon
Ritchie Family Songs & Traditions

(All Levels)

Traditional Mountain Dulcimer Styles

(All Levels)

Marsha
 

Fun Fiddle Tunes

(Advanced Level)

Time For An Afternoon Waltz

(Beginner Level)

Joe
Making Arrangements

(Novice Level and Up)

Finger Pickin’ Good

(Novice Level and Up)

Multi-Part Arrangements

(All Levels)

Friday Evening, May 26

Dulcimer Orchestra (All Participants, 6:15 – 7:15)–Led by Ken Bloom.  No need to sign up for this one–everyone is already enrolled.

Instructors in Concert (All Participants, 7:45 – 9:30)–20 minute sets.

Saturday, May 27

Instructor
9:00 – 10:00
10:30 – 11:45
1:15 – 2:30
3:30 – 4:45
Nancy

 

Off to a Good Start – Part 3 of 4

(Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 4 Parts)

 

Off to a Good Start – Part 4 of 4

(Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 4 Parts)

Using a Capo – Em

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

Jeff Improving and Enhancing the Basic Foundations – Part 3 of 3

(Beyond Beginner Level: Sign Up for All 3 Parts)

Improving Your Fingering

(Intermediate to Advanced Levels; Bring Your Capo; Repeat of Friday Class)

Tasteful Backup

(Intermediate Level)

Wayne

Jew’s Harp and Mouthbow

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

Introduction to Flatpicking

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

 

Two-Handed Overhand Tapping

(Advanced Level; Repeat of Friday Class)

 
Phyllis & Jim
Fiddles and Dulcimers Play Cecil and Maud

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

Uptempo Galax Dulcimer – Part 2 of 2

(Novice Level and Up: Sign Up for Both Parts)


Ben
 

Putting Expression in Your Music

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance

Bill Hornpipes for the Mountain Dulcimer – DGD and DAD

(Intermediate Level and Up; Bring Your Capo; Repeat of Friday Class)

Shaker Music – DAD

(Novice Level and Up; Bring Your Capo; Repeat of Friday Class)

 Tunes in DGD

(Novice Level and Up; Bring Your Capo; Repeat of Friday Class)

Mary
Sample America’s Shape Note Tunes

(Novice to Intermediate Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

 

 Round and Around the Music Goes

(Novice to Intermediate Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

Ken Playing Across

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

Bowed Dulcimer

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

 Introduction to  Chromatic Dulcimer

(Intermediate to Advanced Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

Jon
Ritchie Family of Eastern Kentucky

(All Participants)

Traditional Mountain Dulcimer Styles

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

Ritchie Family Songs & Traditions

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

Marsha

Fun Fiddle Tunes

(Advanced Level; Repeat of Friday Class)

Time For An Afternoon Waltz

(Beginner Level; Repeat of Friday Class)

Joe Finger Pickin’ Good

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

Multi-Part Arrangements

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)

Making Arrangements

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

Saturday Evening, May 27

Dulcimer Orchestra (All Participants, 6:15 – 7:15)–Led by Ken Bloom.  No need to sign up for this one–everyone is already enrolled.

Instructors in Concert (All Participants, 7:45 – 9:30)–20 minute sets.

Workshop Descriptions

Instructor:  Nancy Galambush

  • Off to a Good Start, Parts 1 – 4 (Level: Beginner.  Be sure to sign up for all 4 parts.) – Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start.  How is the instrument tuned, where does it sit on your lap, how can you make music even if you have no musical background?  That is where we will start.  By the end of these four classes, you will be playing several tunes and be able to play chords to back up other players.  Loaner instruments are available; please let us know if you’d like to borrow one.  This is a great opportunity to give this traditional Appalachian instrument a try without having to purchase one. 
  • Using a Capo in E Minor(Level: Novice and Up.  Bring your capo.) – Vary your repertoire by adding tunes in a minor key.  It’s as easy as putting on a capo.  Tunes taught will include “Reuben’s Train,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “Wayfaring Stranger.”

Instructor:  Ken Bloom

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (Level: All) – Everyone join the fun! There will be parts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels as well as bowed dulcimers. We all LOVE the dulcimer orchestra!
  • Bowed Dulcimer (Level: All) – An early name for the mountain dulcimer was the “hogfiddle” because traditional playing of the instrument included bowing. Try playing a dulcimer created for the bowing style. All versions of the bowed dulcimer are welcome. We will concentrate on bowing technique and how to switch positions easily.
  • Introduction to Chromatic Dulcimer (Level: Intermediate to Advanced) – This is a class for those interested in the amazing possibilities a chromatic dulcimer presents. We will explore the use of inner voices to enhance an arrangement and talk a little bit about the theory that makes the chromatic instrument easier to approach. All this can be explored either with a pick or finger style.
  • Playing Across the Fretboard (Level: Intermediate and Up) – Don’t confine yourself to just playing up and down the fingerboard. This class focuses on playing across the fingerboard to get the notes you want. We’ll explore position playing and better ways to think about the tunes you already play.  DAD tuning.

Instructors:  Phyllis & Jim Gaskins

  • Uptempo Galax Dulcimer, Parts 1 – 2 (Level: Novice and Up.  Be sure to sign up for both parts.) – By the 1850s the Galax Dulcimer (Hog Fiddle) had evolved into an instrument especially suited for playing fiddle/dance tunes in an ensemble setting. Unlike its other, smaller dulcimer cousins, it could be heard clearly over fiddles, banjos, and dancers. Generations of the Melton family were leading figures in the Galax Dulcimer’s development. Phyllis and Jim will present  traditional fiddle tunes of the Southwest Virginia/Northwest North Carolina border area, first on the fiddle and dulcimer “by ear and eye” then with the TAB, so you will be able to practice the tunes when you get home. They will also review tunes learned in the past and work toward getting them up to dance speed.  Phyllis will have several Galax dulcimers available for use during class.
  • Fiddles and Dulcimers Play Cecil & Maud (Level: Novice and Up) – Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles roamed the Southern Appalachian mountains collecting folk songs from the people . Many of these songs have been adapted to fit the fiddle tune structure of the mountain repertoire of Southwestern Virginia, Learn both the song and the fiddle versions of “Deaf Woman’s Courtship,” “Sourwood Mountain,” “John Hardy,” “Old Gray Mare/Yeller Dog,” “Give the Fiddler a Dram,” “Sally Ann/Hog-Eyed Man.”

Instructor:  Jeff Furman

  • Improving and Enhancing the Basic Foundations, Parts 1 – 3 (Level: Beyond Beginner.  Be sure to sign up for all 3 parts.) – Improve the foundation of your playing by exploring concepts, techniques, and exercises to help increase your right and your left hand skills. Specifically we will work on left hand placement and fingering to get clean and connected notes, basic skills such as hammer-ons and pulloffs and slides, chords and smooth transition, and flatpicking. Prepare to work hard and have fun!  (This three-part class is highly recommended for those who took the Beginners Class last year and for those who consider themselves novice players.)
  • Improving Your Fingering (Level: Intermediate to Advanced.  Bring your capo.) – Tackle the how, why, where, and when of left-hand fingering position. Emphasis will be on learning how to choose your fingering to help you with the smoothness of your playing, the quality of the sound you produce, and better sustain and connection between notes and chords. There is no right or wrong way in fingering, but there may be ways that are better for a variety of reasons. We will explore these reasons and also consider comfort and physical issues.
  • Tasteful Backup (or Playing Well With Others!) (Level: Intermediate. Bring your capo.) – 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 teaches concepts and techniques used to enhance the music when playing with other musicians and instruments. We will cover duets and larger ensembles. And we will focus on listening while you play!

Instructor:  Wayne Seymour

  • Introduction to Flatpicking (Level: Novice and Up) – Flatpicking skills can add so much to a dulcimer player’s musical life. Learn to play individual strings and create interesting versions of tunes. You will find yourself adding flatpicking to both your solo and your ensemble work. DAD tuning.
  • Two Handed Overhand Tapping (Level: Advanced) – How would you like to have a completely different sound to add to your dulcimer playing?   Like the guitar, dulcimers can be played by using a combination of hammer-ons, pull-offs, BOTH hands techniques to create the sound. Prepare to be delighted and to discover another tool for use in either solo or ensemble playing.  DAD tuning.
  • Jew’s Harp and Mouthbow (Level: All) – Learn to play one of the world’s oldest instruments. Its drone is not only great by itself, but it also fits ideally with the dulcimer. Known by a variety of names, the instrument had all but disappeared, but it is now staging a comeback. Following a demonstration, we’ll all learn how to play. (An additional fee of $7 will be charged in the class so you can go home with your own instrument. Where else can you get a legitimate musical instrument for only $7?)

Instructor:  Ben Seymour

  • Putting Expression in Your Music (Level: Novice & Up) – Examine ways to add some sweetness to those slow tunes and some boogie to the fast ones. Techniques will be shown on how to bring out those subtle-but-oh-so-needed sounds to such tunes as hymns and airs and how to add punch and rhythm to fiddle tunes and other faster tunes. This course provides useful info for students from novice to advanced. Several well-known tunes will be used as examples, including “Amazing Grace” and “Ol’ Joe Clark.”  Tab will be provided.

Instructor:  Bill Collins

  • Tunes in DGD (Level: Novice and Up.  Bring your capo.) – The DGD tuning has some advantages, particularly when playing faster tunes. Sometimes referred to as “reverse Ionian” (though not by participants at the end of this workshop!), a 1-4-8 tuning is the easiest tuning alternative to DAD. The workshop shows the simplest way to get into and return from DGD (without an electronic tuner) and introduces a number of melodies that sound great in this tuning.  Participants will also learn some useful chord shapes for this tuning.
  • Hornpipes for the Mountain Dulcimer – DGD and DAD (Level: Intermediate and Up.  Bring your capo.) – Like jigs and reels, hornpipes are one of the main categories of Celtic dance tune rhythms, and they are great fun to play.  Learn to flat-pick a number of great hornpipe tunes and develop an understanding of “long-short-long-short” that makes a hornpipe a hornpipe.  At the same time you will learn why the hornpipe is an “endangered species” and how to apply hornpipe rhythm and ornaments appropriately.
  • Shaker Music for Dulcimer – DAD (Level: Novice to Intermediate.  Bring your capo.) – This repertoire workshop introduces the music of the Shakers, whose musical legacy consists of perhaps 10,000 tunes.  Many of the tunes are quite lovely in their simplicity and share a spiritual, contemplative quality.  After a brief introduction to the background of the music and some performance suggestions, we’ll work on as many tunes as time permits.  Possible selections include:  “Mother Ann’s Song,” “Now, My Dear Companions,” “Lovely Love,” “Living Souls Let’s Be Marching,” “Love is Little,” “My Carnal Life I Will Lay Down,” and “Come, Life, Shaker Life.”

Instructor:  Mary Greene

  • Round and Around the Music Goes (Level: Novice to Intermediate) – Rounds have entranced musicians since the 16th century. Their lovely harmonies are created with ease as the melodies are woven round and round. The lyrics range from the sublime “When Jesus Wept” (by William Billings) to the not so sublime “The Ghost of Tom” (a Halloween-themed round). Singing is optional. DAA tuning.
  • Sample America’s Shape-Note Tunes (Level: Novice to Intermediate) – Shape-note music is a treasure trove of unique lyrics and melodies preserved in a distinctive notation. American shape-note books appeared in the early 1800s.  Among several tunes to try with dulcimer tab are “When I Can Read My Title Clear” (from the Harmonia Sacra, a Shenandoah Valley tune book first published in 1832) and “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” (from a 20th century gospel shape-note hymnal). “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” continues to be sung at Christmas and also crossed over into the bluegrass repertoire of Ralph Stanley and many others. Fingerpicking arrangement for intermediate players will be included. DAA tuning. 

Instructor:  Jon Pickow

  • Ritchie Family Songs and Traditions (Level: All) – Here’s your chance to learn and sing some of the favorite Ritchie Family songs.  Every song comes with a story as to how it found its way into the family repertoire or how and when it was sung.  We’ll have time to explore some hymns and carols, work songs, murder ballads (and some other kinds of ballads), courting songs, children’s songs, and songs of humor and true love!  Bring your singing voice, dulcimer, and recording device and be prepared to spend some quality time on the Ritchie porch.
  • Traditional Mountain Dulcimer Styles (Level: All) – This workshop offers an introduction to the old-time style of melodic playing.  Noter and finger methods will be explored as well as skills for picking out melodies by ear.  We will cover how to determine the appropriate modes for various songs and how to pick out harmonies for singing.
  • The Ritchie Family of Eastern Kentucky (Saturday Morning Presentation for All Particpants) – Family traditions are key drivers of folk music world wide.  Enjoy an overview of the singing tradition of Balis and Abigail Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky–and their 14 children.  The music ranges from their oldest ballads (brought with ancestors to the mountains from Scotland, England, and Ireland in the late 1700s) to some of the more modern songs to come out of the tradition.  Jon is the youngest son of the Ritchie clan’s youngest daughter, Jean Ritchie, and he delights in sharing the songs along with family stories and archival video.

Instructor:  Marsha Harris

  • Fun Fiddle Tunes (Level: Advanced. Bring your capo.) – Have fun learning some fiddle tunes such as “Half Past Four” and the nice bouncy “Shoo Fly.”  Emphasis will be placed on learning by ear. A recording device is recommended. DAD tuning.
  • Time for an Afternoon Waltz (Level: Beginner) – One, two, three, one, two three!  Enjoy a nice and easy afternoon playing a couple of waltzes. We will start with a song you already know, “On Top Of Old Smoky.” Then we will learn “Southwind,” a popular tune at dulcimer jams.  DAD tuning.

Instructor:  Joe Collins

  • Making Arrangements (Level: Novice and Up) – This workshop takes a simple tune and progressively takes students through several different ways to play that tune in different octaves and keys, all in the same tuning.  It also shares some basic ways to make transitions between keys.  The purpose is to help students learn skills that will enable them to make their own arrangements of tunes they love to play.
  • Finger Pickin’ Good (Level: Novice and Up) – There’s nothing better than clean fingerpicking, and this class takes you through the basic fingerpicking techniques for the mountain dulcimer.  Materials are available for both DAD and DAA players.
  • Multi-Part Arrangements (Level: All) – In this workshop Joe leads a group to play at least a couple hymns with three or four parts–melody, harmony, bass, descant, chords, etc.  Standard dulcimers work fine on all parts, but if a participant or two has a bass dulcimer, they are encouraged to bring it.

Instructor:  Roddy Moore

  • Explorations in a Mountain Dulcimer Collection (Friday Morning Presentation for All Participants) – Blue Ridge Institute & Museum Co-Director Roddy Moore has been collecting and studying mountain dulcimers for four decades.  He will use examples from his own collection as well as the museum’s collection to delve into the dulcimer’s development in America from the 18th century to the present.  You’ll never look at a vintage dulcimer in the same way again.

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