Schedule/Workshop Descriptions

Descriptions of the workshops follow the schedule chart below.

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

DULCIMER MAINTENANCE:  Once again we are fortunate to have Ben Seymour on hand to help with your dulcimer maintenance and accessory needs.  Meet with Ben to schedule time with him.  He will be in his workshop at the times below.

Thursday Evening, May 21

No need to sign up for either one of these Thursday evening workshops–everyone is already enrolled.  Starting time is 5:45.  General orientation and the introduction of our instructors will take place between the two workshops.

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (All Levels)–Back by popular demand!  Led by Ken Bloom
  • Dulcimer Musings–Part 1 (All Levels)–Led by Jimmy Costa

Friday, May 22

Instructor

9:00 – 10:15

10:45 – Noon

1:45 – 3:00

3:30 – 4:45

Maddie

 

Performing With the Dulcimer

(Advanced Beginner and Up)

Singing for the Joy of  Singing

 (All Levels)

Chord Enhancements

(Advanced Beginner and Up)
Dave

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners Part 1

(Beginner)

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners Part 2

(Beginner)

Secrets to Smooth Playing

Friday Only!
(Novice to Intermediate)
Jimmy

Dulcimer Musings Part 2

(All Levels)
Marsha Assisting Students / Staff

Beyond Beginner Part 1

(Advanced Beginner and Up)
Assisting Students / Staff

Colonial Period Music

(Novice and Up)
Ralph

Simple DAA Tunes That Everyone Loves

(Novice and Up)
Ben

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair &  Maintenance

Utilizing the 1 1/2 Fret

(Intermediate and Up)

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair & Maintenance

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair & Maintenance
Ken
 

Introduction to Bowed Dulcimer

 (All Levels)

Tour Through the Concert Zither

(All Levels)
Becky

 

Introduction to Singing Harmony (With Wayne)

(Novice and Up)

Introduction to Playing Bones

(All Levels; Loaner Bones Available)
Wayne

 

Introduction to Singing Harmony (With Becky)

(All Levels)

Small Ensemble (3-4 Parts)

(Novice and Up)

Introduction to Fingerpicking

(Novice and Up)
Neal

 

Fiddle Tunes You Can’t Dance To

(Novice to Intermediate)

Love, Death, and Barnyard Animals

(Novice to Intermediate)

Music Theory for Dummies

(Beginner and Up)
Coleen

 

Making a CD

(All Levels)
Phyllis

Galax Dulcimer Uptempo! Part 1

(Novice and Up)

Galax Dulcimer

(Beginner to Novice)

 Noting Waltzes

Friday Only!
(Beginner and Up)

Friday Evening, May 22

Dulcimer Orchestra (All Levels, 5:45 – 6:45).  No need to sign up for this one–everyone is already enrolled.

Saturday, May 23

Instructor

9:00 – 10:15

10:45 – Noon

1:45 – 3:00

3:30 – 4:45

Maddie

 

Singing for the Joy of  Singing

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
 (All Levels)

 

Chord Enhancements

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Advanced Beginner and Up)

Performing With the Dulcimer

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Advanced Beginner and Up)
Dave

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners Part 3

(Beginner)

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners Part 4

(Beginner)

Beautiful Melodies

Saturday Only!
(Novice to Intermediate)
Marsha Assisting Students / Staff

Beyond Beginner Part 2

(Advanced Beginner and Up)
Assisting Students / Staff

 

Colonial Period Music

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
Ralph

Dulcimer Musings Part 3

(All Levels)

Simple DAA Tunes That Everyone Loves

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Novice and Up)
Ben

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and Maintenance

Obscure Fiddle Tunes in DAD

(All Levels)

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance

In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance
Ken

Tour Through the Concert Zither

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Levels)

Introduction to Bowed Dulcimer

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Levels)
 
Becky

Introduction to Playing Bones

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Levels)
Wayne

Introduction to Fingerpicking

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Novice and Up)

Dulcimer in a String Band (Multiple Instructors

Saturday Only!
(Novice and Up)

Small Ensemble (3-4 Parts)

(Novice and Up)

 

Neal

Love, Death, and Barnyard Animals

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Novice to Intermediate)

Dulcimer in a String Band (Multiple Instructors)

Saturday Only!
(Novice and Up)

Music Theory for Dummies

(Beginner and Up)

 

Coleen

Making a CD

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Levels)

Dulcimer in a String Band (Multiple) Instructors)

Saturday Only!
(Novice and Up)

 

Phyllis

Galax Dulcimer Uptempo! Part 2

(Novice and Up)

Dulcimer in a String Band (Multiple Instructors)

Saturday Only!
(Novice and Up)

Galax Dulcimer

A Repeat of Friday’s Class
 (Beginner to Novice)

Saturday Evening, May 23

Dulcimer Orchestra (All Levels, 5:45 – 6:45).  No need to sign up for this one–everyone is already enrolled.

Workshop Descriptions

Instructor: Neal Walters

  • Music Theory for Dummies (Level: Beginners and Up) – A little theory is often as useful as a lot of technique in terms of improving your playing, particularly in jamming situations.  This workshop demystifies what every dulcimer player should know about chords, modes, keys, and other frightening but important subjects.  Time permitting, we’ll also discuss jamming techniques and etiquette.  Tuning: DAD
  • Fiddle Tunes You Can’t Dance To (Level: Novice to Intermediate) - The Southern solo fiddle tradition contains a number of tunes that were not designed for dancing.  Many have unusual twists and turns, often adding or subtracting beats.  Even those that may have been intended as dance tunes sound good on the dulcimer, particularly at a statelier tempo. Tuning: DAD
  • Love, Death and Barnyard Animals (Level: Intermediate and Up) – Some of our favorite country blues tunes, such as “Deep River Blues,” “Deep Elm (pronounced Ellum) Blues,” and maybe even “Deep Doo Doo” (that’s a joke!), come from the guitar playing of people such as Doc Watson and Libba Cotton.  You can play these on the dulcimer and very convincingly too!  Tuning: DAD
  • Dulcimer in a String Band? (Level: Novice and Up) – So you want to form a string band? You will need to track down some other willing instrumentalists–like Wayne, Neal, Coleen, Phyllis and Jim.  You can find such folks at old-time and bluegrass jam sessions.  From this workshop you’ll take techniques for blending with other instrumentalists to form the unique traditional sound of a string band.  Everyone come ready to make notes, ask questions about what you hear and see, or just LISTEN.  “One needs to listen more than practice,” sayeth sage Phyllis.  Saturday only.

Instructor:  Ken Bloom

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (Level: All) – Back by popular demand! Join the orchestra!  We will have parts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels as well as bowed dulcimers.
  • Introduction to Bowed Dulcimer (Level: All) – Calling all bowed dulcimer players AND those interested in finding out more about this fascinating method of playing the dulcimer.  All versions of the bowed dulcimer are welcome. We will concentrate on bowing technique and how to switch positions easily. The bowed dulcimer music for the orchestra will be included as part of the focus of this class. Listeners are welcome!
  • Tour Through the Concert Zither (Level: All) – When the simple scheitholt was developed into the Appalachian dulcimer, things went a different way on the other side of the Atlantic—Europe got the concert zither!  Sometimes called “the dulcimer on steroids,” the concert zither offers a wide range of musical possibilities, and dulcimer players have much to gain exploring these possibilities and understanding how concert zithers relate to the dulcimer.

Instructor:  Phyllis Gaskins

  • Galax Dulcimer (Level: Beginner) – Playing the dulcimer with a noter is a very old traditional style brought to Virginia by the German hummel players who settled in the Valley of Virginia. Learn how to hold a noter for maximum ease of playing, the place of Galax dulcimers as descendants of the hummels, and the traditional Southwest Virginia tunes from the Galax region.  Bring your Galax dulcimer or use one of mine.  Tuning: all D’s.
  • Noting Waltzes (Level: Beginner and Up) – Can you make a waltz sound beautiful with a noter? Why sure!  Bring and capo, and let’s do it.  Tuning: Galax Dulcimer or DAD, then DGD.  Friday only.
  • Galax Dulcimer Uptempo! Parts 1 & 2 (Level: Novice and Up) – “Oh, what fun it is to play this old Virginia way!”  Add to your repertoire some lively Southwest Virginia tunes, including tunes from the playing of Virginia fiddler John Ashby.  We’ll play pieces in D (of course!), G, A modal, and even retune for a few in C.  Be ready to tap your toes and keep that rhythm going!  Bring your Galax dulcimer or use on of mine.  Tuning: all D’s to start.  Be sure to sign up for both Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Dulcimer in a String Band? (Level: Novice and Up) – So you want to form a string band? You will need to track down some other willing instrumentalists–like Wayne, Neal, Coleen, Phyllis and Jim.  You can find such folks at old-time and bluegrass jam sessions.  From this workshop you’ll take techniques for blending with other instrumentalists to form the unique traditional sound of a string band.  Everyone come ready to make notes, ask questions about what you hear and see, or just LISTEN.  “One needs to listen more than practice,” sayeth sage Phyllis.  Saturday only.

Instructor:  David Haas

  • Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners – Parts 1, 2, 3, & 4 (Level: Beginner) – Easy as 1-2-3!  Get ready for some fun!  Learn how to hold, tune, strum, and fret the dulcimer as well as read dulcimer music, play chords, and play with others—all while learning great songs you already know.  Add the “big finish” and “big ending” to complete the experience!  Loaner dulcimers will be made available for this four-part class.  Tuning: DAD.  Be sure to register for all 4 sessions!
  • Secrets to Smooth Playing (Level: Novice to Intermediate) – Shhhh . . . .  Take your dulcimer playing to the next level with the secrets to improve your playing of both slow and fast songs.  You’ll take away finger exercises and techniques sure to bump up your dexterity and allow you to move effortlessly along the fretboard.  The results will show in your practices as well as your performances.  Tuning: DAD.
  • Beautiful Melodies (Level: Novice to Intermediate) – Find the really beautiful music your dulcimer can provide.  Play slow songs in a smooth and melodic style by picking the strings one at a time.  We’ll also work on left and right hand techniques which produce the sound quality on which luxurious melodies depend.  Your repertoire of these popular tunes is just raring to grow!  (Tuning: DAD)

Instructor:  Maddie MacNeil

  • Performing with the Dulcimer (Level: Advanced Beginner and Up) – A strong dulcimer performance has many facets.  This workshop will focus on individual and group performances in venues such as churches and retirement homes.  There’s a lot to think about, and we’ll cover stage set-ups, repertoire suggestions, and general performing ideas.  Bring your questions!
  • Singing for the Joy of Singing (Level: All Levels.  Everyone is invited!) – Our voices will be the instruments.  Each of us has a special voice, and there are ways to extend your range, have your breath support you longer, and present to others the stories within songs. We’ll sing and explore!
  • Chord Enhancements (Level: Advanced Beginner and Up) – D, G and A are the primary chords in the key of D, but often the secondary chords (Bm, F#m and Em) enhance the music. How do you know which chords to use and when?  Let’s explore!  Tuning: DAD but DAA may also be included.

Instructor:  Ben Seymour

  • Utilizing the 1 ½ Fret in DAD Tuning (Level: Intermediate/Advanced) – Now that you have the 1 ½ fret or are considering having it installed, what do you do with it? We will look at how to use this lovely little fret in well-known traditional Appalachian tunes (such as “Shady Grove”) and also try out a neat little blues riff. The 1 ½ fret is nearly a necessity for playing some Celtic tunes that have that one note that isn’t there on a diatonic fret scale or is basically in an unreachable place while playing.
  • Obscure Fiddle Tunes for Your Repertoire in DAD (Level — Intermediate/Advanced; some flat picking required) – We will look at some lesser known tunes to expand your repertoire in both old-time and Celtic genres–plus a special tune from the Ferrum area!  Using these new tunes to expand your horizons and give you something to teach other members in your club or family, we will also will discuss some things to help make tunes flow and bounce

Instructor: Wayne Seymour

  • Introduction to Fingerpicking (Level: Novice and Up) – Grasp the fundamentals of fingerpicking, and you enter a whole new world of dulcimer playing.  We will explore and practice various picking patterns and the tips to mastering them.  Send your playing in a new direction!  Tuning: DAD
  • Introduction to Singing Harmony (All Levels) - Do you wish you could find the right notes to help you sing harmony?  Wayne and Becky will introduce you to some basic techniques that will help you find notes that fit with the melody . We will indicate harmony notes in tablature, and then we will sing as a group through a number of examples. This class will not make you a gifted harmonizer, but it will give you some tools to start you on your way.
  • Small Ensembles (Level: Novice and Up) – Ensemble playing is wonderfully enriching.  Learning to play individual parts and as a group, we will work through several pieces with 3 or 4 parts.  Of course, mastering your part is just one step, and the class will also focus on balance, musicianship, arranging, and presentation. Tuning: DAD
  • Dulcimer in a String Band? (Level: Novice and Up) – So you want to form a string band? You will need to track down some other willing instrumentalists–like Wayne, Neal, Coleen, Phyllis and Jim.  You can find such folks at old-time and bluegrass jam sessions.  From this workshop you’ll take techniques for blending with other instrumentalists to form the unique traditional sound of a string band.  Everyone come ready to make notes, ask questions about what you hear and see, or just LISTEN.  “One needs to listen more than practice,” sayeth sage Phyllis.  Saturday only.

Instructor:  Ralph Lee Smith

  • Dulcimer Musings, Part 3 (With Display of Instruments) (Level: All Participants) - Saturday morning Ralph will continue the sharing that Jimmy Costa started in Parts 1 and 2 of these special “all participants” workshops.  Ralph will share with us some dulcimers he has collected, the tales of the “findings,” when and where he traveled searching for dulcimers and songs, and various musings as only Ralph can present them. Ralph has long been the “historian” of the dulcimer world, and we are fortunate to have him with us again.  No need to sign up because you are already registered for this one.
  • Simple DAA Tunes That Everyone Loves (Level: Novice and Up) – Every player should have a few simple, beautiful tunes in his or her back pocket to play on short notice for groups—both dulcimer and non-dulcimer people.  Some of the lovelies we’ll put in your back pocket include “Pretty Little Turtle Dove,” “Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies,” and an old Kentucky version of “The Cuckoo.” Tuning: DAA

Instructor:  Marsha Harris

  • Beyond Beginners, Parts 1 & 2 (Advanced Beginner and Up) - Designed for those who have previously taken a CRDF beginner’s class, this workshop will review beginner concepts, improving techniques of strumming, picking techniques, use of chords to provide backup for other players, introduction to the capo, smoothing out your playing, playing in time, and playing embellishments such as hammer-ons and pull-offs. (Tuning: DAD)  Be sure to sign up for both Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Colonial Period Music (Novice and Up) – As people immigrated to America from Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, they left behind their families and the life they knew.  However, these settlers brought with them a wealth of music that tied them to their past.  That music is still as moving and beautiful on our dulcimers today.

Instructor:  Becky Cleland

  • Introduction to Playing Bones (All Levels) – Explore the history of this simple percussion instrument as well as the method for playing it (which involves positioning and moving the hand in just the right way to swing the bones against each other for a good strike).  We’ll work on playing some triplets, then after the brief training we’ll practice playing bones with live music!
  • Introduction to Singing Harmony–With Wayne Seymour (All Levels) – Do you wish you could find the right notes to help you sing harmony?  Wayne and Becky will introduce you to some basic techniques that will help you find notes that fit with the melody . We will indicate harmony notes in tablature, and then we will sing as a group through a number of examples. This class will not instantly transform you into a gifted harmonizer, but it will give you the tools to start you on your way.

Instructor:  Coleen Walters

  • Making a CD (Level: All) - Basement Music has engineered and produced nearly 100 CDs since moving to Greencastle, PA, in 2000. Coleen will walk you through all you need to know to get started on your own CD. Bring your questions!
  • Dulcimer in a String Band? (Level: Novice and Up) – So you want to form a string band? You will need to track down some other willing instrumentalists–like Wayne, Neal, Coleen, Phyllis and Jim.  You can find such folks at old-time and bluegrass jam sessions.  From this workshop you’ll take techniques for blending with other instrumentalists to form the unique traditional sound of a string band.  Everyone come ready to make notes, ask questions about what you hear and see, or just LISTEN.  “One needs to listen more than practice,” sayeth sage Phyllis.  Saturday only.

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