Schedule/Workshop Descriptions

Scroll down to see the workshop schedule.  Or you can download the schedule as a Word document HERE.  Scroll down further on this page to see detailed descriptions of the workshops.

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 26

Everyone is automatically enrolled for the Thursday evening workshops!  Starting time is 5:45.  General orientation and the introduction of our instructors will take place between the workshops.  We’ll end with a lively instructors jam.

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (All Participants)–This thing just gets better and better each year!  Led by the maestro himself, Ken Bloom.
  • The Care & Feeding of the Dulcimer (All Participants)–Learn the essentials from Ben Seymour.

Friday, May 27

Instructor
9:00 – 10:15
10:45 – Noon
1:45 – 3:00
3:30 – 4:45
Maddie

 

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners–Part 1 of 4
(Beginner)
Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners–Part 2 of 4
(Beginner)
Rounds in Harmony
(Advanced Beginner and Up)
Dave
Beyond Beginner Part 1 of 2
(Novice)
Advanced Arpeggios
(Intermediate/ Advanced)
Jam Survival Techniques
(Novice to Intermediate)
Bill
Playing Irish Jigs
(Intermediate)
 “Bagpipe Tuning”:  Low AAD
(Novice and Up)
Clearing Up Modal Mysteries
(Beginners and Up)
Marsha
 
Music of John Playford
(Intermediate and Up)
Fun With Techniques
(Beginner and Up)
Jim
Roaming the Virginia Blue Ridge With Cecil and Maud
(Advanced Beginners and Up)
Ben
In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance
In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance
Play Party Games and Songs
 (With Becky; Novice and Up)
In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and Maintenance
Ken
Connections:  Appalachian Dulcimer/Zither
 (All Participants)
Making It Up Modally
 (Intermediate and Up)
 Bowed Dulcimer
(All Levels)
Becky
 
Play Party Games and Songs
 (With Ben; Novice and Up)
 Introduction to Playing Bones
(All Levels; Loaner Bones Available)
Wayne
Songs of James A. Bland
(Intermediate/ Advanced)
Songs of the Virginia-North Carolina Border
(Novice/ Intermediate)
Fingerpicking:  Right and Left Hand Techniques
(All Who Have Never Fingerpicked)
Neal
Out of the Ordinary Waltzes
(Intermediate)
Left and Right Hand Techniques
(Intermediate)
Music Theory for All
(Beginner)
Coleen
 
Making a CD
(All Levels)
Mill Run Dulcimer Band:  Tunes, TAB, Talk
(All Levels; Kit Putnam, Co-Instructor)
Phyllis
MORE Fiddle Tunes Uptempo! Part 1 of 2
(Novice and Up)
Galax Dulcimer
(Beginner)
 Going From DAA to CGG
(Beginner)

Friday 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 featuring Maddie, Bill, Marsha, Becky & Ben, and Phyllis & Jim.  No need to sign up for this one–everyone is already enrolled.

Saturday, May 28

Instructor
9:00 – 10:15
10:45 – Noon
1:45 – 3:00
3:30 – 4:45
Maddie

 

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners–Part 3 of 4
(Beginner)

 

Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners–Part 4 of 4
(Beginner)
Rounds in Harmony
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Advanced Beginner and Up)
Dave
Beyond Beginner Part 2 of 2
(Novice)
Advanced Arpeggios
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate/ Advanced)
Jam Survival Techniques
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Novice/ Intermediate)
Bill
“Bagpipe Tuning”:  Low AAD
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Novice and Up)
Playing Irish Jigs
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate)
 
Clearing Up Modal Mysteries
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Beginners and Up)
 
Marsha
Music of John Playford
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate and Up)
Fun With Techniques
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Beginner and Up)
Jim
Roaming the Virginia Blue Ridge With Cecil and Maud
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Advanced Beginners and Up)
Ben
In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance
In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance
Play Party Games and Songs
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(With Becky; Novice and Up)
In His Shop for Dulcimer Repair and  Maintenance
Ken
Making It Up Modally
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate Level and Up)
 Bowed Dulcimer
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Levels)
Becky
Introduction to Playing Bones
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Loaner Bones Available; All Levels)
Play Party Games and Songs
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(With Wayne; Novice and Up)

 

Wayne
Songs of James A. Bland
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate/ Advanced)
Fingerpicking:  Right and Left Hand Techniques
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Folks Who Have Never Fingerpicked)
Songs of the Virginia-North Carolina Border
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Notice/ Intermediate)
 
Neal
Mill Run Dulcimer Band:  A Slice of Virginia History
(With Colleen and Kit; All Participants)
Out of the Ordinary Waltzes
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate)
Left and Right Hand Techniques
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Intermediate)
Music Theory for All
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Beginner)
 
Coleen
Mill Run Dulcimer Band:  A Slice of Virginia History
(With Neal and Kit; All Participants)
Making a CD
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(All Levels)
Mill Run Dulcimer Band:  Tunes, TAB, Talk
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
 (All Levels; Kit Putnam, Co-Instructor)
Phyllis
MORE Fiddle Tunes Uptempo! Part 2 of 2
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Novice and Up)
Going From DAA to CGG
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Beginners)
Galax Dulcimer
A Repeat of Friday’s Class
(Beginners Only)

Saturday Evening, May 28

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 featuring Ken, Wayne, Dave, Neal & Coleen, and Kit.  No need to sign up for this one–everyone is already enrolled.

Workshop Descriptions

a IMG_5629 ADJInstructor:  Bill Collins

  • Clearing Up Modal Mysteries (Level: Beginners and Up) – Every dulcimer player hears the term “mode” tossed around quite frequently. The truth is, though, many players of this very modal instrument admit their understanding of modes is shaky at best.  At the end of this workshop, you’ll never be intimidated by modal monsters  again!   (Tuning: DAD)
  • “Bagpipe Tuning”: Low AAD (Level: Novice and Up) – Tuning your bass string down to low A gives you the closest sound to a bagpipe you can get on a dulcimer.  Using the two lower strings as  octave drones and playing tunes in A Mixolydian produce an exciting sound.   In this workshop we’ll learn “Skye Boat Song,” and “Scotland the Brave,” among others. We will also explore improvisation and ornamentation to add the Scottish flavor to your playing.
  • Playing Irish Jigs (Level: lntermediate) – Come learn several jigs (6/8 time signature) and at least  one slip jig (9/8 time signature).  We will also explore ornamentation  techniques (grace notes, triplets, rolls, and rhythmic variation) that will give this music an authentic Celtic sound.  Some basic flatpicking techniques will also be covered.  (Tuning: DAD)

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. The music for the orchestra will be included as part of the focus of the class. Listeners welcome.
  • Connections:  Appalachian Dulcimer/Zither – Friday Morning Gathering (Level: All Participants – No need to sign up because you are already registered for this one. Our beloved Appalachian  dulcimer and the modern concert zither both grew from the same common source, the old scheitholt (or “zitter,” as  it was commonly called in the 18th and early 19th centuries).  The two instruments evolved in very different directions.  By 1840, the scheitholt had lost strings and had gained its graceful shape.  By the same time, across The Pond, the concert zither had not only added strings but had acquired a very distinctive manner of playing.  This will be demonstrated in the morning presentation. 
  • Making it up Modally (Level: Intermediate and Up) – This class is open to all players of the mountain dulcimer and other instruments. You will learn to use modes to make up your own melodies and songs. Simple guidelines will help you “unlock” your own creativity.

Instructor:  Phyllis Gaskins

  • Galax Dulcimer (Level: Beginners Only Please) – Come learn about the history of this very old traditional playing style dating back to the 1850s.  Play on “authentic” Galax dulcimers originally made by the Meltons in Virgina and explore how the German scheitholt players who came through the Great Valley of Virginia influenced the making and playing of this instrument.  We’ll practice holding a noter for maximum ease of playing and add some simple tunes from the tradition of Southwest Virginia to your repertoire.  (Tuning: all Ds; bring your Galax dulcimer or use one of Phyllis’s.)
  • MORE Fiddle Tunes Uptempo! Parts 1 & 2 (Level: Novice and Up; Be sure to sign up for both parts.) – Want to learn MORE old toe-tapping tunes from Old Virginia fiddlers such as John Ashby, Henry Reed, Luther Davis and Albert Hash?  We will work on learning phrases by ear, but you’ll also receive TAB for tunes to help you remember them. I will be using a noter.  You may choose to use your fingers to move along the fretboard.  You can play on your dulcimer tuned to DAD and retune for G and A tunes, and you may also try one of Phyllis’s vintage Galax dulcimers.  Part 2 of this workshop is a continuation of Part 1 and contains different material.
  • Going from DAA to CGG (Level: Beginners) – Bring your dulcimer tuned in DAA as well as a tuner.  We will retune to CGG for some fun in the key of C! At times in your dulcimer playing you would rather sing or play in the key of C.  We will learn one way of doing that on tunes that are familiar to you and look at some TAB transformation as well.  Easier than Pie!  (Tuning: start in DAA)

Instructor:  David Haas

  • Advanced Arpeggios (Level: Intermediate/Advanced) – Create wonderful arrangements of your favorite slow and melodic tunes with a variety of techniques.  Add variations by moving the melody to the bass and octave regions of the fretboard, develop introductions and endings, and add spice to your playing using natural and artificial harmonics.  (Tuning: DAD)
  • Beyond Beginner, Parts 1 & 2 (Level: Novice; Be sure to sign up for both Parts 1 and 2.)  Have you got your Beginner’s skills pretty much down?  In this next step after last year’s Beginner’s class, you’ll improve your strumming to make your tunes more musical and improve your left hand fingering to make your playing smoother and more fluid.  Build skills in both fast and slow tunes.  Use a capo and play embellishments such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, and harmonics.  Part 2 contains different material from Part 1.  (Tuning: DAD)
  • Jam Survival Techniques (Level: Novice – Intermediate) – How to have fun in a jam session!  Learn skills and techniques to make your playing faster and smoother.  Try backup chords in several positions. Learn how to use a capo to play in different keys AND how to play along with tunes you have never heard before.  (Tuning: DAD)

Instructor:  Maddie MacNeil

  • Mountain Dulcimer For Beginners – Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Level: Beginner; Be sure to sign up for all four parts.) – We’ll start at the beginning and explore the playing of this special instrument: how to hold and tune the dulcimer, how to strum melodies, and how to play chords to accompany favorite tunes and songs.  Written music with fret numbers (in what we call “tablature”) will be provided, and we’ll also encourage the ear to help us learn and play.  Loaner dulcimers are available. If you’d like to borrow one, please let us know.
  • Rounds In Harmony (Level: Advanced Beginner and Up) – As wonderful as it is to play dulcimer tunes by ourselves, hearing others playing with us brings us together in harmony.  Rounds such as “Dona Nobis Pacem”, “Come Follow,” and “Music Shall Live” are examples of a special way to share with each other—and we’ll play them, too. (Tuning: DAD)

Instructor:  Ben Seymour

  • Care and Feeding of the Dulcimer – Thursday Evening Gathering (Level: All Participants – No need to sign up because you are already registered for this one.)  We’ll look at some misconceptions about dulcimer care and the best ways to care for your investment.  We will also go through a restringing to show you that it is not “Rocket Science” and is generally an easy process.  I’ll restring both a  flathead and a scroll head as a demonstration.  Strings will be available at the “Dulcimer Doctor” room throughout the weekend, and I’ll still string dulcimers if you don’t want to tackle that yourself.  Handouts are available.
  • Play Party Games & Songs (With Becky Cleland; Level: Novice & Up) – Play party songs and singing games were practiced by Appalachian children at social gatherings and playtimes–sometimes to play at making love matches, too.  A familiar play party song/game is “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Ben and Becky will teach you some less familiar play party tunes and provide handouts that include the music plus directions on how the games were played and danced.  You may recognize some of these tunes, as many found their way into the fiddler’s repertoire.  (Tuning: DAD)

Instructor:  Jim Gaskins

  • Roaming the Virginia Blue Ridge with Cecil and Maud (Level: Advanced Beginners and Up) – We will learn three beautiful songs found in Appalachia by the great British collectors Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in the early 20th century: “The Cuckoo” and “In Old Virginny” (in Ionian mode DAA), and “The True Lover’s Farewell” (in Dorian mode DAG).  None require the 6 ½ fret.  Ideally you should have a little experience in retuning, chording, and picking,

Instructor:  Marsha Harris

  • Music of John Playford (Level: Intermediate & Above) – “Set music” accompanies English dances, and John Playford published his collection, The English Dancing Master, in the mid-1600s.  Later Cecil Sharp, too, published a collection entitled Country Dance Tunes.  One of the tunes we will learn is “Gahtering Peascods,” which plays nicely on the mountain dulcimer.
  • Fun With Techniques (Level: Beginner and Up) – You don’t have to use a plastic pick to play the mountain dulcimer.  Several songs (“Sourwood Mountain”, “Hard Times,” and more) will be learned strumming with a finger and a feather.  A few simple chords will also be included with the songs.  (Tuning: DAD)

Instructor:  Becky Cleland

  • Introduction to Playing Bones (All Levels) – Learn the history of this simple percussion instrument as well as the method for playing it.  The technique involves positioning and moving the hand in just the right way to swing the bones against each other for a good strike.  We’ll also work on playing some triplets.  After this brief training, we will practice playing bones with live music!
  • Play Party Games & Songs (With Ben Seymour; Level: Novice & Up) – Play party songs and singing games were practiced by Appalachian children at social gatherings and playtimes–sometimes to play at making love matches, too.  A familiar play party song/game is “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” Ben and Becky will teach you some less familiar play party tunes and provide handouts that include the music plus directions on how the games were played and danced.  You may recognize some of these tunes, as many found their way into the fiddler’s repertoire.  (Tuning: DAD)

Instructor:  Wayne Seymour

  • Songs of James A. Bland (Level: Intermediate to Advanced) – Let’s play some American standards with a Virginia connection.  Although James A. Bland was a New Yorker, he married a woman from Tidewater Virginia, spent time there, and was influenced by the area.  He was Stephen Foster’s primary rival during his lifetime.  Three of Bland’s songs are: “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny,” “Golden Slippers,” and “Hand Me Down My Walking Cane”.  (Tuning: DAD)
  • FingerpickingRight and Left Hand Techniques (Level: All folks who have never finger picked.) – Send your playing in a new direction with the fundamentals of fingerpicking. We’ll work on a number of picking patterns, and some simple pieces will be presented along with many tips and examples.  (Tuning: DAD)
  • Songs of the Virginia/ NC Border (Level: Novice – Intermediate) – The songs for this workshop come from the renowned and prolific hillbilly music pioneer Kelly Harrell of Fieldale, Virginia. There are tons of them! They include ballads and novelty tunes: “Henpecked Man Blues,” “Cave Love Has Gained the Day,” “Murder of the Lawson Family” and, if time permits, “She Just Kept Kissing On”. (Tuning – DAA)

Instructor:  Neal Walters

  • Out of the Ordinary Waltzes (Level: Intermediate) – Waltzes are wonderful on the dulcimer, and arrangements of obscure and beautiful waltzes will add interest to your repertoire.  Neal will share several of his–and soon to be your–favorites.  (Tuning: DAD)
  • Left and Right Hand Techniques (Level: Intermediate) – Every intermediate player should be familiar with left hand techniques such as hammer-ons, slides, pull-offs, and triplets.  We will break down each of these techniques and apply them in appropriate tunes.  You will also learn a variety of strumming techniques to “match the mood” of the tunes/songs you’re playing. (Tuning: DAD)
  • Mill Run Dulcimer Band: A Slice of Virginia Dulcimer History (Saturday Morning Gathering Only)The mountain dulcimer has long been a part of Virginia’s musical history, developing as settlers moved through the Great Valley of Virginia.  The Northern Virginia-based Mill Run Dulcimer Band was one of the most popular and influential groups to emerge during the mid-twentieth century dulcimer revival.  Luthier/dulcimist Keith Young started the band, and Neal Walters was a member for nearly 30 years. Join Neal, Coleen, and Kit for a fun-filled workshop listening to some of their music and discovering some of their influences. Designed to be entertaining as well as informative, this class will let your fingers rest from the rigors of the playing classes.
  • Music Theory for All (Level: Beginner) – A little theory is often as useful as a lot of techniques in improving your playing, particularly in jamming situations. This workshop is designed to demystify what every dulcimer player should know about chords, modes, keys, and other “frightening” but important subjects.  Time permitting, we will discuss jamming techniques and etiquette.  (Tuning: DAD)

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.  We will address preparation, recording, copyright, replication and production.  Bring your questions!
  • Mill Run Dulcimer Band: A Slice of Virginia Dulcimer History (Saturday Morning Gathering Only)The mountain dulcimer has long been a part of Virginia’s musical history, developing as settlers moved through the Great Valley of Virginia.  The Northern Virginia-based Mill Run Dulcimer Band was one of the most popular and influential groups to emerge during the mid-twentieth century dulcimer revival.  Luthier/dulcimist Keith Young started the band, and Neal Walters was a member for nearly 30 years. Join Coleen, Neal, and Kit for a fun-filled workshop listening to some of their music and discovering some of their influences. Designed to be entertaining as well as informative, this class will let your fingers rest from the rigors of the playing classes.
  • Mill Run Dulcimer Band:  Tunes, TAB, Talk (Level:  All) – Join Colleen and Kit Putnam as they present some TAB of tunes favored by the Mill Run Dulcimer Band and talk more about the band’s music.

Instructor:  Kit Putnam

  • Mill Run Dulcimer Band: A Slice of Virginia Dulcimer History (Saturday Morning Gathering Only)The mountain dulcimer has long been a part of Virginia’s musical history, developing as settlers moved through the Great Valley of Virginia.  The Northern Virginia-based Mill Run Dulcimer Band was one of the most popular and influential groups to emerge during the mid-twentieth century dulcimer revival.  Luthier/dulcimist Keith Young started the band, and Neal Walters was a member for nearly 30 years. Join Kit, Neal, and Coleen for a fun-filled workshop listening to some of their music and discovering some of their influences. Designed to be entertaining as well as informative, this class will let your fingers rest from the rigors of the playing classes.
  • Mill Run Dulcimer Band:  Tunes, TAB, Talk (Level: All) – Join Kit and Coleen Walters as they present some TAB of tunes favored by the Mill Run Dulcimer Band and talk more about the band’s music.

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