Workshop Schedule/Descriptions

Below you will find the CRDF workshop schedule.  Scroll down further to find detailed descriptions of each workshop.  

You can download a copy of the workshop schedule below as a Word document by clicking HERE.

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.

Remember to bring a music stand.  For your comfort you might also bring a cushion to sit on.

DULCIMER 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 24

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

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (All Participants) — (5:45 – 6:45, Panthers Den, 1st floor, Franklin Hall)  How sweet it is, dulcimer players weaving notes together as an orchestra!  Led by the maestro himself, Ken Bloom.
  • Introductions and Orientation — (7:10 – 8:15, Panthers Den, 1st floor, Franklin Hall)
  • Instructor and Participants Jam — (8:40 – 9:15, Dyer Hall Conference Room)

Friday, May 25

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)

Fingering With Finesse

(Novice Level and Up)
Jeff

Beyond Beginners – Improve Foundations of Your Playing – Part 1 of 3

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

Beyond Beginners – Improve Foundations of Your Playing – Part 2 of 3

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

Beyond the Notes – Getting More Expression

(Advanced Level)
Stephen
 How Different Levels Can Play Together

(All Levels)

Tunings and Capos

(Intermediate Level and Up)
Learn a Small Bunch of Easy Tunes

(Beginner Level)
Phyllis & Jim
 

Old-Time Tunes – A Modal

(Novice Level and Up)

Basic Noter Playing

(Beginner Level)
Ben In the Dulcimer Repair Shop

In the Dulcimer Repair Shop

DAA Tuning to Other Tunings

(Novice Level and Up)
Bill

Songs Inspired by Bonnie Prince Charlie

(Intermediate Level and Up)
Airs From the Shetland Islands

(Advanced Level)

Icelandic Folk Tunes for Dulcimer

(Intermediate Level and Up)
Becky
 

 Playing Spoons

(All Levels)
Ken

 European Forms of the Mountain Dulcimer

(All Participants)
European Repertoire

(Intermediate Level and Up)
Bowed Dulcimer

(Novice Level and Up)
Jon
Singing With the Dulcimer in the Traditional Style

(Intermediate Level and Up)

 Ritchie Family Songs and Traditions

(All Levels)
Traditional Mountain Dulcimer Styles

(Novice Level and Up)
Marsha
 

Fun Fiddle Tunes

(Advanced Level)
Joe
Bum Diddy to Rock-n-Roll

(Intermediate Level and Up)
Playing Upside Down

(Intermediate Level and Up)

Old Hymns for the New Player

(Beginner Level)

Friday Evening, May 25

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, 7:40 – 9:30)–20 minute sets.

Saturday, 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 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)
Fingering With Finesse

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Jeff Beyond Beginner – Improve Foundations of Your Playing – Part 3 of 3

(Beyond Beginner Level; Sign Up for All 3 Parts)
Beyond the Notes – Getting More Expression

(Advanced Level; Repeat of Friday Class)
Waltzing With the Dulcimer

(Intermediate Level and Up)
 Stephen Tunings and Capos

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Chords in DAA

(Intermediate Level and Up)

 How Different Levels Can Play Together

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)
Phyllis & Jim

Galax Dulcimer: A Melton Family Tradition

(All Participants)
Fake It ‘Til You Make It

(Novice Level and Up)
Old-Time Tunes – A Modal

(Novice Level and Up)
Ben
 

DAA Tuning to Other Tunings

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
In the Dulcimer Repair Shop In the Dulcimer Repair Shop
Bill Airs From Shetland Islands

(Advanced Level; Repeat of Friday Class)
Icelandic Folk Tunes for the  Dulcimer

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

 Songs Inspired by Bonnie Prince Charlie

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Becky
 

 Playing Spoons

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)
Ken Bowed Dulcimer

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
 European Repertoire

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Jon

Traditional Mountain Dulcimer Styles

(Novice Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Singing With the Dulcimer in the Traditional Style

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Ritchie Family Songs and Traditions

(All Levels; Repeat of Friday Class)
Marsha

Fun Fiddle Tunes

(Advanced Level; Repeat of Friday Class)
Joe Playing Upside Down

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)
Bum Diddy to Rock-n-Roll

(Intermediate Level and Up; Repeat of Friday Class)

Multi-Part Hymns

(All Levels)

Saturday 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, 7:40 – 9:30)–20 minute sets.

Workshop Descriptions

Instructor:  Nancy Galambush

  • Off to a Good Start on the Mountain Dulcimer, Parts 1 – 4 (Beginner Level; no music experience necessary.  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. 
  • Fingering With Finesse (Novice Level and Up) – Why does it matter which fingers you use on your fretboard? Using all of your fingers and thumb allows you to play more efficiently, resulting in both smoother sounding music and the ability to play faster. However, how you use your fingers will depend on your manual dexterity and your instrument. In this class we will investigate “anchoring” your hand, stretching your hand, and what fingering patterns work best for you to become a smoother or faster player. DAD tuning; students should be familiar with D,G, and A chords.

Instructor:  Ken Bloom

  • Dulcimer Orchestra (Level: All) – The sound of a dulcimer orchestra is something to be treasured.  Everyone join the fun! There will be parts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels as well as bowed dulcimers.
  • Bowed Dulcimer (Novice and Up) – 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, and basic playing skills and music will be adjusted to suit the level of the players in the class.
  • European Repertoire (Intermediate Level and Up) – Come explore tunes for dulcimer from the repertoires of the Hungarian citera, the French Eppinette, the Swedish hummel, and the Norwegian langeleik.  This class is open to both plucked and bowed dulcimers. Different approaches are used for each type of instrument.  Interested beginners are also welcome.
  • European Forms of the Mountain Dulcimer (Morning Program for All Participants) – There are several European forms of the dulcimer, most of which preceded ours.  Learn about the instruments (the sheitholt, the citera, the langeleik, the hummel and the eppinette de Vosges), how they were made and played, and a bit about the music that was and is continued to be played on them. You will hear the earliest examples of any dulcimer style instrument from a recording of Otto Malmberg from Sweden recorded on wax cylinders in 1917.  My companion workshop (European Repertoire) will go into all of this in more detail as well as give people an opportunity to try the instruments.

Instructors:  Phyllis & Jim Gaskins

  • Basic Noter Playing (Beginner Level) – Learn two easy D major tunes (“Black Eyed Susie” and “Johnson Boys”) by “ear”/“numbers”; how to hold the noter (TAB? yes); types of noters; and how to strum for rhythm while playing the melody.  We’ll be tuned DAD, or all Ds, or DAA.
  • Old-Time Tunes:  A Modal (Mixolydian and Dorian Explained) (Novice Level and Up) – Learn to use the capo to play these old tunes: “Storms Are On the Ocean,” “Breakin’ Up Christmas,” and “Sheep Shell Corn by the Rattlin’ of His Horn.” You may use a noter or finger the notes.  Tuning: DDD or DGD. Please bring a CAPO.
  • Fake It ‘Til You Make It (Novice Level and Up) –  Phyllis and Jim will teach the pentatonic scale for the key of D and how to use it to help you pick up melodies in a session. These skills will make you feel comfortable and competent participating in general music sessions.  Tuning: DAD or DDD.

Instructor:  Jeff Furman

  • Beyond Beginners – Improve Foundations of Your Playing, Parts 1 – 3 (Level: Beyond Beginner.  Be sure to sign up for all 3 parts.) – The main theme of this three-part workshop is “Improving the Quality of the Sound You Produce (or, Playing Music Not Just Frets!).” We will work on the foundation of your playing by exploring concepts, techniques, and exercises to help improve your right and your left hands. Techniques covered include strumming and flatpicking as well as basic skills such as hammer-ons, pulloffs, slides, chords, and left hand placement and fingering to get clean and connected notes. Prepare to work hard and have fun!
  • Beyond the Notes:  Getting More Expression in Your Playing (Advanced Level) – This workshop will explore concepts and techniques of getting more expression in your playing. Music is so much more than notes. We will listen to examples of expression in music, review techniques to help you play what you feel, and apply these ideas of expression to several tunes. This class will strive to “open your mind” and get those creative juices flowing!  Please bring a capo.
  • Waltzing With the Dulcimer (Intermediate Level and Up) – The mountain dulcimer makes a perfect dance partner for beautiful waltzes. In this workshop you will learn several waltzes in several keys and review the history and key elements of waltzes. They are much more than just ¾ time!  We will also explore concepts and techniques to enhance the feeling of these beautiful melodies.  Please bring a capo.

Instructor:  Stephen Seifert

  • Learn a Small Bunch of Easy Tunes  (Beginner Level) – Playing a number of super simple tunes, we’ll work on a strum that fits everything and doesn’t require reading or memorizing. DAA or DAD tuning.
  • Tunings and Capos (Intermediate & Up) – Stephen will show you how a combination of tunings and capo positions can allow you to play in all the keys you’re likely to run into old-time music. Please bring a capo.
  • How Different Levels Can All Play Together (All Levels) – Find yourself amid several dulcimer players of varied skill levels?  Stephen reveals how one simple page can be used to generate a bunch of different parts, allowing all levels to play together. DAA or DAD tuning.
  • Chords in DAA (Intermediate Level & Up) – Three shapes give you just about everything you need for either chord-melody or chord backup.   You need to know them!

Instructor:  Ben Seymour

  • DAA Tuning to Other Tunings (Novice Level and Up) – Tired of playing in the same old tuning over and over? Come and learn a few other tunings that are easy to access from D-A-A. We will explore tunes in E-A-A and in D-A-G, giving you both a major and a minor tuning with just changing the tuning on one string (or two if you have the doubled treble strings). I’ll even show you how to change to these tunings without the need for an electronic tuner.

Instructor:  Bill Collins

  • Songs Inspired by Bonnie Prince Charlie (Intermediate Level and Up) – Charles Edward Stuart’s failed bid to restore the English throne to Jacobite rule resulted in terrible persecution for the people of the Highlands.  The memory of Charles’s initial victories and ultimate disastrous defeat inspired a remarkable wealth of songs rich in nostalgia, pride, and poignant regret that commemorate the 1745 rebellion.  This workshop introduces some of these tunes, using DAD and “bagpipe” (DAD, low AAD) tunings.
  • Icelandic Folk Tunes for Dulcimer (Intermediate Level and Up) – The Icelandic langspil is a Scandinavian cousin of the Appalachian dulcimer.  Both are diatonically fretted zithers featuring drone strings.  So it seems appropriate to try to arrange Icelandic folk tunes for dulcimer, despite the challenge some of these unusual melodies present for the instrument.  This workshop presents interesting Icelandic tunes, some of which use unfamiliar scales and harmonies. DAD tuning.  Please bring a capo.
  • Airs From the Shetland Islands:  The Music of Tom Anderson (Advanced Level) – Tom Anderson (1910-1991), revered in the Shetlands for tirelessly preserving the region’s traditional fiddle music and for teaching it to generations of young players, was also a prolific composer of exquisite melodies.  This workshop presents some of his loveliest and most haunting tunes.

Instructor:  Jon Pickow

  • Ritchie Family Songs and Traditions (All Levels) – 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!  Archival video will be interspersed with stories and songs.  Bring your singing voice, dulcimer, and recording device and be prepared to spend some quality time on the Ritchie porch.
  • Traditional Mountain Dulcimer Styles (Novice Level and Up) – 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.  Some of the faster play-party (dance) tunes from the Ritchie family will be featured.
  • Singing With the Dulcimer in the Traditional Style (Intermediate Level and Up) – We’ll explore accompaniment techniques to bring out the best in traditional song performance with the dulcimer.  The emphasis will be on ballads and love songs, but we’ll sprinkle in some contemporary songs as well.

Instructor:  Marsha Harris

  • Fun Fiddle Tunes (Advanced Level) – We will listen to a few fiddle recordings and then adapt the tune to the mountain dulcimer. This class is designed for the player who has a good grasp of playing by ear, but there will also be tab to help you along the way. “Old Jimmy Sutton” and “Run Down Boot” are some of the tunes.  DAD tuning.   Please bring a capo.

Instructor:  Joe Collins

  • Old Hymns for New Players (Beginner Level) – There are some great hymns even beginners can readily add to their repertoires, including “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Like a River Glorious,” “Bound for Canaan,” and others. These tunes go way back in the history of American hymnody and sound great on the dulcimer!
  • Multi-Part Hymns (All Levels) – No matter what your playing level is, come experience the joy of being part of an ensemble playing hymns with multiple parts . This is a different set of hymns than the ones Joe introduced last year.  We’ll do “Amazing Grace,” “Down at the Cross,” and “Only Trust Him.”
  • Playing Upside Down! (Intermediate Level and Up) – Let’s focus on playing inverted chords in DAD.  We’ll build proficiency through skill-building exercises and learning songs which emphasize the technique.
  • From Bum-Diddy to Rock-n-Roll (Intermediate Level and Up) – There’s always room for improving strumming/picking hand techniques.  Participants will work on accuracy of picking individual strings and skills for strumming/picking out a number of rhythms outside the norm for mountain dulcimers.

Instructor:  Becky Cleland

  • Playing Spoons (All Levels) – Playing spoons is one of the traditional percussion methods for accompanying old-time music. The instruments were easily available from any kitchen drawer.  They are hit with the backs of the spoons against each other to make a nice “clackety” beat.  You will be shown how to hold the spoons, how to strike them between thigh and hand, how to make a finger roll, and how to do a gallop with the spoons in addition to the standard rhythms. If you have a favorite set of playing spoons, please bring them. There will be pairs for sale.

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