NC's Longest-Running Dulcimer Festival!
You will stay with the same instructor for the morning, working on skills appropriate for your level.
MD - New Players and Beginners - Nancy Galambush (All Day Class)
This class will meet together all day in order to develop the skills needed to build a good foundation for playing the dulcimer. Topics to be covered in this class will include a brief history of the dulcimer, how to hold, strum, fret, tune, and care for your instrument. You will also learn how to read tab and be introduced to time and rhythm while learning to play a variety of songs in DAd.
MD - Advanced Beginner and Lower Intermediate – Hunter Walker
Have you ever heard one of your favorite musicians play one of your favorite tunes and thought, “It doesn’t sound like that when I play it! What am I doing wrong?” This class is aimed at taking well-known tunes to that next level. We’ll cover embellishments and where and how to use them, as well as how to incorporate them. We’ll also cover how to integrate chord shapes and smooth transitions for fingering. This class will be taught in D-A-D tuning. Extra frets are welcome, but not necessary.
MD - Upper Intermediate and Advanced – Bing Futch
Mountain Dulcimer - Making It Look Easy
What makes a good arrangement great? We've all hacked our way through a piece of tablature, but the real trick is in smoothing out the rough spots and being able to identify when extra care is needed when plotting fingerings and strumming/picking techniques. We'll take a challenging arrangement, play through it, take note of "trouble spots" and then I'll lay some secrets on you for turning a shaky presentation into a deceptively breezy performance. Then we will find… The Secret To Chord Melody Style
There is a secret to creating a compelling arrangement on the mountain dulcimer. It involves keeping the melody as the focus while still allowing for dynamics of countermelody and rhythm. In this workshop, you will learn how to take a simple melody into a full-fledged arrangement.
Hammered Dulcimer - Marya Katz – All Levels (All Day Class)
A Day of Dance Tunes! Participants will begin the day's session with an overview of various dance tune styles (for example, "What's the difference between a jig and a strathspey?"), and then dig in to several dances including a waltz, a polka, and the aforementioned strathspey. We'll learn the simple tunes, and work on some embellishments/ornamentations and easy arrangements. All materials in standard music notation will be provided; permission is given to make recordings of any part of the session for private use in remembering the tunes and techniques.
Beginner Hammered Dulcimer - Sheila Hunter (All Day Class)
The basics of hammered dulcimer tuning, playing and maintenance will be the focus of this class for brand new dulcimer players and the hammered dulcimer-curious. Students will learn how to hold the hammers to play musically, how the dulcimer is set up in different keys, how to tune, and how to play some simple melodies. Ideally, the students will already have a basic knowledge of written music, such as quarter notes, half notes, etc.; time signatures and key signatures. If you do not own a hammered dulcimer, let us know so that we can provide you a rental ($25) for the class. Use the contact form on our home page to send us a note that you want a rental.
MD - All Levels - Ken Bloom - Two Workshops (combined class)
School for Expressive Hands – All Levels -- the use of both hands will be examined with a goal for using them in the most ergonomic and least painful way. Making gravity your friend is key to this. Along the way, we will also look at all the many resources that a dulcimer player has for more expressive playing such as dynamics, attack, and artistic considerations. Open to all levels. Beginners can profit from this careful examination of paying methods as well as more experienced players.
Using All Your Resources - a workshop open to all levels which will focus on using both left and right hands to bring out more expression. This is accomplished by a more ergonomic use of your hands as well as focusing on what you want to say with each piece of music you attempt.
MD – Hunter Walker – 3rd Period – Upper Intermediate / Advanced
We’re gonna take a well-known, beloved melody (or two) and craft your own arrangement from a bare-bones melody line. This process will include deciding where and how to use different qualities of chords and how they interact with the overall arrangement. We’ll cover some techniques that you may not know you could do. Don’t be afraid to of a tiny bit of music theory.
MD – Hunter Walker – 4th Period – Upper Intermediate / Advanced
This class will delve into the repertoires of old fiddlers mainly from West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. We will learn tunes commonly found in jam sessions while also exploring some squirrelly, crooked, and obscure tunes whose history is as fascinating as their melodies. In keeping with oral tradition, there will be no tablature for this class, but tools for retention of the material will be offered. Students should have a solid repertoire of tunes, have a working knowledge of various chord shapes along the fingerboard, and be willing to have an open mind about how diverse Old-Time Music can be. Class will be taught in D-A-d, and will require a 6+ fret and capo.
MD – Bing Futch - Repertoire Building - "O Holy Night" – Advanced Beginner - Lower Intermediate
A beautiful song any time of the year, but since the holidays are always just around the corner, it's a good time to begin practicing some tunes that you can play for friends, family, church, hospice or at your busy weeks of Christmas gigs! This arrangement of "O Holy Night" was based on my recollections of Holiday Illuminations at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Simple in basic concept, but requires a delicate touch to play and make it look easy. I'll show you the tricks to getting this arrangement under your fingers and ready to perform!
MD – Bing Futch - Breathing New Life Into A Tune – Advanced Beginner - Lower Intermediate
Would you like to take a simple tune and make it into something that is truly a living, breathing creation? I'll show you the steps to take when fleshing out a piece, from adding rhythm and snap to expanding upon the melody and throwing in some chord back-up. For this exercise, we'll use the great ol' tune "Down The River I Go Uncle Joe."
Bowed Dulcimer Introduction and Technique - this elective is for those who want to find out more about this fascinating approach to the dulcimer and would like to try it. For those who already play, I will concentrate on each individual in the class with pointers for better fingering and bowing.
Advancing Bowed Dulcimer – We will be looking at each individual in the workshop and how each one can improve their playing. For some it is a better understanding of the fingerboard. For others it is a more effective use of the bow. For others it might be an expanded concept of music. Everyone is welcome but this will focus on more experienced players.