Pocono Dulcimer Club

HD Workshop Descriptions

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Printable NON-Dulcimer Workshop Descriptions

Hammered Dulcimer Workshop Descriptions
                                  Note:  6 Non-Dulcimer (ND) Classes this year (listed separately)

Ruth Smith              

9:00am - H3           *Duet Playing - Hammered Dulcimer (& Guitar w/Steve Smith)       Intermediate/Advanced

Learn to play with a partner. In the first half of this workshop, the hammered dulcimer players learn a tune while the guitar players learn the backup part to this tune in a separate concurrent session. In the second half of the workshop, the hammered dulcimer and guitar players join together to play the tune, focusing on techniques to help the instruments complement one another and making the results more musical by use of dynamics and expression. 

10:30am – H6         Advanced Hammering Patterns                          Advanced
Don’t shy away from music that has tricky hammering patterns – it often makes for music that is fun to play! We’ll learn how to work out tricky parts of tunes, and we’ll also delve into right and left-hand lead patterns, understanding how they work, while working out the best ways to play the difficult, but fun, passages.

2:30pm - H9           From Heart to Hands                                             Advanced

Learn to play with greater expressiveness.  We will study specific arranging tools and exercises to help make your music sing!  Repertoire will be drawn from expressive, lyrical music such as a slow air, waltz, or lament. 


Brett Ridgeway       

9:00am – H1           The Laid-Back Beginner Hammered Dulcimer Workshop                                 Beginner / Novice

This is a no stress workshop that will help you understand the layout of your instrument, locating octaves, duplicated notes, harmony and grace notes, basic chords, and in the process, changing “all those strings” into something that makes sense! Plus, we will teach a performance ready tune for that little boost of encouragement!

10:30am – H4         The Five-Note Hymn                              Beginner / Novice

This workshop will teach the old traditional hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” made up of five notes with plenty of room for graceful embellishments of arpeggios, grace notes, etc. This workshop will teach several embellishment ideas that can be applied to any tune and will you will leave with various performance-ready arrangements of the tune.

2:30pm – H8           The 8-Note Miracle Lick                                        Intermediate

This little eight note lick will open up new ways to play your instrument and will really “fancify” your playing with a syncopated fill in for those fast tunes. Or slow it down for a graceful fill-in lick for those slow tunes that need some embellishment. This “go-to” lick is easy to learn and can be applied to almost any tune and will really change the way you play the hammered dulcimer.

4:00pm - H10          Practice Smarter, Not Harder                              All levels / all instruments

Have you ever practiced and practiced and felt like you were just spinning your wheels and getting nowhere? Can’t memorize your music? Can’t get through those musical tough spots? Well, guess what—you can practice until your fingers fall off and never make the progress you desire because the secret to playing successfully is NOT just practicing, but knowing HOW to practice. Many people waste HOURS of time and effort practicing their instrument, and don’t realize their practice methods often serve as a roadblock toward reaching the end-result they desire. This workshop will teach you some proven techniques, tested guidelines, and provide some hands-on practice experience teaching you exactly HOW to practice for the most efficient and effective results! Why waste hours practicing harder when you can productively practice smarter? 


Jon Weinberg         

10:30am – H5         Hand Independence                                              Intermediate

You can walk and chew gum at the same time! In four steps, learn to play Jon's simple arrangement of Ashgrove with each hand simultaneously playing a different melody line and different rhythm.

4:00pm - H12         Amplifying your hammered dulcimer                                All levels

The ins and outs of amplifying your dulcimer for performing on stage, at weddings, and for recording. Includes details on installing pickups in hammered dulcimers - how to install internal pickups, and what electronics and cabling you'll need, choices you'll need to make, etc.


Linda Littleton         

9:00am - H2           Exotic Tunes                                                          Intermediate

Step out of the straight and narrow to learn a few tunes from around the world.  We’ll work by

ear; sheet music will be available if necessary.

2:30pm – H7           Backup for Beginners                                           Beginner / Advanced Beginner

Learn how to play backup patterns to accompany another instrument or singer. This workshop will include chording, arpeggios, and suggestions for arrangements.

4:00pm - H11         Singing with the Hammered Dulcimer                                                Intermediate

The hammered dulcimer is a fantastic instrument for accompanying yourself while singing. Come and learn this valuable skill and build your confidence and repertoire!



Paul Mueller          

9, 10:30, 2:30 - HMC              MASTER CLASS – Intermediate into advanced:    classes are consecutive & sequential

                                                "Creative Songwriting and Recording Fun for Multiple Hammered Dulcimers"

Join us for a unique collaborative experience that will take the class from creative approaches in songwriting to dynamic arrangements to recording and production, all on the hammered dulcimer!

Session 1:

Songs with multiple hammered dulcimer parts as well as world music songs with lead dulcimer will be heard to spark a direction in the group writing process.  Producing new sounds and textures using different hammers, a damper pedal, and melodic and rhythmic variations will begin song creation.

Session 2:

Optimum recording and miking techniques will be discussed and demonstrated with a hands on acoustic mixing board and digital multitrack recording machines.  Parts for the group song will be developed and begin to be recorded as ideas and themes are shared and shaped together.

Session 3:

The recording process will be completed with multiple parts played and recorded by multiple musicians with input from the group.  At the end of the class we will hear a rough mix of the song and then Paul will properly mix it later in his studio and mail copies to all participants.  Lots of fun!


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