Pocono Dulcimer Club

MD Workshop Descriptions

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Printable NON-Dulcimer Workshop Descriptions

Mountain Dulcimer Workshop Descriptions
                                                       Note:  6 Non-Dulcimer (ND) Classes this year (listed seperately)

Bonnie Leigh

9:00am - M1            Discovery 1 - Let’s Begin!                           NO experience

While being introduced to your dulcimer, learn the basics of how to hold it, hold the pick, how to tune it, understand and read dulcimer tab and begin playing.                     (DAD tuning)

10:30am – M7         Discovery 2 - The Next Step - Strumming!                           NO experience

Take the next step with strumming; we will work on 3 different strumming patterns and incorporate them into different songs. See how strumming can change a song. We will also work on improving your basic skills while playing together as a group.                (DAD tuning)


Lori Keddell

10:30am – M9        Modes for Dulcimer                               Novice   

Have you heard dulcimer players mention modes, but you have no idea what they are talking about? Well, here is a workshop that will explain what a mode is, and introduce you to the modes you are likely to encounter in dulcimer music. You will learn where you can find them on your dulcimer, how tunings are related to modes, and how to recognize what mode a song is in (most of the time. ��) Four tunes will help to demonstrate the differences. Start in DAD.   Advanced Beginner & up.       

2:30pm – M13        Discovery 3 – Adding Chords and playing chord-melody style                           NO experience

Taking some of the tunes we’ve learned, adding chords while playing melody and incorporating the rhythms you’ve learned.

4:00pm – M18        Discovery 4 – Putting it all together                           NO experience

Let’s take some familiar tunes and just play.  This is the chance to take what you’ve learned so far and have fun with it.


Nina Zanetti

9:00am – M6           Music of Turlough O’Carolan                                 Advanced

Learn a little about the life and times and music of the great Irish harper.  His music sounds wonderful on mountain dulcimer.  We’ll learn several examples of his lovely tunes, including some with variations. These tunes lend themselves well to embellishments, such as trills, rolls, hammer-ons, and pull-offs, so we’ll also work on incorporating these techniques into our playing of the tunes.        Tuning: DAD

10:30am – M10      Early Music for Mountain dulcimer                      Novice-Intermediate

Learn music from Medieval, Renaissance, and possibly Baroque periods.  Slow or jolly, this music sounds great on mountain dulcimer. We’ll talk briefly about the instruments, sources, and styles of these different periods, then will enjoy a wide variety of sacred and secular music of the times, in arrangements for mountain dulcimer.               Tuning: DAD

2:30pm – M17        "The Lord's my Shepherd”                     Intermediate

The twenty-third psalm has inspired many beautiful hymns and compositions, often with gentle, pastoral qualities. We'll learn three lovely hymn tune settings of this psalm: "St. Columba" (Irish); "Brother James Air" (Scottish); and "Resignation" (shape note: Southern Harmony). Each tune sounds beautiful by itself or can be turned into a medley for performance purposes.                Tuning: DAD


Charley Buckland

10:30am – M12      Creating Music of Infinite Possibilities                                  Advanced

Using dulcimer as primary writing instrument. Involve students directly in the creative process, giving everyone input and coming out of class with a collaborative piece of music.  Immediately immerse them in the process of creation, allowing their ideas to become part of the creation.  See how emotion will color your music and how to always stay open to it.  See how time flies. We can make simple digital recording at the end of class.

Method: Listen to a piece created on dulcimer; Dulcimer as primary writing implement; Tuning: initially DD-A-D / DAD

2:30pm – M16        Playing with other musicians and the frequencies around us             Intermediate & Up

Opening students to music around them and developing the skill of listening, then playing along simply on one string and then movement into improvisation.  Attention to rhythm, movement and mood in the music that will ask the player and the instrument for certain sounds and character.  Become aware of your surroundings and enjoy the journey.  Sound is all around you all the time. Even silence has a sound.  As students become more comfortable they will lose some of the inhibition and fear that can be part of playing with other musicians.


Method:  Play a simple melody and allow the students time to pick it up; Find a simple chord pattern that accompanies the melody well; Allow students the time to play the melody and the pattern; Let the students in turn find variations


Carol Walker

9:00am – M5          Cwassical Music for Wascally Wabbits                 Intermediate-Advanced

You'll be surprised by how many classical melodies you already know, thanks to Bugs Bunny cartoons, commercials, and TV and movie soundtracks.  Featuring materials from Carol's newest book, you'll enjoy working on some solo and ensemble repertoire transcribed directly from the original symphonic scores.   

DAD tuning & other tunings / Capo

10:30am – M8        All About Chords!                                   Beginner-Novice
During this session you'll learn all about how to play chords (including various positions for the basic chords, power chords, and L-shaped chords,) along with techniques for making smooth transitions among them, AND you'll learn how to use these chords to play by ear.  We'll also play through the tab for quite a few familiar tunes, adding these to your repertoire in the process!  (Many songs will be taken from Carol's DNA* Dulcimer Ditties series.)                               DAD tuning

4:00pm – M21        Variations on the Tune                          Intermediate-Advanced 
Are you tired of playing the same old tune the same old way? In this workshop we'll get creative, adding a countermelody and passing tones, using different chords or positions, and using the entire fretboard.  We'll take our tab from the basic bare bones to a fancy version suitable for performance. DAD tuning


Carolyn Brodginski

9:00am – M4          Performance Ready                               Intermediate

Whether you’re performing in your living room for family and friends, at an open mic, or in Carnegie Hall, you need to be prepared. What songs will you do, and in what order? How will you arrange them? What will you say about them? How do I shake these nerves?  Whatever the size of your audience, you want to make sure they are entertained, engaged, and hungry for more.

10:30am – M11      Dulcimer Ensemble                                Intermediate-Advanced

                                Remember how much fun it was playing an instrument in your middle school band? No? Here’s your chance to experience the magic of making music as an ensemble, and with an orchestra full of DULCIMERS! From a simple round, to more complex arrangements with different parts, you’ll be following a score and notation that make all the parts a whole.


Ellen Pratt

9:00am - M3          Nimble Fingers: The Basics of Fingerpicking                         Novice

This class will introduce several easy fingerpicking styles that will work with a variety of songs. The emphasis will be on applying fingerpicking patterns to familiar songs (songs you learned as beginning players) so you can focus on right hand fingering techniques rather than new repertoire.   Tuning - DAD

2:30pm – M15      Tearless Tuning                                      Novice

Proper playing posture and stretches will be combined with exercises on the fretboard to smooth out your playing. This class is geared toward. Come tuned in DAD.


Jonah Talbott

9:00am – M2          "Expanding your Repertoire: A Few Jam Tunes"                              Beginner/Novice

You've taken Discovery classes and know the basics. Now let's learn a few common jam tunes. We'll examine some left hand techniques to help smooth out your playing on Old Joe Clark and Whisky Before Breakfast. Then we'll look at hammer-ons, pull-offs and some simple chord formations with Spotted Pony and Merrily Kiss the Quaker. Then you'll be all set to jump in at the next jam!"


Janene Millen          

4:00pm – M20        Singing Accompaniment                        Intermediate

Finger picking and rhythmic strumming to best suit a singing song. "Finding the melody" in simple chord shapes to incorporate in your accompaniments. Arranging a varied, well-rounded, do-able song to sing. Must be comfortable with basic dulcimer chords, simple finger picking required. Slap strums, hammer-ons, pull-offs are used.         Tuned DAD


Kim Jennings

4:00pm – M19        Title: Getting Around on the Fretboard                             Beginner/Novice

Learn how to play melody in several different areas of the instrument to add a little variety to a tune. We will use this technique with a familiar tune then we’ll try it with a few fiddle tunes.           Come tuned DAD




Kristin Gitler

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

Picking it Up

This 3-part workshop will focus on cleaning up your flat-picking and smoothing out your playing.  We’ll work on both left and right hand techniques to make your playing more smooth and efficient, and learn how and where to apply these techniques to an arrangement. We'll learn some practice techniques to get you playing up to speed without sacrificing accuracy and musicality. 

Session I - Cleaning up the Left Hand:

You are already doing hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides – we’ll work on cleaning up and enhancing these techniques with additional embellishments.  Then we’ll add in effective fingering to be able to navigate through fast tunes more efficiently and smoothly.

Session II - Right Hand – Picking:

We’ll work on good pick technique for flat-picking tunes, cross-picking, and mixing in strums with your picking to add interest to your arrangements.  We’ll spend some time on dynamics, and working in the left hand techniques we worked on in the first session to get both hands working together.

Session III – Application and Speed:

In this session, we’ll work on applying the techniques we worked on in the first two sessions to create an arrangement from a bare bones tune.  We'll work on adding embellishments and dynamics, and work out fingerings for tough spots.  Then we will use our new arrangement to learn practice techniques to bring the tune up to speed without losing musicality and expression.


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