2018 Dulcimer Chautauqua On The Wabash  

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2018 Dulcimer Chautauqua On The Wabash Workshops

Workshop offerings are grouped by teacher. There is an Alpha-numeric designation and title given for each class which are to be utilized when enrolling for the workshops.

Joe Collins

1A  Friday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M. Fun Songs for Beginners (Beginner) - A repertoire of easy and fun songs for beginning dulcimer players like "On Top of Old Smokey", "Get Along, Little Doggies", and several others.

2A  Friday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Crossing Over To The Fun Side (Novice & Up) - This workshop gently guides players to leave the security of playing the melody on one string to exploring the world of cross-picking. In addition to some work with scales and hitting individual strings, we'll learn to cross-pick some familiar songs effectively and efficiently.

3A  Saturday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Basic Harmony (Intermediate & Up) - a workshop in playing basic harmonies on the mountain dulcimer. In addition to learning some harmonies to popular dulcimer tunes, we will investigate how to develop harmonies for other songs. To get the most out of this workshop, it is helpful to understand basic chords & have a willingness to experiment.

4A  Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Maser Class (Intermediate/Advanced) - A workshop to analyze and work on playing technique at the intermediate/advanced levels. Participants should come prepared to play a tune or 2 for the instructor and fellow students. Technique will be critiqued by the instructor & supportive participants. One of the primary goals of the workshop is to help participants think about and develop some focus on what they need to do next to improve as players. They will learn not only from the critique they receive, but also from the critique fellow participants receive.

Molly McCormack

1B  Friday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Composing Your Own Melodies (Advanced) - Explore various ways to compose melodies on the dulcimer. We'll cover improvisation, inspiration and the application of your ideas for melodies. Please bring a pencil and capo. Recording devices are welcomed. 

2B  Friday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Jamming Survival (Beginner) - Learn basic chords and techniques for participating in a slow jam. This class will cover basic strumming, fingering, and how to keep time as you play while we learn a few easy jam tunes in D-A-D. Recording devices are welcomed. D-A-D tuning.

3B  Saturday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Sing Along Songs on the Mountain Dulcimer (Novice & Up) - Learn to use basic chords as well as 3-finger chords and rhythmic patterns to accompany yourself & others while singing familiar songs. Bring a capo. Recording devices are welcomed. D-A-D tuning. 

4B  Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Songs from the Mountains (Intermediate) - Learn some old time songs with roots in the mountains and explore different modes, tunings and picking techniques. Pleas

Sarah Morgan

1C  Friday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Shape Note Hymns On The Dulcimer (Novice) - We will learn several pieces from the Sacred Harp, Old Harp, and Southern Harmony tradition of congregational singing. Bring a capo.

2C  Friday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Eastern Kentucky Fiddle Tunes By Ear (Intermediate/Advanced) - Come learn some unique and fun old-time tunes that are from Eastern Kentucky. We'll be discussing the mountain dulcimer's role in old-time music and how to add rhythmic drive and variation to these tunes. Be ready to explore other tunings besides D-A-D.

3C  Saturday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Easy, Short, Appalachian Tunes By Ear (Beginner) - We'll learn some short and simple tunes from the Appalachian mountains. I'll be teaching these tunes by ear, phrase by phrase. But don't worry... I'll hand out tablature at the end of class. 

4C  Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.   Left Hand Mastery (Intermediate) - This class will focus on developing an articulate, accurate, and smooth fretting hand. We'll cover ergonomic fingering in both melodic phrases and chords, comfortable and sustainable playing posture, developing speed without sacrificing cleanliness, and how to play melodies across the strings as opposed to only on the melody string. I'll also share some fun and lesser-known left hand techniques such as brushes and trills.

Stephen Seifert

1D  Friday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  A System For Memorizing & Using Chords In D-A-D (Intermediate) - I'll show you how to figure out chord shapes. Then I'll show you a system for quickly memorizing them. We'll end with learning how to use them. We'll work on fingering too. If you really want to get this stuff down, take this class!

2D  Friday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Introduction To Finger Picking (Intermediate) - Sometimes flatpicking can be messy, tedious, and boring. I'm going to show you how to make it clean, fun, and richly interesting. I'll run you through a bunch of exercises to flush out the bad habits. I'll also show you how to integrate flatpicking with your normal strum. Expect a couple of fiddle tunes. 

3D  Saturday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Alternate Tunings For Mountain Dulcimer (Intermediate/Advanced) - If you normally groan when a teacher asks you to go to a different tuning, please consider taking this class. I'm going to show a number of useful and beautiful tunings. We'll use tablature. You'll discover how the tuning provides the entertainment value for arrangements that don't need to be more than simple.  

4D  Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Shortcuts For Beginning Dulcimer Players (Beginner) - These are the fastest paths to having fun and sounding good. We'll work on strumming and how to learn tunes. Expect a few old-time songs and fiddle tunes.

Rick Thum  *Hammered Dulcimer

1E  Friday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M Free Embellishment (Intermediate) - We will learn what it is and how and when to use it. This is what makes playing fun and creative. I will teach all of the technique you need to make it happen and will direct you on free embellishing your first song. We will take your tunes to the next level. 

2E  Friday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Embellishing From The Melody Note (Advanced) - This class is the "Holy Grail" of dulcimer playing. I have devised a system of finding my embellishments by just knowing WHERE my melody note is. No note names needed. This allows me to embellish songs on the first playing them, and allows me to change it up every time I play it. No more memorizing arrangements, make it up as you go. This allows you to play with more confidence and creativity. See you in class! 

3E  Saturday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Unlocking Your Dulcimer (Beginner) - The basics that you need to know to understand your dulcimer. You do not need to read music. This will unlock your instrument and get you started right away. Lots of short cuts and quick tips to your instrument. Also learn "Soldier's Joy"

4E  Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Chording Made Easy (Novice) - We will learn how to play chords on our dulcimer, using the whole dulcimer, without knowing the names of our notes. Chording does not have to be hard. Chords unlock your instrument. A fun and easy way to start using more of your dulcimer!

Ted Yoder  *Hammered Dulcimer

1F  Friday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Hammer Hold and Simple Songs (Beginner) - You gotta start somewhere, and the best place is not to learn bad hammer holding technique and then enjoy the instrument.

2F  Friday 2:30 - 4:30 A.M.  Take A Song Beyond Melody (Novice) - We'll use "Scarborough Fair" as a base melody to work on some simple methods to expand any song that you want to play.

3F  Saturday 9:00 - 11:00 A.M.  Get Control (Intermediate) - Players often have poor hammer holding skills & lack basic hammering technique, which holds them back from accomplishing their basic goals. We'll spend time focusing on hammering and a few rudiments to solidify your playing. 

4F  Saturday 2:30 - 4:30 P.M.  Fun With Rudiments & Polyrhythms (Advanced) - There's so much more to playing the hammered dulcimer than alternating hands. It's so much fun opening your mind & hands up to different rhythms!


Class names, descriptions and locations will be given as soon as they are determined... Stay tuned!