Teaching and Workshops
My teaching methods draw on both a dulcimer education course at Western Carolina University and the techniques of the many excellent teachers I have observed at workshops over the past 20 years. Since 2005 I have taught dulcimer to individuals and groups, children and adults, in settings ranging from my own living room to a small fishing village in Alaska.
My goals for my beginner students are for them to leave the class thinking:
1. That was fun!
2. I can really do this! I can make music!
3. I’m going home to practice!
With more advanced students, my goal is to help them achieve their goal. It is important to me that all my students feel successful and motivated to continue playing.
In workshops, it is especially important for me to match my teaching methods to the skills of my students. It’s my job to find ways to help everyone enjoy making music, regardless of their previous musical background. Recognizing that different people learn differently, my workshops incorporate auditory, visual and tactile methods that work for a wide range of learners.
I have taught multiple times at workshops in Kinston, Shelby, Chapel Hill, Cary, Winston-Salem, and Rocky Mount NC and Ferrum, VA.
Please contact me for descriptions of classes or tell me what class or skill you are interested in learning and I will develop a class for your workshop.
Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College
Children’s Music Camp
For the past four years I have taught at the 4H Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Camp in Cordova, Alaska. Cordova is a small fishing town with a strong music history. Many of the instructors there attended the camp as children, left for college to major in music and returned as instructors (like the salmon?). Classes incorporate working on rhythm using rhythm instruments, playing both melody and backup, the basics of jamming, and how the history of the dulcimer is tied to early American history. One year a student surprised me with a gift of a salmon!
I have worked as a consultant for an elementary school music teacher, developing a unit on the mountain dulcimer. This included providing tablature and age appropriate materials and giving a classroom presentation on the dulcimer in American history. The dulcimer program continues in that school and a Skype visit with them makes my day!
Lifelong Learning Program
In 2017 I began teaching in the Lifelong Learning Program at East Carolina University. Initially I taught "History of the Mountain Dulcimer, Its Music and Its People." The class was full and there was a waiting list, so I offered it a second time. I learned that many seniors in Greenville own a dulcimers but have never learned to play them. So I offered a class on playing the dulcimer. People enjoyed playing so much that I’ll be offering that class again.
Photo ECU Lifelong Learning Program
I offer lessons in my home for individuals or small groups. These are tailored to the preferences and needs of the student. I live in a lovely farming community outside of Snow Hill NC, with a dog and three cats. So if you are allergic to animals, sorry.
Please contact me if you are looking for a mountain dulcimer instructor for your workshop, club, or classroom, or if you are interested in individual lessons.