2019 Instructors

Richard Ash

* Early Bird Wednesday - Murder Ballads (for the Tragically Impaired) - (MD)

 

Richard is the owner of Folkcraft Instruments, which is one of the oldest and most respected musical instrument manufacturers in the country. Folkcraft makes a variety of stringed and fretted instruments, including Appalachian dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, bowed psaltery, kantele, dulcilele, and ukulele.
 
Richard is a teacher, and holds a music education degree from The Ohio State University. Formerly a school band director, now he's an active dulcimer instructor.
 
Richard is also the organizer of three music festivals: The Dulcimer Gathering (for hammered dulcimer players); Indiana Dulcimer Festival (for Appalachian dulcimer players); and Midwest Uke Fest (for ukulele players).
 
And finally, Richard is a performer. You can hear him playing the dulcimer at events all over the country. From NAMM shows to dulcimer festivals, old-time music events to demonstration concerts in the Folkcraft concert hall, he's performed pretty much everywhere.

Linda Brockinton

* Session 1 - Celtic Tunes With Multiple Parts (Intermediate - Advanced) (MD)

* Session 3 - Minor Beauty (Advanced Beginner - Intermediate) (MD)

* Session 4 - Beginner Finger Picking (Beginner) (MD)

Linda Brockinton started playing flute at age 11 and has played flute and piccolo previously with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. As a music major in college, she won First Chair in several regional orchestras. Linda began playing mountain dulcimer when she received where instrument as a gift from her husband on their honeymoon in 1988. She started teaching dulcimer lessons in 1990. Four years later she formed the Cotton Pickin’ Dulcimer pickers, later renamed Heartstrings, with some of her music students. Linda also plays harp, guitar, hammered dulcimer, and bodhran with the group. Linda continues to teach private dulcimer and flute lessons as well as teaching at numerous venues across the country. 

 

Since Linda began playing the dulcimer, she has won numerous awards. In 1999, she won the Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Contest at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, Arkansas. In that same year she was a finalist in the National Mountain Dulcimer Championships. In 2000 she went back to Winfield, Kansas and placed 3rd in the Nationals. In 2001 she won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championships, the only woman in 30 years to ever accomplish this.

 

Linda has performed at many concerts and festivals throughout the United States: Southern Ohio Dulcimer Festival; SAMFest; The Logon Cafe-A Unique Internet Coffeehouse; Ozark Folk Center Dulcimer Week; Heartland Dulcimer Club; Cullowhee Mountain Dulcimer Week; Dulcimer Chautauqua On the Wabash; Prairie Walnut Valley Festival; Arkansas Dulcimer Getaway, Kentucky Music Week, Backstage Cafe; & more.

Chris Collins

* Early Bird Monday - Make Your Practice Time Count (All instruments)

Bing Futch

* Session 2 - The Secret To Chord Melody Style (Intermediate - Advanced) (MD)

* Session 3 - Learning To Play Native American Flute (Beginner - Intermediate)

* Session 4 - The Technicolor Mountain Dulcimer (Beginner - Advanced Beginner) (MD)

 

With a big smile and wild dreadlocks, Bing Futch kicks off every performance with a buoyant energy that is inviting and energizing.  Using Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Native American flute, ukulele, drums and electronic effects, he deftly navigates the varied waters of traditional and modern Americana with passion, wit and a genuinely huge heart for sharing music with a crowd. 

 

Known for his musical shape-shifting, Futch switches the channels on style with every new song, sung in a limber tenor voice and woven together with the other instruments. His casual way with any audience, coupled with a fierce originality on the lesser known mountain dulcimer, makes each show a one-of-a-kind and good-timing romp. 

 

As a nationally touring solo performer he's headlined at such events as The Florida Folk Festival, Old Songs Festival, The Big Muddy, Kentucky Music Weekend and Common Ground On The Hill. 

 

In 2014, Bing won the "Solo Artist" award in the Central Florida Blues Challenge competition, earning a coveted entry into the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. Taking the mountain dulcimer where it had never gone before, Bing competed in the quarterfinals and advanced to the semifinals, gaining new notice and fans for himself and this unique instrument. Several months later, Bing competed in the 2015 Central Florida Blues Challenge and won the Solo/Duo Award for the second year in a row, which led him back to Memphis to compete in the 2016 International Blues Challenge.  There, he advanced all the way to the finals and was given the award for "Best Guitarist" in the solo-duo category, despite competing solely on the mountain dulcimer.
 

Guy George

* Session 1 - Beginning Pennywhistle 

* Session 3 - Irish Pub Tunes (Intermediate) (HD)

* Session 4 - Intermediate Pennywhistle 

 

Guy George, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, is a rhythmic, melodic hammered dulcimer player with a definite jazz influence to his playing style. Guy comes from a background in jazz and performance on the saxophone, having studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston; honing his skills playing with many jazz influenced musicians in the Boston and New York area. He presently plays hammered dulcimer, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, steel drum, penny whistle and keyboard. He has made his name in the dulcimer world as a performer, instructor, author/publisher and recording artist.

 

He tours throughout the United States and Canada performing, recording, and teaching workshops on the hammered dulcimer, steel drums, and penny whistle. His teaching style is relaxed and fun, as he teaches tunes of many different genres and styles.  In addition, he incorporates methods for more advanced practicing and playing techniques while simultaneously entertaining his students.

 

Guy has authored 13 books arranged for hammered dulcimer, steel drum, pennywhistle, and other instruments, which are distributed around the world through Gesani Publications, a company he and his wife, Sharrie, own and operate.

 

When not on the road, you can find Guy performing melodic Island Music locally at Daytona area Tiki Bars and Taverns. Guy and Sharrie are also popular musicians playing their magical music for Weddings and other special occasions throughout the Florida area.

Sharrie George

* Sessions 1 and 2 - Ukulele Bootcamp

* Session 4 - Strum and Pick Ukulele!

Sharrie George teaches and plays guitar, ukulele, and mountain dulcimer with her husband, Guy.  She studied music at the College of Charleston in S.C.  She and Guy teach and play music together for weddings, private parties and events, and at churches and festivals around the U.S.

 

Sharrie has taught guitar and ukulele at festivals such as Key West Dulcimer Festival, Kentucky Music Week, Common Ground on the Hill in Maryland, Mem-phis Dulcimer Gathering, WinterCreek Family Reunion in Oklahoma, and John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C., as well as co-hosting the Florida Gulf Coast Dulcimer Retreat with Bing Futch and Guy.

Tull Glazener

* Session 2 - Tin Pan Alley and Rag Time Music (Intermediate - Advanced) (MD)

* Session 3 - Introduction to Chord/Melody Style Playing (Beginner) (MD)

* Session 4 - Sum of the Parts (Intermediate - Advanced) (MD)

Tull says: "Nearly twenty years ago, I was given my first mountain dulcimer as a Christmas present. I had grown up playing piano, organ, and several brass instruments all through high school and college, but I had never seen or heard of a dulcimer before. Because it only has 3 strings, and only half the frets of most stringed instruments, I dismissed it as just a toy, and not a 'real instrument'. So I thanked the gift-giver profusely, put the dulcimer in a closet, and forgot about it."

 

"Several years later, I happened upon the Central Indiana Folk Music and Mountain Dulcimer Society's annual festival at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, and heard a couple of guest artists performing on the instrument. I was amazed at its versatility and captivated by its sound. I immediately went home and dug my mountain dulcimer out of the closet, joined the organization, found a teacher to get me started, and have rarely put it down since."

Michele Gourley

* Tuesday PM Bonus Session: How to Improve Your Performance Without Picking Up a Pick (All instruments)

Judy House

* Sessions 1 and 2 - Mountain Dulcimer Bootcamp

 

Judy House lives in Winston-Salem NC. She is a graduate of Campbell University. She has had an extraordinary variety of opportunities as an educator over the past 40 years, teaching preschool through graduate level classes in North Carolina. Judy began her formal study of music as the age of 9 when she was introduced to the flute; piano soon followed. She has been playing and performing ever since with everything from marching bands to gospel quartets to dulcimer ensembles!

 

She received her first mountain dulcimer in 1995. A graduate of the first class for Teaching the Mountain Dulcimer from Dulcimer U at WCU, she has taught Mountain Dulcimer classes at Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, NC since 2010, has a number of private students, and was added to the Dulcimer U staff in 2014 for the Teaching the Mountain Dulcimer core class. She has also been a presenter at dulcimer festivals in North Carolina for the past 4 years. She enjoys leading the Camel City Strummers Dulcimer Club in Winston-Salem as well as playing with The Cantabile Jubliee Dulcimer Trio.

Kirk House

* Session 2 - Bass Dulcimer 201

Kirk House has been playing the dulcimer for 12 years; for the last six years he has specialized in the bass dulcimer. He is a Nationally Certified Dulcimer Teacher, through Western Carolina University (Dulcimer U program). Kirk plays several different styles and designs of bass dulcimer, including 3-string, 4-string, and double-bass. He performs as part of a duo with his wife Judy House, as well as a member of the trio 'Cantabile-Jubilee', and the quartet string section, 'SASSY'.

 

Other musical interests of Kirk's include mandolin, bowed dulcimer, ukulele, and shape-note singing.  Kirk is delighted to be returning for his second year as a bass dulcimer instructor at BMMF.

Lorinda Jones

* Session 1 - Comfort with Chords (Beginner-Advanced Beginner) (MD)

* Session 3 - Multi-Part Arrangements (All levels) (MD)

* Session 4 - Celtic Journey (Intermediate - Advanced) (MD)

Performing on the Celtic Harp and Mountain Dulcimer, Lorinda transports an audience to a place that may remind them of their ancestral roots, a place of peace and tranquility. Performances reflect Lorinda’s background in performing, music education, and music therapy, and are informative and engaging, whether on a concert stage, classroom, retreat, or festival event. Audiences of all ages enjoy the "Historic Charm" of Lorinda's music.

As an adjudicated member of the Kentucky Arts Council Arts on Tour Directory, Lorinda is recognized not only in the state, but also nationally. She began performing on the piano at an early age, and soon progressed to other instruments including years of classical music study on the oboe. But it is her passion for American folk music that has been a common thread in her varied pursuits for the past twenty years as a performing and recording artist, and music therapist.

Locally, Lorinda leads the Heartland Dulcimer Club, the Heartland Harp ensemble, hosts a traditional music festival, and has taught many, many students how to play both the mountain dulcimer and folk harp. Nationally, Lorinda teaches and performs at music camps and festivals all across the nation, including the prestigious John C Campbell Folk School, Augusta Heritage Week, and many more.

She is the author of numerous music books, 3 of which are published by Mel Bay Publishing Company, as well as several CD recordings, and most recently a combination audio CD and relaxation DVD, Celtic Passages.

 

As a music therapist, Lorinda reaches populations beyond the concert stage in schools, assisted living facilities and through related work with the Very Special Arts Kentucky and The Kentucky Center's, Arts-In-Healing program.

 

Lorinda performs on beautiful hand crafted instruments, with song material that ranges from the ancient repertoire of the Celtic lands, to old time music of the American Appalachians, and popular music of today.

Ken Kolodner

* Session 1 - Arranging Beautiful Tunes (Advanced beginner and above) (HD)

* Session 2 - Leading with the Left and Hand Separation (Advanced Beginner and up) (HD)

* Session 3 - Old-Time Fiddle Workshop

* Session 4 - Chord Mapping: Finding and Applying Chords and Arpeggios (Beginners) (HD)

Ken Kolodner is widely recognized as one of "one of today's most accomplished, musical hammered dulcimer artists..." (Elderly) and a fine old-time fiddler. As a soloist and in ensembles with Helicon (with Chris Norman and Robin Bullock), Greenfire (with Laura Risk), with fiddlers Elke Baker, Jim Eagan, his son Bradley (see www.kenandbrad.com), and many others, Ken has performed for more than 30 years.

Focusing largely on traditional music, Kolodner has often been called one of the most influential players in the U.S. His music has been featured on national broadcasts on NPR, The Thistle and the Shamrock, All Things Considered, the CBC, the Voice of America, German National Radio, Performance Today and countless radio shows. 

His many credits are a featured solo in an Emmy-nominated CBS-TV Christmas special, over a dozen recordings with sales well over 125,000, an "Indie" winner and a #1 World Music title of traditional Celtic music (Walking Stones) and bestseller for BMG (with over 55,000 copies sold), and numerous books and instructional recordings (including a book/CD on old time fiddling for Mel Bay). 

Erin Mae

* Session 2 - Fiddle Tune A Day (Beginner/Novice) (MD)

* Session 3 - Reading Standard Notation (Intermediate and up) (MD)

* Session 4 - Intro to Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer (All levels)

Erin Mae is a mountain dulcimer virtuosa who has taken an obscure American folk instrument, and with it has developed a high level of technical proficiency and musical expression. Erin has been playing for over twenty years and in that time has developed a unique and progressive style. She performs extensively as part of a duo, Scenic Roots. Carrying the rhythm section with her signature percussive chop and flat-picking fiddle tunes with impressive dexterity; audiences nationwide show amazement as they watch her fingers dance over her dulcimer strings. One guitar player quipped, "Erin can do more with three strings than I can do with six."

 

Erin Mae received her first mountain dulcimer at the age of seven. Ten years later, in 2004, she won the prestigious National Mountain Dulcimer Championship; making her youngest winner of the award at the time. Erin went on to study classical piano at Sterling College in Sterling, KS before pursuing a degree in Commercial Music, with an emphasis in bluegrass and acoustic jazz, through South Plains College in Levelland, TX. She graduated in 2010, becoming the first mountain dulcimer player to complete the program; and began touring full-time as part of the duo Scenic Roots. Erin has participated as an instructor at children’s music camps; as well as various festivals, and providing private lessons.  

 

Jim Miller

* Early Bird Tuesday - Contra Dance Band (All instruments and skill levels)

* Sessions 1 & 2 - Ukulele Bootcamp

* Session 3 - Fiddle Tune Melodies in D For Ukulele

Jim Miller has been playing and performing traditional music for the past 40 years. An accomplished instrument builder and teacher, he has taught workshops at numerous festivals as well as won many awards for his musicianship, including first place dulcimer at both Galax, VA and Fiddler's Grove, NC. For twenty years, Jim was the owner of the Hampton Music Shop, in Hampton, Tennessee, where he handcrafted over 750 hammered dulcimers. He has played with Celtic, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues and Old Time bands, and has done session work on many recordings. He currently performs in a duo accompanied by his wife, Cheri, on guitar.

 

In addition to being an accomplished performer and workshop leader, Jim also is an enthusiastic jam facilitator who likes to get everyone involved. His "chord signing for the harmonically impared" is legendary. He plays guitar, mandolin, banjo, mandocello, bass, steel drum, percussion, hammered and mountain dulcimers as well as his own off-the-wall musical inventions, which are always entertaining. Jim holds a Masters degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in instrumental music. He recently retired from teaching 4th grade at Cloudland Elementary School in Roan Mountain, Tennessee, where he still leads an after school traditional string band program. He is also an adjunct professor teaching mandolin, ukulele, dulcimer and autoharp in the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program at East Tennessee State University and plays mandocello in the ETSU Mandolin Orchestra.

Don Pedi

* Session 1 - Old-Time Songs, Tunes & Playing Techniques (Intermediate) (MD)

* Session 3 - Fiddle Tunes By Ear (Intermediate) (MD)

* Session 4 - Old-Time Songs & Playing Tips for Beginners (Beginners) (MD)

Don Pedi was born into a musical family in Chelsea Massachusetts. On weekends, his grandfather, who died before Don was born, would close his barber shop for business, and open his home in the back as a gathering place for family and friends to share homemade food, fellowship and live music. Don's grandfather played guitar, mandolin and banjo. Don's uncle Frank made his living singing and playing music. Another gifted singer is Don's dad. He'll burst into song at the drop of a hat.

Don got involved with the Boston area folk music scene in the early sixties. 1964 was when he first laid eyes on a dulcimer. It was being played by Richard Farina at a live performance by Mimi and Richard Farina at the old Unicorn Coffee House in Boston.

The sound of the dulcimer proved most alluring. That night in a conversation with Richard Farina, Don was convinced that someday he would get himself a dulcimer and play it. Contemporary performers like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Patrick Sky, Joan Baez and others attracted Don to the Newport Folk Festival. While there he was exposed to traditional musicians like Frank Proffitt, Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt, Almeda Riddle and such that where a major influence on his musical tastes. By 1966 Don was traveling a lot. With Cambridge as a base, he lived for various periods of time in different parts of the country. In 1973, while living in the Colorado Rockies, Don met Tad Wright and Keith Zimmerman, a couple of musicians from Asheville, NC. After hearing Don play, they invited him to join them. He did, and they piled into Tad's 1969 Volkswagen mini-van and drove to North Carolina.

At first sight of the mountains around Harmon Den and Fines Creek, Don knew he was home. He's pretty much lived in and around Asheville from then on. Since settling in Western North Carolina Don has been recognized as the man who could "really play" a dulcimer. He is a pioneer in that his music has broken new ground and cleared a path for others. In Don's hands, the dulcimer has been accepted as an instrument well suited to playing traditional Southern Dance music. This was at a time when most "Old-Time" musicians thought a dulcimer should be hung on a wall with a pretty ribbon.

In 1991 Don and wife Jean moved to a little farm in the mountains of Madison County, North Carolina. The area is rich in traditional music and customs (neighbors still plow with mules and horses). Don is at home.

Butch Ross

* Session 1 - Pinkies and Thumbs (Beginner/Intermediate and up) (MD)

* Session 2 - Weird tunings (Beginner/Intermediate and up) (MD)

* Session 4 - Flat Pick, Strum, Half-Strum (Intermediate and up) (MD)

Typically the dulcimer is used for playing simple tunes and accompanying the voice, most people can learn a song or two within a few minutes of first encountering the instrument. Which is probably why the one phrase you'll hear a lot at a Butch Ross concert is "I didn't know you could do THAT on a mountain dulcimer!" Ross has taken a simple folk instrument and energized it with technical wizardry, inventive arrangements and a healthy dose of rock-n-roll attitude. It's this groundbreaking and iconoclastic approach that caused ukulele-virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro to comment, "Now I know what a dulcimer is supposed to sound like."

Over the past few years Ross has become an in-demand performer at folk and dulcimer festivals through the US and Europe. He's performed at such festivals as the Central Ohio Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Lancaster (UK) Music Fest and the prestigious Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Gary Sager

Gary became interested in the Mountain Dulcimer in 1991 after seeing David Schnaufer's "Fischer's Hornpipe" video on CMT. He built a dulcimer in late 1991, then began building seriously in 1992 and has been building and playing since that time. Gary, along with wife Toni are the owners of Prussia Valley Dulcimers Music Shop, opening in 2001 in Waverly, Ohio where they also reside.

 

Gary has taught mountain dulcimer playing workshops at many festivals in the mid-west and southeast as far as Key West, FL, performing at many of these as well. Gary's first experience in recording was playing accompaniment on Doug Felt's "A Little of This & A Little of That" CD. Later, Gary and Toni made their first CD, "Rats In the Fence Corner", recorded, engineered and mastered by Stephen Seifert. Gary is also the author of a mountain dulcimer tablature book "Other Tunes For the Appalachian Dulcimer", an eclectic selection of tunes not usually heard on the instrument.

Toni Sager

* Session 2 - Beginning Autoharp

 

Toni began playing the autoharp in late 1992, after getting an Oscar Schmidt autoharp as a Christmas present. She had seen a lady playing one at the Fraley Mountain Music Festival at Carter Caves State Resort in Kentucky and fell in love with the instrument. Toni mostly plays accompaniment style as she plays along with husband Gary, who plays the mountain dulcimer. She has taught beginner workshops at many regional festivals. She really enjoys getting folks started on the autoharp. Toni and Gary perform at many midwest dulcimer festivals. They reside in Waverly, Ohio where they own Prussia Valley Dulcimers Acoustic Music Shop.

Stephen Seifert

* Session 1 - Good Dulcimer Habits (Experienced Beginner) (MD)

* Session 2 - My Dulcimer Favorites (Intermediate) (MD)

* Session 3 - A Better Way to Learn Flat-Picking (Intermediate to Advanced) (MD)

Stephen Seifert’s teaching and playing has made him a favorite with dulcimer players all over the country since 1991. In that time, he’s been a featured performer at hundreds of dulcimer festivals and other music events including Kentucky Music Week in Bardstown, KY, Dulcimerville in Black Mountain, NC, the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR, Stringalong near Milwaukee, WI, the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS and The tono American Music Festival, in Tono, Japan.

 

Stephen has been a dulcimer soloist with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, now known as Orchestra Nashville, since 1996 and is featured on their Warner Classical recording of Connie Ellisor and David Schnaufer’s Blackberry Winter, a concerto for mountain dulcimer and string orchestra. The piece continues to be in regular rotation on many classical stations around the U.S. (The recording album is titled “Conversations in Silence” and can be sampled and purchased on iTunes.) Stephen most recently performed this piece with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra.

 

Stephen was Adjunct Instructor of Mountain Dulcimer with David Schnaufer at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music from 1997 to 2001. He also taught, performed, and recorded with Mr. Schnaufer as a duo throughout the country. Stephen has authored ten books, four CDs, and 16 instructional videos. Most recently, he has been teaching hundreds of students around the world via http://dulcimerschool.com.

Ruth Smith

* Session 1 - Beautiful Music with Hand Independence (Advanced) (HD)

* Session 3 - Celtic Music for the New Player (Beginner - Advanced Beginner) (HD)

* Session 4 - Creating a Beautiful Arrangement (Intermediate) (HD)

A native North Carolinian, Ruth studied music at the University of Illinois and composes and arranges music especially for the hammered dulcimer. Her music has been featured on NPR's "All Songs Considered", Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Pandora, PBS TV series Song of the Mountains, and in Dulcimer Players News magazine. Dirty Linen Folk & World Music Magazine says, "Ruth Smith's touch on the hammered dulcimer is absolutely magical, with exquisite phrasing, highlighting the range of the instrument especially on her own pieces."

In demand as a hammered and Appalachian mountain dulcimer teacher at workshops at festivals and folk schools throughout the country, Ruth is the author of From Heart to Hands and Touch of Grace, popular hammered dulcimer instructional books of her arrangements, including some of her own compositions. Ruth performs and records with her husband, Steve Smith, specializing in Appalachian Americana music. Their music is rich in centuries old Appalachian and Celtic musical traditions, yet uniquely original and creative. Together they have recorded five CDs. www.steveandruth.com

Steve Smith

* Session 2 - Songwriting (everyone)

* Session 3 - Thumb Picking Guitar (Intermediate)

* Session 4 - Clawhammer Banjo from the Ground Up

Steve and Ruth Smith, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, play a unique blend of Appalachian Americana music featuring hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, guitar, and old-time banjo. Steve and Ruth play and sing the music reminiscent of the old homeplace where family, love, faith, and sense of place are the foundations of heritage and traditions. 

Steve, an ASCAP award-winning songwriter, adds fingerstyle guitar, clawhammer and North Carolina up-picking styles banjo, and vocals to the duo. Dulcimer Players News says, “He is a master storyteller and the perfect vocalist to convey the meaning of his lyrics. His songs stand out for their imagery and melodic strength . . . on par with John Denver’s songs.” Dirty Linen Folk & World Music Magazine says Steve Smith's accompaniment on guitar and clawhammer banjo provides "a traditional . . . rich, true sound" to their Appalachian Americana music. Steve has a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University with a major emphasis in Appalachian music and folklife, and is the recipient of the Cratis Williams Fellowship in Appalachian Studies. He teaches workshops nationally at festivals and folk school on guitar, clawhammer banjo, ukulele, recording, songwriting, copyrights & publishing, live sound reinforcement, and performing techniques.

In 2014, Steve and Ruth were inducted into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame for their performing, preserving, & promoting traditional country music. They were named "Americana Instrumental Group of the Year" at the 2013 Appalachian Cultural Music Association Awards, and were 2009 Roots Music nominees in the JPF International Music Awards, the world's largest awards for independent musicians. www.steveandruth.com

Rick Thum

* Session 2 - Common Jam Tunes (Advanced Beginner and up) (HD)

* Session 3 - Layering (Intermediate - Advanced) (HD)

* Session 4 - Beginner Plus (HD)

Ranked as the most influential dulcimer player of the last decade by readers ofDulcimer Player News, Rick Thum has made his mark on every aspect of the hammered dulcimer world. Rick is perhaps best known from his latest album, “Front Porch Waltz,” and his festival performances, which have regularly earned him the “most popular performer” title at the largest national dulcimer festival. He brings a combination of passion and friendly accessibility to his teaching that makes his workshops and master classes favorites at festivals across the country, and has tapped this teaching experience to produce the best-selling instructional CD series for hammered dulcimer, the “Original Song of the Month Club”. Rick is also the designer of the highly-regarded line of hammered dulcimers bearing his name. Yet for all his time in the studio, onstage, in the classroom, and in the luthier’s shop, Rick is most at home at a late-night jam session, where you might even find him playing an instrument other than the dulcimer from time to time.

 

Rick Thum taught himself to play guitar and drums at age twelve and played the trumpet in his high school band. Throughout high school and college (B. S. Industrial Administration) Rick played in rock bands, eventually playing regularly on the upper deck of the Admiral in St. Louis. While raising his family Rick directed his church choir. Rick’s interest in traditional music was sparked when he bought a hammered dulcimer on a whim and found himself in a three-piece folk band. In 1991 Rick became co-owner of a large midwestern acoustic instrument shop. In 1994 he sold his interest in the shop to devote more time to being a traveling musician. Rick was voted Best Performer and Favorite Teacher for several years running at the prestigious Evart Dulcimer Funfest. (The oldest and largest dulcimer festival in the nation.) He has shared the stage with Mike Seeger, The Tony Rice Unit, Steve Kaufman, Norman Blake, and Bryan Bowers and opened for John Hartford, Norman & Nancy Blake, and Leo Kottke. Rick is a popular teacher on the festival circuit and travels across the country playing solo and teaching at music festvals. He currently has five recordings; “Hammered Fiddle Tunes”, “A Reason to Dance”,  “Front Porch Waltz”, “Down the Old Dirt Road” and “Seifert & Thum Live at Mt Dora 2014″. Mel Bay Publishing Inc. has published the companion book to Hammered Fiddle Tunes. Rick is currently manufacturing hammered dulcimers (Rick Thum Dulcimers) which can be seen at a retailer near you and has, by demand, started the Song of the Month Club. Mail order lessons by audio CD.

Susan Trump

* Session 2 - Hard Stuff Made Easy (Advanced Beginner) (MD)

* Session 3 - Susan's Favorites (Intermediate - Advanced) (MD)

* Session 4 - Tradition Bearers and Beyond (Intermediate) (MD)

For years, Susan Trump has been winning fans with her singing, her outstanding instrumental skill on the mountain dulcimer, guitar and banjo, and her clear, relaxed teaching style.

 

She is a much sought-after instructor and performer whose work has included The Old Songs Festival, NY; Glen Rose and SAM Fest, TX;  Appalachian State University,  Boone, NC; Heartland/ Heritage Dulcimer Camp, MS; The Buckeye Festival, OH; The Ozark Folk Center, AK; Kentucky Music Week and The Yellowbanks Festival KY; and other festivals and dulcimer events nationwide. She has won awards in both banjo and mountain dulcimer competitions. 

 

Susan has released four best-selling solo CDs, "What the Hill People Say," "Tree of Life," "Live at Caffe Lena," which captures the excitement of one of her "sold-out" weekend performances at the longest-running coffee house in the country. Her newest CD, "Songs of Faith and Hope," a collection of inspirational, uplifting  songs for everyone is being touted as her best ever!

Susan's magic stems from her ability to link the pastoral, tranquil images of traditional rural America to our contemporary life.  Her songs touch the heart, recall the past, and inspire the times ahead. Her sense of humor always adds a fresh touch to her performances, combined with her outstanding artistry on the mountain dulcimer, guitar, banjo, and fretless banjo.

Mary Lynn van Deventer

* Sessions 1 and 2 - Hammered Dulcimer Bootcamp

In 2012, Mary Lynn discovered a passion for playing the hammered dulcimer and has studied intensively with Ken Kolodner, widely regarded as one of the nation's top hammered dulcimer players. She now teaches over 70 hammered dulcimer students privately and on FaceTime (from CA, NM, NY, TN, NH, AL, CO, MD, MI, and Australia). She has prepared dozens of students to attend Ken Kolodner's Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreats, an elite hammered dulcimer retreat held in Sandbridge Beach, VA. Mary Lynn serves as an assistant teacher in Weeks 1 and 2.

Mary Lynn began playing piano at the age of 6 and studied for 14 years. In sixth grade she played trumpet, but discovered her true passion the next year when she heard a french horn. She earned a Bachelor's degree in music education from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master's degree in music education from Eastman School of Music. Mary Lynn has performed with the Durham Symphony for 20 years and served as Principal Horn for the past 5 years.

Ted Yoder

* Session 1 - Get Control (Intermediate) (HD)

* Session 2 - Fun with Rudiments and Polyrhythms (Advanced) (HD)

* Session 3 - Beginner Q&A (HD)

Ted Yoder’s hammered dulcimer cover of Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" became one of the most-watched Facebook Live posts in 2016 when the song received more than 101 million views from music fans around the world. It's no wonder the video went viral; when a barefooted Yoder performed the hit on his hammered dulcimer in his Indiana family's backyard with his wife, kids, and a pet raccoon named Gidget in the audience, he immediately became an internet sensation known as the lovable "Dulcimer Dad." 

In many ways, Ted Yoder is the perfect musician for the 21st century; his passionate playing style and easy-going personality make him a natural online star. 

Yoder's played the dulcimer for decades and even won America’s National Hammered Dulcimer Championship in 2010.

His performance style in popular songs including Journey's "Don’t Stop Believing," The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby," and classics such as "Amazing Grace" and "The Little Drummer Boy" has become known as "Yoderizing." Why? Because until you hear Ted Yoder, it's impossible to imagine that one wooden stringed instrument can sound like an entire rock band or a whole symphony orchestra all in one. 

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