March 24, 2018

Workshop Descriptions – 2018

NOTE: Details for the 2019 Festival are not yet available. The following is for the 2018 Festival, and is provided to just give you an idea of what to expect in 2019. Check back later in the year for 2019 Festival  details.

One of the most exciting parts of the Colorado Dulcimer Festival is the opportunity to participate in workshops with local and nationally renowned Dulcimer players and experts, teaching both Hammered Dulcimer (HD) and Mountain Dulcimer (MD). This page provides descriptions of the workshops being offered at the 2018 Festival.

The Workshop Descriptions are organized into two sections: “Guest Artists” and “Local Instructors” (in alphabetical order by instructor’s last name). Under each instructor, workshops are listed by skill level. Workshops will take place during the workshop times shown on the Festival Schedule.

Following the workshop descriptions are definitions of the skill levels to which each workshop is geared so attendees can choose according to their level, including Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

2018 Workshop Description

Guest Artists:


Ted Yoder (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)

BEGINNER (HD): “Songs You Know”

Learnable, popular songs you can take home and impress your friends with, and which incidentally teach some useful techniques.

INTERMEDIATE (HD): “Building Your Talents 1”  (2 classes)

Tried and true methods to know your instrument better so you can transform your songs and make better music.

INTERMEDIATE (HD): “Building Your Talents 2”

Tried and true methods to know your instrument better so you can transform your songs and make better music.

ADVANCED (HD):  “What You Can Do With a Song 1”  (2 Classes)

Making a song sound like it was made for the dulcimer. Go beyond “flams” and “rolls”.

ADVANCED (HD):  “What You Can Do With a Song 2”

Making a song sound like it was made for the dulcimer. Go beyond “flams” and “rolls”.


Kim McKee (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer and Hammered Dulcimer)

Mountain Dulcimer (MD):

BEGINNER (MD): “What are those fingers for on the left hand?

Tired of playing block chords and strumming? Try flying free with left hand skills and basic finger picking.  Tips for learning by ear, leaving the tablature at home and playing your music with your ear and your presence.

INTERMEDIATE (MD): “Melody and flow with the left hand”

Utilizing hammer-ons, pull-offs and ornamentation to enhance your finger picked tunes, more finger picking fun!  More tips for playing without music stands and tablature.

ADVANCED (MD): “Taking your left hand out on a date”

Have finger picking skills, ornamentation and techniques? How about taking them out on the town? The ultimate guide to getting more from the most important hand.

ADVANCED (MD): “Finger Style”

Hammered Dulcimer (HD):

INTERMEDIATE (HD): “Working with dampers or taped bridges

We will work with Latin Tunes and rhythms


Ken Willson (Teaching Guitar and Technical Recording)

BEGINNING(Guitar)  – “Accompanying – How to LISTEN”

The most difficult part of a rhythm guitarist, is being ‘invisible’. Timing, volume, enthusiasm, and ego all must be tamed to be the perfect back-up player.  Come learn some tips for listening, finding chords and rhythms that support lead instruments rather than run them over.


It’s a jungle out there! If you are taking the next step to performance, come get some tips from a 28 year veteran of all manner of tech both performance and studio.


Local Artists:

(Listed in alphabetical order by last name.)

Ellen Baranowski (Teaching Children’s Mountain Dulcimer Workshop)

This is a brand new workshop experience for our Festival: Children’s Mountain Dulcimer Workshop. It is geared to children ages 8-12. No previous experience is required. Practice dulcimers will be provided for use in the workshop. The children will receive instruction on the Mountain Dulcimer, will learn to play a tune, and will learn a traditional dance that will be danced in the Contra Dance led by Chris Kermiet following the Children’s workshop.


Steve Eulberg  (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer and Mountain Dulcimer)


BEGINNER (HD): “Map of the Dulcimer”

Tips for How to find and play tunes on the dulcimer, and some shapes for finding chords that relate to melodies (Bring a melody you would like to learn)
BEGINNER (HD): “Rhythm Camp, Hands together, Hands apart”
Being able to play what we want, When we want, regardless of which hand is ready, is a skill that will help us grow as musicians who play dulcimer.

ADVANCED (HD):  “Around the World with the Hammered Dulcimer”

We’ll play music from cultures around the globe where the hammered dulcimer (or its’ cousin) is a folk instrument.

ADVANCED (MD):  “Arranging Classical Music”
Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude (Opus 28, No. 1) for Mountain Dulcimer DAd (requires 1+ fret)
ADVANCED (MD):  “A Scottish Strathspey”
Caledonian Club A Scottish Strathspey that develops both right and left hand dexterity and timing!


Tina Gugeler  (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)

(2015 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion!)


BEGINNER (HD): “Adding Harmonies and Chords

After learning the O’Carolan tune, “Planxty George Brabazon”, you start adding chords and harmonies to this simple melody.

INTERMEDIATE (HD): “Surviving a Jam Session

Skills class; How to listen to jam tunes. Using a bit of music theory, learn how to jump into a jam if you don’t know the tune. Also knowing some  chord progressions, learn how to back up a tune or do a bit of improv to the tune. You will actively listen and try to join in on some tunes

INTERMEDIATE (HD): “Arranging a Waltz”

We will learn and embellish “Flatworld”, a beautiful waltz by Andy Cutting

ADVANCED (HD):  “Hand Independence”

We will use tune examples to develop skills to increase your hand independence. This will include some simple exercises and also working on tremolos and different rhythms in your hands. We will use the tune, “I Will” to try some of these ideas.

ADVANCED (HD):  “Hand Independence Part Deux”

Use hand independence ideas and arranging (boom chuck, rolled chords up and down etc) on John Denver’s song, “Annie’s Song”


Malacha Hall  (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER (MD): “Learn To Play the Mountain Dulcimer”

It is one of the simplest instruments to learn.  You will be playing several tunes by the time the class is over.  Dulcimers are provided.

ABSOLUTE BEGINNER (MD): “Learn To Play the Mountain Dulcimer 2!”

You will learn tuning, fingering, and a few chords.
INTERMEDIATE (MD): “Five-finger Chord”
Take the mystery out of making chords.  This technique shows you the simplest and most comfortable to play chord/melody style.
You can play without the drone.


Dianne Jeffries (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)

BEGINNER (MD): “Easy Tunes”
Learn a couple of simple familiar tunes.
BEGINNER (MD): “Beggining Jamming”
You will learn how to participate in a jam and about jam etiquette .You will learn simple chords to equip you follow a guitar player. Trust me, you can have fun at a jam even when you don’t know any tunes.


Judy Jones  (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)


ABSOLUTE BEGINNER (HD): “What is this trapezoid, the hammered dulcimer?”

We’ll start at the very beginning, learning the parts of the instrument, taking a look at note layout and hammers.  I’ll demonstrate tuning and we’ll play a simple tune or two.


BEGINNER (HD): ” Let’s play!”

We’ll begin by finding and playing several scales, chords and arpeggios.  Your listening skills will improve by carefully listening to  familiar tunes, then singing  and playing them by ear.  Sheet music will be handed out and explained, and then we’ll play more tunes.

BEGINNER (HD): “Beginning Jam”

What is a jam?  This is a class in learning how to jam and jam etiquette. You can play along even if you don’t know the tune.  Using a guitar player, we’ll sample various types of jam music so you’ll be ready to sit in at the next jam opportunity!



Erin Mae (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer)


BEGINNER (MD): “Bum Diddy- Right Hand Techniques

We’ll discuss the basics of how to choose a pick,how to hold it, where to strum, and more.  We’ll also look at a variety of strum patterns and how to
apply them to tunes.  We’ll also look at in vs. out strumming, the angle your pick hits the strings, exploring the full dynamic range of your instrument,  and how to get the best possible tone.

INTERMEDIATE (MD): “Repertoire- Hymns”

Erin will teach her arrangement of two different hymns in two different keys (without retuning.)

INTERMEDIATE (MD): “Memorize and Internalize”

Learn a new fiddle tune, plus learn tips and tricks for remembering that tune after you get home. We’ll talk about how to memorize music by internalizing it instead of simply trying to remember every note or fret number. This class is designed for people who struggle to play without the paper!


Get comfortable using a capo to quickly and efficiently change keys.  You’ll learn moveable chord patterns, and how to play simple melodies in several keys. We’ll talk about both major and minor possibilities, and how your capo gives you easy access to them all.  Bring a capo if you have one, or borrow one from Erin if you don’t.

ADVANCED (MD): “Applied Music Theory”

Learn to name and understand what you ALREADY play, and why it’s helpful to know it!  Erin will teach music theory from a diatonic-mountain dulcimer-centric perspective, then show you how to apply that theory to the music you love.  Bring your theory questions!



Heidi McClure (Teaching Hammered Dulcimer)


ABSOLUTE BEGINNER (HD): “Learn the Basics”

Learn the basics you’ll need to start playing the Hammered Dulcimer on your own. We’ll cover topics ranging from which end of the hammers to hold, to tuning, to learning simple melodies.


Paul Weidig (Teaching Mountain Dulcimer and Ukulele)

BEGINNER (MD): ‘Making Simple Songs Sound Great”

We will work on the elements that make everything you play sound more musical – and more challenging songs possible: solid, expressive rhythm and smooth left-hand techniques. We’ll explore the very versatile Ionian tuning (DAaa), experiment with simple chord-shape choices, and discover that great dulcimer sound!

BEGINNER (MD): “Basic Bluegrass and Folk: How to join in and have fun with this music right away”

Our main goal is to take the stress out of playing with others! We will start to understand a little about how these songs work, so you can anticipate what’s coming next. And we’ll learn rhythms and “moves” that can be used in any old-time song. Be prepared to relax, sing, and have fun! (even if you don’t sing).

ALL LEVEL (UKULELE): “Getting More Out of Your Uke!” 

Regardless of your playing level, we will learn about the unique qualities of the ukulele, and how to take advantage of them to enhance your playing and sound! We will play a lot, respond to issues and needs from the group, improve our techniques (right and left hands), and basically, learn some cool stuff. My motto: “If we’re not having fun, we’re not doing it right!”  (All uke sizes are welcome. If you’re playing a baritone, be sure to bring a capo).