Hammered Dulcimer Workshop Descriptions


Long-Term Workshops

Since the mid-1990s, Joyce has been privileged to be on staff at the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival.  
In addition to a traditional weekend festival, Buckeye offers an extended session of 10 hours 
of intensive instruction for five levels of hammered dulcimer.  During the extended, Joyce has taught 
three levels of intensive instruction ... New Players, Past Beginners, and Intermediate I. 

For complete descriptions for each level, email Joyce.  


Mini Workshops

New Players/Beginners

Getting Started     (3 hours or more)
We'll start right at the very beginning.  We'll learn how to tune, hold the hammers,
strike the strings, find the scales in different keys and learn several simple melodies., 


  1. Intro to Basic Fiddle Tunes        (Repertoire)           (1 hour)
    Start to build your fiddle tune jam tune list by learning the very basic melodies of 
    Soldier's Joy, Liberty, Mississippi, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Old Joe Clark, June
    Apple. (As time permits)

  2. Intro to Basic Waltzes and other 3-beat tunes         (Repertoire)     (1 hour)
    Start to build your 3-beat jam tune list by learning the very basic melodies of 
    Westphalia Waltz, Southwind, Rosin the Beau, and Ashgrove. 


Past Beginners

  1. Intro and understanding the 1- 4- 5 chords        (Technique)      (1 hour)
    Use Joyce's simple chord chart to find these chords in the major keys.  (Chart provided)

  2. Beginning Embellishment         (Technique)      (1 hour)
    Play the 1-4-5 Chords as 2-note chords, 3-note chords and arpeggios. 

  3. Enrich Basic Fiddle Tune Melodies         (Repertoire & Technique)       (1 hour)
    Learn to put in those extra notes.

  4. Embellish with the 2-note chord, 3-note chord, and arpeggios        (Technique)      (1 hour)
    We'll play and embellish Prairie Flower, Southwind, Westphalia Waltz and Mississippi 
    Sawyer as time permits.

  5. Playing in Different Keys    (Repertoire & Technique)     (1 hour)
    We'll learn how to find and play a song in several different keys.



  1. Developing a 'Soft Touch' on the Hammered Dulcimer          (Technique)    (1 hour)
    Explore dynamics and expression in your playing.

  2. Handy Dandy Tricks of the Trade          (Technique)    (2 hours+)
    Explore Ways to 'dress up' your favorite tunes.  We'll learn about bounces, 
    drones, slides, grace notes, turn- arounds, triplets, chords, arpeggios, flams, 
    changing keys, syncopation, three against two and ... doing nothing at all.

  3. Embellish with bounces and drones          (Technique)     (1 hour)
    We'll learn and use the Irish tune, Road to Lisdoonvarna, and (as time permits) the 
    old-time tune, June Apple to explore these embellishments.

  4. Embellish with chording variations                (Technique)    (1 hour)
    We'll learn take the dance tune, Jenny Linn Polka, and explore various chording 
    techniques (two-note chords, three-note chords and arpeggios) to embellish.

  5. Wedding Music            (Repertoire)    (1 hour)
    We'll learn tunes that can be used as the processional, recessional, Mother's 
    processional, Unity Candle and more


  1. 'Bleshing' Tunes (Technique and Repertoire)    (1 hour)
    Blend and mesh four distinct voices of a tune.

  2. The Music of composer/pianist, Rick Kuethe.       (Repertoire)     (1 hour+)
    We'll learn my two current Rick Kuethe favorites, 'The Playground Song' and 'The Meeting House'.

  3. "About His Love", Old-time hymn favorites.         (Repertoire)      (1 hour)
    We'll learn some old-time hymns, embellished melodies and chordal backkup.

  4. Embellish with syncopation                   (Technique)      (1 hour)
    We'll learn how to put syncopation into some repetitive tunes.

  5. Be 'Flam'boyant        (Technique)      (1 hour)
    We'll learn and explore incorporating flams and rolling chords into the O'Carolan 
    tune, Planxty Fanny Power

  6. Explore Chromatics        (Technique)     (1 hour)     
    Make a tune more interesting and exciting by inserting chromatic notes.  Your hammered 
    dulcimer needs a C#, D# and G#.  


Updated:  November 1, 2017

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