2016 Workshops & Events
Information (2017 Detail Coming SOON!)
Click HERE for 2017 SCHEDULE PAGE!

Sample Tune:
"Keven's Coma
Composed & Performed by Joellen Lapidus on Mountain Dulcimer,
Yvette Devereaux on Violin, Gordon Peeke on Spoons on her NEW CD
‘Dulcimer Music for the Pelican Ballet’


Click Orange Buttons to go Directly To Workshop Sections

Patti Amelotte   "Absolute Beginner Hammered Dulcimer"

Learn basic skills, get an understanding of the layout and learn a tune or two to start or restart your hammered dulcimer playing.

Jim Hayes   “Christmas in October: Carols for the Hammered Dulcimer -- Advanced Beginner/Intermediate”

Christmas in October--Carols for the Hammered Dulcimer
(In Conference Room: see Dulcimer/ Other Workshops 1)
Advanced Beginner/ Intermediate – If you have taken even 1 Absolute Beginner HD workshop – you belong in this class

October is a great time to start working to get your December holiday repertoire ready.  In this class we'll work with carols and other holiday tunes that adapt well to the HD and look at some simple variations that can liven up their arrangements.


Jim Hayes   “Fun and Easy Tunes for the Hammered Dulcimer”

All tunes are fun to play on the HD--right?--but not all are easy.  In this class we'll work on a set of traditional tunes that are nicely compact, easy to memorize, and accessible to beginning players.

Cathy Barton   “I've Learned the Tune -- So What Now?”

This workshop will feature a couple of simple tunes such as "Nonesuch" and will stress how to begin to create variations and embellishments using droning, dynamics, chords, octave changes, etc.  to recognize some of the dulcimer’s inherent patterns - especially chord shapes - and apply this new knowledge to seeing the ‘shapes’ in melody lines. We’ll also explore some basics of accompaniment.

Karen Harvey   “Figgy Jig"

In this session, you will learn Figgy Jig, a fun to play, 2 part jig. This jig is an original composition, written in honor of my good friend, Sharon Loftus, who loves figs and Celtic dancing. If time permits, you will learn the popular jam tune, Swallowtail Jig, which also pairs nicely with Figgy Jig. If you already know Swallowtail Jig, you will be provided some playing options during the class including an easy variation, backup chords or an opportunity to practice the jig in a different octave, all which will enhance the fun when the group plays it together. By the end of the class, you also will have the sheet music and an opportunity to record both Figgy Jig and Swallowtail Jig.

Hammered Dulcimer 2

Cathy Barton   “Play It Pretty: Ways to Interpret Waltzes" 

This workshop will stress not only interesting waltz repertoire but will include ways to perform these pieces using dynamics, harmonies, arpeggios, chords, etc.

Cathy Barton   “Up North: Canadian Tunes”

A primarily repertoire workshop showcasing great dance tunes such as French Canadian fiddle repertoire from Quebec and fiddle contest tunes from Ontario. Lots of playing here!

Patti Amelotte  “Fill: What It Is and How to Do It”

 Learn techniques of how to spruce up your tunes.

Cathy Barton & Dave Para  “Putting It All Together for All Instruments”

Team taught with Dave Para, multi-instrumentalist.
This workshop will not only stress fun and interesting repertoire but how to create medleys, dynamic variations, and exciting musical touches to make dancers and audiences respond to your music. Some recordings will be used to illustrate points, but this will primarily be a workshop featuring lots of playing both new tunes as well as some familiar pieces.

Fretted Dulcimer 1
(Fretted/ Mountain/ Appalachian Dulcimer = different names for the same instrument)

Ellen Hahn   “From the Very Beginning" (2 hour workshop)

We will be starting from the beginning in this class, learning how to hold, strum, fret, and tune your Mountain Dulcimer. You’ll learn how to read tab, and use back up chords, time and rhythm to play fiddle tunes. Bring your Mountain Dulcimer, a pick and a tuner if you have one. Come join us!

Robert Force   “Holding a Rhythm”  

This workshop is an introduction to the flat-pick and attendant strumming techniques for strengthening the wrist, articulating strings, understanding bass and treble angles of attack, mastering changes in tempo and incorporating timbre. We will work toward synchronizing the melody and rhythm hands. We will explore grouping sets of notes which work sequentially toward building songs and mastering tunes. This “Bootcamp” crash course condenses the first five chapters of In Search of the Wild Dulcimer and is a dynamic foundation course in rhythm, tempo, strumming and melodic structure. Worksheets: Bootcamp for Dulcimer.

Joellen Lapidus  “SLAP TECHNIQUE -- FD as Percussion”

Play upbeat and sleepy Rock’n Roll rhythms. Play the strum that Joni Mitchell used on California, A Case of You, and Carey Get Out Your Cane. Jazz up nursery rhymes and Appalachian tunes. Use the dulcimer as a percussion instrument. An hour of fun and discovery.

Fretted Dulcimer 2

Robert Force   “The Barre (Bar) Chord”

Introducing the “barre” chord: When I wrote Wellyn in the summer of 1972 little did I know it would become a staple in many dulcimer players’ repertoires. From the vantage of 44 years later I can see how this came to be. Built around “full-stop” barre chord positions, it is fun to play. Folks liked the athleticism of these “power chords” and the rock n’ roll rhythm. We will start with this tune and then work our way to Norman Blake’s folksong, Slow Train, where the barrier is used to create the explosive back beat of a steam locomotive. Finally, I will teach how these barre chords allow you to quickly and easily change keys, especially into A and E from the usual D and G. Worksheets: Wellyn, Slow Train.


Robert Force   “The Dulcimer Roll” 

Differing from the flat-pick right hand technique where a single note is played as part of a sequence of notes, the dulcimer roll creates an unvarying pattern from which single notes are emphasized in the context of the chord or passage being played. This is much easier than it sounds and has been a fundamental, definitive technique of my playing for 40 years. It is used alternately with the strum to emphasize nuances within the melody. Few techniques will offer as dramatic a new musical landscape for you as will this. Worksheets: Conversations With The River, Andy Mackie (You are my Sunshine)

Robert Force   “Counter Rhythms and Syncopation”

We will explore counter-rhythm, alternating the flat-picked “roll” and the strum within the same song to build syncopation dynamics. To further understand this effect we will incorporate techniques such as hammering on, pulling off and playing the melody with one hand only. We will also visit a few tricky chord progressions. Using these techniques we’ll play some traditional and contemporary compositions and even recast a few folk songs as reggaes and calypsos. Worksheets: Reuben’s Train, Paradise Boy, John B. Sails

Joellen Lapidus  “Hoe-Downs, Waltzes, Ragas, and Rock & Roll”

Hoe downs, waltzes, ragas and rock’n roll: how to get your groove on! A rhythm workshop.

Doug Thomson   “Fun with a CAPO on Fretted Dulcimer"

(In Conference Room under Dulcimer/ Other Workshops 1)
For all levels.
This workshop will cover:
1) Play in four different keys with the capo!
2) Chords in four different keys with the capo!
3) Easy way to find what key they are playing at a jam!

Other Workshops 1

Jim Hayes   “Christmas in October: Carols for the Hammered Dulcimer -- Advanced Beginner/Intermediate”

(See listing under Hammered Dulcimer 1)

Terry Gucwa   “Sing and Play"

Terry will lead the group in singing warm-up exercises like those advocated by Bruce Molsky in Singing with the Fiddle, in which we’ll tune our voices in harmony to our instruments (that is, we play one or more notes and sing a different note). After that we’ll sing a couple of easy songs in harmony to our instruments.

Michael Eskin   “Hammered Dulcimer & Accordion Apps for iPhone & iPad”

In this workshop, we'll be looking at using Apps on the iPhone and iPad for learning and practicing Hammered Dulcimer and other traditional instruments. (Michael, an App Developer for iOS Devices and multi-instrumentalist, will also be giving a demo of his Apps at the Mid-day concert, preceding his workshop.) Info seisiuneer@gmail.com and at Festival Artists’ Booth /Trad. Music Apps under his website  www.AppCordions.com


Doug Thomson   “Fun with a CAPO on Fretted Dulcimer"

(See listing under Fretted Dulcimer 2)

Other Workshops 2

Dave Para   “Beginning Banjo: How to Frail”

Dave has some good techniques for teaching! Getting the motion down is such a major plateau that not much else is teachable until the player gets that. He well use three basic tunes in this workshop.


Dave Para   “Ukulele 1: Strum, Chords”

Dave will teach a handful of strumming patterns and chord changes to some simple, well-known songs, similar to what you might find in the Daily Ukulele book. There are also a couple of useful chord progressions he will teach as well. It seems like this is where all beginners start.

Dave Para   “Back Up Guitar for Fiddle Tunes”

The workshop will start with bass runs, strumming variations and some chord inversions. Dave’s playing is pretty improvisational, so he is game to show folks anything!

Jim Romano   “Ukulele 2: Intermediate Chords & Songs"

This class will touch on basic chord theory, using uke, tab, some second
position chords and chord substitutions that can really add a jazzy sound
to some simple, well known songs.

Other Workshops 3

Lynn Furnis   “Autoharp

This is a Beginning workshop and your chance to try Autoharp! Participants are encouraged to bring their own autoharps to the workshop, but loaner instruments will be available for up to eight students during the workshop, as well.  We will cover the basics about autoharps and about Autoharp!  autoharp playing, such as tuning, what kinds of autoharps there are, and most important and fun -- how to play one!!!!   We will learn a song or two and will provide words and chords for those songs.  

Gregg Schneeman   “Bowed Psaltery”

Gregg will bring his collection of many Bowed Psalteries and bows for people to use during the workshop. He will cover from the introduction for beginners to the advanced, two-bow style of playing. No previous musical experience required! Gregg was declared the National Bowed Psaltery champion in 2012. See Gregg’s Bowed Psaltery and Mountain Dulcimer Videos on his YouTube Channel “Gregg Schneeman”.


Bill Dempsey   “Sing Along With Bill"

Group singing workshop with Bill, master of participation music! He accompanies himself and others on fretted dulcimer/ guitar/ 5 string banjo/ harmonica/ trombone/ pocket trumpet/ cajon/ etc! Join in for all the fun! http://billdempseymusic.com

Kathryn LaMar   “Drum Circle"

Want to have a positive experience with music that is no work and ALL FUN? Connect with your soul and entrain to the rhythms of the universe? Come to our drum circle! If you have a beating heart, you can play drums and other percussion. Together, we will learn basic sounds, start with a pulse-rhythm, and go where the spirit flows. No experience necessary, all instruments are provided (yours is welcome, though).

“Free” Activities - Participate or Listen -
Open Jams, Mid-Day Concert, Workshop on Jamming, Community Jam

Marianne Scanlon (HD, guitar)   “OPEN JAM LEADER"
9:00 am-11:00 am

All acoustic instruments welcome in this INDOOR jam in Fellowship Hall, near the food area. Bring your favorite music resources such as Fiddlers Fake Book or play by ear. All are fine.

Coloring For All Ages!   “Souvenirs"

  • 9:00 am - 11:15 am and 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Fellowship Hall

BREAK for set-up & Mid-Day Concert
in Fellowship Hall

Patty McCollom (Fiddle, Whistle, Banjo)   “OPEN JAM LEADER"
1:30 pm - 3:30 pm

All acoustic instruments welcome in this INDOOR jam in Fellowship Hall, near the food area. Bring your favorite music resources such as Fiddlers Fake Book or play by ear. All are fine.

Doug Thomson and Bob Palmer   “Playing Together - Focus on Fretted Dulcimers" - Beginning/Early Intermediate

4:00 pm - 5:0pm

FREE WORKSHOP on Jamming. Open to ALL ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENTS - all levels.
Tips covered on how to: join in on tunes; follow the rhythm; jam etiquette; simplify tunes on the spot; listen to other players; build a repertoire; suggestions for tune/song resources; start a tune when it’s your turn; counting in/ potatoes/ other starts. This workshop will include running through some simpler jam tunes!!


Barbara Gershman (HD) & Terry Gucwa (Cello)   “Free Community Jam"

  • 4:00-5:00 pm: All levels.
  • All acoustic instruments welcome!
  • Terry Gucwa's Jam Book
  • Fiddlers Fake Book
  • Stephen Seifert’s Join the Jam Book
  • Your favorite music or ‘by ear’ tunes are all fine!
  • See the JAM TUNE LIST on the scdh.org website for ideas.


Special Activities

Focus Workshop: Early Intermediate/Advanced Hammered Dulcimer & Other Instruments: Carp Camp Tunes for Any Instrument

With Cathy Barton & Dave Para
Sunday Oct 2nd 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Private Home in Fullerton
Address will be given after registration

With Robert Force
Sunday Oct 2nd 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Private Home in Downey
Address will be given after registration