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Afternoon Electives


  • Level 1 Review & Reinforce - Carol Crocker - Beginners on the mountain dulcimer will simply stay with their morning instructor for the remainder of the week in order to not get confused with a variety of instructors. We want you to learn comfortably and not be overwhelmed!
  • Intro to the Banjammer with Mike Clemmer - All levels
  • Fingerpicking 101 Cockles and Mussels – Level 2 – Linda Brockinton - A beautiful Irish tune that you will learn to finger or flat pick. We will also play this tune in CGC tuning and discuss how you can play in D or in C with the same tab.
  • Discover Chords and Strums with Fun Children’s Songs! - Level 2 - Rob Brereton Calling all teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the young at heart! What’s more fun than a sing-along? A sing-along with kids’ songs! Dive into the joy of kids' songs while mastering basic chords and strums. Led by Rob, a seasoned elementary school music teacher with 30 years of experience, this course ensures a harmonious blend of fun and learning. Words and chords provided for beloved children's tunes—come sing, strum, and make memories that resonate! D-A-d
  • New Old-Time - Level 3 – Laurie Alsobrook - Sadie at the Back Door? Nail that Catfish to a Tree? These tunes, while sounding old-time, were composed within the last 40 years. They are as fun to play as their titles indicate. 
  • Essential Arranging for the Dulcimer: Session 1 – Level 3 – Shawn McCurdy - Learn how to create simple arrangements to play on your dulcimer in two sessions! Starting with sheet music or lead sheets, learn how to translate standard music notation into tablature. Some knowledge of music notation is needed, although we’ll briefly review key signatures, time signatures, note values, and musical structure.  During class, you’ll complete simple exercises to ensure success, and will be provided with lots of resources to put it all into practice. You’ll leave with the tools you need to create your own beautiful arrangements! PLEASE NOTE: this is a two-session class, so you’ll need to sign up for both sessions. DAd tuning.
  • Duets For Two Standard Dulcimers – Level 3 and up – Larry Conger - This class is being offered on Mon and again on Wed. Can’t attend one? Sign up for the other. The same materials will be presented in both classes. Learn 2-3 duet arrangements in a chord-melody style, making use of two and three finger chords to create a more contemporary sound. Mildly challenging for the lower intermediate level player and a perfect addition to the more skilled player’s repertoire. These arrangements are being revisited from the early years of Larry & Elaine’s Duet Dulcimer Retreat.
  • Just the Bass-ics! (Day One) - Level 3 and up - Elaine Conger (& surprise guests!) Need more practice playing your bass dulcimer with a group? Then don’t pick an afternoon elective: just come and jam!  This will also be a great time to bring your bass questions and receive additional coaching outside of the Morning Class session. The goal is for you to not leave Dulcimer U 2024 without knowing what to do on your bass dulcimer in a jam session!
  • Chord Shapes and Arpeggios – Level 4 - Stephen Seifert - After a brief review of the main three chord shapes, I'll show you arpeggios I use for warming up AND for adding my own licks to tunes. I'll bring some barebones versions of tunes for practice. The goal is to bring new life to whatever you want to play. Arpeggios show you the best notes to rely on.
  • Adding Variation to What You Play, either Alone or with Others! Levels 4 and 5 – Jeff Furman - You can play!  And you also know that TAB is not how a tune must or should be played!  This workshop will offer some repertoire to focus on what you can do with it!  This may include playing with others (listening, not just to yourself, but also to others as you play!!).  It may include having you come up with a nice transition between two tunes.  And we just might also use a Master Class approach to help enhance your listening and understanding what you hear, what options you might consider, how to add variations, etc.  (Please BRING A CAPO!)


  • Level 1 Review & Reinforce - Carol Crocker - see Monday’s description
  • Improving Your Left hand! Level 2 – Jeff Furman - This workshop will focus on improving your left fingering accuracy choices (how and why), efficiency, and smoothness.  There is no right or wrong way in fingering, but there may be a way to make it easier and sound and feel better.  And along the way, I will give you some exercises to build your left hand muscle memory!  You’ll get some exercises for practicing and some tunes for applying what you learn.  The more comfortable you are with your left hand fingering choices, the smoother and clearer your playing will become.  Let’s start training that left hand!
  • Jean Ritchie: In Song and Story – Level 2 – Laurie Alsobrook - Inspired by Jean Ritchie’s book “Singing Family of the Cumberlands” this workshop offers recollections that transport us to another era. Consider these songs front porch favorites as you imagine a family gathering at the end of the day. Several tunings will be presented including DAD, DAA, and DAC.
  • Essential Arranging for the Dulcimer: Session 2 – Level 3 – Shawn McCurdy - see Monday’s description
  • Just the Bass-ics! (Day Two) - Level 3 and up - Elaine Conger (& surprise guests!) - see Monday’s description
  • A Song for DavidLevel 3Linda Brockinton - This is a tune that Linda wrote in memory of David Schnaufer, who passed away back in the early 2000s. The arrangement features two parts and is paired with David’s bent string tab of Southwind. In CGC tuning.
  • Irish Jigs in DGD Tuning – Level 3 – Larry Conger - This tuning lends itself extremely well to playing traditional Irish jigs in 6/8 time. The jigs presented in this class can be easily mastered with a minimum amount of effort, thereby adding several new tunes to your repertoire. The primary challenges will be getting used to the chord shapes in this tuning, combining strums with individually picked notes, and playing the tunes up to speed.
  • My Approach to Flat-Picking Standards – Level 4 – Stephen Seifert - I'm bringing a bunch of common flat-picking tunes that work really well across the strings. My style isn't just picking single strings. I'll show you how to work in strums to make things more fun and playable. We'll work on flat-picking techniques, too.
  • The BIG Secret to Smooth Playing: Gershwin in 1-3-5 Tuning – Level 4-5 – Rob Brereton - Leave the choppiness behind! Learn the BIG secret (and a few little secrets along the way) to make your playing sound smooth as silk on a shoeshine! Then let’s have fun applying these secrets to playing a chord/melody arrangements of Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me." These techniques can be applied to most levels, but we will apply it to this upper intermediate/advanced piece. Once mastered, it's a real show stopper for your repertoire.


  • Level 1 Review & Reinforce - Carol Crocker - see Monday’s description
  • Intro to the Banjammer with Mike Clemmer - All levels
  • The Old Ways are Sometimes Better – Level 2 – Stephen Seifert - I'll show you how to learn tunes the old way. We'll half-way sing or speak along with each tune to get the rhythm and form. You'll watch my hands and learn to mimic what I'm doing without trying to copy me exactly. I'll show you how to generate minimal notation on paper to jog your memory. More than anything, I'll show you how to fake your way through the parts you have trouble with and ultimately custom fit these tunes to your abilities and interests.
  • The Fairflowers of Northumberland Level 2 and 3 – Linda Brockinton - This is a beautiful Celtic tune with lots of Major and minor chords using numerous hammer-ons and pull-offs. Some class time will be spent developing comfort in executing clean hammer-ons and pull-offs. The arrangement can be fingerpicked or flat picked. DAD tuning.
  • “L” evate Your Playing - Level 3 – Laurie Alsobrook - Join me as we explore the rich sound that a barre plus one adds to a melody. You’ll be surprised what variety L shaped chords add to elevate your music.
  • Duets For Two Standard Dulcimers – Level 3 and up – Larry Conger - see Monday’s description
  • Just the Bass-ics! (Day Three) - Level 3 and up - Elaine Conger (& surprise guests!) - see Monday’s description
  • Beyond D! Level 4 – Jeff Furman - There are so many great tunes that are not in D!  This repertoire workshop will include tunes that are in different keys and tunings.  You’ll get more experience with some of the tunes that that are not in D but still sound great on the mountain dulcimer!  (PLEASE BRING A CAPO and TUNER!!)
  • Beautiful Classical Music – Level 4 and 5 – Shawn McCurdy - The classical music genre provides some of the most recognizable and timeless musical themes around. We can’t play a whole symphony on our dulcimers, but we can certainly play shorter classical pieces, and excerpts from longer ones. Join Shawn in learning some beautiful melodies from the masters of classical music such as “O Mio Babbino Caro” by Puccini, “Sonatina in G Major” by Beethoven, “Air” from Haydn’s Water Music Suite, and others as time permits. DAd tuning.
  • Improv and Accompaniments Through Chord Shapes – Level 5 – Rob Brereton - Think and play like a pro! This is a step by step approach to improvising accompaniments and solos through chord shapes. We will learn the “chord shape cycle” (inversions) to develop your musical intuition and fretboard navigation skills. Then let’s discover the tips and tricks for transitioning from one chord to the next to form tasteful accompaniments and improvisations. Start simple and expand at your own pace.


  • Level 1 Review & Reinforce - Carol Crocker - see Monday’s description
  • Taize: Rounds and Chants – Level 2 – Laurie Alsobrook - We will be playing beautiful and meditative rounds and chants from the Taize Tradition. Not familiar with Taize worship music? Originally from a monastery in France, these peaceful and meditative songs can enhance any worship service OR simply be enjoyed at any time.  Short songs, repeated again, and again give a meditative character.
  • Improving Your Strum! Level 2 – Jeff Furman - Strumming is a foundation skill for playing the dulcimer and I want you to have a strong foundation!  This workshop will help you develop a good strum by focusing on smoothness, accuracy, and adding variation.  I will give you some exercises and we will also play along with some recorded music!  You’ll learn how to strum better by listening and feeling the music you are playing, not by reading Tab!  At the end of this class, you will have a much better understanding and confidence with your strumming!
  • Doable Versions of Fancier Jam Tunes – Level 3 – Stephen Seifert - There's a bunch of common jam tunes that are just a little bit hard to pull off at faster tempos. Learn tried and true ways old-time musicians play simpler versions of harder tunes that allow everyone to jam and grow together. I'll bring a bunch of these tunes and give you a sneak peek towards one day making them fancier.
  • Caribbean Strums and Tunes – Level 3 – Rob Brereton - Music from the Caribbean often has repeating syncopations in the accompaniment. This is a perfect opportunity to not only develop our strumming rhythm, but also to learn some fun songs from this part of the world. We will start with non-syncopated rhythms, then work in some easy syncopations, then finally develop our own rhythms. Songs will include melody, but our focus will be on expanding our chord repertoire and strumming accompaniment.
  • Expressive Celtic Slow Airs Level 3 – Shawn McCurdy - Celtic music is a favorite of dulcimer players, and Celtic slow airs are known for their emotive, beautiful melodies. Playing them to their best advantage requires smoothness, phrasing, and dynamics. We’ll learn “The Mountain of the Women” and “The Garden Gate” from Ireland, Niel Gow’s “Lament” from Scotland, and more as time permits. DAd tuning, capo required,1+ fret helpful but not required.
  • Just the Bass-ics! (Day Four) - Level 3 and up - Elaine Conger (& surprise guests!) - see Monday’s description
  • Planxty Hewlett – Level 4 and 5 – Linda Brockinton - A waltz by Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan, this arrangement opens with a bass line version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. A lower and upper octave version of the song will be presented, adding interest and a challenge to its performance.
  • Dulcimer Blues – Level 4 and 5 – Larry Conger - 1+ fret required – Spend the afternoon learning two great old blues songs – “C.C. Rider” is a traditional 12 bar blues tune and “Midnight Special” has more of a country blues feel. Both songs will make use of a shuffling blues rhythm and use the 1+ fret extensively.  Along the way, the art of hammer-ons, pull-offs, and muted strings will be addressed in an effort to add some zing to the arrangements. 
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