Sunday, April 24, 2011

Learning More about the Mountain Dulcimer

I am approximately 23 days away from holding my new dulcimer in my hands. After spending time on Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer, and reading some recommendations of other beginning players, I decided to sign up for Dulcimer School. It's the closest thing to Hogwarts I can find for learning to play my new Mountain Dulcimer. After spending a few hours watching the foundational videos, I'm certain I made the right choice. The classes are taught by Stephen Seifert, who is one of the worlds foremost instructors on the mountain dulcimer, and I love watching him play.

So far I've learned how to hold the dulcimer, how to change strings, tune, and play a melody note. Of course it will be much better to have the instrument in hand, but for me, I really do like to watch it through one time before I try a technique any way. I did think long and hard about taking classes with Karen Mueller at Homestead Pickin' Parlour. She did give me a lesson on her instrument so I could try it out to see if I would really like it, and of course I LOVED it. My decision was made mostly due to budget and time considerations. Starting out I really wanted to have the information I needed right in front of me, and this is a way for me to do that, and one month is less than one half-hour private lesson.

Based on my history with learning the Autoharp, I would tend to focus on it in spurts, practicing constantly some weeks, and very little or not at all other weeks. With the online school I will be able to work with that kind of eratic learning curve and really take advantage of my energy curve when it comes to learning. If I ever get stuck on something, I can always take a drop in lesson with Karen as well. This is going to be a really fun spring and summer I can tell you!

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