We are delighted to welcome back Nonsuch Dulcimer Club to host another packed workshop week offering practical guidance on playing the dulcimer. Featuring superb tutors from the USA and UK, there will also be times to socialise and play informally, plus informal evening concerts from the tutors – and from participants!
Choose from four courses, and let us know your choice when booking:
Mountain Dulcimer: Introductory Course
Mountain Dulcimer: Exploring Course
Hammered Dulcimer: Introductory Course
Hammered Dulcimer: Exploring Course
Introductory courses are designed for beginners / improvers, loan instruments are available subject to demand; please make your enquiry early.
Exploring courses are more in-depth, designed with the intermediate / advanced level player in mind. NB. the MD Exploring course is also open to players of players of other fretted instruments.
Click here for playing level guidelines.
Mountain Dulcimer (MD)
The Appalachian, or Mountain Dulcimer consists of three or more strings stretched over a long-fretted sound box, held on the lap and played by plucking or strumming. It derives from the family of fretted zithers found in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Developed in the poor hill farming communities of the Southern Appalachians, the dulcimer was adopted by the early folk revival in the 1960s and rose to fame through its use by Richard Farina and Joni Mitchell, and groups such as Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention – even the Rolling Stones! Today a younger generation of acoustic musicians are discovering its distinctive tones and using it in fresh ways with traditional and contemporary material.
Who’s it For?
All skill levels will be catered for. There will be two broad strands of workshops for both Mountain and Hammered Dulcimer: one for Beginner/Improvers and one for Intermediate/Advanced players. Click here for playing level guidelines. There are instruments available – both mountain and hammered dulcimers – for beginners to borrow – please request early when you book).
Doug Berch (USA) – Mountain Dulcimer Tutor
Doug has been performing, teaching and making dulcimers since the mid 1970’s. During the 1980’s he toured throughout the United States and performed at many folk festivals, dulcimer festivals and concert venues. In 1983 he took first place in both the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship and the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in Winfield, Kansas.
He has recorded albums and CDs, and performed, recorded and toured with the Celtic ensemble Colcannon for 10 years, and has accompanied many different musicians on their recordings, playing both hammered and mountain dulcimers.
Doug is now known especially as a maker of beautiful, high-quality, hand-tooled mountain dulcimers, which are much sought after. Musically, he is inspired by the traditional music of the world, the rock and roll and blues that he grew up with, and anything else that comes along.
Susan Trump (USA) – Mountain Dulcimer Tutor
Susan Trump has been winning fans for years with her singing, her outstanding instrumental skill on the mountain dulcimer, guitar and banjo, and her clear, relaxed teaching style.
Susan is a much sought-after instructor and performer who has taught in many of the major dulcimer festivals throughout the USA, and more recently at the Quarantunes online festivals. She has won awards in both banjo and mountain dulcimer competitions. She has released four best-selling solo CDs including a live recording “Live at Caffe Lena”, which captures the excitement of her “sold-out” coffeehouse performances. Susan has written four books for mountain dulcimer and produced the three-CD series “Master of the Mountain Dulcimer” series, which featured many of the best players of the last decades.
Susan’s magic stems from her ability to link the pastoral, tranquil images of traditional rural America to our contemporary life. Her songs touch the heart, recall the past, and inspire the times ahead. Her sense of humour always adds a fresh touch to her performances.
Katie Moritz (USA) – Hammered Dulcimer Tutor
Katie Moritz is a musician and teacher hailing from the Chicagoland area in Northern Illinois. She’s been playing music ever since she could remember, starting piano as a very small child and playing the tuba through school. Her taste in music is geared towards more eclectic sounds and it wasn’t till she started playing the hammered dulcimer that she found her authentic musical “voice”. Katie loves traditional music from around the world, 1940’s jazz standards, Broadway musicals, bluegrass, and pop. She has spent over a decade studying traditional music and is dedicated to teaching and continuing a traditional style of playing. She was the 2013 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion in the USA.
Katie holds a Master’s degree in Design & Media and an Associate’s degree in Music Performance. She has taught and performed at many festivals and gatherings around the United States. Along with the hammered dulcimer, Katie is a multi-instrumentalist who plays mountain dulcimer, ‘ukulele, steel pan, guitar, and more.
Carmen Amrein (Germany) – Hammered Dulcimer Tutor
Carmen studied hackbrett, salterio, folk music, zither and elementary music education at the University of Music and Theatre, Munich. She graduated with distinction in 2010, and has taught, and performed in different ensembles since that time. She enjoys playing either as a soloist of as part of the hackbrett/harp duo Globetrotter. She is also an accomplished hammered dulcimer player and teacher.
In 2018, Carmen spent time setting up a music participation and concert program for young children – “Bambini Concert”. She has taught and performed not only in Germany, but in Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Great Britain, Canada and the USA, spending a year in 2011/12 taking part in concerts, festivals, and teaching in the USA & Canada.
Recently, Carmen has taught an online workshop series for Hammered Dulcimer on Baroque Salterio music, as well as teaching at the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival in 2021.