28th Annual ... held at Recreation Unlimited
Ashley, Ohio

March 6 - 10, 2019         


 Extended THURSDAY & FRIDAY (5 Hours each day)


1)  Mini Workshop Schedule featuring four timeslots (90 minutes) covering 4 levels
of hammered dulcimer, 4 levels of mountain dulcimer, autoharp, and additional titles 

2)  On Saturday, there will also be longer term sessions for the following:

     Beginners ... Mountain dulcimer, Hammered dulcimer, Autoharp

 Extended THURSDAY & FRIDAY (5 Hours each day)



The past few years there has been very little interest in the mountain dulcimer on this level.   If you know of any folks that would like to get a solid start on the mountain dulcimer, bring them along.   If interest picks up, we'll give the class.


Extended Course Description (10 hours)

Emphasis on this class will be HANDS ON!   Yes, there is much to learn, but important to take things a step at a time. 

Strumming, fretting, learning a bit about the fretboard, diving into the 'beginner' tunes (such as Boil Them Cabbage, Grey Cat, Liza Jane, etc.) as time allows, learning the basic chord in the key of D.

The immediate goal of this class is to get you playing, but one of the ultimate goals is to prepare you to play with others in a 'jam' session.  This is where chords open the door to being able to play tunes that you don't necessarily.   To help in this process, starting on Thursday night there will be a jam session for you.  It will be geared to beginners with help on chords and striving to get you having fun in a jam.



The past few years there has been very little interest in the hammered dulcimer on this level.   If you know of any folks that would like to get a solid start on the hammered dulcimer, bring them along.   If interest picks up, we'll have the class with a fine instructor.


Extended Course Description (10 hours)

"What is that thing?" and "How in the world do you play it?"   How many times have you heard that?  And did you say it when you first saw this amazing instrument?  Well, our class is designed to show you just that.

In our 10-hour session, we'll talk about the layout of the instrument, we'll tune, we will learn to hold hammers, how to strike the strings, play scales, and, most importantly, PLAY TUNES!   We will have music notation, but also learn to play by ear.

We値l learn just enough about playing chords to survive the Thursday night jam, and we値l have fun!

Past Beginners/Early Intermediate

DIANE HOCHSTETLER (Millersburg, Ohio)

Extended Course Description (10 hours):

Diane has taught beginners here at Buckeye as well as giving private lessons for many years.

This year she would like to take those basic skills and step them up a notch into the past beginner/early intermediate skill level.

You'll be learning more tunes, working with chords in several positions, working with strum hand techniques, and working with fret hand techniques .  We'll take these skills to the Thursday night jam which is designed to use these skills at a slower speed.


Past Beginners/Early Intermediate

Extended Course Description (10 hours):

Now that you've learned the basics around the Hammered Dulcimer, What's next?  Plenty!!

Chording & Embellishing - using arpeggios, chords, runs, doubles, licks & tricks - increase your ability of maneuvering your way around this wonderful instrument with patterns, panache, and of course... practice!

Let's build our repertoire using the above mentioned within several songs that we will use to incorporate these "next steps" of advancing with the Hammered Dulcimer.


Intermediate 2:  LINDA and AARON 


Extended Course Description (5 hours)

O'Carolan Tunes

O'carolan was an Irish Harper in the 1600s. If you aren't familiar with his name , you are probably familiar with his work. At the Intermediate 2 level its time to add some depth to your repertoire. Songs such as Shebeg Shemore, Hewlett, Bridget Cruise, Eleanor Plunket,  and so many more came from him. I will give you some History and we will do some familiar tunes as well as some a little less played.. I love this music as it takes you back to a simpler time.

This class will require some chord experience although we will discuss chords a lot. They can either be strummed and flat picked or finger picked so all are welcome. I have spent hours on my tabs making them playable by the choice of the chords I choose. Getting up and down the fret board with ease is very important. 

Learning to play rhythmically as well as smoothly requires thought and I do have some tricks for that. There are many great teaching opportunities in O'Carolans music. He played on a diatonic harp so the music is very adaptable to the dulcimer.  Also there are many tips you can use to rework a tab to fit your style better and we will discuss those.. 

I am thrilled to be coming back and I hope that you will join us for a great weekend. No half frets needed.



Extended Course Description (5 hours):

What痴 your style? - Are you a fingerpicker? Flatpicker? Traditional player?

The mountain dulcimer can sound great played in all of these styles but the truth is, the techniques that are best-suited for these individual styles are far from uniform.

In this class, we値l take a deep look at different styles of playing, discuss technical approaches that are uniquely well-suited to each style, and even talk about qualities of an instrument that make it work well for a particular style of playing.

DAD tuning. Bring a capo. (Intermediate+)


Intermediate 2:  JODY and MARK


Extended Course Description (5 hours)

Even to folks who have been playing for a while, the hammered dulcimer can still seem a bit mysterious.

What are all those strings, really? And how do you break out of rote patterns to take full advantage of the whole instrument?

This class will help even experienced players gain a better understanding of their dulcimers so they can play more spontaneously and use the instrument to its full potential.

Along the way, we値l learn some new repertoire, delve into chords, and perhaps play a duet or two!



Extended Course Description (5 hours)

Embellishing Melodies and Arranging for Solo Playing

In this hands-on workshop, we値l explore innovative ways to add nonharmonic tones to our simple melodies. These outside the chord/box notes are the perfect way to adorn simple melodies and predictable fiddle tunes. We will use lots of examples and master each method in no time. With our newly festooned tunes, we値l discover many ways to organize our musical ideas in ways that keep the tune growing and evolving throughout. You値l be ready for open stage, contests, and solo performances in no time!




Extended Course Description (5 hours)

We had several questions about Linda's and Aaron's advanced 'arranging' classes.  Here is Aaron's response

1. I will give tab

2. Some of the tab will likely be tunes participants already know but arranged in a unique way.

3. We'll discuss the thought process behind the arrangement and give examples of how a player can apply those concepts to other pieces in their repertoire.


Exploring, Navigating, and Arranging for Advanced Players - At the advanced level, the next step to getting better is not always obvious.

In this class, you値l walk away with a mix of challenging arrangements of traditional tunes, concepts for arranging, some hidden patterns on the dulcimer fretboard, and a few ideas for writing your own music.

DAD tuning. Bring a capo. (Advanced)



Extended Course Description (5 hours):

We had several questions about Linda's and Aaron's advanced 'arranging' classes.  Here is Linda's response:

"There are many ways of arranging. I will be going through and entire arrangement a step at a time. First , all the places you can play a piece, how you can insert a key change,, intro, exit and finally the connectors that help you put it all together.... 

We will also bring a few other pieces that contain such things as how to find a note you need in multiple places, how to write an 8 bar intro or bridge for shorter songs to make them more interesting. Then last but not least we will look at the way we move our arrangement around so that it flows the best . There are many D chords, F# m chords , etc to choose from. We often pick the most familiar or perhaps the only one we know without thinking about where others that are much easier to reach might be.  These things make the difference in writing down the tune and making an Arrangement.  No one will have to write an arrangement and perform it.... so don稚 worry.  See you soon! 

This advanced class will be on arranging, fixing and altering arrangements.

Tabs can be changed if you know how to do it.  There are many ways to fix hard passages, change chords, move to other parts of dulcimer. 

We will play some arrangements I have put together and discuss chords, names of notes, smoothness, when to look for something different, how to make an arrangement more musically and less mechanical. 

There are many things that go into arranging.  Often you get tabs you can't play that just need a little tweaking.  It may only be a problem with fingering or something simple like that..  We will walk thru a piece of music that will only have a melody and each do our own arrangement.  Don't be scared, that's how we learn and I will be there to help you.  Hopefully, when you leave, you will be able to do your own arrangements or even just know what makes up and arrangement.

You will need to be familiar with chords, strumming , flat picking,  Everything else you will learn.  No half frets needed.





Extended Course Description (5 hours)

In this class we値l use exercises and repertoire from a variety of genres to build a 澱ag of tricks designed to help players create more interesting solo arrangements.

In the process we値l 澱orrow techniques from harps, guitars, bagpipes, and elsewhere to get the most out of our many and varied strings.

(Hint: Come prepared to do more than just hit your instrument with little wooden sticks!) We値l also work on ways to approach accompaniment and playing with other musicians.




Extended Course Description (5 hours)

Making The Most of Our Sub Bass Bridges and Dampers

Advanced players finally have earned the bells & whistles than come with professional level instruments namely, extended bass range and dampers. But what to do with them? Despite the extended range of our instruments, many advanced players still only play in a 15/14 range and have not yet discovered how to dip into that rich bass range. Many more have dampers but often do not even set out their pedals when they set up! Let痴 delve into innovative ways to get the most out of both! We値l cover how to incorporate the sub bass notes into existing chord shapes and how to compensate for what that does to your leading hand. We値l also use handy little exercises to improve your foot/hand coordination needed for using dampers along with ideas for how to apply them to tunes. Note: if your instrument does not have dampers, you will still get a lot out of this. I can bring an extra HD with dampers for students to use if needed.



Extended Session:  Additional Instruments

HARP (Past Beginner/Early Intermediate and Above) 


In this class, we will be working on learning repertoire from a variety of traditional backgrounds (Irish, Scottish/Shetland, Canadian/CapeBreton/Quebocois, and American folk).  Music notation will be provided, but there will also be an emphasis on aural learning throughout the teaching session.

With the tunes presented, we will discuss and learn various arrangement techniques and ideas for ornamentation in the historical style of the tune.  We will also work on stringing multiple tunes into a single set and how to transition between tunes.  Since many tunes played on the harp are not originally written / intended for the harp (but instead fiddle, bagpipes, lap harp, etc), we will also play with arrangements of the tune which highlight the ornamentation or accompaniment style of the original instrument and how to achieve this with the harp!  

Allison will be teaching mini sessions on the Harp (75 minutes) during our Saturday workshop schedule.


BAND ~ IT! (multi-instrument class)  --  SHARI WOLF  (Houston, OH)

What is this Band-it! class all about?  

DESCRIPTION:   This workshop is like trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together.  The goal is to take players of various playing levels beyond the beginner level, playing a variety of acoustic instruments, familiar with a wide variety of music and blend and mold all of us into a BAND.  

GOAL #1:

We'll start with common songs and tunes that are familiar to all and work on arranging them with the following in mind: .  

1)  Discover different ways to start and end a song/tune.
2)  Look at different ways to vary the song/tune each time through.
3)  Working with bringing out the different voices of the instruments.
4)  Working on vocals and balancing the sound between singing and instrument backup.
5)  Discovering backup techniques for all instruments through chords and rhythms.

The goal is to take several familiar 'club' tunes/songs and create an arrangement that makes them sound a bit different each time through.

GOAL #2:

Take a piece of tablature which includes dulcimer tab, music notation, and chords to create a complete arrangement involving all instruments in the band.

1)  We'll explore different places to play the melody.
2)  Where to play chords to get different voices.
3)  Develop simple harmonies by using chords.
4)  Vary the arrangement.

My plan is to work with 4/4, 3/4, and maybe 6/8 timing. 

My hope is to introduce and apply just enough of the 'dreaded theory'  to create a platform for all BAND members to be able to take these principles back to their home club or small groups and HAVE FUN!

If you have any questions, email Shari .

We'll just let classes from 2016 and 2017 give you an idea.   This video is part of their time on open stage.       BDF Band-it! Class - 2016

From Open Stage - BDF 2016, the Band-It! class performing a medley of
Johnny Armstrong
and Whiskey Before Breakfast.

  BDF Band-it! Class (2017)



In 2017, we did not offer 'autoharp' as a class for the extended session.  We did have a number of autoharps come into
the 'Band-it' class.  Phyllis Davis joined Shari as an instructor to work specifically with the autoharps in
melody picking and back-up techniques.

This video from 2017 BDF Open Stage features the
Band-it! class' arrangement of Skye Boat Song



1)   There will be a FULL schedule featuring a wide variety of MINI SESSIONS (75 minutes) on Saturday for ...

Mountain Dulcimer - past beginner, intermediate, and advanced;

Hammered Dulcimer - past beginner, intermediate, and advanced;

Other instruments ...

The weekend schedule will be available for you during late Fall, 2018.

SATURDAY - Long-term Sessions Beginner Sessions

2)  The BDF Saturday schedule also includes long-term sessions (9:00 am - 2:15 pm) for
for the Mountain Dulcimer (Instructor:  Ricki Spicer),
Hammer Dulcimer (Instructor:  Jill Nichols),
Autoharp (Instructor:  Phyllis Davis). 

See class details below.

SATURDAY - Long-term Sessions

3)   There will be several double mini sessions on Saturday(150 minutes) .. TBA.

*Saturday Beginners, please make some notes on your registration form ...

1)  Please note if your are interested in one of these Saturday "Beginner Sessions." 

2)  Please let us know which beginner session (mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer or autoharp) that you will be attending. 

3)  If you need a loaner instrument, let us know on the registration form.  

Plan on coming to registration early (opens at 8:00 am) and get checked in so that you can get help in tuning to be ready for classes to begin at 9 am.


Come to the Buckeye Dulcimer Festival ... learn from some of the best instructors in the country,
play lots of music, make life-long friends, and ... have a great time!   




Look for frequent updates to this page.  
Last updated:   January 18, 2019

Webmatician: Shari Wolf