Class Descriptions

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Wayne AndersonBeginner I – Learn the basics and how to hold the dulcimer and the pick. Learn how to understand dulcimer tab and have fun playing easy songs. DAD

Bonnie LeighBeginner II – We will continue learning the simple techniques to smooth out your playing and enjoy learning new songs along with how to play in a group. DAD

Norm WilliamsPlaying in DAD – We will work through several simple tunes, and continue to work with Melody by adding basic DAD chords. Explore and understand the keyboard. Beg/Nov.

Norm WilliamsMoving Between DAD & DAA – This workshop will discuss why and when you might use these alternative ‘D’ tunings along with some very basic discussion of ‘modes’. We will learn to retune with and without a tuner. We will use several simple tunes – E.g: “Bile them Cabbage”, “Aunt Rhody” & “Old Joe Clark”.   We will learn the advantages of each tuning.

Beg/Nov. DAD

Aubrey Atwater Songs of Jean Ritchie – Aubrey will teach songs she has learned over the years through her contact with Jean Ritchie and her family. Workshop focuses on the traditional style of playing with the noter and playing in different tunings. Int/Adv.

Aubrey Atwater Using the Capo – What an interesting and strange thing to do on a dulcimer. Aubrey will discuss what “capoing” means on the dulcimer and how it differs from the guitar or banjo. The class will do some experimenting and run through a few songs and tunes using the capo. Bring a capo. Int/adv

Aubrey AtwaterSongs of the Sea Aubrey, an Ocean State native, will present traditional seafaring songs each in its own way; beautiful, playful, tragic, or joyous. You will need a capo for one of the songs. Int/adv

Elwood DonnellyChording, Strumming and Singing – You will learn basic chords for the DAD Mixolydian tuning and how to strum accompanying rhythms while singing and playing at the same time! Elwood will choose from some of his favorite traditional ballads. Beg/early Int.

Elwood DonnellyFingerpicking for the First Time – Elwood will provide a framework for finger-picking simple tunes on the mountain dulcimer in DAD.   Learn basic patterns for vocal accompaniment as well as methods for finger-picking in common and 3/4 time signatures.

Beg/int. DAD

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Elwood DonnellyDADGAD Tuning – Explore DADGAD, a haunting alternate guitar tuning with effortless chord progressions that enhance songs and tunes. You’ll learn songs, as well as simple finger-picking breaks. You must be able to change chords in a timely fashion.


Jennifer MylodCeltic Fiddle 101 – Students must have a basic working knowledge of the fiddle and how to play. We will learn an Irish Jig – building the tune with small parts, by ear until the tune comes together. We will look at variations, bowing technique, and assorted applications that the students can use to make the tune their own. Depending on the skill levels of the class, we will do one tune or a set of tunes that fit together.   Bring a fiddle, bow, recording device and a sense of humor. Nov/int

Jennifer MylodCeltic Fiddle 102 – We’ll learn an Irish Tune, starting with small parts of the tune, and continue building the tune by ear. This is how it’s been done for 100’s of years in Ireland. We will look at bow technique, slurring, vibrato, and other embellishments that can really light up a tune. Nov/int

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Philip Mylod Celtic Tin Whistle 101 – Basic Whistle tunes with some intermediate techniques – including rolls, cuts, vibrato, and breathing.   Bring a recording device to take the tune home with you.


Philip MylodIrish Bodhran – We will look at the basic rhythms of Irish dance music …. Including jigs, reels, slip jigs, etc. Learn how to apply the beat to these tunes, We’ll have a fiddler on standby – who will play tunes – for students to practice along with. Students must have their own bodhran, and can bring a recording device.


Rich CartyIntroduction to Irish Music This is a Lecture/demo of eleven forms of Irish Music intended for those who want to take workshops on Irish fiddle, tinwhistle and bodhran. The workshop is also applicable for those who want to play Irish music on other instruments… well as those who just want to listen to it.

Bonnie LeighHealing Music – Lecture/demo. 
Music is a very powerful thing. As we go into the history of Healing Music, you will learn how to use music for the sick and dying patient. Plus how to use music in your daily life.

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Cliff ColeHammered Dulcimer –Beginner-1: Roadmap to the Hammered Dulcimer
In this workshop we will map out the hammered dulcimer and explore common patterns to play scales and chords. We will navigate the layout of the instrument by using patterns inherent to the hammered dulcimer’s layout. Workshop participants will learn how to better utilize redundant notes to make sticking patterns easier and faster to play. One goal of this workshop is for participants to become comfortable playing notes over the whole instrument. Other topics will be holding the hammers, left and right hand independence and other fun stuff.

Cliff ColeHammered Dulcimer II- (intermediates welcome) Exploring melodies and Chords
We will expand on the on what we learned in the first session, and explore some simple melodies and arpeggios. We will delve into minor keys, and explore the modes. We will also explore any areas that participants are most interested in learning.

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Stan ZukowskiBanjo I – While learning the basics of the banjo you will also learn the bum-ditty strum, proper playing form and position along with left and right hand techniques.

Bring a capo, tuner and banjo strap.

Stan ZukowskiBanjo II – You will be learning a couple fun tunes while putting Banjo I stuff into action.


Rich Carty – Mandolin I- Beginners learn to play the mandolin in the melody style.


Steven CartyBasketry I0I Join in and have fun weaving your own basket. Tools and supplies will be provided No experience necessary. Beginners.


Steven CartyNature Walk Enjoy a walk through the area’s nature with our own knowledgeable tour guide, if the weather is nice.

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Download the class descriptions in PDF format

Download the tentative times for classes in PDF format here
please note that these are subject to change without notice

Natural Resource Education Foundation of NJ