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Festivals, Lessons, and Workshops


I am an experienced and patient teacher and love teaching hammered dulcimer, especially to nervous adult beginners.  


I am available for:


  • Festivals/music camps

  • Private lessons

  • Full-day or half-day workshops for small groups (4-10 players)

Private lessons are $30/half hour and generally scheduled once per week, Tuesday-Thursday between 1:00PM and 7:00PM, but custom/flexible schedules are usually easy to accommodate.


Beginners typically like shorter, more frequent sessions. More experienced players, or those traveling longer distances may prefer longer sessions that are bi-weekly, monthly, or on an as-needed basis.  If you'd like to schedule a single lesson or two to see if my style of playing/teaching fits your goals, that would be fine, too. 


Listed below are a few workshops and topics I have taught in the past. Most can be adjusted for various experience levels, and I am always creating new topics and open to suggestions!

Contact Susan



Introduction to the Hammered Dulcimer – Part I - New Beginners

Want to know what the Hammered Dulcimer is all about? If you are completely unfamiliar with the Hammered Dulcimer, then this course is for you. Topics covered will be tuning, hammers, markers and strings, finding scales and repetitive patterns.


Introduction to the Hammered Dulcimer – Part II - Beginner-Advanced Beginner

Topics will include alternate hammer patterns, harmony notes, and an elementary introduction to chords. These techniques will be demonstrated and we will learn to apply them in a tune.


O'Carolan Tunes - Advanced Beginner

This workshop will teach a tune from the vast repertoire of Turlough O'Carolan. Once past the basic melody we will quickly deviate from the written music and various arranging ideas will be presented. Battery powered audio recorders are recommended 


Playing for Weddings - Advanced Beginner and up

Not only will we learn tunes for seating of the mothers, processionals, interludes, candle lightings, and recessionals, but we’ll also discuss booking, contracts, pricing, and expecting the unexpected!  


Musicality - Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

Learn techniques for making your dulcimer tunes sound like MUSIC! Emphasis will be on phrasing, dynamics, and texture, and playing thoughtfully.


Basic Music Theory (eek!) for the Hammered Dulcimer - Advanced Beginner-Intermediate

This class will introduce novice to intermediate players to various scales, keys and chord building. We’ll find chords in various positions, using easy repetitive patterns. Then we’ll incorporate these into some familiar tunes.


Dulcimer Tricks! - Advanced Beginner-Intermediate

How to get that “dulcimer” sound... we’ll learn various embellishments such as “rolls”, flams, tremolos, “bounced” notes and more!


Solo Arranging for the Hammered Dulcimer - Advanced Beginner-Intermediate

This class will introduce novice to intermediate players to basic solo arranging techniques including two note chords, three note chords, arpeggios, flams, drones, and beginning hand separation. Attention will be given to phrasing and playing musically.

Introduction to Separate Hand Techniques - Advanced Beginner - Intermediate

Students will learn techniques for playing with hand independence. We will learn a tune in which each hand plays different line simultaneously (melody vs. back- up/harmony/counter melody)


Composing on the Hammered Dulcimer - Intermediate and up

Ever thought about writing your own tunes, but don’t know where to start? Here’s your chance! We’ll write a group tune and/or explore creative ways to come up with your own.


Custom Workshop - pick from the above topics or suggest new ones!

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