PDF files of Schedule, Menus and Workshop are here to download. I’m copying workshop titles & descriptions, below. (The formatting is hopefully better in the PDFs!)
Workshops – HD Rendezvous, 2019
Novice — The Jig is Up! 3 notes, 2 hands – what to do?!
Learn handing techniques to get around the perineal problem!
Intermediate — “Irish Music Intensive”
Learn to play traditional Irish tunes in the varied rhythms (jig, slipjig, hornpipe, polka, reel and maybe an air) and explore how to adapt fiddle, pipes or harp ornamentation to our own percussive, long-sustaining instrument.
Intermediate/Advanced (Two Part) —
“Building Repertoire Using Your Eyes, Ears, Touch and Heart”
Ear training, eye training and hand training will all be a part of this fun class! While learning a tune we will focus on dynamics for more expressive playing and maybe even tricks for memorizing tunes!
Advanced — “Two Beautiful Classical Arrangements:
“The Flower Duet” from ‘Lakme’ by Delibes and “Barcarolle” from ‘The Tales of Hoffman’ by Offenbach” These wonderful pieces offer challenging chords and arpeggios as well as use of some of the less used chromatic notes. These gorgeous, timeless melodies offer ample opportunity to improve your dynamics bringing increased expressiveness to your playing.
NOVICE — “HD Map Bootcamp”:
Learn the relationships between marked courses, half steps, repeated notes, chords and scales that will unlock a deeper understanding of your instrument, help you to feel more free when learning tunes and help you get your money’s worth in lessons, workshops and camps!
Intermediate (2hours): MASTERING ROLLS:
We’ll look at the role of rolls in music, learn exercises to help us gain facility in rolling in either hand, and experiment with using rolls in different ways to enhance music making.
Intermediate/Advanced (2 hours): Barn Burning fiddle Tunes:
Do you think all fiddle tunes sound the same? Then maybe you’re not approaching them in the way a fiddler would, with an underlying sense of rhythm and drive. We’ll discuss how to capture these techniques in your playing and learn the tune Poplar Bluff, a melodically, harmonically and rhythmically unusual tune that will catch your ear and make you want to pick up your bow…er, I mean hammers!
Advanced (4 hours) O’Carolan:
Ornaments & performance techniques for playing O’Carolan (and other music!) We’ll take a more challenging O’Carolan piece and learn techniques to appropriately dress it up. A variety of ornaments, both rhythmic and melodic will be taught, discussed and put into practice.
Advanced: Pedal to the Metal:
Pedaling (both hands and single hand, keeping a steady subdivision on a note or multiple notes while playing melody at the same time) – exercises using Bill Frissell’s “Everybody Loves Everybody” and The Beatles “You Don’t See Me” (though with a title like Pedal to the Metal, we should probably do something from Sabbath)- learn tools to build your own arrangements with polyrhythms and basslines, get more comfy with subdivisions and doing what it takes to get either hand where you need it at any given time during those subdivisions.
Beginner: Anything and Everything
Bring your most pressing musical questions and concerns! Sounds like there will be just a few of us, so we can really focus on what you’d love to work on. I’ll bring ideas for tunes we could get into, and/or basic musical exercises that I find helpful with absolutely everything (yes, including leaking gutters, broken Volvos, existential dread and relationship problems). Technique (staying relaxed and letting your body do what it needs to do) is also something we can get into. We’ll get as far as we can in 2 hours.
Intermediate: Singing melodies, because you really should if you don’t already:
We’ll start with some warm ups on the instrument, polyrhythms, paradiddles and the like, then move into learning a melody off the instrument… we’ll sing it, then sing it and play chords underneath it, then play it and sing the bass notes at the same time. This is just a way of learning a tune that opens up your ears and, in my experience, makes everything musical more intuitive.
Intermediate/Advanced, Backup and Push:
Hands on the instrument exercises to build rhythmic flexibility and vocabulary with an eye towards finding rhythmic/tonal roles for the dulcimer in a variety of styles. Get ideas in your head and hands, get more comfortable listening and finding a place in the music without having to box yourself into certain patterns for a given style.
Intermediate/Advanced: “Modes and Beats”
Approaching the instrument as modal gives us a linear view of the instrument and so a continuous thread to explore it in an ergonomic way.
Using percussion skills on the hammered dulcimer makes our playing much more expressive and rich. Let’s get to it!
Novice: “Making music from Day One”
Starting to play an instrument can be really fun even when it’s supposed to be hard. Join me to experiment with ways to practice while being musical and creative. We will go through the fundamentals of rhythm and theory, all while making music and having fun with any exercise.
Advanced: “Marina’s way (or how to be yourself I’m hammered dulcimer)”
I’m going to share all my tricks with you. Ask me, challenge me and squeeze my brain. Odd meters? Theory? Percussion tips? Repertoire sources? Spanish tapas?? As advanced players you know what you want to dive deeper into. I’m an open book for you. Let’s make this class the most useful and practical one possible.
Advanced: Lankola — Santoor Music, but on the Hammer Dulcimer!
For several years Hossein has come to share with us his mastery of the Persian santoor. We’ve delved into quartertones, history of Persian modes, and a number of lovely pieces. In post-‘Vous feedback, I’ve heard from several folks that they find the music fascinating, but do not expect to be re-tuning their HD’s to such a degree in future. So Mick asked Hossein if he’d be willing to experiment with a standard-tuned hammer dulcimer. The Maestro was game, and has created a workshop for the Advanced group featuring the Kurdish folks song “Lankola” that sits perfectly on our “regular” HDs!
Hossein informs us that “Lankola” is a Kurdish folk song that is very popular among all Iranians, particularly the Kurds.
This is played both as an instrumental and with vocals as well.
The word Lankola means Cradle. This is an old Kurdish song that was arranged in a modern style orchestration (while keeping its traditional values) by a well known group called “Kamkars” — an ensemble of 8 Kurdish brothers and sisters.
Bobak has written this in a simpler form for two santoors, or hammer dulcimers!
Intermediate I — The Joy of Jigs!
We will learn a jig (or two if there’s time), applying various ornaments, and bring it alive in the Irish tradition. Plus – The Ultimate Fifteen Minute Warm Up!
Intermediate II — The Righteous Reel and the Hip Hornpipe!
We will learn one of each type adding ornaments as we go.
Beginning I — Basics!
Where are the notes? How do I hold the hammers? How is this thing tuned? These questions and more will be answered in this first class of the weekend. Be prepared for experiential learning (learning by doing!) and to walk away with a simple tune under your hammers.
Feeling a bit overfull? Immersion is like that. We’ll review what you learned over the weekend, answer questions, clarify points, add new tidbits and overall, get you set up to use your new knowledge and skills effectively.
Intermediate/Advanced: Fearless Improvisation
In this workshop we will study traditional, Gypsy jazz, and Andalusian chord progressions that can be used to as a basis for grounding your improvisations or melody writing.
Introduction to Hand Separation
Don’t let your left hand know what the right hand’s doing! In this workshop we’ll begin by practicing an exercise that has one hand playing a melody while the other plays an arpeggio accompaniment. We’ll also experiment with some pentatonic improvisation. From there we’ll move on to rubbing our stomach while tapping our head as we walk and chew gum.
Novice part 1: “Climb Ev’ry Mountain”
Learn how scales and scale exercises can help you to unlock many secrets of the dulcimer, improve your way-finding skills, and generally increase your dexterity on the instrument, maybe even having some fun along the way!
Novice part 2: “I Saw the Light”
After our exploration of scales, we’ll learn two tunes that illuminate how important your familiarity with the scale can be when constructing — or learning to play — a melody.
Intermediate: “Eleanor Rigby”
This well loved Beatles song is fun to play on any dulcimer. It also offers some useful opportunities to practice technique, including hand independence, strengthening the left hand, plucking the strings, playing parallel 3rd harmony, following a musical roadmap, and successfully negotiating musical transitions.