Joe Collins

1010 Castlewood DR

Shelby, NC   28150

(704) 484-8414

dulciman@bellsouth.net

 

Dulcimer Competition Awards

1st place – National Mountain Dulcimer Championships - 2007

3rd place – National Mountain Dulcimer Championships – 2003, 2004, 2006

1st place Mtn. Dulcimer Duet (w/ Gary Sager) - Coshocton Dulcimer Days - 2005

1st place Mtn. Dulcimer - Mid-Eastern Regional Championship – 2005 & 2002

1st place Vocal - Coshocton Dulcimer Days – 2005 & 2002

1st place Mtn. Dulcimer – Kentucky State Championship – 2003

1st place Dulcimer Duet (w/ Nancy Seifert) – Kentucky State Championship – 2003

2nd place Mtn. Dulcimer Duet (w/ Alan Darveux) - Coshocton Dulcimer Days - 2002

1st place Folk Singing - Bryson City Fiddlers' Convention - 2001

2nd place Mtn. Dulcimer - Bryson City Fiddlers' Convention - 2001

2nd place Mtn. Dulcimer - Mid-Eastern Regional Championship - 2001

3rd place Mtn. Dulcimer - Mid-Eastern Regional Championship - 2000

4th place Mtn. Dulcimer - Southern Regional Championship - 2000

2nd place Ensemble (w/ M. Shull) - Southern Regional Championship – 2000 & 1999

2nd place Dulcimer - Georgia State Championship – 2002, 2001, 2000, 1998

1st place Dulcimer - Brevard Old-Time Music Competition – 1998

 

Performance Repertoire

Joe does a wide range of music including unique arrangements of traditional hymns, Celtic, original compositions, and anything that he thinks sounds “cool” that usually isn’t played on the dulcimer.  A folk singer who has a passion for writing and performing humorous pieces, he enjoys being accompanied by the laughter of an audience.

 

Festival Performer and Teaching Experience

Buckeye Dulcimer Festival, OH

Central Florida Dulcimer & Autoharp Festival, Mt. Dora, FL

Chautauqua on the Wabash, IN

Cincinnati Dulcimer Society in Cincinnati, OH

Chattanooga Dulcimer Festival, TN

Dulcimer Association of Albany Festival; Albany, NY

Dulcimer Building and Playing Class at Cleveland Community College in Shelby, NC

Dulcimer Days in Coshocton, OH

Dulcimer Daze, VT

Dulcimer Jamboree in Mountain View, AR

Dulcimer Retreat; Madisonville, TX

Dulcimer Retreat of the Knoxville Dulcimer Club, TN

Dulcimer U at Western Carolina University, NC

Dulcimores Festival in Columbia, SC

Florida Dulcimer Tour with clinics in Fort Myers, Sarasota, Bradenton, and Orlando

GitterPicker String Factory in Twinsburg, OH

Guntersville Senior Center Workshops, AL

Hartwell Art Center Workshops & Concert, GA

Harmony Harvest in Lancaster, OH

Heritage Dulcimer Camp in Parkville, MO

Hills of Kentucky Dulcimer Club

HymnFest in Shelby, NC

Knoxville Area Dulcimer Retreat in Townsend, TN

Lagniappe Dulcimer Festival in Port Allen, LA

Lee County Gathering in Loachapoka, AL

Lone Star State Dulcimer Festival in Glen Rose, TX

Memphis Dulcimer Gathering in Memphis, TN

Mid-winter Dulcimer Festival in Shelby, NC

North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association Fall Festival in Helen, GA

North Mississippi Fall Dulcimer Festival in New Albany, MS

Ohio Valley Gathering, OH

Shamrock Dulcimer Blast, GA

Spring Thing (NGFDA) in Winder, GA

Southern Tour with clinics in Canton & Dalton, GA; Guntersville & Killen, AL

Southern Strings Festival in Hattiesburg, MS

Steve Kaufman's Acoustic Camp in Maryville, TN

Summer Dulcimer Workshop in Shelby, NC

Summer Solstice in Calabasas, CA

Waterbound Dulcimer Festival in Kinston, NC

Winston-Salem Dulcimer Festival in Winston-Salem, NC

Winter Creek Reunion, OK

Winter Weekend; Lake Junaluska, NC

Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival in Owensboro, KY

 

Discography

Hymns for the Hearth (1994) – folk arrangements of traditional hymns

The Dancing of Time (1999) – a mixture of Celtic, hymns, and original pieces

Erin’s Wish (2002) – a collection of Christmas instrumentals

For the Fun of It (2003) – a collection of funny and feel good songs w/ vocals

Looking Ahead (2008) – mixture of traditional, original, popular songs by artists like James Taylor and Carole King, and more. 

     The CD demonstrates how much versatility and rich chordal possibilities there are with what used to be considered a simple,

     Appalachian instrument.

A River Runs Through It (2019) Duet CD with good friend and cellist Nancy Galambush

Waltzes for Mountain Dulcimer (2020) a collection of waltzes. About half are original.


Contributions to compilation CDS

    Great Players of the Mountain Dulcimer (2001) – a collection of players from all over the country.

    Songs for Wendy (2021)

 

Tablature Books

1998 – Simple Tunes for the Mountain Dulcimer (out of print)

1999 – Christmas with the Mountain Dulcimer (out of print-see below for newer version)

2000 – Simply Celtic (out of print)

2002 – Simply Hymns (a collection of hymns in three versions: DAD, DGD, and DAA)

2003 – Around the World with the Mountain Dulcimer

2005 – Christmas with the Mountain Dulcimer: Revised & Expanded Edition

2006 – Dulcimer Basics

2008 – Sacred Hymns of the Old Church

2010 - Simply Celtic: Revised & Expanded Edition

2011 - Civil War Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer

2015 - Round After Round with the Mountain Dulcimer

2015 - Irish Charms

2020 - Waltzes for Mountain Dulcimer

2021 - Lullabies for the Mountain Dulcimer


 

Other Publications

"Levels of Playing: Unraveling the Mystery" Dulcimer Players News, 36:4 (Fall 2010), pp. 26-27.

“Winning at Winfield” Dulcimer Players News, 34:3 (Summer, 2008)

“Hot Licks and Cool Sounds: A Mountain Dulcimer Workshop on Ornamentation.”  Studio, 50:4 (November-December, 2005), pp. 21-22.

“Teaching the Dulcimer: Knowing Where Your Student Needs to Begin” Dulcimer Players News, 28: 2 (May-July, 2002), pp. 36-37.

“Choosing the Right Tuning for Your Students” Dulcimer Players News, 28:3 (August-October, 2002), pp. 39-41

 

Website

www.jcdulcimer.com



Click on the type of workshop in which you are interested for an alphabetical list.

Skill Development Workshops
Repertoire Workshops
Miscellaneous Workshops


Skill Development Workshops

Accidental Instrumentals (Advanced) Are you a pretty good player and need some challenging tunes to stretch your skill level. This is a class of tunes not normally heard on the mountain dulcimer because of accidentals, those pesky notes for which there are no frets on the mountain dulcimer tuned in DAd or for which transitions to those notes are somewhat challenging. We'll learn and practice some techniques that make these types of songs accessible on your dulcimer.

All about Changing Keys on a Mtn Dulcimer (novice and up) – What if your church organist asked you to play dulcimer to a tune that is written in B-flat? With the knowledge from this workshop, you’ll see how to play your dulcimer in just about any key with a standard dulcimer using a capo and tune common tunings.

Autumn's Fancy: An Exercise in Inverted Chords and 6/8 Rhythm (Advanced – Usually requires at least 2 hours unless the participants are VERY advanced) This workshop will use an original piece by Joe Collins entitled “Autumn’s Fancy" to help you work on several very useful skills - playing inverted chords, pulling off and hammering while playing inverted chords, and keeping a smooth 6/8 rhythm even when things get a little fast.  These are great techniques for playing some of those faster Celtic tunes.  

Being “Chordial” in DAA (Upper Novice - Intermediate) –a workshop for understanding chord structures in the DAA tuning.  This is a workshop for those DAA players who want to go into full chording while staying in the DAA tuning.  Covers the basic chords in the key of D and how to play them anywhere on the neck of the dulcimer.  Also includes some exercises on finding the right chord to play when given only the melody note and a chord symbol. Lots of tunes are provided to practice the skills listed above.

Can You Sing with that Thing?  (Upper Novice & up)  A workshop on using the mountain dulcimer as an accompaniment instrument. We'll play some R&B, Rock, Folk and maybe even Country rhythms while we sing some popular songs. The main focus will be on using chords and strumming rhythms for accompaniment.

Combining Your Picking & Strumming (Intermediate & up).  This workshop will focus on picking out the melody in between and in combination with the strums that give body to arrangements.  We’ll use exercises to develop effective strum/flatpicking technique and two tunes to incorporate the technique, an original waltz and a challenging O’Carolan piece entitled “Lord Inchiquin.”

Creating Your Own Tablature (Novice & up) The basics in how to take regular sheet music and turn it into dulcimer tablature. This is NOT a workshop on how to use Tabledit or other computer program to make printable tab. Rather, it deals with how to write good tab regardless of what program one uses for the final product. We will cover constructing the melody line, transposing from one key to another, and making chord choices. The workshop trains participants in how to use several tools for their own adventures in “tabbing.” (2 ½ hours needed for this workshop)

Crossing Over to the Fun Side! (Novice and up) – This workshop gently guides players to leave the security of playing the melody on one string to exploring the world of cross-picking.  In addition to some work with scales and hitting individual strings, we'll learn to cross-pick some familiar songs effectively and efficiently. 

Crossing Your Tab (Intermediate and up) - Once you get the hang of cross-picking, some of those very difficult pieces that are all over the fretboard can become relatively simple by using a cross-picked version.  This workshop will focus on taking any piece of tab and transposing it into a very playable cross-picked arrangement.  A working knowledge of primary chords on the dulcimer in DAd is necessary to navigate this workshop well.

Designing a Medley for the Mountain Dulcimer (Intermediate & up) – This workshop looks at the basics of creating a musical arrangement from various melodies or parts of a melody.  It covers choosing the right melodies for a medley and transitioning between melodies when they differ in timing, tempo, or key (especially from major to minor keys).

Developing Good Practice Habits (Beginners and up).  This workshop covers basic principles of good practice, offering advice and useful exercises to get the most out of one’s practice time.  This workshop focuses on some basic skills, what a good practice session includes, and how to approach learning a new song. We will also learn some hand exercises that may prove helpful when they “don’t move like they used to.”

Driving Your Dulcimer Like You Mean It!- (2-hr minimum required) (Intermediate - Participants should be comfortable with strumming in both directions, have a decent sense of timing, and be able to play several tunes without having to be totally dependent on tablature.) The difference between good dulcimer players and great ones is usually found in what they do with the picking/strumming hand. The goal of this workshop is for you to develop skill and proficiency with that hand. We will try out patterns that you can begin incorporating into your playing immediately, but we will also work on exercises that you can continue doing long after the workshop is over.

Finger-Pickin’ Good (Novice and up) – a workshop covering the basics of finger-picking on the mountain dulcimer. 

Focusing on Basic Chords (advanced beginner and up) – a workshop on playing primary chord in the DAd tuning.  Includes exercises and songs to improve one’s ability to change chords efficiently and effectively.

Froggy Went a-Chording (Intermediate and up) This workshop combines the previous two into a 2.5 hour workshop.

From Bum-Diddy to Rock-n-Roll (Intermediate and up) - a workshop for strumming/picking hand technique.  Participants work on accuracy of picking individual strings and strumming/picking out a number of rhythms outside the norm for mountain dulcimers.

Getting Jiggy with It! (Level 5) – basic dulcimer techniques and strumming rhythms for playing Celtic jigs.

Basics I Wish I Knew When I Started  (Beginners) Even little things can negatively affect our playing as we continue playing the mountain dulcimer. This workshop will help you to develop good habits for things like hand position, posture, sliding, noting, etc. We’ll play a few tunes but will be focusing technique that will help us grow as players.

Harmony Basics for the Mtn Dulcimer (Intermediate and up) - a workshop in playing basic harmonies on the mountain dulcimer. In addition to learning some harmonies to popular dulcimer tunes, we will investigate how to develop harmonies for other songs. To get the most out of this workshop, it is helpful to understand basic chords and have a willingness to experiment.

Hot Licks and Cool Sounds (novice and up) – a workshop on how to do those cool things that make people say, “Wow! How did he/she do that?”  Covers ornamentation techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, grace notes, trills, bends, harmonics, and muting.  Gives simple songs in which these techniques can be applied and practiced.

Leader of the Band (Novice and up) This workshop takes a song written for whatever level is chosen and leads participants in playing that song with an accompaniment track that features several other instruments like piano, cello, etc. Helps participants with timing and playing with others, even when the “others” are not physically present.

Making Arrangements for Beginners (Beginners).  This workshop takes a simple tune and progressively takes students through several different ways to play that tune in order to create an interesting arrangement.  It doesn’t go into key changes like the more advanced version above.

Making Arrangements (Novice and up) – This workshop takes a simple tune and progressively takes students through several different ways to play that tune – in different octaves and keys, all in the same tuning.  It also shares some basic ways to make transitions between keys.  The purpose is to help students learn skills that will enable them to make their own arrangements of tunes they love to play.

Master Class (Intermediate/Advanced – not available as an online workshop) - a workshop to analyze and work on playing technique at the intermediate/advanced levels. Participants should come prepared to play a tune or two for the instructor and fellow students.  Technique will be critiqued by the instructor and discussed by supportive participants. One of the primary goals of the workshop is to help participants think about and develop some focus on what they need to do next to improve as players. They will learn not only from the critique they receive, but also from the critique fellow participants receive. Class size limited to 10 participants.

Noting Hand Technique (All levels)  This is a workshop designed for multiple levels of players.  There is something there for the beginner trying to establish noting technique, but there are some challenges for most intermediate and advanced players as well.

Playing in DGd (Advanced beginner & up).  An introduction to a great alternative tuning to DAd. Because it is so close to DAd, DGd is easy to get to and the same dulcimer works great in both tunings. We’ll work on a number of songs in this tuning but also cover basic 3-finger chords that can be used to play up and down the neck efficiently and effectively. We’ll also look at ways to do more advanced chording for those who want to stretch themselves a little further. This is the tuning which Joe uses with his own beginning students.

Playing Pretty (Intermediate & up) focuses on developing technique that will help you to become more expressive on the dulcimer and less mechanical. We will go beyond learning the notes to learning about how to use dynamics and phrasing to make your music more emotive (capable of pulling out feelings). We will also share exercises you can use to continue to develop these skills.

Playing Upside Down! (Intermediate and up) – a workshop on playing inverted chords in DAd.  The workshop will focus on building proficiency in playing out of inverted chords through skill-building exercises and learning songs which emphasize the technique.

Playing While You Warble (Beginner and up) – workshop on the basics of accompaniment.  How to use the Mountain Dulcimer to accompany either yourself or someone else’s voice.

Playing with Grace, Humor, and Smiles (advanced beginner & up) – a workshop on performing in front of others.  Covers basic principles that will help players, at whatever level, feel more comfortable playing for others.  No intense work with the dulcimer. 

Starting Out on the Mountain Dulcimer (beginner beginner) The very basics on getting started.

Strummin’ Along and Sounding GOOD! (beginner to early novice) – a workshop on basic strumming skills designed to help inexperienced players develop versatility in the strumming hand.  Focus is on learning to strum well in both directions, using dynamics with the strum, developing effective patterns of strumming, and how to hold the pick for greatest effectiveness.

 

Repertoire Workshops

In a repertoire workshop, I generally teach songs from a particular genre, going over technique & skills needed for those particular songs.  I’ve supplied some estimates of what level of players these workshops are geared for, but some may have some wiggle room because I may be able to teach them differently for different level players.

I often develop other repertoire workshops to meet the needs of a particular group upon request, but I need about a month’s notice.

Advanced Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer (Intermediate and above) – Hymn arrangements of some classic hymns that offer a little more of a challenge for experience players. Hymns include “A Mighty Fortress,” “Steal Away,” “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling,” and others.

Appalachian Mountain Songs for Beginners (Beginners/Novice) Simple songs played and loved in the Appalachian Mountains easily accessible to beginners. Includes songs like “Fair & Tender Ladies,” “Sourwood Mountain,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” and others.

Appalachian Mountain Songs I (Novice & up) Tunes associated with old-time Appalachian traditions. Includes “Mole in the Ground,” “Cumberland Gap,” “Shady Grove,” and others.

Appalachian Mountain Songs II (Novice & up) Tunes associated with old-time Appalachian traditions. Includes “Black Is the Color,” “Shortnin’ Bread,” “Who’s Gonna Shoe Your Pretty, Little Feet,” and others.

Around the World with the Mountain Dulcimer (Novice & up) Folk tunes collected from every continent (except Antarctica). This workshop is based on a short book of the same named compiled by Joe

Bouncy Tunes for the Mountain Dulcimer (Novice-Intermediate) A repertoire of fun, lively tunes that leave you feeling happy. Includes a gospel tune or two, an orginal tune of Joe Collins, and others.

Bringing Out the Irish in You! (Novice & up, but at least one song is a little challenging) A repertoire workshop of popular Irish songs still played and sung around the world. These are songs that Joe heard over and over while walking the streets of Dublin and Galway.

Celtic Harp Tunes (Intermediate & above) – beautiful, lilting melodies from Celtic lands that really sound good on a dulcimer, including “Fairy Dance,” “Blind Mary,” and others.

Christmas Is a’Comin’ – Vol. 1 (Novice & up) – a repertoire workshop feature tunes like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “We Three Kings,” “Christmas is a’Comin’,” and others.

Christmas Is a’Comin’ – Vol. 2 (Novice & up) – a repertoire workshop of some more Christmas tunes, including “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Huron Carol,” “Joy to the World,” and others.

Christmas with Capos (Novice-Intermediate) A repertoire of well-known Christmas arrangements all requiring a capo. Includes tunes like "Sing We Now of Christmas," "We Three Kings," "Foom, Foom, Foom," and a cut little tune written by Joe Collins.

Civil War Songs (Upper Novice & up) Civil War songs ranging from the humorous to the tragic. Includes “Grafted into the Army,” “Goober Peas,” “The Cruel War,” and “The Battle of Shiloh Hill.”

Civil War Songs of the Union (Level 3) The Civil War produced a lot of music, and most of it was used by both the North and the South. These songs, however, are identified mainly with the Union: “Battle Cry of Freedom” and several others. The workshop will be aimed at level 3, but these are great songs to add to your repertoire even if you are a level 4 or 5 player.

Civil War: The Cruel War (Level 3) A repertoire workshop of tragic ballads from America’s Civil War, including “The Cruel War (in G),” “Shiloh Hill,” and others. The tunes are nice additions for the repertoires of Level 4 & 5 players as well. (capo needed)

Classic Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 1 (Level 2) Now that you have some basics down, let’s learn these easy arrangements of classic hymns. These include modern standards like “Just as I Am,” but also some old Gospel tunes like “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.” A few other tunes will round it out and build your repertoire to use at church, nursing homes, or wherever you are called to go and play!

Classic Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 2 (Level 3) Some more classic hymns. These include an old spiritual “Steal Away,” and “Rock of Ages.” A couple other tunes will round it out and build your repertoire to use at church, nursing homes, or wherever you are called to go and play!

Classic Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 3 (Level 2) Some more classic hymns. These include an old spiritual “Steal Away,” “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Like a River Glorious,” and others. Build your repertoire to use at church, nursing homes, or wherever you are called to go and play!

Classic Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 4 (Level 2+) Some more classic hymns. These include an old spiritual “By and By,” “Lord, I’m Coming Home,” “Ring the Bells of Heaven,” and others to round out your repertoire to use at church, nursing homes, or wherever you are called to go and play!

Classic Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 5 “Heavenly Hymns” (Beginner) a repertoire workshop of old-time hymns about heaven, including “Uncloudy Day,” “Ring the Bells of Heaven (simplified version”, “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder,” and others to round out your repertoire to use at church, nursing homes, or wherever you are called to go and play!

Classic Hymns for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 6 “Heavenly Hymns” (Novice & up) a repertoire workshop of old-time hymns about heaven, including “Bound for Canaan,” “Ring the Bells of Heaven”, “Face to Face with Christ My Savior,” and others to round out your repertoire to use at church, nursing homes, or wherever you are called to go and play! This workshops repeats some of the same songs that are in the beginner workshop (Vol 5), but will be taught at a more advanced level.

Dulcimer Christmas in DAC (Novice & up) Participants will play several songs in the DAc tuning and learn about some basic chord structures in that tuning. Songs include “I Wonder as I Wander,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” and four others. While all the songs provided will probably not be covered during the workshop, participants will develop skills to help them play the rest on their own.

Dulcimer Duets: the Marriage of Standard and Baritone (Novice & up) – a workshop that focuses on using two differently pitched dulcimers to make beautiful music together.  One does not need a baritone dulcimer to attend.

Dulcimers Are for Lovers (Novice & up) – a repertoire workshop of great love songs like “Red Is the Rose,” “The River Is Wide,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” and others.

Fun Tunes for Beginners (Beginners) – Some very easy and fun songs for beginners to begin building their repertoire.

Funny Songs for Your Repertoire (All levels) – Kick back and have some fun in this workshop. We’ll be playing and singing a variety of songs to tickle your funny bone! We’ll also learn how to use the dulcimer to accompany ourselves as we help people laugh.

Got Grandkids? (All levels) a repertoire of songs we grew up with as kids. Let's learn them so we can teach them to the little ones we know. Ranges from lullabies to goofy songs appropriate for kids under 10.

Harping on the Dulcimer – Songs of Turlough O'Carolan  (Intermediate & up) A repertoire workshop of songs from the great, blind bard of Ireland arranged for the mountain dulcimer. O’Carolan was a harpist/composer at the end of the 17th into the early 18th century. Although he never wrote down any of his music, over 200 tunes have survived and are played all over the world today. These tunes are especially beautiful on the mountain dulcimer.

Hornpipe Primer, Vol. 1 (Intermediate & above) – a workshop on the basics of playing hornpipes, dancing tunes that have their origin with sailors on the high seas. We will work on capturing that wonderful, bouncy rhythm of a hornpipe as we work on some tunes like “Boys of Ballycastle” and “Mrs. Wilson’s Hornpipe” to get your feet wet (or at least “on deck”).

Hornpipe Primer, Vol. 2 (Intermediate & above) – a workshop on the basics of playing hornpipes, dancing tunes that have their origin with sailors on the high seas. We will work on capturing that wonderful, bouncy rhythm of a hornpipe as we work on some tunes like “Devil’s Dream” and “An Comhra Donn” to get your feet wet (or at least “on deck”).

Hymns for Beginners (Level 1) A workshop of fairly simple hymns like “Just As I Am,” “Showers of Blessing,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” While taught at a very basic level, the tunes are nice repertoire additions for more advanced players.

Hymns of Charles Wesley (Novice & up) A repertoire of songs by one of the most prolific hymn writers in history. Although his brother John was better known as the theologian and the designer of the Methodist movement, it was Charles who provided the hymns that undergirded the movement among the people in the pew. In his life, he is said to have written more than 6500 hymns. We won't get to all of them in this workshop, but we'll cover a few.

Hymns of Charles Wesley for Beginners (Beginners) A repertoire designed for inexperience players.  This is a simpler version of the one offered by Joe in the workshop.”Hymns of Charles Wesley.” Wesley was one of the most prolific hymn writers in history. Although his brother John was better known as the theologian and the designer of the Methodist movement, it was Charles who provided the hymns that undergirded the movement among the people in the pew. In his life, he is said to have written more than 6500 hymns. We won't get to all of them in this workshop, but we'll cover a few.

Hymns of Fanny Crosby for Beginners (Beginner) A repertoire workshop designed for inexperienced players. This is a simpler version of the one offered by Joe in the workshop “Hymns of Fanny Crosby.” Fanny Crosby was one of America’s most famous and prolific hymn writers, with 9000 hymns to her credit. Like the great poets Homer and Milton, this great poet of America was also blind.

Hymns of Fanny Crosby (Novice & Up) A repertoire workshop of America’s most famous and prolific hymn writers, with 9000 hymns to her credit. Like the great poets Homer and Milton, this great poet of America was also blind.

Irish Waltzes – Vol. 1 (Novice and up) a repertoire workshop of easy-going waltzes from the Irish tradition. Includes “My Own Dear Galway Bay,” “Inisheer,” and two other beautiful waltz tunes.

Irish Waltzes – Vol. 2 (Novice and up) a repertoire workshop of easy-going waltzes from the Irish tradition. Includes “Rose of Allendale,” “The Galway Shawl,” and two other beautiful waltz tunes.

It Takes Two to Waltz (Various Levels depending on the tunes) In this repertoire workshop, Joe teaches one or two waltz tunes as duets. Tab for the melody and harmony parts are provided along with sound files of each part. Ask Joe for a list of songs that are possibilities for this workshop. Some are longer and more difficult. For those, an entire workshop may need to be dedicated.

Leader of the Band (Various levels) This workshop takes a song written for whatever level is chosen and leads participants in playing that song with an accompaniment track that features several other instruments like piano, cello, bass, etc. Helps participants with timing and playing with others, even when the “others” are not physically present. Organizers and clubs will have the opportunity to choose from a list of songs in consultation with Joe.

Lullabies – Vol. 1 - Around the World (Advanced Beginner & Up) Want to put a small child to sleep. These lullabies may be just what you need! Appropriate for parents, grandparents, and older siblings to learn. The tunes can also be used to help anyone chill out and relax.

Minor Hymns (Novice – Intermediate OR Beginner – 2 different versions available) A repertoire workshop of haunting melodies applied to hymns. We’ll be focusing on hymn melodies written in minor keys. The tunes are tabbed out in such a way that most are accessible for Level 2 players, and they also are nice additions for the repertoire of more advance players.

Multi-Part Celtic Tunes (Various levels) – Playing with at least 2 or 3 others and want some beautiful Celtic tunes? This repertoire workshop will introduce you to Celtic pieces written in two or more parts. The lead part can stand on its own, but other parts can be used to complement the lead or be used as accompaniment for singing. Workshop sponsors can choose which tunes to do in negotiation with Joe.

Multi-Part Hymns (Various levels) – Playing with at least 2 or 3 others and want some hymns appropriate for church? This repertoire workshop will introduce you to hymns written in two or more parts. The lead part can stand on its own, but other parts can be used to complement the lead or be used as accompaniment for singing. Workshop sponsors can choose which hymns to do from a list provided by Joe.

Old Hymns for New Players – vol 1 (Beginners) Some great hymns that even beginners can add to their repertoire. Includes “Shall We Gather at the River,” “Like a River Glorious,” “Bound for Canaan,” and others. These tunes go way back in the history of American hymnody and sound great on the dulcimer!

Old Hymns with New Tunes (Intermediate/Advanced) This is a repertoire workshop in which Joe shares one of his favorite musical endeavors – taking old hymns and setting them to new, original tunes. The new tunes created for old hymns like “The Old Rugged Cross” are very folksy and appropriate for a folk mass or worship

Once Upon a Starry Evening (Novice and up) This workshop will lead you to play a beautiful tune that can be played solo or as a duet. You will also play it alongside and accompaniment track that includes piano, cello, and bells. As a participant in this workshop, you will receive a high fefinition mp3 file of the accompaniment track that you can keep to play along with or to use in you own performance of the piece.

Robert Burns, Songs of the Scottish Legend (Advanced) Most people associate Robert Burns with Romantic Era poetry, but he is known in Scotland as one of the great bards of traditional music. As a lover of music, he collected, wrote, and sang throughout his career. In this workshop, we will learn some of his “greatest hits.”

Skaters’ Waltz Duet (Advanced) – Participants will play a version of one of the world’s most famous waltzes. It will bring back fun memories of old movies and ice skating rinks. The workshop includes a 2nd part that can be played with a friend and an accompaniment track you can use if your friends are afraid of the ice!

Slow Celtic Tunes – Volume 1 (Novice & up) All Celtic tunes are not “fast and furious.” This is a repertoire workshop that proves the point with songs like “Across the Western Ocean,” “Annie Laurie,” and “Auld Lang Syne.” The tunes are tabbed out in such a way that they are accessible for inexperience players, and they also are nice additions for the repertoire of more advanced players.

Slow Celtic Tunes – Volume 2 (Novice & up) All Celtic tunes are not “fast and furious.” This is a repertoire workshop that proves the point with songs like “Be Thou My Vision,” “Blue Bells of Scotland,” and “Danny Boy.” The tunes are tabbed out in such a way that they are accessible for inexperienced players, and they also are nice additions for the repertoire of more advanced players.

Slow Celtic Tunes – Volume 3 (Intermediate and up) – Some beautiful Celtic tunes at a leisurely tempo, including “Loch Lomond,” “Star of the County Down,” “Gaelic Aire,” and “From Erin’s Shores.”

Slow Celtic Tunes – Volume 4 (Advanced Novice & up) All Celtic tunes are not “fast and furious.” This is a repertoire workshop that proves the point with songs like “Mo Ghile Mear,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “The House Carpenter,” and others. These tunes are nice additions for anybody’s Celtic repertoire.

Sweet & Gentle Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 1 (beginner & up). While we appreciate fast & furious tunes, sometimes it's good to relax and play sweet, gentle songs on the mountain dulcimer. This is a repertoire workshop of pretty tunes that are not that hard to play, but really make the soft melodious sound of the dulcimer shine. Includes “Brahms’ Lullaby,” “All Things Bright & Beautiful,” “Midnight on the Water,” and others.

Sweet & Gentle Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 2 (beginner & up). While we appreciate fast & furious tunes, sometimes it's good to relax and play sweet, gentle songs on the mountain dulcimer. This is a repertoire workshop of pretty tunes that are not that hard to play, but really make the soft melodious sound of the dulcimer shine. Includes “Shenandoah,” “Beautiful Brown Eyes, “Scarborough Fair,” and others.

Sweet & Gentle Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 3 (beginner & up). While we appreciate fast & furious tunes, sometimes it's good to relax and play sweet, gentle songs on the mountain dulcimer. This is a repertoire workshop of pretty tunes that are not that hard to play, but really make the soft melodious sound of the dulcimer shine. Includes “Bring Me Li’l Water, Sylvie,” “The Shepherd’s Wife,” “Mary Hamilton,” and others.

Sweet & Gentle Songs for the Mountain Dulcimer – Vol. 4 (beginner & up). While we appreciate fast & furious tunes, sometimes it's good to relax and play sweet, gentle songs on the mountain dulcimer. This is a repertoire workshop of pretty tunes that are not that hard to play, but really make the soft melodious sound of the dulcimer shine. Includes “Irish Lullaby,” Green Grow the Rashes,” “The Silkie,” and others.

Traditional American Folk Hymns (Levels 2 & 3) - This is a repertoire workshop of hymns that have been set to traditional American tunes, including "On Jordan's Stormy Banks," "How Firm a Foundation," "What Wondrous Love Is This," and others.

Traditional Children’s Tunes (Novice & up) a repertoire workshop of song most children used to sing regularly in our culture. Songs like “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,” “Billy Boy,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” and other will make you a hit with little ones.

Upbeat Celtic Tunes (Advanced Intermediate & up) – Those upbeat, Celtic tunes that make you want to dance are within your reach! We’ll be learning “Bill Malley’s Barn Dance,” “The Bald-headed End of a Broom,” and others.

Waltzes for Mountain Dulcimer (Various levels) Based upon Joe’s book and cd, both entitled Waltzes for Mountain Dulcimer, this repertoire workshop can include a variety of waltzes or waltz duets appropriate for the sponsoring group. Titles and levels will need to be negotiated with Joe.

Waltzing in My Cowboy Boots (Intermediate and up) - Expand your repertoire of waltzes popular in cowboy country!

When Irish Eyes Are Weeping (Intermediate & above) For centuries, tragedy was a way of life for the Irish. Some would argue it may still be. This is a Celtic repertoire workshop of sad, sad songs from the emerald isle. Learn to play Irish songs that will make people cry in their Guinness!

Wild, Wild West (Novice and above) – Songs of the Western frontier arranged for the mountain dulcimer, including “Jesse James,” “The Dying Cowboy,” and others.

William Tell Overture (Adv) – This workshop breaks down how Joe plays the “William Tell Overture” on the three strings of a standard dulcimer. We will work with inverted chords, controlled picking and strumming, bending strings, etc. – whatever it takes to beat out the tune!

Wintry Mix: Songs about Winter (Level 3) Participants will learn to play some classic winter tunes often associated with holiday, but not necessarily about Christmas (Jingle Bells, Over the River and Through the Woods). There will also be a couple of less familiar tunes. This workshop is a great opportunity to add tunes to your repertoire that can still be timely after the holidays are over. Of course, you can play them for the holidays too.

Wonderful Welsh Hymns (Level 4) – Some of the prettiest songs in the hymnal come from the little country of Wales. We’ll be learning some familiar tunes you probably weren’t aware were Welsh like “Ash Grove” and “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” as well as a couple you may not know.



Miscellaneous Workshops

Strings on a Shoestring Budget (geared toward music educators in schools)  Thought strings were out of reach for your school?  Here are suggestions for building interest in and starting a dulcimer program, even if constrained by a tight budget.  Need the capability to do PowerPoint or use an overhead projector.

Teaching Rank Beginners. A workshop for those who want to begin effectively teaching beginners how to play.

The Mountain Dulcimer:  An American Roots Instrument.  No playing in this workshop.  This is a historical look at the instrument's shrouded beginnings, near demise, and revival in American folk culture.  Need the capability to do PowerPoint or use an overhead projector.

Tuning and Caring for Your Dulcimer (Beginner & up) A crash course on things you need to know to keep your instrument in good playing condition.  Topics will include changing strings, caring for the finish, storing your dulcimer properly, tuning the dulcimer with and without technological assistance - i.e. an electronic tuner.