So you've learned the basics and can play a some melodies, but how do you start adding notes to create a nice arrangement? This class will focus on those first steps to creating your own beautiful music, including building chord-based arrangements, adding those fun "dulcimer-sounding" embellishments, and techniques to make your music more expressive.

Course Contents

Ruth Smith

Hammered Dulcimer

A native North Carolinian, Ruth fell in love the with sound of the hammered dulcimer at an apple festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her many years of classical training give her a special touch, and she is recognized for her delicate, expressive style. Dirty Linen Folk & World Music Magazine says “Ruth Smith's touch on the hammered dulcimer is absolutely magical, with exquisite phrasing, highlighting the range of the instrument especially on her own pieces.” Ruth enjoys composing music especially for the hammered dulcimer and her compositions have been featured on NPR's All Songs Considered, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, PBS TV's Song of the Mountains and in Dulcimer Players News. A popular instructor, she teaches hammered dulcimer workshops at festivals and folk schools throughout the country and is the author of From Heart to Hands and Touch of Grace, hammered dulcimer instructional books of her compositions and arrangements.


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