Mountain Dulcimer for Beginners

Always wanted to play an instrument but thought it was too hard? Or you play, but would like to try something different? The Mountain (or Appalachian) Dulcimer is one of the easiest instruments to get a tune out of, as well as being a useful accompanying instrument for singing. I have been playing dulcimer for the past 3 years and also help with the running of a national dulcimer festival held annually in Allendale. I would like to see more players in the North-East of England and through a series of beginners workshops at Core Music in Hexham hope to build interest in this traditional U.S. instrument. In these 6-session workshops, starting in September, we’ll be learning to play both American and Northumbrian tunes and trying out chord shapes. The workshops will also be suitable for strum-sticks (which are tuned in a similar way to the dulcimer). Please let me know you are interested in learning to play the dulcimer by e-mailing me and I will get in touch.

Mandolin for Beginners

My main instrument, of course,  has always been the mandolin and I have been leading beginners workshops at Core Music in Hexham for quite a few years now. Many of my pupils are now keen players and have developed their skills on the mandolin through intermediate classes and sessions at Core. I will be starting a new beginners workshop in September – learning a new tune each session along with the techniques needed to get on with the mandolin. No music-reading knowledge is necessary to play the mandolin – but we could also concurrently learn some theory if the group are interested. Tunes will be folk-session tunes, including some from Northumberland. Please let me know you are interested in learning to play the mandolin by e-mailing me at and I will get in touch.

Taster Sessions for Mountain Dulcimer and Mandolin

Not quite sure if these workshops are for you? Or not sure if you’ll get on with the dulcimer or the mandolin? As part of a series of taster days at Core Music, you can try these instruments with me at a free 30 minute session on Tuesday 14th or Wednesday 15th August between 12 and 4. Advice on buying / hiring instruments is also available. Just let the guys at Core know that you are coming!