Hammered Dulcimer and Ukulele lessons in NC

Hammered Dulcimer lessons

Have you ever considered learning to play the hammered dulcimer but did not want to purchase one until you were sure you would enjoy learning how to play it? We can help! Contact Sheila at tunehunter@aol.com to rent a hammered dulcimer. She currently has a 12/11 course available to rent for $30/mo. Price includes tuning the dulcimer for you upon delivery and tips on keeping it in tune. Perhaps you already have a dulcimer, but it needs some repairs before you can start lessons. Sheila, owner of Hunter Piano Service, also does minor repairs and some restringing on neglected dulcimers, and can help you get your dulcimer back into shape so that you can begin playing it again! If you do not currently own a hammered dulcimer and are considering purchasing one, contact Sheila for advice on how to find the right dulcimer for you.

A few words from Sheila: I often meet people who have a hammered dulcimer in their home that they've had for years but never learned to play it. Perhaps you bought books, tapes and cd's with good intentions to learn how to play this beautiful instrument. Let me help you get started! There is nothing like a regularly scheduled "class" or lesson to motivate you to learn anything new, whether it be a new language, a new craft, or a new skill, like playing the hammered dulcimer. You may find that you only need a few lessons to get you started, if you're very self-motivated. Some of us need a longer commitment to learning. Whatever your learning style, or musical talent, I would love to teach you how to play.

Fifty-minute lessons are $50/per lesson. The first lesson will include a tuning lesson! I can tune your dulcimer for you and show you how to tune it and keep it in relatively good tune. An out-of-tune instrument can be one of the most frustrating aspects of learning how to play a stringed instrument. You will learn songs specifically arranged for the hammered dulcimer using the Linda Lowe Thompson method. You will need to have a video camera or some way to take notes at each of your lessons, to help you with your practice time between lessons.

If you do not know how to read music, then I can also teach you how to read music, which will open the door to a world of songs for you to learn on your hammered dulcimer.

A few more thoughts about learning any musical instrument: There is no substitute for practice! If there was a "fast track" to learning music, believe me, I would have found it. The only way to become a better musician is by spending the time you need to spend practicing, outside the lesson itself. Your 50-minute lesson is time to learn new techniques, let me listen and affirm what you have learned and critique/evaluate when necessary. I recommend that adults take lessons every two weeks, since we generally have jobs that we have to work around. I also recommend daily practice, even if you only have time to play the song you're currently working on once or twice. Most of your real learning will happen during the time you spend practicing your instrument, not the 50 minutes that you spend with me. I also tell my students that if you did not have the time to practice adequately for your next lesson, by all means, reschedule your lesson if necessary. Don't waste your money. I try to give my students one new song per lesson, because I expect them to have practiced and have their song from their previous lesson ready enough for me to evaluate their progress. I will tailor all lessons towards each student, however, so if it takes two lessons to get a song ready, that's okay, too.

So, if on your list of things to do someday, you have written down "learn how to play my hammered dulcimer," then, let's get started! You may email me at tunehunter@aol.com.

Please note: In some situations, I am willing to teach in-person lessons at my house outside on my front porch. All “in-person” students must be have their COVID-19 vaccination and be willing to wear a mask. No exceptions.

NEW as of September 2015

I now sell J. Wald two-sided hammered dulcimer hammers. Each pair is handmade and unique and made with various wood combinations, including cherry, walnut and maple. They are $35/pair plus NC sales tax. Contact me at tunehunter@aol.com for more information.

J. Wald 2-sided hammered dulcimer hammers. Made in N.C.

Ukulele and Beginners Piano Lessons

Contact Sheila at tunehunter@aol.com if you’re interested in taking ukulele or beginners piano lessons. Sheila teaches children, youth and adult piano lessons and ukulele. She is currently teaching from home via FaceTime or Zoom. You will need internet access and the ability to FaceTime (if you have an iPhone or iPad) or use the Zoom app for lessons. Sheila will be happy to advise you how to set up for this method of learning. Lessons are $25 per 30 minute lesson.