Tag Archives: teacher

New Mountain Dulcimer Instructor

New Mountain Dulcimer Instructor

by Steve Eulberg

We are pleased to welcome Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering Director and Freight and Salvage Dulcimer Teacher, Deborah (DJ) Hamouris, to our roster of instructors at DulcimerCrossing.

Deborah introduces herself here:

Deborah joins our faculty of 15 respected and gifted instructors of mountain and hammered dulcimer and fiddle.

We are filming and editing his lessons and they will be available for all subscribers on

Subscribe and you’ll have unlimited access to all of her lessons, and those of all of our instructors!


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Are You a Teacher?

Are You a Teacher?

by Linda Ratcliff

A good teacher is like a candle.  It consumes itself to light the way for others.
– Unknown

Are You a Teacher?

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up soon on May 8, 2018. If you are a dulcimer student with an awesome teacher, you might want to start thinking of a way you could surprise your teacher on this occasion. Maybe you could learn a new tune – all on your own. Or maybe you could give your teacher a handmade gift certificate for a dinner out with you; the gift of time is always the best gift.
The Great Teacher
Steve and I also want to support dulcimer teachers around the world, and show our appreciation for their dedication. These are some of the benefits we offer to teachers who join as members of Dulcimer Crossing.

  1. A list of National Musical Education Standards and how our lessons address them.
  2. Scholarships for TEACHERS at these festivals: Colorado Dulcimer FestivalKentucky Music Week, and Western Carolina University (which has a Mountain Dulcimer Teacher Program).
  3. Scholarships for young STUDENTS at these festivals: Colorado Dulcimer FestivalKentucky Music Week, and Western Carolina University.
  4. Scholarships at festivals for all students: Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering.
  5. A special subscription rate for you.
  6. A special subscription page with a reduced rate for your students.
  7. Access for teachers to the weekly video from mentors: Habits for Your Healthy Musical Habitat.
  8. An invitation to share your tips in 30-60 sec videos. We may include them in the weekly video: Habits for Your Healthy Musical Habitat.
  9. In addition, you may wish to consult with Steve Eulberg for our Teacher Mentoring Program via Skype – a service of Owl Mountain Music, Inc.

Steve Eulberg
All of these benefits are also listed on our website here. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask Steve or myself.


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Teacher or Self-Taught?

Teacher or Self-Taught?

by Linda Ratcliff

A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and a worse student.
– Henry Youngman  


Teacher or Self-Taught?

I am pretty much self taught. Peggy Carter got me started with a few lessons in Houston. And then I joined Rick Thum’s Song of the Month Club to learn several jammin’ tunes over time. And I had the opportunity to attend a few festivals in the early days. But, for the most part, my arrangements are self taught. 

What do you think … is that the best way to go?

I went online to see what others say, and found a wide variety of comments. Those in favor of having a teacher said …

    • I progress faster and further with a teacher to encourage, cajole and generally be a critical pair of ears.
    • A teacher already knows and can explain what you might spend hours trying to learn from the internet.
  • A teacher can point out details you would likely never notice yourself, such as how you hold your hand/fingers or if your rhythm is unsteady.

Those in favor of being self-taught said …

    • I’m glad that I taught myself because now I feel like I have my own style of playing.
    • I like to watch other people play, and I probably learn more from that than I would from the lessons themselves.
  • I like to “homeschool” my music lessons. I have learned to play several instruments by simply watching videos on YouTube.

I have TWO suggestions.

1. If you don’t want to take weekly lessons, it’s perfectly OK to self-teach for a month, then book a one-hour lesson to get pointers on your technique, areas for improvement, and suggestions on exercises. If you don’t live near a teacher, there are several who will Skype a lesson with you, including our own Steve Eulberg.

2. You could sign up for lessons online with Dulcimer Crossing. Then you can set your own schedule, and login to learn new tunes when you have time. You can cancel at any time, but you probably won’t. We keep a steady influx of new lessons coming in, and you won’t want to miss a single one.

Taking lessons or not, PRACTICE will be the main thing that makes the difference with your dulcimer skills. No teacher can change that. And make sure you spend time learning the songs you love – which might not be the tunes most dulcimer players are playing. Nothing kills your motivation like trying to learn tunes that don’t interest you. 

As always, if you have any questions, always feel free to ask Steve or myself.


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