Dulcimer Player

sina-on-wallThomasina discovered the sweet sounds of the mountain dulcimer in the hills of West Virginia. She was immediately captivated by the sounds of this amazing instrument after her first strum. Thomasina has studied music on the violin, piano, and guitar, but no other instrument speaks to her like the mountain dulcimer. After years of work on the dulcimer, Thomasina’s unique and complex adaptation of the instrument with its sweet, simple sound has become one of her trademarks. Her voice has been described as “both sweet and strong with a moving spiritual strain.” Her original and traditional dulcimer compositions and arrangements appeal to a wide range of audiences – from children to grandparents.


handsShe is a highly esteemed dulcimer teacher/performer who has been featured at countless dulcimer festivals such as The Swannanoa Gathering, August Dulcimer Daze, The Memphis Dulcimer Festival, Winston-Salem Dulcimer Festival, Augusta Dulcimer Heritage Festival, Gebhard Woods Dulcimer Festival, Appalachian State University, Western Carolina Dulcimer Festival etc. As one of the founders and organizers of the Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration, Thomasina has been instrumental in helping to bring students, teachers, and other musicians together from all over the U.S. to celebrate the joy of making dulcimer music.

3-dulcimersThe mountain dulcimer is an indigenous American instrument that originated in the Appalachian mountains in the late 1700s to early 1800s. A member of the zither family, it is also called a lap dulcimer, Appalachian Mountain dulcimer, or fretted dulcimer. Originally used to play traditional songs of the mountains, it is now an instrument played by accomplished musicians who perform musical styles on it ranging from Bach to Celtic to Gershwin to New Age.

Quotes

"Thomasina is an excellent teacher. Very patient. Provided us with appropriate music – gave attention to each student."

"A great session. Helped me understand chords better, capoing and various tunings. Presented techniques for flatpicking, strumming and some fingerpicking. “Sina” is a top-flight instructor. Went out of her way to help one with my problems. I can recommend her as an instructor – very knowledgeable. Learned several nice new tunes."

"Thomasina was great, as always. The music she provided was appropriate and her approach is both warm and professional. Her bringing in some improvisation was good for me as I’m slow to spread my wings. It was a good experience. Probably mostly because it wasn’t at all threatening."

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Workshops

Beginning Finger Picking (beg.) Put down that pick and let your fingers do the walking. Some basic finger placement and easy beginner finger picking songs will be introduced. Come tuned to DAd.

Singing with the Mountain Dulcimer (int.) - If you can walk and chew gum at the same time then you can play the mountain dulcimer and sing with it too. In this workshop, we will sing some songs together, discuss some relaxation techniques to get the best out of your playing and singing, talk about chords, finding the right key and learn some new songs. This is for 3 or 4 stringed dulcimers. Come tuned to DAd or DAdd.

Left Hand Embellishments (beg/int) - Left hand embellishments will help you to “dress up” your music once you are familiar with the basics of playing the mountain dulcimer. Once you get some of these techniques under your belt (or should we say “under your left finger tips”?) you can even make a simple song like Bile Them Cabbage Down sound exciting. Techniques we will explore are: Hammering-On, Pulling-Off, Vibrato, Slides, Harmonics.

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