3-Day Workshop in NE Ohio (2020)


The North-East Ohio Dulcimer Weekend is an all day, intensive weekend festival for all levels of hammered dulcimer players led by Mark Alan Wade, Tina Bergmann and Karen Ashbrook. It's an ideal setting for hammered dulcimer participants with any level of expertise in each session. There will be helpful handouts, instructional aids, time for jams, concerts, vendors and more!


This is certainly open to change, but we will explore music theory as it applies to the dulcimer and arranging. This includes chords, increasing your chord vocabulary through chord substitutions and suffixes. We will also have helpful technique sessions to start you off with good habits. We will teach you our personal warm-up routines that covers all the bases needed to set you up for a day's playing. Whenever possible we will learn repertoire to reinforce what we are doing in class; i.e., songs that teach us things. We will also work on some ensemble playing. Don't worry. Everyone is nervous to play in front of others at first. This will take all the pressure and attention off of individuals. No one will be singled out here. However, dulcimer players, as a group, lack ensemble skills-the ability to play nicely with others in a way that ADDS to the music. This is HUGELY important. We will also work on simple embellishing strategies. Of course, I would LOVE to hear from YOU before the sessions so I can include your suggestions as well. Please email me your thoughts.


Date Activity
Friday, November 6th, 2020 Plan to arrive in the afternoon to get settled into your hotel. We'll have a meet and greet at the venue with snacks and fun jam sessions.
Saturday, November 7th, 2020 Schedule and Workshop Descriptions TBA! Concert Tickets to the Saturday evening concert will be $12 for non-workshop participants payable at the door.
Sunday, November 8th, 2020 You'll want to check out of your hotel early, so we'll start at 9:15 AM for session 1. We will end at 3:30 and tidy up the rooms.



We have participants on a broad spectrum of abilities and experience from very beginner to advanced. Regardless of the level you select, you will have sessions with all three instructors. To help serve your needs best, please indicate your level preference on your registration form. Here is a general guideline for defining our workshop levels:


  • New to the instrument before this weekend
  • Do not really know the note names or understand the layout
  • Have never had instruction on hammer hold and striking technique
  • May not know songs yet and probably do not have a system of dominant hand lead in place
  • Possibly has played for some time but needs direction in learning or needs more time to learn new tunes fluently


  • Understands the general layout of the instrument
  • Able to play tunes, but ready to do more with them musically
  • Knows most or all note names on the instrument
  • Knows some simple songs and chords/scales
  • Ready to add harmonies/accompaniment to melodies
  • Ready to develop more hand independence
  • Has a general system for hammering patterns
  • Has some facility with early facets of arranging


  • Ready for more sophisticated arrangements, tunes, rhythmic and harmonic ideas
  • Able to read and/or play by ear efficiently
  • Has more varied choices in adding accompaniments to melodies
  • Consciously applies dynamics for musicality
  • Able to play with fluency and steady pulse
  • Has facility with hammer technique, ready to work on rolls, and/or dampers, etc.
  • Has more advanced arrangement techniques
  • Experience with improvising rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically within a tune


Our 4th Annual festival will be taught by Karen Ashbrook, Mark Alan Wade, & Tina Bergmann.

  • Mark Wade is a former National Dulcimer Champion with half a dozen students who have also won the National Championship. Mark has a degree in Music Education and taught public school music for several years before going back to graduate school for his terminal degree in music. Having taught all grade levels, from kindergarten to graduate school, Mark is experienced and trained specifically in accommodating ALL different learning styles and modalities and will work tirelessly to customize this session for his students.

  • Tina Bergmann is a primarily self-taught musician of 27 years and a highly regarded teacher known for her warm and engaging teaching style. Hailed as the "Diva of the Dulcimer" by Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's nationally known Baroque Orchestra, Tina is known for her driving energy and syncopated rhythms and was described by Pete Seeger as "The best hammered dulcimer player I've heard in my life." By the time she earned an education degree from KSU in 1994, Tina had already been teaching privately for 11 years. Her teaching experience included planning and facilitating master classes, workshop series and teaching weeklong camps in a number of states.

  • For more than 40 years, Karen Ashbrook has been a pioneer and an advocate in the development and revival of the hammered dulcimer nationally and internationally! It began in 1976 when Karen built her first dulcimer as a high school project. For five years she lived overseas in pursuit of Irish music and learned her craft in the pubs of England and Ireland, while taking time to travel in Europe and Asia. She subsequently wrote the first book for intermediate/advanced dulcimer playing in the States, "Playing the Hammered Dulcimer in the Irish Tradition," on Oak Publications. Karen plays a wide variety of musical styles including Irish, Appalachian, Belgian, English, classical and Jewish. She teaches at numerous festivals and music camps around the States, and is now central in bringing instruction to the revival of hakkebord (the Flemish hammered dulcimer) in Belgium.


Date Description
Friday, November 6th, 2020 Optional evening jam session and meet & greet.
Saturday, November 7th, 2020 Workshops and Concerts
Saturday, November 8th, 2020 Workshops and Concerts



We are currently negotiating a group hotel discount. Check back soon!


Breakfast is provided by your hotels. Lunches are included in your registration fee and we will make our own sandwiches and salads, etc. on site. Dinners are on your own. There are Indian restaurants, vegan, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Barbeque, and American restaurants from which to choose. You can go on your own or we can go as a group.


There are a few different options for registration:

Option Description Price
#1 Full weekend, Friday night jam, lunches, and concert $180
#2 Saturday workshops, Friday night jam, concert, and lunch only $115
#3 Saturday workshops, Friday night jam concert, lunch, and Sunday workshop sessions from approximately noon to 3:30 (For those with church obligations) $147

There are two different options to pay for the dulcimer weekend (full payment is due upon registering):

OPTION 1: Complete the Registration Form and return with a check to the address listed on the form.

OPTION 2: Use the following form to register online:



The tuition for the weekend session is $180. Check back for an update on the group rate hotel discount. (We can help with finding a roommate if you want to split the costs.) Breakfast and lunch/snacks/drinks will be provided by hotel and NEO staff.

Cancellation Policy:

A full refund will only be granted if requested by August 31, 2020, AND IF your reservation is taken by another student. No refunds, partial or otherwise, will be given after that date. By returning this completed form, you agree to these terms and conditions.

Travel Companions Welcome:

Significant others are welcome! There is a lot to do around Akron during the day while you are in class. If your companion joins us for lunch, please contribute an additional $7 per lunch. They are welcome to join us for concerts, dinners, jams, and extra-curricular activities.

Extra-curricular activities include:


Anything you need to play your dulcimer (stand, hammers, tuning wrench, music stand, etc.). Notebook, voice or video recorder.


Use my contact page to email me with any questions you might have.