North-East Ohio Hammered Dulcimer Weekend (2020)

NOTE: Registration for NEO 2020 is closed!!!


The North-East Ohio VIRTUAL Dulcimer Weekend is an all-day, weekend festival for all levels of hammered dulcimer players led by Mark Alan Wade, Tina Bergmann and Karen Ashbrook. This year, due to Covid-19, we are an ONLINE VIRTUAL festival only. NEO is an ideal setting for hammered dulcimer participants with any level of expertise in each session. There will be helpful handouts, instructional aids, a virtual jam, concerts, and more!


Our workshop offerings give direction to your development as musicians in fun and easy ways. We offer three tracks to meet you right where you are in your playing: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. We have strategically chosen repertoire that is both rewarding to learn and that teaches musical concepts appropriate for each level. You’ll have so much fun, you may not even realize you are learning! Using tunes as literature for practice, the workshops will cover topics, such as the following:

  • Music theory (chords, modes, and harmony) as it applies to the dulcimer and arranging
  • Technique lessons to help you be able to actually hit the right notes and implement new techniques on the instrument
  • Embellishing strategies, including rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic embellishments.
  • Style workshops, like blues, Irish, world, and Appalachian
  • Understanding the layout and logic of the hammered dulcimer

North-East Ohio Hammered Dulcimer Weekend



Date Description
Friday, November 6th, 2020 Zoom meet and greet, Zoom test, and Zoom jam!
Saturday, November 7th, 2020 Workshops and Concerts (via Zoom)
Sunday, November 8th, 2020 Workshops and Concerts (via Zoom)

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, North-East Ohio Dulcimer Weekend will be held virtually this year on Zoom

Click on each of the images below to see the detailed daily schedules.

Friday Schedule

Saturday Schedule

Sunday Schedule



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:


  • Has possibly played for some time but needs direction in learning or needs more time to learn new tunes fluently
  • Possibly new to the instrument before this weekend
  • Does not really know the note names or understand the layout yet
  • Has 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


  • 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.


NOTE: Due to COVID-19, North-East Ohio Dulcimer Weekend will be held virtually this year on Zoom


You can use the following forms to reserve your place for the full festival or half festival, or you can pay to reserve your place for the individual workshops.

After you have paid for your reservation, we'll email you a form to complete your registration and choose your workshops for the full festival or half festival. (Note that à la carte attendees will have already selected their workshops when they reserve their place.)

Full/Half/Concert-Only Festival Reservation Options

The full and half reservations cover all workshops and include the concert. The Concert-Only reservation is only necessary for people who want to attend the concert but are not attending the festival, or for students that are only attending a few workshops by purchasing them A la Carte (which are listed below).

À la Carte BEGINNER Workshops ($25 per workshop)

Saturday, November 7th

Sunday, November 8th

À la Carte INTERMEDIATE Workshops ($25 per workshop)

Saturday, November 7th

Sunday, November 8th

À la Carte ADVANCED Workshops ($25 per workshop)

Saturday, November 7th

Sunday, November 8th


Anything you need to play your dulcimer (stand, hammers, tuning wrench, music stand, etc.).

Notebook, voice or video recorder.

For the purposes of this workshop, it's more important that you can see the instructors than for them to see you.


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