North East Ohio Hammered Dulcimer Weekend (2018)


North East Ohio Dulcimer Weekend is a weekend, all day, intensive small group session for all levels of hammered dulcimer players led by Mark Alan Wade, Tina Bergmann and Karen Alley. It's an intimate setting for hammered dulcimer participants with any level of expertise in each session. There will be many handouts and instructional aids, and I will also post videos to YouTube of all of the concepts covered for your review.


Workshop Topics:

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 ensemble playing. Don't worry. Everyone is nervous to play in front of others. 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.



Plan to arrive Friday early evening to get settled into your hotel. We'll meet at a local restaurant for dinner and drinks to meet each other and visit.


Click here for the Schedule and Workshop Descriptions!


Concert Tickets to the Saturday evening concert will be $10 for non-workshop participants.


Sunday: You'll want to check out of your hotel, so we'll start at 9:15 AM for session 1. Session 4 will end at 3:30 and we'll all tidy up the band rooms.


Suggestions? Please feel free to contact me.



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:



  • Completely 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 complex syncopations accurately
  • Has facility with hammer technique including rolls, and/or dampers, etc.
  • Has more advanced arrangement techniques
  • Experience with improvising rhythmically, melodically, and harmonically within a tune

The weekend will be taught by Mark Alan Wade, Tina Bergmann and Karen Alley:

  • Mark 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. 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 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.
  • Karen Alley, the 2014 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, is a hammered dulcimer player currently based in Wooster, Ohio. Though she loves to perform, her main passion is sharing the joy of the hammered dulcimer with students in private lesson and festival workshop settings. Her repertoire ranges from Celtic to classical to hymns to show tunes, and her style combines percussive techniques with the rich harmonies and broad dynamics that make the dulcimer one of the most expressive instruments used in the folk community. When she's not playing the dulcimer, Karen is a glaciologist specializing in the ice shelves of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.


September 21 to 23, 2018


  • All sessions will be held at Copley High School band and choir rooms (3807 Ridgewood Rd. Akron, OH 44321)
  • The Saturday evening concert at 7:30 will be at the Copley High School Band Room.

We have a group discount rate at Best Western Plus West Akron. Just mention our event when booking. Guests can call the hotel directly 330-670-0888 or use the link below to make reservations.



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 1: Full weekend, lunches, and concert = $168
Option 2: Saturday workshops, concert, and lunch only = $104
Option 3: Saturday workshops, concert, lunch, and Sunday workshop sessions from 3 to 5pm = $135
(For those with church obligations)


NOTE: You can optionally have private lessons with Mark for $20.


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

  1. Complete the Registration Form and return with a check to the address listed on the form.
  2. Use the following form to register online:

The tuition for the weekend session is $168. The hotel group rate at Best Western Plus of West Akron group rate is approximately $85 before taxes for a single room. (We can help with finding a roommate if you want to split the costs.) Budgeting for dinners only will be approximately $45-55 (including Friday's dinner). Again, breakfast and lunch/snacks/drinks will be provided. You also have the option of a personal one-on-one 30-minute lesson for an additional $20. Please indicate that on the registration form and memo line of the check. In total, you should budget for around $400 for the weekend (including Friday's dinner), plus any lessons, CDs, hammers, or books you might want.

Cancellation Policy:

A full refund will only be granted if requested by August 31, 2018, 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:
  • Akron Art Museum
  • Tour historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
  • Tour local wineries
  • National and Metro Parks
  • Chase down the Goodyear Blimp?
What to Bring:

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