North East Ohio Hammered Dulcimer Weekend (2019)


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.


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.


October 4th, 2019
Hotel check-in
Evening jam (time/place tbd)
October 5th, 2019
Workshops 9:00-4:30
Evening Concert 7:30
October 6th, 2019
Check out of hotels
Workshops 9:00-3:30


CLICK HERE for the full schedule!


Concert Tickets to the Saturday evening concert will be $12 for non-workshop participants.


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.


CLICK HERE for the workshop descriptions!


October 4th (optional pm Jam/meet & greet), 5th 6th, 2019



Country Inn & Suites Cuyahoga Falls
1420 Main St. Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221


We not only get a discounted rate but a guarantee of 25 rooms reserved for our event. You must book by September 13 to get the discount, but don't wait too long. We will need more than 25 rooms for sure. Once our initial block of rooms is sold out, they will give us another block of 10 rooms IF they are still available.

CLICK HERE to get the Group Code for our block and to view the rates and guidelines.



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.


Registration Fees:

There are a few different options for registration:


Option Description Price
#1 Full weekend, lunches, and concert $175
#2 Saturday workshops, concert, and lunch only $110
#3 Saturday workshops, concert, lunch, and Sunday workshop sessions from 12:15pm to 3:30pm
(For those with church obligations)


NOTE: You can optionally schedule a private lessons with Tina, Karen or Mark for $20.


Registration Options:

A non-refundable $87.50 (50%) deposit is required to secure your spot in the class and to register, the remaining 50% is due at the first day of the workshop.


There are two different options to pay for the dulcimer weekend.


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 $175. 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, 2019, 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:
What to Bring:

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