Dulcimer Academy is a week-long, all day, intensive small group session for hammered dulcimer players. It's a small group setting for no more than 16 intermediate to advanced dulcimer participants. There will be many handouts and instructional aids, including an overhead view of my dulcimer projected to a 60 inch HD TV. 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 a technique session daily. I will teach you my personal warm-up routine 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: 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 arranging and 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 Sunday afternoon to get settled into your hotel. We'll meet at a local restaurant for dinner and drinks to meet each other and visit.

A Typical Week Day will be something like the following:

  • Breakfast: On your own at your hotel, carpool or drive yourselves to Perelandre.
  • Session 1: 9:00 to 10:00. usually technique and warm-up routine topics
  • Session 2: 10:15-11:00 Applied, Hands-on, Not boring, not overly-complicated, practical Music Theory
  • Session 3: 11:00 to Noon: Application and Repertoire
  • Session 3: 1:00-2:00 Ensemble Playing
  • Session 4: 2:15-4:00 Daily Topics (Arranging, Embellishing, new tune, requests, music technology, re-stringing, etc.)
  • FREE TIME: 4:00-5:00 Practice, jam, relax, snack, also open to private lessons.
  • Cocktail hour: 5:00(optional) I may play for you a tad bit and/or open "stage" with the distraction of wine for your nerves.
  • Dinner: 6:00 Usually at local restaurants
  • FREE TIME: I welcome an open stage night from student volunteers. We can Jam too! I'll plan on at least one concert performance for YOU too.

Friday: You'll want to check out of your hotel, so we'll start at 9:30 AM for session 1. After Session 4, we'll all tidy up Perelandre and the meeting house. Afterwards, you are welcome to one last group dinner.

Suggestions? Please feel free to contact me. I'm here to serve YOU!


For ALL interested intermediate and advanced hammered dulcimer players.

Taught BY Mark Alan Wade, a former National Dulcimer Champion with half a dozen students who have 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.


You should already know your note names on the instrument, tune your instrument, know several tunes, and be willing to try something new and have fun doing so.

Questions about if you're the right fit? Email me:

Mark's Email Address


June 26-30, 2017


The beautiful Ashville, North Carolina at the Perelandra performance center and studio near the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is the home and studio of dulcimer builder, Jerry Read Smith.

31 Patriots Dr Asheville, NC 28805




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.


Complete the Registration Form and return with a check to my address (see form). The full payment is due upon registering.


The tuition for the week-long session is $400. A typical hotel charge for 5 nights (Sunday night through Thursday Night) would be around $450 for a single room (you are welcome to share a room). Dinners only will be approximately $150 (on the high side). Again, breakfast and lunch/snacks/drinks will be provided. You also have the option of a personal one-on-one 45-minute lesson for an additional $30. Please indicate that on the registration form and memo line of the check. In total, you should budget for around $1000 for the week, plus any lessons, CDs, hammers, or books you might want.

Cancellation Policy:

A full refund will only be granted if requested by May 22, 2017, AND IF your reservation is taken by another student. No refunds, partial or otherwise, will be given after 5/22/17. 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 Asheville 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 cocktail hours, concerts, dinners, jams, and extra-curricular activities.

Extra-curricular activities include:
  • Field trip to the Song of the Wood store in Black Mountain, NC
  • Guided tour of Jerry Read Smith's workshop where you can see where and how he makes his dulcimers
  • Visits to the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Arts center and/or visitors center
  • Sunset drive in the hills overlooking Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway
What to Bring:

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