Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday's Muse

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.
~ Leonard Bernstein

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

CTO ... Ruth Smith Releases New Tune Book

Fans of Ruth Smith, rejoice!

Check This Out ... Ruth Smith, author of "From Heart to Hands", has recently released her second book, "Touch of Grace", an ambitious collection of Christmas music and hymns arranged for the hammered dulcimer. Mine came in the mail this week!

  • 24 hymns and Christmas tunes
  • 3 versions of each tune: basic melody & chords, beginning arrangement, Ruth's full arrangement
  • 1 big book full of tunes you want to play!

Plus, tips on learning new music and an illustrated concise description of the layout of the dulcimer and vintage photos of Ruth and Steve in their early days of performing.

More info, including how to order, can be found by clicking the links above. Check it out !!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer's in Session

I was in the garden early this morning trying to beat the heat, following my nose from one chore to another ... pick the berries, sucker the tomatoes, mulch the herb bed, water everything. My brain kept interrupting. What time is it? I better get back in the house. How long before my student arrives?

How long before my student arrives? How about 12 weeks?!

That's right, I'm taking the summer off. I'm making time to enjoy the garden, be with family and friends, soak in the hot and humid summer air, watch the grand-baby take her first steps, complete some projects ... begin a few others, create music in one form or another, create space to allow my brain to idle. Now, that's a to-do list!

One of the first things I intend to do is de-clutter physical space. Sheets of music, piles of books,  ideas and notes jotted down on random pieces of paper, do-dads and what-nots ... the music room (and other living space) has become a bit untidy. Generating some order is sure to get the creative juices flowing.

Next, I will be doing some mindless activities in order to free up space in the brain for daydreaming. It's the best way to encourage ideas to flow! I expect to find inspiration and energy to grow new ideas and to flesh out old ones.

Finally, I'll find time to take action on a few of those great ideas. We'll see what comes to fruition between now and Labor Day!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday's Muse

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes ... including you. ~ Anne Lamott

Friday, June 12, 2015

CTO ... Dulcimers in the Blogosphere

Doug Berch is a mountain dulcimer builder who teaches and plays many instruments, including the hammered dulcimer. He also blogs.

Check This Out ... He has a category on his blog designated "hammered dulcimer". Check it out for old-timey photos and random thoughts about the instrument.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday's Muse

You have to take a deep breath and allow the music to flow through you. Revel in it, allow yourself to awe. When you play, allow the music to break your heart with its beauty.
~ Kelly White

Friday, June 5, 2015

CTO ... Tuning the Treble Bridge

Check This Out ... This article appeared last month on the Dusty Strings blog. Good information about tuning both sides of the treble bridge. (You know you must tune both sides, right?)

Here's the link:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Reading List

Looking for inspiration? Curious about the science behind the music? Need to get out of a practice rut? Want to find deeper meaning in your musical journey? There's something here for everyone!

I've compiled a list of "suggested readings" for the summer (in alphabetical order by author's last name). Click on the link. Read the review. Pick one or two that appeal to your interests and needs. Read and report back in the fall! Or leave your comments here as soon as you finish the read.

Have you read a book that made a difference to you in your practice of music? Please share in the comments below.

The Art of Practicing: a Guide to Making Music from the Heart
by Madeline Bruser

Making Music for the Joy of It
by Stephanie Judy

The Musician's Way: a Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness
by Gerald Klickstein

This is Your Brain on Music: the Science of a Human Obsession 
by Daniel J. Levitin

Guitar Zero
by Gary Marcus

Free Play: Liberation in Life and Art
by Stephen Nachmanovitch

A Soprano on her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances
by Eloise Ristad

Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within
by Kenny Werner

The Music Lesson: a Spiritual Search for Growth through Music
by Victor L. Wooten

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday's Muse

If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out.  ~ Levon Helm