Monday, December 25, 2017

Monday's Muse

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.  ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday's Muse

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.  ~ John Lubbock

Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday's Muse

When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.  ~ Coco Chanel

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday's Muse

Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that - that's what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special... and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.  ~ Amy Poehler

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday's Muse

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.  ~ Zig Ziglar

Monday, November 20, 2017

Monday's Muse

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.  ~ Willie Nelson

Friday, November 17, 2017

CTO ... Just for Laughs

Check This Out ... single panel cartoons, drawn on yellow sticky notes. Here's one the Trapezoids can relate to! Check out the work of webcomic Doug Savage at http://www.savagechickens.com/ .

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday's Muse

Dance first, think later. It's the natural order. ~ Samuel Beckett

Friday, November 10, 2017

CTO ... A Musical Mesmerization

Check This Out ... An animated visualization of "In the Hall of the Mountain King," composed by Edvard Grieg, drawn by DoodleChaos and posted to the youTube channel of the same name. You'll like it. Check it out!

In the Hall of the Mountain King

Monday, November 6, 2017

Monday's Muse

Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once - whether you are ready or not - to put this plan into action. ~ Napoleon Hill

Friday, November 3, 2017

CTO ... Bing Futch Captures the Memories at Black Mountain Music Festival

Check This Out ... Bing Futch ~ awesome mountain dulcimer player, drone pilot, and videographer ~ provides us a nice "scrapbook" of the 2017 Black Mountain Music Festival. His video really does capture the feel of the place and the event. Until we meet again ... check it out!

BlackMtnMusicFest2017Video

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Black Mountain Music Festival 2017

I spent last week at the second annual Black Mountain Music Festival held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The festival website promised great workshops and jamming for both mountain dulcimer AND hammered dulcimer, with additional classes in ukulele, fiddle, and autoharp. I went with high expectations and was not disappointed!
Photo Credit: Dan Landrum
102 mountain dulcimer players and 49 hammered dulcimer players attended. Director Chuck Moseley put together a dream team of top-notch instructors. For hammered dulcimer: Guy George, Dan Landrum, Ken Kolodner, Ruth SmithRick Thum. For mountain ducimer: Linda Brockinton, Bing Futch, Tull Glazener, Judy House, Erin Mae, Sarah Morgan, Aaron O'Rourke, Gary Sager, Stephen Seifert. All friendly, accessible, knowledgeable, fun teachers. Five 1-hour classes every day for four days. Superb classroom instruction that stretched brains and provided information needed to push our play to the next level.
Did I mention that these instructors are awesome performers, too? Concerts every night... what a variety show! The collaboration amongst these talented musicians was something to behold. The multiple styles of playing left many exclaiming, "You can do that with the dulcimer?"
After each evening concert, the jam sessions began.... a slow jam for the less experienced players led by the creative and zany Jim Miller, along with the regular jam, led by the energized Rick Thum. Musical madness reigned late into the night.
Many of us "old timers" have been missing the now defunct dulcimer week at the Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College. Guess what? The community we've been yearning for has found its way to the Black Mountain Music Festival! Here is the opportunity to make new friends, reconnect with the old, while introducing new players to the wider dulcimer community. The only thing missing? Could it be YOU?

Trapezoids of the Triangle... this festival is in our back yard.
Save the date for next year's festival!
October 21 - 26, 2018
See you there!

Follow BMMF on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/blackmountainfestival/






Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday's Muse

Some souls just understand each other upon meeting.  ~ N. R. Hart

Friday, October 27, 2017

CTO ... Straight Rhythm -vs- Swing Rhythm

Can't quite get a grip on the "swing" of things?

Most musicians play with some degree of swing. It's what makes us want to clap our hands and tap our toes... to get up and dance, by golly!

Check This Out ... a tutorial made by Walk That Bass and presented here by CommunicaSOUND, who declares they are devoted to providing the best free music instruction tutorials on the web.

Swing Rhythm Explained

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday's Muse

I'm not interested in heritage... this stuff is alive!  ~ Martin Carthy

Friday, October 20, 2017

CTO ... New MasterWorks Dulcimer Design

Looking for the perfect instrument? Maybe THIS will be the one!

Check This Out ... a new MasterWorks hammered dulcimer, model RCE XR 17-RS, is now available. I don't know about the rest of those letters, but the final RS must stand for "Ruth Smith". That's right! Ruth Smith collaborated with Russell Cook to produce this instrument design. I don't know about you, but it makes me want to check it out! See what's new in this demo, recorded by Ruth Smith, herself.

Attending Black Mountain Music Festival next week? (Come on! You know you want to!) Ruth will have one of these instruments with her. Great opportunity to try it out in person.





Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reinvigorated! Now Reflect

Last weekend I returned home from week #3 of Ken Kolodner's 13th annual Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreat... and what a treat it was to be immersed in music, surrounded by old and new friends, challenged by an excellent teacher ... sharing, learning, stretching, growing. I am inspired!

Many trapezoids of the triangle participated in the fall Sandbridge season. I can imagine each of them in their private music rooms, hammering out new tunes, new patterns, new rhythms. Now comes the time to reflect, identify weaknesses, make goals for the coming year.

The best practice is intentional practice. Clearly stating goals for the next period of time is an important thing. Will this be the year you finally get that pesky right hand default root arpeggio pattern? (aka "sunken sailboat" "backwards checkmark") Maybe you want to focus on learning to create a bass line using chord inversions. How about nailing that double-stroke valley-roll? So many skills that contribute to mastering the hammered dulcimer!

Pick something you're not yet satisfied with, make a plan, and go for it!
A room FULL of dulcimers!




Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday's Muse

The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers.  ~ Roy Ayers

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday's Muse

It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift.  ~ Leonard Cohen

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday's Muse

Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates... and does all these incredible things.  ~ Tom Petty

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday's Muse

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.  ~ William H. McRaven

Friday, August 18, 2017

CTO ... Irish Session Coming to Pittsboro

Check This Out ... A new Irish session will start up next month in Pittsboro. The gathering will take place regularly on the third Sunday of the month, 4:00 - 7:30pm at "The Mod." First meeting, September 17. Come have a drink, a bite to eat, and enjoy the opportunity to play / enjoy live music. Check it out!

Irish Session
Sunday, Sept 17
4:00 - 7:00pm
Modern Life Deli
46 Sanford Road
Pittsboro, NC

Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday's Muse

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.  ~ John Lubbock

Monday, August 7, 2017

Monday's Muse

Your heart is just a beatbox for the song of your life.  ~ Sandi Thom

Friday, August 4, 2017

CTO ... The Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio were in Pittsboro!

The Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio performed a fabulous concert last Saturday night in Pittsboro, NC, followed by a well-attended jam session.

Check This Out ... Overheard at the back door, "That's the best concert I've ever been to!" 

Thanks to Ken, Brad, and Luke Chohany for a fantastic evening of music. And thanks to the 151 folks in attendance. It ain't a show without an audience!
Luke, Brad, and Ken on-stage
St Bart's, Pittsboro, NC

jam session after the concert

Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday's Muse

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose. 
~ Tennessee Williams

Friday, July 28, 2017

CTO ... Pittsboro Papparazzi

Check This Out ... Sue Wilson and Betsy Kraus were caught in the act yesterday while practicing for Saturday's concert. **

The whole point was to put ourselves in a public place and see what happened. We played outside the free Community Lunch, sponsored every Thursday by St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church. There was a large crowd enjoying the delicious meal, and many were pleasantly surprised to hear our music as they left. As predicted, there were all kinds of distractions. Sort of like playing a video game ... obstacles come out of nowhere and you must keep going.

The curious kids were the best. "What is THAT?" You have to admit, the hammered dulcimer and the concertina are not very commonly encountered instruments. A couple of kids approached. One declared, "We like your music," and handed Betsy 75 cents! She's going to split it with me as soon as she gets change.

We were playing along and a woman stopped and asked if she could record us for the Chatham Magazine facebook page. Oooohhh ... local papparazzi! How could we say no?

Here's her video. Check it out ...
https://www.facebook.com/ChathamMagazine/videos/1422630194495606/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

** Sue and Betsy are the warm-up band for the Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio, performing at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, July 29, 7:00pm. See concert details on the Trapezoids of the Triangle 'Schedule of Events' page at ...
https://trapezoidsofthetriangle.blogspot.com/p/schedule-of-events.html

This video is just a tiny sample of the type of music you will hear. There will be fiddles, banjos, guitar, hammered mbira, vocals ...

Check out these links for a sample of what Ken and Brad have to offer!

Hop High
Fiddle Sticks Set
Swift House



Monday, July 24, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

CTO ... One week out! The Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio in Pittsboro, NC

Check This Out ... Saturday, July 29, Ken Kolodner and son, Brad, will be in Pittsboro offering hammered dulcimer and clawhammer banjo workshops in the afternoon and performing in concert that evening. There's still time to reserve your space and get the "advance" ticket price. Check it out!

The Workshops
July 29, Saturday
Geared to advanced beginner / intermediate players, but all are welcome!

Hammered Dulcimer w/ Ken Kolodner
2:00 - 5:00pm
Pittsboro Community House
65 Thompson Street, Pittsboro, NC
$40


Clawhammer Banjo w/ Brad Kolodner
2:00 - 4:00pm
Dr Wilson's Office
767 West Street
Pittsboro, NC
$30


The Concert
July 29, Saturday, 7:00pm, doors open at 6:15pm
St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
204 W Salisbury Street, Pittsboro
Featuring the Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio
w/ Sue Wilson & Betsy Kraus
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

Baltimore’s nationally-acclaimed father-son Old-Time roots duo Ken & Brad Kolodner perform in Pittsboro, NC as part of a CD release tour, celebrating the release of their third recording, “The Swift House.” Joining Ken and Brad to round out the trio is guitarist / vocalist Luke Chohany. Ken & Brad Kolodner weave together a captivating soundscape on hammered dulcimer, banjo and fiddles pushing the boundaries of the Old-Time tradition into uncharted territory.

Opening the show are local favorites Sue Wilson & Betsy Kraus. Music buddies since 1998, Sue & Betsy play an eclectic mix of acoustic, traditional dance music that will set your toes tapping. Drawing primarily from the rich traditions of Celtic and old-time music, Sue & Betsy pair two seldom seen instruments, the hammered dulcimer and the English concertina, to produce a lively and unique sound.

This intimate concert features a re-imagining of Old-Time, Celtic & World music.

Jam session to follow the concert!

For info and to reserve space:
Contact Sue Wilson at (919) 542-5854 or sswilson123@gmail.com
Or Ken at (410) 746-8387

Or go directly to www.KenKolodner.com to make reservations on-line via credit card

There are no physical tickets! Once you pay, your name goes on a list which will be at the door. When you arrive at the door, state your name and you're in! Doors open at 6:15pm. See you there!

Find out more about the musicians at these websites:

Listen to Ken and Brad here:

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday's Muse

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.  ~ John Lubbock

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday's Muse

One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals.  ~ Michael Korda

Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday's Muse

Music does bring people together. It allows us to experience the same emotions. People everywhere are the same in heart and spirit. No matter what language we speak, what color we are, the form of our politics, or the expressions of our love and our faith, music proves: We are the same."  ~ John Denver

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday's Muse

You practice and you get better. It's very simple.  ~ Philip Glass

Friday, June 23, 2017

CTO ... Your Elusive Creative Genius

Check This Out ... Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love shares her novel idea that instead of a person "being" a genius, one actually "has" a genius. Check out her TED talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday's Muse

To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.  ~ Aaron Copland

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday's Muse

No matter how many goals you have achieved, you must set your sights on a higher one.
~ Jessica Savitch

Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday's Muse

"Do you know that our soul 
is composed of harmony?" 
~ Leonardo DaVinci

Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday's Muse

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.  
~ William Harvard

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday's Muse

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid.  ~ Frank Zappa

Friday, May 19, 2017

CTO ... Ken & Brad Kolodner to Visit Pittsboro

'twas in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled
expecting Ken and Brad... but we got ice and snow, instead

That's right. Remember the workshop and concert that was scheduled this past January? Cancelled by good ol' Mother Nature when she sent an icy winter storm this way?

It's been rescheduled!


Check This Out... Ken Kolodner and his son, Brad, will present workshops and a concert in Pittsboro this summer. Just over two months out... 

Mark your calendar NOW so you can work your summer plans around it! Basic details below:

Saturday, July 29


Afternoon Workshops:
2:00 - 5:00pm - Instruction in hammered dulcimer (Ken) $40
2:00 - 4:00pm - Instruction in clawhammer banjo (Brad) $30

Evening Concert:
7:00pm - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Pittsboro

Sue Wilson (hammered dulcimer) and Betsy Kraus (concertina) will open the show. Ken and Brad will treat us to a fabulous multi-instrumental performance. The fun will continue with a jam session afterwards. Bring your acoustic instruments!
$20 at the door, $15 in advance

Registration is open now!

Follow this link to secure your space in the workshop and/or the concert:
http://www.kenkolodner.com/pittsboro-concert-with-the-ken--brad-trio-and-sue-wilson--betsy-kraus.htmlor contact Ken directly at (410) 746-8387 to make a credit card payment over the phone, or for other ordering options.

Want to reserve your space more locally? Have a question or concern?
Contact Sue Wilson at (919) 542-5854 or sswilson123@gmail.com

Find out more about these musicians:
www.kenandbrad.com 
www.KenKolodner.com
www.BradKolodner.com

Watch them perform in this youtube video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYfm0OcpScE 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday's Muse

Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.  ~ Mark Twain

Friday, May 12, 2017

CTO ... Make Plans to Attend Black Mountain Music Festival this Fall

Wouldn't it be fun to spend a week studying and playing music? in the company of old and new friends who share a passion for the dulcimer? under the guidance of top-notch teacher/performers? surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains of western NC?

Pinch yourself! It's not a dream!!

Black Mountain Music Festival
Scheduled for October 22-27, 2017
Held at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly
Black Mountain, NC

A fine line-up of instructors.
Classes for beginner to advanced players.
Jam sessions galore.
Room and board available.

Sure would be fun to see a bunch of YOU there!

Check This Out ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4cN4Y-CnEo

And watch this space: http://www.blackmountainmusicfest.com/ ... the official website.

Although information on the website is not complete, and registration is not yet open, you can still get a preview of things to come. Plus, you can subscribe to get email updates. Check it out!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday's Muse

There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something. 
~ Henry Ford

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday's Muse

The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something.  ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday's Muse

Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself. ~ Robin S. Sharma

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday's Muse

This is the real secret of life - to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.  ~ Allan Watts

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday's Muse

Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was. ~ Richard L. Evans

Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday's Muse

It is so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done. –Matthew Arnold

Friday, March 24, 2017

CTO ... Memorizing Music

Hammered dulcimer players know all about memorizing music, but have you ever seen members of an entire orchestra play without written music placed in front of their faces?

Check This Out ... Terje Tonnensen with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra - http://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/how-do-you-memorise-music/ 

These musicians took classes in basic theatre technique to learn how to project beyond the stage. The energy's coming through loud and clear, now!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday's Muse

St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic. ~ Adrienne Cook

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday's Muse

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.  ~ Amy Poehler

Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday's Muse

I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others.  ~James Taylor

Friday, March 3, 2017

CTO ... How to Practice Most Effectively

... for just about anything!

Check This Out... Video lesson by Annie Bosler and Don Greene for TED-Ed.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2O6mQkFiiw

Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday's Muse

Music, at its essence, is what gives us memories. And the longer a song has existed in our lives, the more memories we have of it.  ~ Stevie Wonder

Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday's Muse

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. ~ Lewis Carroll

Friday, February 17, 2017

CTO ... January Concert and Workshop Rescheduled for July!

That's right. Ken and Brad Kolodner will be traveling this way again come July. I am happy to announce that the concert and workshop that were snowed-out and iced-over in early January have been rescheduled! There'll be no snow clouds to ruin our good plans this time.

Check This Out ... A new "mini" tour has been planned. Pittsboro will be the Saturday destination. Save the date and make plans to join us! Please share with those who might be interested.

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Ken Kolodner & Brad Kolodner
Leading Workshops (for hammered dulcimer & banjo)
Pittsboro Community House, Pittsboro

The Ken & Brad Trio w/Sue Wilson & Betsy Kraus
Performing in Concert - 7:00pm
w/ acoustic Jam Session to follow
St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Pittsboro

Contact Sue at sswilson123@gmail.com or Ken at kenkolodner@aol.com
OR sign up and reserve your space via credit card on Ken's website

And Check This Out ... The January event was part of a tour marking the release of Ken & Brad's newest CD, The Swift House. In the first month following the release of the recording it hit the top 10 on the Folk and Roots Charts! This means that the recording has received lots of airplay across the US to date. Interested in purchasing the CD? Go Ken & Brad's website

------------------------------------------
In case you find yourself further afield, or wish to pass this on to other lovers of live music outside the Triangle area, here are the scheduled performances that will round out the rest of Ken & Brad's "make-up" tour weekend:

Thu, Jul 27 - West Jefferson, NC
Ken & Brad Trio w/guest Michael Bell
Ashe County Arts Council - 7:30pm

Fri, Jul 28 - Bedford, VA
Ken & Brad trio
The Bedford Library Concert Series - 7:00pm

Support LIVE MUSIC!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday's Muse

Music is love and love is music, if you know what I mean. People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.  ~ Mac Davis

Monday, February 6, 2017

Monday's Muse

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. ~ Tony Robbins

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday's Muse

Begin ... to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday's Muse

Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in while, or the light won't come in. ~ Alan Alda

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Trapezoids just want to have FUN!


17 trapezoids gathered in Winston Salem on MLK Holiday to play at music with Marya Katz, our fearless leader. We played by ear. We improvised. We learned tunes. We made up variations on the theme. We did backup. We learned a new word, "hocket." It was inspiring. It was painless. It was fun!

Thank you, Marya, for a very pleasant day!





Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday's Muse

God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create - and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations.  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2017

CTO ... Marya on Monday

Just a little reminder that Marya Katz is teaching an all-day workshop in Winston-Salem next week. It's her annual MLK Day gathering! Hope to see you there. Basic facts below. Check out the January 4 blogpost for more detailed information.

Hammered Dulcimer Workshop
with Marya Katz

Monday, January 16
9:00am - 3:30pm

College Park Baptist Church
1701 Polo Road
Winston Salem, NC

$65 includes lunch and all materials

Reservations recommended as space is limited.
Email Marya.

-----------
Marya Katz
National Board Certified Teacher 
(EM/C Music, 2002)

"Playful-Shops" Workshop Consultant
(Music Education/Integrated Curriculum Inservice Sessions)

Hammered Dulcimer Performance & Instruction

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The F-word

I'm a little miffed that Mother Nature intervened to ruin our good plans for Sunday. It was such a disappointment to have to postpone the workshops and concert with Ken and Brad Kolodner. I realize we are in the middle of winter, but two inches of sleet, topped by an inch of snow and record setting low temps this past weekend?!? Here in central NC, there's nothing to do but wait for the mercury to rise and release us from our forced hibernation. Finally, four days later, we hit the mid-50's. That ought to do it!

Yes, before the winter storm of early 2017, Betsy and I were preparing to perform on a stage in front of an audience of 100+. Yikes! How does one do that? Well, it becomes pretty clear that FOCUS is everything. It's not a little thing. It is THE thing.

Don't get me wrong. It's not about perfection, although that would be nice. It's about being in the moment, aware and flexible enough to start at the beginning and to play to the end, no matter what happens!

I don't know about you, but MY mind is full of chatter ... to-do lists, anxieties, fears, judgments, what-if scenarios. It's difficult to turn off all that noise. It's true that I have experienced fleeting moments of pure bliss, playing music, in the flow ... until my mind notices. "Hey, wow, this is feeling great!" That's the kiss of death. As soon as the brain voices an opinion, it's all over.

One would think that playing music requires such attention that our brains would have no room to wander and get into trouble. Indeed, engaging one's mind is a strategy for silencing the chatter. The problem, intentionally or not, many of us rely too much on muscle memory and habit. We are good at rote memorization and repetition, but we don't really know what we're doing.

So, let's do engage our minds. Let's think about what we're doing. Focus on components of the tune, arrangement cues, technique, expression, balancing the sound with other ensemble members ... whatever is meaningful or helpful to you. For example, one of the best things I've ever done for my playing is to practice naming the chords in the chord progression. Mix in some description of what's happening in the tune or accompaniment, such as "circle around on D" "scale up to A" "octave E's" "grab Bb"  "drop to the mark". These become landmarks.

I'm still a work in progress, but I know the goal. FOCUS. In so doing we expand awareness, improve mental agility, calm the chatter, and open up a world of creative possibilities!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday's Muse

If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant.  ~ Anne Bradstreet

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Kolodner Event scheduled January 8, POSTPONED until later date

Winter has truly come to central NC…

… and we are truly disappointed to announce that the WORKSHOPS and CONCERT scheduled for January 8 have been POSTPONED to a later date due to conditions related to the winter storm.

Ticket prices will be refunded. Details about that will be worked out and communicated in a separate email from Ken.

Ken & Brad and Sue & Betsy will be looking to reschedule in the near future. We will be in touch with the specifics. We hope to see all of you then!

If you have immediate questions or concerns, please contact Sue at (919) 542-5854 or at sswilson123@gmail.com as Ken will be on the road, traveling back to Baltimore, today.

Thank you for your interest in our music.


Stay safe and be warm. It’s a good day to play some music!  ~ Sue

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Marya Katz to offer Workshop in Winston-Salem on MLK Day


Continuing the annual tradition, Marya Katz will be teaching a day-long hammered dulcimer workshop in Winston-Salem on the Martin Luther King birthday holiday.

Learn a couple English dance tunes... a waltz in D-major and a reel in E-minor. Experiment with rhythm, melody, and harmony to create interesting sounds. Have fun playing and learning from a fantastic teacher and player. Marya will send participants the basic version of the music prior to the workshop. Just ask when you register!

Got the day free? Come play music with a bunch of trapezoids. What better way to spend a winter Monday?! Details below:

Hammered Dulcimer Workshop
with Marya Katz

Monday, January 16
9:00am - 3:30pm

  • Doors open at 8:30 for registration / set-up
  • Morning session: 9:15am - noon
  • Lunch provided: noon - 1:00pm
  • Afternoon session: 1:00 - 3:30pm

College Park Baptist Church
1701 Polo Road
Winston Salem, NC  27106

$65, includes lunch and all materials.
Other books and CDs will be sold separately.

No need to pay in advance, but reservations are recommended as spaces are limited.
Email Marya and Terry Lefler to reserve your spot. Terry will send information about lunch orders. Reserve your spot today to avoid disappointment!

-----------
Marya Katz
National Board Certified Teacher 
(EM/C Music, 2002)

"Playful-Shops" Workshop Consultant
(Music Education/Integrated Curriculum Inservice Sessions)

Hammered Dulcimer Performance & Instruction

Monday, January 2, 2017

Monday's Muse

And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.  ~ Rainer Maria Rilke