Friday, July 20, 2012

My Mountain Dulcimer

In March i got this sudden desire to learn to play a musical instrument. I had never learned to play anything when i was young...I guess there were so many other things i had to learn in school so adding more was just not something i wanted to do. But lately i've been thinking of things i would like to accomplish before i die...a sort of "Bucket List". Learning to play an instrument and learning another language are on that list now. Thru a series of events, i decided i would learn to play a mountain dulcimer.. (Thank you Jenna and Joni )Suddenly that was all i could think about. I needed to find a dulcimer and learn how to play. But that was not so easy. I called local music shops,and wrote to musically inclined friends and searched online, but dulcimers are not exactly easy to come by around here. Luckily, after searching a bit more, i found a local legend, Susan Trump, who has been playing, singing and teaching dulcimer lessons for years. She asked me some questions, had me measure my hand and ordered  a Walnut Creek dulcimer from T.K O'Brien for me.
Here is the result of all that searching...Isn't it beautiful...It has a cherry top and a walnut back, fretboard and sides...
I asked for bluebird sound holes, because they remind me of my Grandmother....
(i'm sure she would bring me luck)

and the little flower sound holes look like columbine to me...I started practicing on my dulcimer after a short introductory lesson from Susan when i picked it up, with a promise that i would return soon for more lessons. But within 2 weeks i had the hemorrhagic stroke, and that has slowed things down a bit for me. It took me a month to pick up my dulcimer after i got home from the hospital. I was afraid the little bit i had already learned would be forgotten. But amazingly, i remembered everything! And since i started working with it again it is helping me with my memory issues. It's really been an amazing gift. I look forward to playing it every day. And tho i don't think i will ever play like Susan does, i play just for the joy of it, and right now, that's enough...

 

Here's a little video from Jenna's blog, all about the mountain dulcimer

10 comments:

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

What a beautiful instrument Mare, it will bring you so much pleasure and confidence to learn it. Something else we have in common. I am learning to play the mandolin and to speak Japanese. Neither one is easy but they bring me immense joy to get a little bit farther every day with them.
Love Lynne x

Mare said...

Wow Lynne, are you sure we're not sisters???!! hahaha Are you teaching yourself how to play? Right now, i'm still not driving, so i am teaching myself with the help of a little experimentation and some lessons on YouTube(i love youtube...) As for the language, you are way more adventurous than me! I'm thinking basic Spanish! What made you decide to learn Japanese? And how are you learning it???

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

We might be! Yes, I am teaching myself with books and accompanying cd so I can hear what the music is 'supposed' to sound like. I love the American Bluegrass style of mandolin but would also like to give classical and celtic a try. I love anything Japanese and adore Japanese movies so wanted to be able to watch my dvds without the subtitles and one day would love to visit Japan - I have wanted to go since I was 17 years old. I am using the Pimsleur method on my ipod and Youtube videos. I am intermediate now (but feel as though I have barely scratched the surface). I would love to be able to read Japanese too as I love Japanese novels but unfortunately, I doubt I will live for another million years, LOL.

Gulf Coast Girl said...

Awesome! I have a Dulcimer too, Mare! Yours is positively gorgeous!!! <3

Mare said...

Wow Lynne! How long have you been studying Japanese??? Right now i am on YouTube a lot with the dulcimer lessons i found there. It really helps.

Mare said...

Hi Kelly! Wow! Around here dulcimers are unheard of! But i am meeting more and more people who have them now. That's awesome!

Dip-Dip and the Bridge said...

I have been studying Japanese for almost a year now, I started last September.

crimsoncat05 said...

What a wonderful goal, to actually 'do' some of those things we all think about doing 'someday.' This dulcimer is beautiful, as is your music played on it, I'm sure!!

Mare said...

Lynne, it is amazing to me how far you have come in just one year! I'm going to get started on my Spanish goals. You've inspired me!

Mare said...

Thank you so much Crimsoncat...That's so sweet of you to say...I'm not sure i am making sweet sounds yet, but i will be someday soon! I'm committed to it.