Peter Tommerup

Hammered Dulcimer (AdvancedBeginner/ Intermediate)

Moving Beyond A Beginning Mindset: Learning "How to Learn Tunes,"
Arrange them on the Hammered Dulcimer & Make Them Sound More "Musical."

 As one becomes more proficient in the basic mechanics of playing (e.g., holding & using the hammers & accurately hitting the strings), it is fun to focus on growing an enjoyable repertoire of tunes to play. But what tunes, how to decide if they are "dulcimer friendly," & how to figure out the easiest path to connect the notes you need to play a tune on your instrument? This workshop will address such challenges by presenting you with a variety of tips & techniques to enhance your ability to learn tunes, arrange them on the hammered dulcimer, & even help your playing to "flow" better so it sounds more "musical." 

You are welcome to bring a recording device. Please ensure your dulcimer is in tune. 

Over the past four decades, Peter has arranged over 400 hundred tunes for the dulcimer, taught them to hundreds of students, and evolved a playing style that creatively expands the dulcimer tradition. He has recorded a number of CD's showcasing his eclectic musical tastes, and developed acomprehensive method of instruction entitled TeachYourself to Play the Dulcimer.

Steeped in the"CapriTaurus" style of chord-melody playing which developed in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1970s, Peter has perfected a clear, engaging teaching style appreciatedby beginners and advanced students alike. He has taught and performed at a number of well-known festivals and retreats, as well as adult ed programs, community schools of music and at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto.

Along with teaching, Peter has studied and collected music from traditional dulcimer players in Appalachia and leading interpreters of the instrument in California while completing an MA and PhD in Folklore and Mythology at UCLA. Peter keeps up his inspiration for playing traditional folkdance music on the dulcimer by leading and participating in a variety of Bay Area jam sessions of Irish, Appalachian and French music, as well as playing for folk dances.

He currently performs with 2 bands: Fete Musette -- which performs both traditional rural French and Parisian music--and Peak Nouveau, a contra dance band. Peter continues to be a thoughtful and innovative contributor to the dulcimer community.