Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 9, 2014

Children's Dulcimer classes held

MT. VERNON — The Jefferson County Historical Village hosted a children's dulcimer class on Tuesday.

Children from the area attended the informative music class that is held throughout the year. The workshop was led by Libby Wilson, a local dulcimer player.

For Wilson, children's involvement in music and workshops like the dulcimer classes are important.

"It is a great stepping stone for their creative development," Wilson said.

Jamie Wheeler, director of community relations at the village said there is a great need for musical classes of this kind.

"I have noticed that in some schools the music programs are getting cut or just get pushed to the side and classes like this gives children the chance to be exposed to different kinds of music," Wheeler said.

Some people may not be familiar with the mountain dulcimer. Wilson said that it is a uniquely shaped instrument that typically will have three or four strings and is played with finger picking and smooth strumming motions.

Wilson began the class by tuning the students instruments while she talked about the history of the dulcimer.

Wilson also informed the children on the differences in reading dulcimer music as opposed to other instruments they might play.

"Dulcimer musicians use dulcimer tab instead of sheet music," Wilson said.

Wilson said the dulcimer is a perfect instrument for children to learn to play music on because it is easy to learn how to play.

"We like to say in the dulcimer world if you can count to 10 then you can learn to play a mountain dulcimer," Wilson said jokingly.

While reading the tab, the students used numbers instead of notes when learning how to read the music. Wilson showed each student the proper technique on how to strum the dulcimer by using an inward strumming motion.

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