Special Note to Mountain Dulcimer Newcomers:

We often hear people say, “I wish I could play, but I’m not good enough to participate in The Grand Old Dulcimer Club.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if you play no instrument, or have no musical background, if you have an itch to try the Mountain Dulcimer, then we want you to join us. You can sit and watch, or, if you want, we’ll give you a fifteen minute lesson on how to play along with us, even if you have never played before. Someone in the Club will lend you their instrument to try your hand at it. There is no pressure at all; if you just a desire to have fun and play music, we encourage you to visit during our monthly circle.

If you do decide you want to join in the fun, here’s what you need to get started:

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  1. A mountain dulcimer, a.k.a. an Appalachian dulcimer. Again, if you don’t have one, don’t worry for your first visit. We’ll lend you one.

  2. A tuner for your instrument. Many members use an inexpensive Snark tuner, which you can buy locally in any Nashville music store, or online here.

  3. A “Join the Jam” playbook. Approximately 80% of the songs we play can be found in this songbook; the rest we find and distribute from elsewhere. Click here to order it online from its author, Stephen Seifert. You can order a hardcopy or a digital copy if you prefer to use a tablet to store your music.

  4. You’ll also need a capo, a tool for playing in different keys on the dulcimer. You can buy a very good quality, beautiful capo online from Ron Ewing here or from Terry McCafferty here.

  5. We have a Seven-List Chart that helps us focus our practice time each month on some old favorites. You can find that list here, on the Home Page. Don’t worry about memorizing any of the songs on the list. You’ll gradually get to know these friends as you practice and come to our meetings.

TO All Other Newcomers:

If you play any instrument other than a mountain dulcimer, you’re also welcome to join us. We have players of guitar, cello, bass, psaltry, banjammer, banjolele, and have different instruments in the past such as fiddle and hammered dulcimer. The only requirement for joining is that you want to play Old Time or Americana music, with an occasional newer (or older!) piece thrown in.


What music does for you:

  1. Read this article from Johns Hopkins Medicine here: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_mind/keep-your-brain-young-with-music

  2. Read Time Magazine’s take: http://time.com/5254381/listening-to-music-health-benefits/

  3. And go across the pond by reading the Scottish Ensemble’s article on music’s effect on brain, body and soul: https://scottishensemble.co.uk/magazine/pause-effects-of-music-on-brain-body-soul/


Physician Robert Gupta makes a moving case for the need for and benefits of music in our lives. He starts out by playing the violin; talk starts at 2:50.

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Click here to read it