Morris Dulcimer & Folk Music Festival

A friend and I had a booth at the Morris folk music festival.
It was a great weekend of music and we introduced a lot of folks to the bowed psaltery who had never heard of it before. After seeing for themselves how easy this instrument is to play, many bought instruments and books.

Today my friend, Donna from PsatleryStrings, had a booth at a Dulcimer Folk Music Festival about an hour drive from us. She had never had a vendor booth before and asked if I’d help her “man” the booth. 
Donna had small and large bowed psalteries made by another friend, Tish Westman
We had the instruments on one table.

We had patches, t-shirts and books on the other table. Donna let me put my new book (the paper copy) out on the table. There it is in the front corner of the table. So cool to have it out where people can see it and browse through it!
I had the greatest time! 
I became the resident teacher in the booth. As people came through the booth and asked “What’s that?”, I would put one in their hands and show them how to play the first line to Amazing Grace.
For people who had never played an instrument (dragged along spouses) and those who had only recently picked up an instrument, they were pleasantly surprised to be able to pick up a tune so quickly. I even taught a few young kids and the look of accomplishment on their faces was priceless!

Being in face-to-face retail like that was new and out of our comfort zone for both of us.
In a booth like that, not only is your product on display but you are also. Playing the instrument to entice people to stop in and look. Answering questions. Showing people how to play the bowed psaltery. It felt very much like being on a stage all day.
It was fun but exhausting.
You know what?
We were pretty good at it!
Who knew!

Music with a Royal Wedding theme

With photos of the Royal Wedding still finding their way onto the front pages of many newspapers, is it any wonder that my musical thoughts travel to England? When I think of English music, I think of Greensleeves.

Greensleeves sounds so beautiful on the Bowed Psaltery. It has a nice, easy-flowing sound that just floats across a room.
It’s a great tune for beginners to learn. This song has a melody that most people know. When you learn a song that you already know, you find yourself only having to think about which note to play. You don’t have to think about counting or how long to hold a particular note. You just know because you’re singing along. This makes learning to play a new tune like Greensleeves even easier.
That is why Greensleeves is one of the tunes you will find in my new book, Playing the Bowed Psaltery – a Step by Step Beginner’s Guide.
If you enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding, learn to play this tune on a Bowed Psaltery. Then the next time there’s a big, happy Royal event, you’ll be able to celebrate by playing an old English folk tune!