Sarah Kate Morgan

Folk Singer & Dulcimer Player

Beginner

Introduction to the Dulcimer
      Welcome to the wonderful world of the dulcimer! Topics covered will be holding, strumming, fretting, and tuning your instrument, hearing phrasing in a song, a little on the history of the dulcimer, chords for accompanying others, timing and rhythm as it applies to the dulcimer, getting the most out of your practice time, and lots of tunes. 

Simply Hymns: Beginner Technique and Repertoire
      We will utilize well-known hymns and religious music to learn to play the dulcimer! A heavy emphasis will be put on timing, rhythm and ear-training. DAD

Paper-Free Playing- Beginner and Up
      Tired of being tied to your tab book or IPad? It can be difficult to really enjoy jamming or even playing on your own when you are utterly dependent on tablature. The goal of this class is to help you become a more intuitive, independent musician.  The first half of each class will consist of a variety of ear training exercises that will help develop your aural skills. In the second half, we will learn a tune (or two, as time allows) by ear. A recording device will come in handy. You will go home with a few handouts, but this class is not tablature based.

Novice


Doo-Wop on the Dulcimer! (Class/sing along)
       Bring your saddle shoes & poodle skirts!  We’ll have fun singing & playing some of my favorite doo-wop pieces!  Four simple chords are used to play 99% of all doo-wop music.  Bring your dulcimer, but you’re welcome to bring whatever instrument you play or come & just sing along.

Timing and Rhythm for Mountain Dulcimer
       We will cover the essential topic of timing and rhythm.  This topic can confuse many from all levels of playing, so, we will break it down so it specifically applies to the mountain dulcimer. We’ll learn several tunes to apply our new knowledge.

Building Firm Foundations in Your Playing
       We will be reviewing and solidifying the basics you have learned as a beginner and moving on to the next level of technique and repertoire. Topics include (as time allows) playing smoothly and cleanly, a simple approach to timing and rhythm, chord/melody style playing, making the most of your practice time, memorizing songs, strumming with ease, basic chords and backup, hearing phrasing in tunes, and an introduction to more advanced embellishments such as hammer-ons and pull-offs. The repertoire for this class will include basic jam tunes, hymns, and traditional songs. 

Intermediate

Obscure Fiddle Tunes from the Southern Appalachians

      I'll be sharing some unique, and fun to play old-time tunes you may have never heard before. We’ll also be discussing the mountain dulcimers role in old-time music and how to add rhythmic drive and variation to these tunes. Be ready to explore other tunings besides DAD. 

Old-Time Fiddle Tunes from Eastern Kentucky
Come learn some unique and fun old-time tunes that are from the eastern mountains of Kentucky. We’ll be discussing the mountain dulcimer’s role in old-time music and how to add rhythmic drive and variation to these tunes. Be ready to explore other tunings beside DAD.


An Appalachian Christmas

     With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start collecting some Christmas pieces.  But you won’t find “Rudolf” or “Frosty” anywhere here!  I’ll be teaching some obscure and unique Christmas pieces from Appalachia that have survived the ages for good reason.

Shape Note Hymns on the Dulcimer 
      We will learn several beautiful pieces from the Sacred Harp, Old Harp, and Southern Harmony tradition of congregational singing. Bring a capo.

Southern Appalachian Story Songs
       Ballads brought drama and intrigue to rural Appalachia. In this workshop, we will be playing and singing a few of my favorite ballads. We’ll cover how to effectively accompany the voice on the dulcimer. We’ll also briefly cover the rich tradition of acapella ballad singing and the unique vocal techniques found in this regional style of singing. Be ready to explore other tunings besides DAD.

Advanced

Playing Music for Weddings
       Come learn several unique, performance-ready pieces appropriate to play at weddings, including classical, Irish and hymn selections. We will also be covering the logistics of playing at a wedding; what to expect, problems to prepare for, what you should charge, etc. Be ready to explore other tunings besides DAD.

Advanced Duets and Trios
       Learn two and three part arrangements of classical and Celtic pieces, upbeat fiddle tunes, and mellow hymns that will challenge and introduce advanced and techniques that bring out all the unique tones the dulcimer has to offer. Good for duets/trios, but these arrangements will also work for larger groups. Bring a capo.

Rearranging Traditional Folk Music
Be a part of the “folk process” by creating your own interpretation of familiar folk songs and tunes. In the first half, Sarah will share her process on how to breathe new life into these ancient melodies. Second half, we’ll put this knowledge to practical use by revamping a fiddle tune, then a song. Tip: Knowing the basics of chords and where to find them will be helpful for this class.

Unaccompanied Appalachian Ballad Singing
- vocal class for any level

  Come and be a part of the rich tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing in the southern mountains. In this class you will learn many fascinating ballads as well as the unique vocal techniques and phrasing styles found in this genre of folk music. All songs will be taught by ear, so a recording device will come in handy. Lyrics will be provided.

Rearranging Traditional Folk Music. Be a part of the “folk process” by creating your own interpretation of familiar folk songs and tunes. In the first half, Sarah will share her process on how to breathe new life into these ancient melodies. Second half, we’ll put this knowledge to practical use by revamping a fiddle tune, then a song. Tip: Knowing the basics of chords and where to find them will be helpful for this class.
Rearranging Traditional Folk Music. Be a part of the “folk process” by creating your own interpretation of familiar folk songs and tunes. In the first half, Sarah will share her process on how to breathe new life into these ancient melodies. Second half, we’ll put this knowledge to practical use by revamping a fiddle tune, then a song. Tip: Knowing the basics of chords and where to find them will be helpful for this class.
Rearranging Traditional Folk Music. Be a part of the “folk process” by creating your own interpretation of familiar folk songs and tunes. In the first half, Sarah will share her process on how to breathe new life into these ancient melodies. Second half, we’ll put this knowledge to practical use by revamping a fiddle tune, then a song. Tip: Knowing the basics of chords and where to find them will be helpful for this class.
Rearranging Traditional Folk Music. Be a part of the “folk process” by creating your own interpretation of familiar folk songs and tunes. In the first half, Sarah will share her process on how to breathe new life into these ancient melodies. Second half, we’ll put this knowledge to practical use by revamping a fiddle tune, then a song. Tip: Knowing the basics of chords and where to find them will be helpful for this class.
Old-Time Fiddle Tunes from Eastern Kentucky. Sarah will share some unique and fun old-time tunes that are from the eastern mountains of Kentucky. We’ll be discussing the mountain dulcimer’s role in old-time music and how to add rhythmic drive and variation to these tunes. Be ready to explore other tunings beside DAD.
Old-Time Fiddle Tunes from Eastern Kentucky. Sarah will share some unique and fun old-time tunes that are from the eastern mountains of Kentucky. We’ll be discussing the mountain dulcimer’s role in old-time music and how to add rhythmic drive and variation to these tunes. Be ready to explore other tunings beside DAD.
Come and be a part of the rich tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing in the southern mountains. In this class you will learn many fascinating ballads as well as the unique vocal techniques and phrasing styles found in this genre of folk music. All songs will be taught by ear, so a recording device will come in handy. Lyrics will be provided.