My New Year's Resolution

There is a keyboard in my home as well as a hammered dulcimer set up on its stand, a mountain dulcimer, a guitar, a ukulele, and a pickin’ stick. None of these are packed up in their bags. They’re out on their stands because I always preach that you won’t practice unless your instrument is out and standing at attention, ready to be played.

The problem with this system is that, when someone comes into our home, they see all the instruments and expect a concert on demand. Aaaaaaarrrrrgh. I never feel totally prepared – either on the keyboard or on the hammered dulcimer. And I have received feedback from dulcimer players all over the world identifying with this issue and admitting that they can’t sit down and play for others without prior warning.

So here is my New Year’s resolution. I am going to prepare 3 pieces for each, the keyboard and the hammered dulcimer, that I can play …

  • without notice
  • without staff music or tabs
  • without embarrassment

These 3 pieces will become my “active repertoire.” Now, for example, if I am asked to play for a Christmas party next year, obviously I will need to brush up on more tunes. But I’m going to welcome opportunities in 2023 to perform my active repertoire, at any time or any place, for family and friends.

How about you?  Do you have an "active repertoire"?

Happy dulcimering,



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