WHY Are We Doing This?


I have spent all of my entire life encouraging people to take up learning an instrument. When I was an elementary teacher, I also had several piano students that I taught in my garage after school. I told parents that learning to play an instrument also helps with memory, cognition, motor skill, and attention span.

When my own children got to junior high and high school, they played in the band. I found high school students in band stayed busy and out of trouble.  They understood teamwork, they were committed and learned to be where they needed to be on time. Band students frequently (not always) got good grades and performed well on standardized tests. I always wondered if that was because they were used to doing well under pressure at football games and competitions.

When I started promoting the benefits of playing a dulcimer, I noticed how many of my followers were seniors. It is a proven scientific fact that both playing and listening to music have been shown to positively affect the quality of life for seniors. And in past newsletters, I have pointed out that one of the most significant benefits of learning an instrument for seniors is its seemingly magical ability to improve memory.

All of these are compelling reasons to encourage people of all ages to learn to play an instrument. But those aren’t the best reason. They’re just really great side benefits.  

The very best reason to learn to play an instrument is that it makes you happy and brings you joy. 

It’s a lot of fun. It can make a bad day turn good and bring a smile to your face.

Over the years, I have learned that when people truly understand why they want the dulcimer to be a part of their lives, they end up creating the drive they need to practice, to learn new things, and to become the musician they've only dreamed they can be.

Happy dulcimering,



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