Tell Your Backstory


One of the best ways to get someone interested in playing the dulcimer is to tell your backstory. The term “backstory” refers to the history or background, especially one created for a fictional character in a movie or TV series. But your own backstory is valuable too. I have found that one of the best ways to get someone interested in playing the dulcimer is to tell my personal backstory.

Telling your own backstory may …

  • Build Connection with Others: Sharing your backstory allows others to understand where you come from, what you've experienced, and what has shaped you into wanting to play an instrument so few have even heard about.
  • Inspire Others: Your backstory inspire others facing challenges or obstacles. Sharing how learning to play the dulcimer has changed your life may encourage others to not only persevere through their own difficulties but also pick up an instrument.
  • Foster Authenticity: Being open about your “life before dulcimer” helps you to be authentic and genuine in your interactions with others.
  • Enhance Communication: Sharing your backstory provides context for your choices.
  • Cultivate Support Networks: Sharing your backstory can help you build a support network of people who understand and care about how music is an important part of your life.
  • Creates a Legacy: Sharing your backstory can be a way to leave a lasting impact. I know several grandparents who have passed on their love of the dulcimer to their grandchildren.

My own backstory began at the Wooden Nickel Restaurant in Crockett, TX in the mid ‘90s. One Sunday afternoon, Jerry and Margaret Wright rushed into the restaurant, near closing time, excited about the new instruments they had just purchased. My husband and I encouraged them to go back to the car and bring them in to show us. They sat around the table and played for us, and we fell in love with the sweet tones of the mountain dulcimer.

The next day was Monday and the restaurant was closed, so we drove to Houston to meet with Peggy Carter. I was intrigued by the complexity of the hammered dulcimer, my husband still loved the mountain dulcimer, so we bought one of each.

Later, Jerry Wright built a pickin’ stick for my husband which is one of our treasured instruments still today. Eventually I began to create teaching videos, bought the domain name Dulcimer Crossing, and Steve Eulberg and I began the journey to show others how they can play and enjoy this instrument.

Share your own backstory with others as often as you can. There’s someone out there that needs to hear it.

Happy dulcimering,



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