Find a Music Mentor

When the Student is Ready...


by Linda Ratcliff

I would love for every person who wants to learn to play the dulcimer to have a private teacher … someone they meet with every week or at least twice a month. But that just isn’t possible for many (most?) of us. But here’s another option. Find a music mentor.

So you might be saying, “What on earth is a music mentor?” Well, here are some basics.

  • A musician who lives or plays near where you live
  • Someone whose skills and techniques you admire
  • A person who shares our love of music and learning to play
  • A guide who is willing to listen to you now and then and give advice

I am wintering in deep south Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, and I brought along my mountain dulcimer and guitar.  I found such a person in the Mobile Home and RV resort where we are staying. You could say we are serving as mentors to each other, even though we don’t play the same instrument as our primary.

  • Like me, she owns several instruments, but is the master of only one.
  • She primarily plays the cello, I primarily play the hammered dulcimer, but we both have plenty of solid music training behind us.
  • We both also play keyboard, guitar, mountain dulcimer and hammered dulcimer. My soul sister indeed.
  • We jam together, and listen to each other … offering gentle suggestions now and then.

Finding a music mentor on the road has inspired me to practice much more than I normally do when traveling. I am thinking that I need to find a music mentor for my home base.

If you don’t have one … yet … start looking.

Happy dulcimering,



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