hammered dulcimer

The Productivity Paradox


In many of my newsletters, I have emphasized the importance of practicing more often – on a schedule rather than using the popular hit-and-miss approach. In our fast-paced and achievement-oriented world, the prevailing wisdom often dictates that doing more leads to achieving more. However, there is a profound paradox hidden beneath this common belief - doing more sometimes results in achieving less. This may sound counterintuitive, but let’s take a closer look. Here’s what may happen.

  • Dilu…

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The 3 P's of Practicing

The 3 Ps of Practicing

It’s obvious. I preach (teach) about this all the time. If you want to make any progress in your playing, you’re going to have to practice. It’s unavoidable. It has to be done. But to see nay improvement, I think you also have to have the right attitude. And that’s what we’re going to look at today … the 3 P’s of Practicing.

  • Perseverance: There are going to be challenges. At times we’re going to feel like giving up. What separates the people who master playing an instrument vs. t…

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I Told You So!

ChatGPT-Learning a New Instrument

I've been playing with a new-to-me app called ChatGPT.  Just for fun, I asked the app for advice on learning to play a new instrument. Within 10 seconds, the app typed everything I've already been telling you. Week after week after week. Here's the advice ... verbatim.

  QUOTE from Chat GPT::

Learning a new instrument can be an exciting and rewarding journey. Here are some practice tips to help you make progress and enjoy the learning process:

    1. Set specific goals: Clearly define what yo…

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How to Fix It


I want to encourage you to learn a new tune regularly – at least once a month. But if you’re at home, practicing on your own, how do you know if you got it right, and how do you correct errors? 

Most of you will be able hear when something doesn’t sound right in your music. Personally, I find a recording of the new tune I am learning (usually on YouTube) and listen to it several times before beginning to learn just the melody. But if I’m not sure that I nailed it, I record myself and listen back…

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DulcimerCrossing as a Way to Invest in Yourself


by Steve Eulberg

Investing in your own musical growth and development only takes your decisions:

1. To try it

2.  To try it again

3.  To learn how to remember what you've tried

4.  To discover what you DON'T get or don't (yet) understand

5.  To search for the answers to decision #4.

6.  To connect with others who may be a step ahead of you on the path

7.  To connect with others who are well-traveled guides on this path.


ALL of us who teach at DulcimerCrossing have faced and made these…

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Can You Make Progress Without Playing?


All too often, our busy lives prevent us from picking up our dulcimer or our hammers, and spending time in practice. I look on practice time as a gift to myself, a reward for being a good girl and getting everything done that needs to be done. But sometimes I get so busy doing the things I ought to do, time runs out before I even get close to playing my instruments.

First of all, if we were face-to-face, you’d probably tell me I need to re-order my priorities. And I know you’d be right. But e…

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Behind Every Performance


One of the privileges we have, living in today’s world, is access to pristine, note-perfect recordings on YouTube, the radio, CDs. But this privilege comes at a cost. Performers, as well as our audiences, have developed the mind-set that such perfection should be possible every time we play for others – whether we are hanging out with friends on the front porch or attending a performance in a concert hall. And, Lord knows, we performers try our best. I’ve spent most of my adult life feeling like…

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The Domino Effect



The domino effect occurs when you make a change to one behavior that activates a chain reaction and cause a shift in related behaviors as well. For example, I bet your momma told you that if you made your bed in the morning, the rest of your day would go well. And it did, didn't it?

A good example of the domino effect can be seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak of the virus in China and the resulting rapid global spread of the disease led to widespread panic and a decrease in global tr…

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Why Tune?

You picked up your dulcimer to run through a couple of tunes. There’s no one else listening. No one will care if your instrument is slightly out of tune. And you only have a few minutes to practice. Why bother to tune for that?  This thought came to my mind a few weeks back. I had about 15 minutes of free time before I had to leave, and I wanted to start reviewing my patriotic repertoire – getting ready for impromptu performances for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. America the Beautiful…

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New Feature: Sample Lessons

NEW FEATURE: Sample Lessons


We've added a new feature on our website:  Sample Lessons by several of our instructors for each of the instruments for which we teach Courses.

Click here to Sample them!

Mountain Dulcimer:

These are sample mountain dulcimer lessons from DulcimerCrossing's curriculum, one from each level we teach:

Absolute Beginning-Level 1-Steve Eulberg

Beyond Beginning-Level 2-Butch Ross

Intermediate-Level 3-Neal Hellman

Advanced-Level 4-Nina Zanetti

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