Performer~Singer/Songwriter~Skype Lessons~Workshops~Private Lessons
"I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed meeting you and attending your Hammered Dulcimer Workshop. You have a great teaching personality and your methods address different learning styles. I love your sense of humor. I would highly recommend your workshops to any Hammered or Mountain Dulcimer Players.
Jay Blizman, Pennsylvania
I enjoyed the marathon workshops you did here in PA. The all day hammered dulcimer class and the mountain dulcimer in the evening. I have never had a hammered dulcimer lesson, and this was the first time I actually got to play my new Cloud Nine HD. Even though I wasn't able to keep up with the other students, I learned so much from you. I now have a basic understanding of notes, chords and shapes, and how they are used to create beautiful music! Your white board was a great visual as you played the shapes on it. The Harmony class for the Mountain Dulcimers was just awesome! Harmony is so easy to add to make this gentle instrument sound AMAZING!! Thank you so much for such an enjoyable and knowledgeable day!! I sure hope you come back for other workshops!
Lynn Delp, PA
For five years I have been studying the hammered dulcimer with Phyllis Brown. Although I had some musical background including a little piano, vocal and lap dulcimer (self taught), she accepted me as a total "greenhorn" to this instrument with which I had fallen in love! Progress has been made - to the point that it is now a joy to be able to play WITH her. It is also with joy that I look forward to my weekly lesson with a teacher so delightful that I would pay just to come and visit! I'm thoroughly hooked and still in love with the instrument!
Charlene Ross, TN
I speak as an entrenched member of the society for the musically hopeless, but with Phyllis's great gift for teaching music and her incredible patience I am confident that I will actually consider myself a musician someday.
Phyllis has an incredible gift for teaching music in all it's facets, from theory-technique-rhythm-arrangements-melody-accompaniment, and the list goes on.
Phyllis's warm and easy going demeanor removes any stress one might feel trying to learn a new instrument and her enthusiasm and love of music inspire you to want to achieve her level of ability.
Phyllis and her lovable dog Daisy create a fabulous environment for taking music lessons.
Patti Hall, TN
Phyllis is a patient, tolerant, cheerful and impressive hammered dulcimer teacher. I have played woodwinds, piano and lap (mountain) dulcimer for many years. The teachers I had were good but I did not learn as much about music until Phyllis started teaching me. She focuses on technique and not just songs like many of the teachers at workshops. I am learning much about embellishments and how to choose note positions so the music is smoother and flows instead of being choppy. She writes arrangements for me so I learn more and will even create an arrangement for me of a song I want to play on the hammered dulcimer. Phyllis really knows her music!!
Dale Gildemeister, TN
A grateful hammered dulcimer student
As a mountain dulcimer student for three years, with no previous musical background, playing harmony and counter melodies is new to me. The manner in which you presented these concepts made it approachable and not-so-scary! I appreciated how you worked with us through examples until we felt comfortable with the techniques. The theory behind it will eventually click, but for now I am encouraged to use your quick tips, which will be beneficial in playing with a string band. Your workshop was delightful and informative and I am sooo glad I attended!
Donna M. Schipani Duquesne, PA
Thank you again for your patience and great presentation at the novice HD classes at the retreat this weekend. My brain is still reeling. I'm so glad all your info will be on YouTube!
Kim MacKenzie, Knoxville
I had the pleasure of attending a mountain dulcimer class taught by Phyllis Woods Brown.
Phyllis is a very talented mountain dulcimer musician and she is a talented teacher. She was prepared and made learning new techniques easy. Phyllis was pleasant and encouraging so the class was fun. I hope to attend more of her classes.
I would recommend her class to anyone interested in learning to play the mountain dulcimer.
Hey there! I was just practicing my dulcimer, and I wanted to tell you that I am *so* grateful for the workshop you gave here in Pennsylvania! I’m the type of person who likes to know ‘why’ I’m doing something and ‘why’/’how’ things work the way they do, so I absolutely *loved* the Music Theory elements of your workshop in particular…it’s like light bulbs kept going off over my head! I’m actually classically trained on woodwind instruments, so I have a musical background, but never needed to understand the concept of ‘intervals’—though I was always curious about them. Now that I play the dulcimer, my curiosity had moved to a need-to-know state, and the way you explained intervals so simply led me to an immediate “ah-ha!” moment!
The same thing happened when you showed us the easy way to play the harmony part to songs. I’ve always enjoyed singing the harmony rather than melody parts (they’re more challenging and they bring depth to the music), but I didn’t know how to do that on my dulcimer without following a prescribed musical score. Now I do! Seriously…when you showed that technique to the group, I was *so* excited! I hate playing the same-old-thing and I enjoy mixing the music up to keep it interesting, but, before your workshop, I was limited to just changing tempos or adding syncopated elements…the things you taught us opened up a whole new world of musical possibilities! Thank you again!~~K.Ridgeway, PA
Thank you for giving so much to us as a class during Dulcimer U. You shared your passion and your bright spirit with us along with endless patience as we grappled with the many challenges and excercises you presented. It was a joy to be there with you this weekend and I only wish we were starting all over again.
I have taken from many teachers over my 3 year love affair with my dulcimer. Many in person, some on-line, and I always learn something. But my 2 days with you took me to a new level of understanding. You are my 'break through' teacher, finally lifting the clouds of confusion over cords for me. Your method of explaining cords, having us drill cords, but then USING cords as they are integrated in songs was so revealing. Thank you for this approach, for the lovely way you were willing to review and recap, allowing deeper insights every time. I left with a much better understanding of chord structure, and with the budding skills to use cords in my own daily practice.
I hope you will return to Dulcimer University, either the summer sesson or the beautiful winter one. If so, I will be the first to sign up for your class.
You will now and forever be a part of my love of dulcimer.
with huge gratitude,
Just a Note:
These are some of my favorite comments and correspondences from some ot my private students as well as those who have taken my workshops, offered here in the hope that my dedication and enthusiasm will be evident.