Monday, August 11, 2014

Richard Ash's Bio and Workshops

Richard is the owner of Folkcraft Instruments, which is one of the oldest and most respected musical instrument manufacturers in the country. Folkcraft makes a variety of stringed and fretted instruments, including Appalachian dulcimer,hammered dulcimerbowed psalterykanteledulcilele, and ukulele.

Richard is a teacher, and holds a music education degree from The Ohio State University. Formerly a school band director, now he's an active dulcimer instructor.

Richard is also the organizer of three music festivals: The Dulcimer Gathering (for hammered dulcimer players); Indiana Dulcimer Festival (for Appalachian dulcimer players); and Midwest Uke Fest (for ukulele players).

And finally, Richard is a performer. You can hear him playing the dulcimer at events all over the country. From NAMM shows to dulcimer festivals, old-time music events to demonstration concerts in the Folkcraft concert hall, he's performed pretty much everywhere.

Don't Take This Class, It Will Make You Vomit (a.k.a. "Performance Techniques"): Sharing your music with an audience can be nervewracking, or it can be the highlight of your week. This class will help you share your music in a positive way. You'll get practical tips on how to overcome your stage fright, how to prepare for a performance, and how to have a good time while you're performing. Ideal for any skill level, and open to all instruments, this session won't make you sick to your stomach, really! It will make you into a better, more prepared performer, though! Bring your instrument - we'll be doing a bit of playing...

How Dulcimers And Ukuleles Are Made: Complete with videos to watch (instrument builders in action!), parts to see, and a comprehensive overview of modern instrument building. If you're a player, you'll enjoy seeing the work that goes into making a premium instrument. If you're a builder, you might get a few ideas that will help with your next project.

Traditional Tunes From The Hills Of Appalachia: We'll work on a variety of songs, a few you've heard of, and a few that will be new to you. Mostly in the noter drone style, these melodies are an important part of the history of the Appalachian dulcimer.

Playing "D"Tunes In G and in A: We'll work on changing the key of a tune - practically any tune - that you already know into another key. Without using a capo, you'll learn to take a song into two different tunings. This will give variety to your performances, add life to your set lists, and even make a vocal piece fit your range "just right".

Adding Variety To Your Right-Hand Strumming: Here's a chance to add some pizazz to the tunes you already know. Forget the bum-diddy pattern, lets go crazy and add some new life to your right hand strums. We'll work mostly with standard fiddle tunes, but we'll make them sound like new additions to your repertoire. This class is ideal for players with a steady (but perhaps dull?) right hand strum technique.

Popular Songs That Are In The Public Domain: Songs that are out of copyright, but performed by big-name, popular artists? Artists like Paul McCartney, Olivia Newton-John, Burl Ives, Barbra Streisand, The Animals, Elvis Presley, Metallica,
Led Zeppelin Johnny Cash, and more? Sure, no problem! Lots of handouts, lots of fun.

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