B&B (+ L & D) Lessons
From Day One, I received insights and instruction into not only the Hows but the Whys of getting optimal sound out of my autoharp. I loved that I got to work on the music I brought along; all the work I did was on tunes I love. Lucille's musical knowledge, her eagerness to share, and, most importantly, her ability to pass on that knowledge in a way that made applicable sense, made the week extremely productive. I can tell you honestly, both my fingers and brain got quite a workout! And it was all done in an environment and atmosphere that made me feel completely safe to learn from my mistakes. I worked hard, but I had a great time doing it....[B&B lessons are] so very different and so very needed in the autoharp community. —Judy Dugas (autoharp), Texas
each concept sank into my brain and body, the right notes started coming back
more easily, better sounding, and much more fun to play. I progressed much
further than I expected and now feel the confidence to be more adventurous in
making music and not simply trying to play right notes.
You say you'd
like some concentrated instruction to jump-start your
dulcimer or autoharp playing, at whatever level? How
about getting away from it all to submerge in five days of music study with a
master teacher and performer, including great food and good times? Get yourself
to mile-high Denver, Colorado and
I'll take care of the rest!
The course of study
The week I spent with Lucille was one of the most unique experiences in musical education. The complete immersion, Lucille's personal attention, insight, thoughtful diagnosis and individualized approach were remarkable. If she will have me, I will absolutely be back. [Yes, come on back any time, Mike! LR] —Mike Wolkomir (diatonic autoharp), Wisconsin
If you feel your playing is boring—the same old tunes sounding the same
old way—you are
probably where I was before I took the plunge in B&B
lessons. Lucille will show you how to put life into those jigs and reels
[or anything else! —Ed.] by giving them "that sound." Where else can you find an
opportunity to be the sole student of a great teacher, player and cook for five
days? It will have a profound effect on you as a person as well as a
player. —Chuck Spaulding
(hammered dulcimer), Washington State
What do B&B students study? Just about anything, along with whatever else I flesh out that they need to play well! Here are some of the topics past B&B students have focused on (by the way, each student delves into more than one topic on this list):
Whatever you want to study, you can do it here, at your own pace!
For hammered dulcimer B&B students
You are welcome to use one of my dulcimers if shipping your own here is a concern. I have two 15-15s by R. L. Tack & Son (Professional and Lightweight), one 15-14 chromatic MasterWorks, and a 12-11 Dusty Strings Apprentice. It is, of course, fine to bring or ship your dulcimer here; I just know how worrisome shipping "your baby" can be! Regardless of dulcimer, I have an all-ways adjustable dulcimer stand for your use also.
Accommodations and meals
Your accommodations are a basic, comfortable room in our
home, pictured below.
As for meals (which include lunch and
dinner), your instructor doubles
as chef, making the best pizza in metro Denver right here from scratch, while
developing menus catering to musicians with special dietary needs. (Let's
not forget good old meat loaf and mashed potatoes, too!) When the weather
is warm enough, we can also enjoy appetizers and s'mores at the chiminea on the
A two-block walk from our home to
the bus stop begins your journey to downtown Denver (The Tattered Cover bookstore is a popular haunt on the 16th Street Mall, along with great restaurants all
around). Weather permitting, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park
(boasting 14,000+ feet in altitude!) are still more must-see sites. It's a bonus when I have a local performance coinciding with your
visit, but if not, you will surely hear private performances at home.
The daily schedule
This schedule is approximate. Depending on the subject matter of the moment, lessons can flex to be more or less time than the 45 minutes allotted. (We may even have a "lightning round" some time!) In the end, it all works out!
8:00 or so—breakfast and conversation
covers circa 10½ hours of private instruction, access to my personal tune
collection and books related to music making, six nights of accommodation, all
at-home meals, travel by car to
local destinations, including pick up and drop-off to airport
or terminal if you fly to Denver.
When are lessons available?
B&B lessons are available any time of the year that's convenient to both you and me (be sure to see the Weather
Note as you plan your time). The best times to schedule are January
(unbelievable, but yes) through May, August, October and November (before Thanksgiving).
Other times of the year are possible, too, as long as I'm not on the road performing. The week immediately
before Easter is not possible, due to Holy Week commitments.
How to sign up!
First, with two or three date ranges so I can pick and choose. I request
at least 12 weeks lead time to make sure
I can fit you in on my calendar. Once you write, it may take a few days or even a
week for me to get back to you. I check web-site mail once a week.
Hang in there; I will respond.
Even our cat Sheebah is learning how to play the dulcimer (paws-on) with the help of my book!
for more information.
Denver is brilliantly sunny much of the
year, with low humidity (The Weather Channel once posted it as low as 2%),
thanks to mile-high altitude. A swamp cooler provides relief in the house during the
making this a delightfully cool (in temp and vibes) space in which to study and practice.