Bob’s Barn Workshops


Friday, May 3rd – 4th: Hammered Dulcimers

Sunday May 5th: Mountain Dulcimers

Location: Bob’s Barn Jamboree 1417 Johnson St, Lake Odessa, MI 48849

Instructor: Mark A. Wade



Scroll down for detailed class descriptions and more!

A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to secure your seat in this workshop. The other half is due on the first day of class (credit card, venmo, Zelle, cash, or check accepted). If you can’t make the class after paying the deposit, you can apply it towards other events and products. 

Check Out Below for Your 50% Deposit to Save Your Seat!

SKU: N/A Category:



Join Mark on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, May 3, 4, & 5 for a small group workshop for hammered and mountain dulcimer at a fraction of the cost of one-on-one lessons. Bob’s Barn is a picturesque location for workshops where you can safely leave your instrument set up overnight. Complete with an overhead dulcimer cam and projector, there’s not a bad seat in the barn! Mark has curated engaging topics that will cover improving technique, building new repertoire, and enhancing hand-independence skills. These extended class sessions cater to multiple levels, with Mark differentiating instruction to suit each student’s needs. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, there will be valuable takeaways for everyone. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot today!

Workshop participants get FREE admission to the Saturday concert! Admission for Non-Participants is $10 at the door. 

NOTE: We’ll focus on Hammered Dulcimer on Friday and Saturday, with a mini Penny Whistle 101 class at the end of the day (by popular demand!). I’ll have beginner and step-up instruments for sale if you’d like to give it a try!

Sunday’s classes will focus on Mountain Dulcimer only. Workshop pricing will prorate which days you will be participating.

Morning Sessions:

Technique Mini Sessions: All Levels

Warm-Up Routine and Technique Fun!

We’ll start our day by getting our hands moving and warming up with techniques that recalibrate your aim and accuracy. I’ll show you easy-to-memorize patterns that cover a lot of range and make it (almost) impossible to miss! Participants will get 10% off my “15 MORE Minutes a Day” book too! Mountain Dulcimers will also get a technique boost too on Sunday morning!

FRI 1.  O’Carolan’s Dark Side: “Separation of Soul and Body”

In this session we’ll learn O’Carolan’s fun and famous lament, “Separation of Soul and Body.” I’m excited to show you this rare minor piece and how we can add chords beneath the melody! It’s a haunting minor tune that will teach you a lot about how to assign roles to each hand to carry the tune and it’s harmonies. So fun! For the more advanced among us, I’ll show you how to add more filler harmonies and perhaps a bit of pizzicato too!

SAT 1.  Elvis on Hammered Dulcimer!

I’m excited to share an arrangement I made of “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You”, which is REALLY from the opera, “Plaisir d’amour” by JPE Martini. This tune is PERFECT for developing skills to play a melody and chords because the melody is simple, familiar, and moves slowly. That frees our brains to focus on adding familiar chord shapes below. I’ll have an easy and more elaborate version ready for ALL ability levels.

FRI/SAT Mini Sessions: Learn a Manx Tune!

Let’s learn a fun new tune from the Isle of Man! Named “Arrane Ben-vlieaun” [The Milking Song], this simple waltz is a gorgeous addition to your tune repertoire. We’ll master the melody on Friday and add chords with hand independence on Saturday in these mini sessions!

Lunch Break

Afternoon Sessions:

FRI 2.        On Your Marks!

We’ll learn a lovely neo-Irish jig called “On Your Mark’s” and once you are familiar with the melody, we’ll discover how to add authentic Irish ornamentation so we sound Irish. Getting the style right will keep us from sounding like silly Americans playing an old-time jig and elevate us to sounding like silly Irish folks playing jig. I’ll show you how to lose your American accents with this fun tune from my new book.

SAT 2.        Transitions and Modulations

Whether you are building a medley or arranging a single tune, knowing how to make transitions and change keys smoothly is paramount. We will look at ways to transition from major to minor, minor to major, use sequences to change keys, and more!

FRI 3.  Solo/ Duo/ Trio Fun!

Winter’s “Largo” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is a MUST-HAVE in your repertoire. This tune works as a solo, duo, or trio. I will lead you through the different components of this cherished melody and show you how to effortlessly turn our group into a dulcimer orchestra! For the more advanced players among us, this tune allows us to examine the choices we must make with our hands when playing melody and accompaniment at the same time.

SAT 3.  Beaumont Rag–Texas Style!

The Beaumont Rag is a classic Texas-style rag, but you know what they say? …Don’t mess with Texas! We’re going to learn the tune and put the Texas style back into it!

Penny Whistle 101 & 102

We’ll end our Friday and Saturday Sessions with an easy Whistle class. If you are more advanced, I can always add things to make the tunes more difficult! But our focus will be for more novice players and getting them playing music on the whistle in no time! I’ll have beginner and step-up model penny whistles for sale if you want to join us. It’s super fun!!

SUNDAY Mountain Dulcimer: ALL Levels

Warm-Up Routine and Technique Fun!

We’ll start our day by getting our hands moving and warming up with techniques that recalibrate your aim and accuracy. I’ll show you easy-to-memorize patterns that cover a lot of range and make it (almost) impossible to miss! We’ll get our left hand in gear and make good habits for our right “picking” hands as well!

SUN MD 1.  Learn a Stunning Spanish Waltz

In this MOUNTAIN Dulcimer workshop, you’ll master a gorgeous “Galician Waltz.” We’ll use finger-style playing for this, but flat picking also works if you are averse to finger-style. However you go about it, you will be enchanted with this melody as we add chords to support it.

SUN MD 2.  Flat-picking an Irish Reel!

This workshop is going to show you how to play less “droney” and bring out the melody. This is really important for playing Irish music as the drones cover up everything. We’ll use the tune, “Tamlin”, but be sure to bring a capo. You’ll discover the secrets to simplifying a melody for MD and how to cross strings when you run out of left hand fingers!


There is a Super 8 hotel nearby in Ionia that I stay at. They will most likely have the campground available for campers. Checking on that!


  • What level are these classes for?
    • Almost ALL Levels! I write the arrangements and teach so novice through advanced players have ways to adapt the to their levels. If something is too hard, I show an easier way. If something is too easy or plain, I show a harder but more interesting way. This course is not, however, the best one for rank beginners though.


This site allows you to pay your non-refundable 50% deposits to hold your seats. Pricing is prorated by how many days you participate. All participants get into the concert for FREE! Note: to pay in full, simply add TWO 50% deposits to your cart.

  • ALL 3 Days: $250 (best value!)
  • Any 2 Days: $225
  • Friday May 3 Only: $140
  • Saturday May 4 Only: $140
  • Sunday May 5 Only: $120


Use my contact page to email me with any questions you might have.

Additional information

Save My Seat for...

Friday May 3 Only, Saturday May 4 Only, Sunday May 5 MD Only, ALL 3 Days, Any 2 Days


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Bob’s Barn Workshops”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like…