Carolyn Cruso

Flute, guitar, hammered dulcimer
Available: Thursday and Saturday
Ages taught: 8+
Levels taught: Beginner to intermediate
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As a flute teacher, Carolyn specializes in traditional Irish music and improvisation. Additionally, she teaches flute method including reading music, producing and maintaining good tone, articulation, and rhythmic studies. On guitar, her specialization is fingerstyle in both standard and alternate tunings, and she works with songwriters to craft potent lyrics, melody, and chord progressions. Hammered Dulcimer lessons focus on Celtic music. She helps the student to develop lush arrangements that fit their current technique level and encourages technique development through scales, arpeggios, and rhythmic study.

Carolyn has been a performing multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter for twenty-five years. She’s recorded nine albums and has traveled the country and Europe with her music. She’s known as an innovative dulcimer player, pushing the boundaries of tradition while respecting its roots.

Carolyn’s philosophy on teaching and learning is to always keep an open mind. You start from where you are. You delight in the discovery of music and in the wonders of experimentation as well as the discipline of music basics. It is experiential and yet systematic. It is a give and take where the teacher learns through teaching and the student teaches through learning. Carolyn believes in a gentle yet focused approach and students consider her an excellent and patient teacher.

Rick Fogel

Bones, hammered dulcimer
Available: Tuesday
Ages Taught: All
Levels Taught: All
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Rick specializes in traditional and classical music with emphasis on musicianship and back-up playing.

In 1975, Rick first learned to build and play the dulcimer in Charlottesville, Virginia, after receiving a master’s degree in nuclear physics. He has since founded the Whamdiddle Dulcimer Company, built hundreds of dulcimers, performed and taught workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia, the Wisconsin Stringalong, collaborated with the Seattle Symphony on a movie score and recording, and was featured in a TV documentary for PBS entitled Craftsman of the World. Rick’s musical tastes are diverse, covering a wide range of styles and traditions, changing easily from old-time to classical. He has four well-received albums that highlight his innovative performance on the dulcimers he designs and builds.

“We show our innermost feelings with every breath. By performing music on instruments that I have designed and built I thrive on the spontaneity of the moments when my music is a little better than usual. The best air for breathing happens when an audience picks up on these feelings, gets a glimpse into my excitement, and then feeds this enthusiasm back to me. Then I breathe deeper and feel more creative.”