Spring Sandbridge "Relaxed Week" In-person and Zooming! Teaching Assistant: Mary Lynn Michal
March 24-March 30, 2024 - Hybrid (In-person and Zooming)
What is Relaxed Week? We decided to start a slower paced week for a variety of reasons. The return rate at Sandbridge is around 88-90% which means that there has been very limited space to bring in new players each year. Further, because all of the existing weeks have returning players year and after year, the levels have gradually inched higher and higher. Many players considering Sandbridge are concerned that possibly they are not quite ready for Sandbridge, or that they have holes in their knowledge and/or technique, or that the class will move too fast.
The relaxed week is for players NEW to Sandbridge and for players who desire a gentler pace than Fall Week #1. The week is divided roughly evenly between players who are veterans to Sandbridge and those who are attending for the first time.
NO STRANGLING ALLOWED DURING NEWBIE WEEK!!!
Preparing for Spring Relaxed Week Mary Lynn and I thought we would outline how you can prepare. These are suggestions only. Remember that you are coming to learn AND to have fun. Do not worry about what you do and do not know. Still, we want you to maximize your learning and experience.
Here are some things you can do to prepare:
Study the theory/mapping book - if you don't already have this book, it is available here: THEORY AND MAPPING
Take Mary Lynn's course on Theory and Mapping
Take Mary Lynn's course on exercises for the hammered dulcimer
Know the main three ways of playing scales
Know where duplicate notes are
Study shed (root), parallelogram (1st inversion) and Nevada (2nd inversion) shapes; know how they "stack" onto of each other
Study all forms of the root position arpeggios and be able to combine them
Practice three note chords - know the different RLR and LRL patterns
Bonus: Learn the compact pattern for playing backup
Big Bonus: be able to harmonize a scale
Build your repertoire. Shoot for a minimum of 5 tunes that you can play. If you can play some backup, that is ideal.
Practice eating cookies (especially chocolate chip, because we have them fresh-baked every day at Sandbridge)....
Coffeehouse On Wednesday night, one of our traditions is to share a piece that you have been working on. This is totally voluntary. However, it is great experience to put yourself out there and learn to play in front of others. When I first started to play music, I never dreamed that I would perform. My view is that performing is not about us but about the music that we love. While there is absolutely no pressure to do so, we encourage folks to play for the group. Often ML and/or I will play with you. ML will play your exact part while Ken may dance around the melody or play backup or whatever. We will play your tempo and can go as SLOW as you need. Now is a good time to start identifying a piece or two that you might like to share. If more than one person picks a tune, we often do a small group. This evening has always been maybe a little scary but ends up being super fun, rewarding and a GREAT learning experience.
Waiting to play... (calmed by puppies AKA Fearless to the rescue)
Jamming Jamming is an important component of playing music. It develops keeping a steady rhythm and "listening skills." Here is a list of some of the most common tunes. Definitely bring/suggest tunes to add to this list (email Ken/Mary Lynn directly). We suggest trying to learn some of these tunes. It could be that you only learn the Main Melody. Ideally, you would learn backup and perhaps an arrangement. But, first priority would be 5 Main Melodies – then backups – then arrangements. Many of these tunes are in one of the Sandbridge books and/or available on my video lessons.
Bonny at Morn - melody and arpeggio backup
Evening of Roses - melody and arpeggio backup
Most importantly, don't worry about whether you are "ready" for the week.