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Make It! Play It! Building Musical Instruments at the Folk School

by Cory Marie Podielski on September 15, 2013

in Music & Dance, We Still Make Things, Wood



Jack Smoot helps a student with his Mountain Dulcimer

Does man make the instrument or does the instrument make the man? Here at the Folk School, we’ve been hearing soulful notes and beautiful melodies played on hand-crafted instruments for almost a hundred years. Both men and women make all kinds of instruments in our Woodworking Studio. Students can build dulcimers, lyres, banjos, flutes, dobros, and more!


Instructor John Huron developed a contemporary string instrument designed especially for the Folk School – the Campbellin. His class proudly shows off their hard work.



Reed sands his Square-neck Resonator Guitar in Bob Alexander’s class

Any musician knows that a good instrument is crucial to the quality of their sound. When you take a week building an instrument at the Folk School, you’ll get to mold and craft that quality with your own two hands! As you see that instrument come to life, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in focused and supportive learning environment. Next you’ll flipping through the catalog hunting for a music class to improve your skills on your new beauty.

Upcoming Instrument Building Classes include:
Build a Square-neck Resonator Guitar (Dobro) – Bob Alexander: Sept 22-28, 2013
Constructing a Mountain Dulcimer – Jack Smoot: Dec 8-14, 2013
Build and Learn to Play a Mountain Dulcimer – Mark Edelman: Jan 26-Feb 1, 2014
Laid-back Woodcarving and Flute Making – John Davis: Mar 2-8, 2014
Build a Hammered Dulcimer (Sun-Fri) – Jeff Sebens: Apr 6-11, 2014
Build a Short-scale Mountain Dulcimer – Jack Smoot: Apr 13-19, 2014
The “Campbellin”-Make It and Play It – John Huron: May 4-10, 2014
Happy with their final Mountain Dulcimers created in John Huron's class.

Students with their Mountain Dulcimers created in John Huron’s class.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria riemann October 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Do you still offer classes in Build your own dulcimer?


Cory Marie Podielski October 11, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Hi Maria,

We do offer classes in mountain dulcimer building. Our next class is coming up on Jan. 15, 2017:

And we also offer one in May:

The dulcimer building classes are cross referenced under Woodworking and Music on our website and in our Catalog. You can always use our class finder to see what’s currently available:

Thanks! Cory


Elliot Actor February 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I would be extremely interested in attending a class on constructing a mountain dulcimer during the spring, summer or fall of 2014

Thank you


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