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Mountain Dulcimer Lessons

with Ruth Barrett

Take online private lessons over Zoom

Ruth is an experienced mountain dulcimer teacher who has been teaching individual and group lessons and workshops since the early-1970s. She specializes in fingerpicking, a specific left hand technique for cord work and melody, using the dulcimer as a second voice for harmony song accompaniment, strumming, ornamentation, and playing in open modal tunings. Ruth specializes in traditional folk songs and music of England, the Celtic countries, and the United States, music of the Renaissance, and contemporary folk music. As an ear player herself, Ruth teaches students how to hear a song they wish to play on the dulcimer, including original songs, and learn how to arrange it. Reading music notation is not required. All dulcimer tablature for lessons are provided.


Ruth’s accessible and supportive teaching style, plus her enthusiasm, has successfully taught thousands of people to play the mountain dulcimer, from private instruction to national folk festivals and music retreats including String A-Long, the Swannanoa Gathering, the Harvest Festival of Dulcimers, the Claremont Folk Music Festival, and the Winter Festival of Acoustic Music. Over the years Ruth has performed numerous times at McCabes and the Cal Tech Folk Music Series. Ruth taught private and group dulcimer lessons at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California for 15 years, and later through the University of Wisconsin Madison adult continuing education. In 2022, Ruth taught classes at Kentucky Music week and at FunFest (Old Dulcimer Players Club) in Evart, MI. Ruth also has lessons recorded for Kentucky Music Institute. Her dulcimer book, DULCIMER MUSE – Tunes & Songs From Far-flung Times & Places was published by Mel Bay Publishing in 2022.


45 min. Zoom lessons are: $45 - $50 (sliding fee, based on ability to pay) per lesson.

60 minute Zoom lessons are: $55 - $60 (sliding fee, based on ability to pay) per lesson (recommended)

Lesson Fee is required at the time of the lesson.

A 4-lesson package of hour-long lessons are $200.

Once a lesson is set up and there is a no-show, that lesson fee is applied to the class.

Please give Ruth a 24-hour notice for canceling and rescheduling.


I accept PayPal payments here. Click on the link to pay with a credit card. Your PayPal payment will go to Dancing Tree Music. Or go directly to paypal and use this email address:



Please make a note within each transaction with your name and the date of the lesson you are paying for or send me an email with this information so I can record your lesson payment accurately:


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