Our neighboring village recently concluded an "art/music" event in which local artists displayed their works and musicians conducted street performances throughout the downtown area.  Every third Thursday from June through September, I had the opportunity to help educate the visiting public on the topic of Psaltery building and playing.

In order to increase local interest in forming a core of psaltery players I decided to give away a tenor psaltery that I constructed during the event.  I conducted a free raffle to select the winner and to my pleasure, it was won by a lady from the local area.

The real story is that this woman's neighbor was a young lady who was an accomplished violinist that suffered a serious disability that prevented her from persuing her career in music.  She lost the ability to use her left hand to hold and finger the strings of the violin.  After 15 years of playing she had to give up playing stringed instruments, that was until she met the bowed psaltery!

Within minutes of our meeting, she found that her skill in bowing the violin worked just fine and that although she still had some lingering affects from her left hand challenges, she could play music again.  Ten minutes into a practice session with me and she was already playing songs which took me a day or two to learn.

I'm sure there are many violin players out there who can no longer comfortably play due to physical conditions. I'm confident that they would appreciate the simplicity of the bowed psaltery. 

Some day, I may have to give up playing my fretted instruments but I'm sure my psalteries will still be there for me.  

 

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I LOVE THIS STORY!!!!   Please keep us posted on her progess if possible.  Maybe you could get in touch with her and point her towards this web site!

Just because an instrument is simple doesn't mean it isn't a wonderful tool for musical expression. I was just discussing with some friends how angry I get when people hint (and sometimes come right out and state) that the psaltery isn't a "real" instrument.

 

 

Donna,

I did provide the web site address for "psalterystrings" in hopes that she would join as a member.  I explained that your site has the most comprehensive collection of psaltery information on the Web.

It's only been a week since we met so I'll wait a little while longer to contact her to see how she's doing.

In the mean time, I'm busy building three more psalteries which I plan on sending to a small public school in Alaska.  My grandchildren will be attending the school (Tenakee Springs) in next few years and I thought the local community could benefit from some additional musical resources.  I understand, from my daughter, that some of the children have been exposed to violin training so a psaltery should be a good addition to their program.  Apparently the teacher actually has a psaltery or is at least familiar with them.  I gave one to my daughter last year but with two toddlers running around and a husband that is a commercial fisherman, she hasn't had much time to play.

I hope to sell one of my existing instruments to help pay for the materials used to build the three ones going to Alaska.  Perhaps I'll list it on eBay in a week or so. 

 

Thanks Charlie!  Good luck with the sale, the kids in Alaska will be pleased to get some psalteries!

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Groups

Members who build bowed psalteries for sale

Spring Creek Psalteries - Sharon & Terry Kirby

http://www.springcreekpsalteries.com/

330-323-0618

From the Wood - Wayne Gaydos

765-468-7387

http://fromthewoodsinstruments.com/

to see his work visit

http://shop.indianaartisan.org/collections/musical-instruments

Waynie Psaltery - Wayne Simms

http://www.wayniepsaltery.com/

 

Prairie Psaltery - Richard Celata

http://www.prairiepsaltery.com/

 

Loon Song Psalteries-Charlie Marshall

http://www.loonsongpsalteries.com/

 

New Tradition Dulcimers- Dan Daniels

http://www.newtraditionsdulcimers.com/index.html

 

Psalteries by Dave- Dave Lucas  

http://www.davespsaltery.com/

 

Jon Williams Psalteries
(386) 853-0944

Westman Instruments - Tish & Greg Westman
http://www.westmaninstruments.com

Ringing Strings - Rick Long
http://ringingstrings.com

Michael J King Instrumetns - Diatonic Psalteries
http://www.michaeljking.com/psalterymaking.htm

Inspired Instruments – Carol and Joe Esch
http://www.windridgefarm.us/bowedpsaltery.htm

James Jones Instruments
http://www.jamesjonesinstruments.com/bowedpsaltery/bowedpsaltery.html

Omega Strings – Richard Spencer
http://www.omegastrings.com/

Master Works Bowed Psalteries - Russell Cook
http://masterworksok.com/

Members that teach Bowed Psaltery

Paul G.Sykes - MS  

Located in Hattiesburg
Contact Paul at
 pgsykes1@hotmail.com

or call him at

601-583-4115

 

Gregg Schneeman - California
Contact Gregg here on Psaltery Strings
greggschneeman@psalterystrings.com

 

Peter Tommerup - California
San Francisco Bay Area
Bowed Psaltery and other Instruments
408-867-4324
ptommerup@juno.com

 

Celeste Howard Ray
Bowed Psaltery lessons via Skype
347-796-4484
Skype name celesteray88

 

Maureen Barnes - Illinois
Bowed Psaltery lessons in Bloomington, IL
309-828-7957
dulcimergal98@yahoo.com
http://www.dulcimerdreams.com/

 

Dona Benkert -
Illinois

Lessons at Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
Phone: 773.728.6000
& Folk-Lore Center, Warrenville, IL
Phone: 630.393.1247
http://www.folk-lorecenter.com/

Tish Westman - West Virginia
Lessons at Tamarack, Beckley, WV. Wednesday workshops also available for individual classes and to teach at festivals.
Sunday "Jam" 3:30 to 6:00. All instruments welcome, play mostly Old Time, Celtic & Gospel Music, not opposed to trying any tune called, once did a rap on Bowed Psalteries.
1-304-575-0998
tishwestman@yahoo.com
www.westmaninstruments.com

Rick Long - Tennessee
Lessons at Rick's home/workshop in Clinton, 30 mins N of Knoxville
(865) 660-4026
http://www.ringingstrings.com/lessons.html

Karla Armstrong - Pennsylvania
Karla plays a variety of instruments and does workshops as well. Please visit her web site for additional information or contact her via the web site or the information below.
(717) 632-8099
karlaarms@upontheharp.com
http://upontheharp.com

Carol Esch - Kentucky
Lessons in Carol's home/workshop south of Lexington.
606-676-0128
esch@qx.net
http://www.windridgefarm.us/bowedpsaltery.htm

Honey Smith Walls - Florida
e-mail Honey for more info honey@offthewalls.us
Melbourne, FL
http://www.offthewalls.us/Psaltery.htm

Visit Friends of the Mountain Dulcimer

Please sign up on the bowed psaltery players list

Tish's list is a valuable resource when searching for other players. http://www.westmaninstruments.com/Bowed_Psaltery_List.html

If you are already on Tish's list, why don't you stop in and update your info? While your there take a look to see if there are new players in your area. Who knows, you might get together and make a recording.

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