It was a beautiful day in Vallejo, CA. I took out my Electric bike, put my baby Psaltery in the bike's basket and away we went. IT was a gorgeous day, sunny, cool and crisp. I went to the waterfront, parked my bike and went to Panama Red, the coffee place at the Ferry building and found a place to practice my Psaltery. I am planning on teaching a class in the spring so I want to get comfortable playing in public. This was perfect. I practiced scale patterns, slides and yes even a little vibrato. I didn't know you could produce a vibrato, but I sort of stumbled on this by accident. It just takes slightly moving the bow close to the hitch pin. it sounds really nice when you find the sweet spot. I notice it is most effective when you are playing the closing note.  As I practicing, a husband and wife came up to me. He asked if this was a Bowed Psaltery?! I was happily surprised. I said yes and then gave him a brief history lesson about the bowed Psaltery being created by a German Teacher who wanted an instrument for kids to learn that would be easier than a violin. He said he had a friend who had one. I asked him if he would like to play it. He said sure. Within minutes he was playing the Psaltery and it sounded nice. I love how easy it is to pick up this instrument and just start playing it. He said he was a musician and played the guitar. How nice to speak with a fellow musician. Vallejo is a very artistic city so you never know when you start talking to someone and find out you both love to paint watercolors, or play the same instrument. As the day went on, another person came up to me. She had never seen or heard a Psaltery. She loved the sound it made. I was playing Londonderry Air or "Danny Boy". I told her about my Psaltery made by Zither Heaven. I also shared that I will be teaching a class in the spring. She said she was interested so I gave her my card with my contact information. When I was getting ready to head home I happened to see a Mother walking with her two kids. My intuition said to ask the little girl to play the Psaltery. So I did. Her name was Denise. She had beautiful long brown hair and the radiant face of an angel. I showed her how to hold the Psaltery in her arm and hold the bow and within minutes she was playing. She was so happily pleased that she could play the instrument so easily. As we were talking she said she is teaching herself to play the guitar. I am so impressed, she looked like she was only 8 or 9. What a fun time I had playing my Psaltery by the water and talking to like minded people.

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Comment by Celeste Howard on July 1, 2013 at 8:30am

Hi Evelyn!

Surprisingly, there are not many BP players in NY - but then I don't actively look since I'm busy with several projects: recording, showcasing and performing - that sort of thing..although, I do have a psaltery student.  he is only 16 and a wonderful musician - has such an affinity for the psaltery and we both write our own music - a pleasure to teach him.  I do however, teach a Celtic Music History class at Molloy College on Long Is from time to time.  Cheers, Celeste

Comment by Evelyn L Abston on June 29, 2013 at 12:40pm

Hi Celeste:

I am glad you liked my post. I have always wanted to go to NYC. Are there a lot of Psaltery musicians in NY? Do you teach a lot of Classes?

Comment by Celeste Howard on June 24, 2013 at 5:57pm

I miss No California - I'm a Cali and have been living in NYC for 11 years already - time flys - thanks for your lovely post!

Comment by Evelyn L Abston on December 10, 2012 at 3:31pm

Thanks Donna.

Comment by Evelyn L Abston on December 10, 2012 at 3:30pm

Hi Jeremy:

I am not clear about your comments. I think you were writing that because I was playing in the café, that it may bother the patrons and the management may have a problem. I need to clarify that I was not playing in the café. I went to the café to get some coffee, I was playing outside on the waterfront. It is open space, so most people don't seem to have a problem with that. When I first started playing, I used to have visions playing on the beach so being near the water is a treat. But in fact, Panama Red, that has great coffee btw, does have an open night twice a month. I may even do my beginning class there. they have a room they let their customers use. It would be big enough to hold a class of 10. I do love when people come up to me and ask about the Bowed Psaltery, I love talking about it. Thank you for your feedback.

Comment by Donna Malus on December 10, 2012 at 2:06pm

Great post!!   Keep that up Evelyn, you might be surprised what will come of it  

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