TO BOOK A SCHOOL PROGRAM OR RESIDENCY: Contact Lois Hornbostel for available dates, rates and details on logistics and class scheduling.

Mailing Address: Lois Hornbostel, 135 Pine Meadows Rd., Bryson City, NC 28713


The Appalachian Dulcimer is an authentic and beautiful part of our country's musical heritage. A new generation of young dulcimer enthusiasts has been introduced to the instrument through school visits by Lois Hornbostel, one of the country's best-known dulcimer performer/teachers and an internationally-published author.

"One of the best artists-in-education I have ever watched work." ... Tom Bryan, Director SC Arts-in-Education Program


"Lois is an extremely talented and versatile performer who peaks the students' interest with her superb playing and historical background. I was impressed that her teaching skills equal her musical ones. Her classroom control is exemplary. She knows how to motivate students, how to give clear, concise directions, and how to encourage students and reinforce their progress." ... Laura Schley, Music Specialist All Saints' Episcopal Day School, Carmel, CA


"We have never seen our children so enthusiastic and excited. Lois's teaching style was very warm and relaxed yet followed a very effective teaching format." ... Mary Ruth Fowler, Principal Crabtree Elementary School, Crabtree, NC


"Lois's program was a wonderful experience for us, for the children, and for the community. It was great that each student had one to play - but what makes Lois's program outstanding is the way she presents the lesson, handles the behavior of students, answers their questions and develops their skill, all the while maintaining their interest and enthusiasm." - Steve Norwood, Community Schools Henderson County (NC)


School Shows

Lois's elementary school concerts feature the Appalachian dulcimer and are usually 45 minutes to one hour in length. They present the history, folklore and workings of the dulcimer. Lois's rapport with audiences of children is infamous! The lively and expressive music includes, Appalachian, World Folk Music, Classical to Contemporary repertoire, banjo playing, humor, and stage participation by children. Typical concert setting is auditorium or cafeteria with raised stage area. Audiences of over 100 require school sound system and one or two mikes on pole stands. Invite as many students as your sound system can support.



Lois's residencies are designed with affection for grades 1 through 5, who love it in return. The activities have been time-tested and evolved in over 1,000 schools since 1984. Typically one residency consists of four phases:

1. School Concert/Residency Introduction. A 45-min. orientation/school show is scheduled at the start of the residency to introduce the program and the artist and to accelerate the children's learning of dulcimer playing. As suggested by South Carolina Arts Commission residency guidelines, before the concert one residency period is used for stage and classroom set-up time, to unload the van, and tune 30 dulcimers for classes.

2. Dulcimer Playing Classes. This program is devised to help children understand music-making as an integral part of life through hands-on musical successes and by understanding its ties to history, science, literature and math. Musical skills taught include basic string techniques and musical principles, manual dexterity and recognition of patterns in music. Repertoire varies from Appalachian to contemporary music. Material can be selected to correlate lessons in other subjects. Lois brings 30 dulcimers to the school (26 right-handed and 4 left-handed), and class sizes should be regulated so each student can have a dulcimer to learn on, one student per dulcimer.

3. Dulcimer Building Classes Option. Within a residency, one class typically constructs three dulcimers, using durable, easily-built cardboard-body Backyard Music dulcimer kits that have good intonation and sound quality. These are a great value because they are more easily and safely built, played and sound better than comparably priced inexpensive wooden kits. Students get some basic training in playing in their first class, then learn some industrial arts skills and gain understanding of the workings of a stringed instrument. These dulcimers, along with Lois's children's text, provide follow-up to the residency for the school. They stay in the school and are paid for by the residency supply budget. Lois buys these kits in quantity and passes the discount on to the schools she visits. Contact Lois for current kit prices. Once built they double in value and become property of the school.

4. After-School In-Service Class for Teachers and/or Parents.


TO BOOK A SCHOOL PROGRAM OR RESIDENCY: Contact Lois Hornbostel for available dates, rates and details on logistics and class scheduling.

Mailing Address: Lois Hornbostel, 135 Pine Meadows Rd., Bryson City, NC 28713

Lois's Contacts:

Note new mailing address:

Lois Hornbostel
135 Pine Meadows Rd.
Bryson City, NC 28713

What's New?

Lois's CALENDAR page!

Visit the updated "Calendar" page for exciting new events Lois and music partner Ehukai Teves will be attending.


Lois Hornbostel and Hawaiian singer/multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Ehukai Teves present concerts of their many styles of colorful music. For info on their performances and musical workshops they teach visit DulcimerMusic.Net

Dulcimerville 2013 was a success!

Since 2010 Lois has produced "Dulcimerville" events at the beautiful Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, NC. Weekend Dulcimerville events are planned, which will allow Lois more time for her music and touring. Updates on Dulcimerville events will be listed at 

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