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As stated in Article II of our constitution a primary purpose of the GPDA is to:


 “conduct educational programs and services related to Hammered and Mountain Dulcimers and other acoustic instruments.”



Educational Programs

GPDA volunteers provide informal educational programs for a variety of institutions such as: public and private elementary schools, nursing and assisted care facilities, senior organizations, public services organizations, libraries and church groups.


Most of our programs follow a similar structure.  We perform some traditional/folk tunes and provide a brief history or description of our instruments and how they are played.  This portion of the program varies based on the instruments that are represented on a given day.  We also invite questions about the instruments or GPDA from the audience. 


GPDA also participates in reenactment events at Oatville Elementary School in Haysville, KS (Prairie Days) and at Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, KS (Education Day). Both of these are all day events that include historical reenactments of demonstrations of life on the plains. Our part of the day includes demonstrating our instruments and playing a few traditional tunes as students come through our area.

Instrument Workshops

Our most direct way of providing education is by conducting workshops.  Workshop leaders generally provide detailed instruction on one of two areas-- technical aspects of playing an instrument, or learning a new tune.  Most workshops are instrument specific; that is, they concentrate on one instrument, i.e. the mountain dulcimer.  GPDA offers workshops at our monthly meetings, winter retreat, and Warm-up Picnic.  We have also hosted special intensive workshops by professional musicians passing through Wichita.


Past instructors have included: 

  • Chuck & Karen Daniels

  • Dan Delancey

  • Steve Eulberg

  • Bing Futch

  • Jeff Hames

  • Erin Mae Lewis

  • Tim May

  • Larry McDoniel

  • Don Pedi

  • Amber Rogers

  • Linda Thomas

  • Margaret Wright

  • and many, many more!


Instrument Petting Zoo

Our newest educational adventure is the “Instrument Petting Zoo.”  This event is the brainchild of one of newest members, Erin Mae Lewis.  Erin, along with her sister Amber, suggested that GPDA participate in an Instrument Petting Zoo at a local library.  The concept is to provide an informal setting where young people (kids) can actually touch/strum/play instruments in a somewhat controlled environment.  Individual members provided their instruments, time and knowledge. 

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