Aubrey Atwater
Aubrey Atwater

Aubrey is an award-winning vocalist. Aubrey started playing music at the age of five when she tapped out "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush" on the piano. Her only formal musical training was the seven years of classical piano lessons that followed. Near the end of high school, she started to play the guitar and sing popular folk songs of the '60s and '70s. At Brown University, she studied psychology, history, and French, and played often in coffeehouses and campus rallies.

After Aubrey met her husband. Elwood Donnelly, at the Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Providence, her career developed dramatically. They formed a duo, Atwater~Donnelly, in the fall of 1987, which quickly gained regional and then national popularity. Atwater~Donnelly specializes in American and Celtic traditional folk music and dance as well as original material. Since 1987 Aubrey has learned to play the Irish tin whistle, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, old-time banjo, mandolin, a variety of small percussion instruments as well as Appalachian clogging (step-dancing). The duo performs widely in the United States in coffeehouses and concert series, festivals, radio stations, television, colleges, libraries, and other events and their recordings receive international air play.

Watch this introductory video by Aubrey, as she tells the story of how her teaching method evolved. Use this link to contact Aubrey directly.

Level 2 Bile Em Cabbage
Bile ‘em Cabbage is the "call to worship" at many jam sessions. It's a good song to use for learning to harmonize with your dulcimer. The tune is included with the lesson on learning to use your dulcimer as a harmony voice when singing.
Level 3 Harmony Voice with Singing
Aubrey shows us how it is possible to harmonize with your own dulcimer by humming the melody to "Pretty Saro" while playing the harmony she cooked up for her own arrangement.
Level 2 Playing with 4 Equally Distant Strings
Aubrey shares how she became interested in playing with equally distant strings. And then she explains how fingerpicking changes when you go from the 3 string configuration to a 4 equally distant string set up.
Level 3 Reverse Tuning
The video starts with Aubrey's dulcimer tuned to D-A-d, the way we are accustomed to tuning. Then she demonstrates how the D-A-d tuning is not an easy key for a woman to sing for certain songs, and offers several possible solutions.
Level 3 Slap-Strum
This slap strum technique will turn your dulcimer into a percussion instrument. In this lesson, Aubrey shows us exactly how to make our strumming sound more professional and how to improve our dulcimer strumming with this muted, slap strum technique. 
Level 3 Tunings, Keys & Modes
A mode is defined by the series of whole and half steps. The mode is not defined by the tuning; you can play every mode in every key. In this lesson, Aubrey discusses the modes in both major and minor keys.

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