Upcoming 2017 Sessions:
Spring in Asheville, NC - May 7-12
Autumn in New England - Oct. 15-20

Welcome - here are all the details about HD Chord Camp. I hope you can join us.

If you have any questions about any of the information here (or not here) please email Jon Weinberg.

This spring's Asheville session at Perelandra is filling up - make your reservation soon to reserve your spot!

Updated: 1/6/2017 -  visits to this page.

Comments from past Chord Camp attendees :

"What a grand week of learning in a most relaxed, supportive atmosphere. I am now seeing patterns all over my dulcimer and am ready to tackle doing my own arrangements. It is just two weeks after Chord Camp and I already feel my playing has improved. Thank you Jon for sharing your love of the dulcimer with us" - Ginny, New York

"Invaluable! Jump starts my playing ability. Instead of learning just a few specific pieces, Chord Camp teaches a whole chord system of playing the dulcimer. It helps everything make sense. Chord charts are brilliant! Will probably affect everything I do on the dulcimer from now on!" - Jane, Maryland

"Your class, Jon, made a huge impression on me and will make a huge impact on my playing. You've given me the tools, now I can have more confidence as I play" - Dottie, North Carolina

"My playing has gotten much better since I've been throwing chords into the mix in the right way. A few comments from critics tell the story.
My wife says: Your playing is more comfortable and confident now. They have the right rhythms and inflections.
A fellow Golden Gate Dulcimer Club member said: I really like the way you play the chords through a song. It really sounds like a dulcimer should.
" - Bill, California

"Thanks, Jon! I really got a lot of great instruction from your camp that I can't wait to start incorporating into my playing. Everything was so well organized from the lodging to the instructional material to the dinners. It was a great week, and I enjoyed being with the entire group." - Jeri, New Mexico

"I think you have given us the keys to the castle or the Kingdom. Thanks for all you efforts in helping us become musicians." - Kathy, Cape Cod Massachusetts

"In the last few years I've been to quite a few HD festivals and I've taken quite a few classes and workshops where we learn new songs and the chords that go with them. But this is the first time I can remember leaving a workshop and really understanding two crucial things: one - how the chords in a song fit and support the melody line, and two - how and where to play those chords on my Hammer Dulcimer! Your method of Chords In A Box was well presented, easy to learn, and best of all, fun to play. I feel like I've really moved up to the next level in my playing - thank you!" - Barrett, New Jersey

"It was a wonderful camp. It was exactly what you said it would be and just what I wanted to learn. The lessons, the music, the hospitality, the food, the companionship all made for a great week, and I'm very glad I came!!!" - Joyce, Connecticut

Click on any of the pictures above for a slideshow of past Chord Camps

Table of Contents

What is Chord Camp? Camp Objectives Cost
Where is Chord Camp? Schedule How to Enroll
Jon Weinberg Workshop Sessions Other Activities
Prerequisites Meals and Lodging Spouses/Traveling Companions

What is Chord Camp?

Chord Camp is a week-long workshop of intensive learning and playing in a small-group environment, with hammered dulcimer and guitar teacher and performer Jon Weinberg.

Jon makes no assumption that you know anything about chords. At Chord Camp the emphasis is on practical application, not theory - you will learn what makes a chord, how to easily play them on the dulcimer, how to use them to back up other instruments (and choral groups), and how to incorporate chords to make solo arrangements of your favorite tunes. We will practice these things together and you will be given some personal exercise assignments to work on, so that you will leave with more than just an intellectual understanding: you will take home tunes and arrangements you have worked on, can modify, and can add to your own repertoire, all of which demonstrate the techniques we'll cover.

Many other HD chording workshops focus on every which way to play the same chord on a dulcimer and then leave you to your own devices to figure out how that can be useful, or how it fits within common chord progressions. At Chord Camp you'll learn which chords commonly appear together, and how to play triad patterns for these progressions that are easy-to-play and easy-to-remember. Then you'll learn how these chord patterns and playing variations can be applied to most anything you might want to do on the dulcimer, making your musical life more varied and pleasurable and your dulcimer toolkit more robust.

Most dulcimer players learn to play by playing melodies without much attention to chords. We will focus on the chords and work our way back to the melodies for a more holistic approach to both ensemble accompaniment and solo arranging. For many dulcimer players this way of thinking and playing can be a real eye-opener.

To foster accelerated learning and to provide personal attention class size is limited to only 10 attendees.

Once a session is filled we will maintain a waiting list should anyone need to cancel.

Where is Chord Camp?

Spring Session in Asheville, NC

The spring session of Chord Camp is held at Jerry Read Smith's spectacular Perelandra studio and performance center on the east side of Asheville, NC, in the hills near the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is one of the weekly sessions offered as part of Jerry's Hammered Dulcimer Academy at Perelandra.


Lodging is at Asheville Super8 Motel 10-15 minutes from Perelandra.

Fall Session in New England

Fall Chord Camp is held in New England during peak fall foliage time, in "metrowest" Boston (in-between the I95/128 and I495 loop highways) in the adjacent towns of Framingham and Marlborough, Massachusetts (about 30-45 minutes west of downtown Boston):


Workshops and the Thursday evening concert are at the Framingham Friends Quaker Meetinghouse in wooded north Framingham, near the Marlborough line.

Fall colors Framingham Friends Meetinghouse

Lodging is at the recently renovated Marlborough Holiday Inn, about 8 miles from the meetinghouse and near Jon's house, restaurants, and other services.

Jon Weinberg

Jon Weinberg Jon has been playing the acoustic guitar since 1967 and hammered dulcimer since 1990.

He is a frequent performer and teacher at dulcimer festivals in the northeast US including the Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering, the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival, the Pocono Winter Dulcimer Festival in Pennsylvania, and beyond the northeast including the ODPC Funfest in Evart, MI. For many years Jon was the hammered dulcimer coordinator of the now-defunct Cambridge Spring Dulcimer festival.

Jon plays dulcimer at weddings, church services, and other celebratory events, and performs concerts at coffeehouses, town events, restaurants, and at residential assisted living and nursing home facilities. He has accompanied the New England Children's Choir at the New England Conservatory of Music and at Boston Symphony Hall, is a featured speaker and performer on the hammered dulcimer at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and is a frequent performer at NEFFA (the New England Folk Festival).

As a member of multiple contra dance bands over the years Jon developed a system of dulcimer chords and a backup playing style that he teaches both to private students and at dulcimer festival workshops. He is currently an active member of the New England band Wild Card.

Jon teaches private hammered dulcimer lessons at his home in Marlborough, Mass. and online via Skype. In 2013 he released his first CD "About Time".

Chord Camp Prerequisites

Chord camp is NOT for beginner or novice dulcimer players. To keep up with the pace of the material and the rest of the group, attendees should possess the following skills and capabilities: If you have any questions about your skill level or whether or not you should attend please email Jon and we can discuss your dulcimer and musical experience and figure out what makes sense for both of us.

Camp Objectives

By the end of the week you should be able to:


Sunday late afternoon (~5:00PM) - arrive and join everyone for a get-acquainted dinner at a local restaurant

Typical Workshop days (Monday through Friday):

7:30-8:30AM Breakfast at the hotel  
8:30AM Travel to the workshop site (meetinghouse or Perelandra) In New England, on Monday Jon will swing by the hotel to lead everyone there. Other mornings you can drive yourself or carpool with others for the drive from and to the hotel
9:00-12:00PM Morning workshop  
12:00-1:00PM Lunch break  
1:00-4:00PM Afternoon workshop May be a little longer if we break mid-afternoon for an off-site activity
4:00PM Free/down time before dinner To practice, jam, explore, take a rest back at the hotel...
5:00ish Cocktails/wine/schmoozing before dinner (optional) Bring your favorite local brew or a bottle of wine and/or cheese and crackers to share. In New England we'll gather at Jon's house down the street from the hotel. In Asheville we'll meet at Jerry's house or deck
6:00ish Dinner Most dinners we will go out to local restaurants. On Thursday before the New England concert we'll bring in pizza
After dinner Free time to socialize, jam, practice, retire to your room, etc. We may have a movie night one evening or some other activity

Monday's foundational workshop will run a little longer, after which we'll go directly to dinner (nearby).

Thursday evening (New England only) - Jon Weinberg (and friends) in concert - open to the public - attendees (and a traveling companion) are admitted for free and each Chord Camper is invited to perform a piece if they would like.

Friday - have breakfast and check out of the hotel. Our final day of workshops and lunch will end with a late-afternoon wrap up followed by everyone helping to straighten out the meetinghouse or Perelandra. Afterwards you can depart or join us for a final "cocktail hour" and group dinner.

Friday late afternoon and evening you are welcome to stay and work with Jon and others on any pieces you've been working on and want some help and/or feedback, or anything else you have questions about. In previous years, at the request of attendees Jon has given demos on using Band-in-a-Box, and has explained and demonstrated the dulcimer pickups he uses and options.

Workshop Sessions

Here is what you will learn: Much of what we do will include exercises to impart skills and build confidence, such as group round-robin accompaniment, and small group and solo breakout sessions where you will arrange a selected tune/song and then perform it before the group.

You are encouraged to bring a piece you've been working on but maybe don't feel quite satisfied with, with which you can apply the ideas and techniques you will learn during the week. If you want more ideas and feedback there will be a session where Jon (and other attendees) can work with you to help you develop your arrangement.

New England attendees are invited to perform a piece at the Thursday evening concert, either one you've played beforehand or (for the fearless) one you learned and arranged during the camp sessions.

Meals and Lodging

Breakfast: is included in the price of your room and provided by the hotel each morning.

Lunches: salad and sandwich fixings will be provided for everyone to make their own lunch (included in your registration fee). For a change of pace we may go out for lunch one day.

Dinners: For offsite restaurant dinners figure an average of $45 a dinner (including tax, tip, and maybe a drink), or $200-220 for the 4-5 restaurant dinners, a pizza dinner, and maybe a visit or two to local ice cream stands.

For the spring Asheville session some area restaurants we like and/or have been to before for Chord Camp are:

For the fall New England session these are restaurants we like and/or have eaten at during past Chord Camps:

If you have any dietary preferences or restrictions please indicate this on your registration form.

Lodging for the Spring Asheville Session

Asheville Super8 Motel We have a block of rooms reserved at the newly renovated Super8 motel on Tunnel Rd, which is about a 12-15 minute drive to Perelandra. The Chord Camp rate for either a single king or two double bed room is $79.00 plus tax which includes breakfast each morning. The cost is the same for one or two people per room. For 5 nights (Sun. through Thurs.) this amounts to approximately $450.00 (with guestimated tax). After April 15th all unused rooms will be released so please don't wait until the last minute to enroll and then make your lodging reservation.

NOTE that:

After you enroll, Jon will send you details on how to make your room reservation to receive our special event pricing.

Lodging for the Fall New England Session

Marlborough Holiday Inn We have a block of rooms reserved at the recently renovated Marlborough Holiday Inn. The special Chord Camp rate for either a single king or two double bed room is $115 plus tax, which includes a full breakfast buffet each morning. The cost is the same for one or two people per room. For 5 nights (Sun. through Thurs.) with tax this amounts to approximately $640.00. After Sept 1 all unused rooms will be released, so don't wait to make your reservation or room availability may be limited and our special pricing may not be available.

After you enroll, Jon will send you details on how to make your room reservation to receive our special event pricing.

NOTE that:

If you are interested in arriving earlier or staying later to do some sightseeing, the hotel has offered to extend the Chord Camp daily rate for you. If you'd like to do this (or are thinking about it) let Jon know when you enroll as you may need to contact a specific person to arrange this.

People driving a long distance may want to consider staying over Friday evening at the end of the week and leaving for home on Saturday morning.


Plan on the week (Sunday evening to Friday afternoon) costing approximately $1000 - $1200. This can vary somewhat depending on the cost of your dinner choices, and if you want to share a room with another attendee. At the end of the week most attendees found they'd spent less than they expected.

This cost is based on the following:

Registration fee (see below)
Lodging (5 nights, single or double room)


Registration Fee

The registration fee includes: This amount is payable in full when you enroll.

Note: Please be aware that TShirts are ordered 6-8 weeks before the beginning of each Chord Camp. People who enroll after that time may not receive one, or at least one in their preferred size (if I order a few extras).

Cancellation Refund Policy

Should you need to cancel, depending upon when you cancel your registration fee may be refundable as follows:
Spring Session Fall Session Registration Fee
Before January 1 Before June 1 Fully refundable
Before April 1 Before September 1 Refundable in full only if your place can be taken by a new enrollment
On or after April 1 On or after September 1 Sorry, no refund

How to Enroll

Here's how to enroll in Chord Camp:
  1. email Jon to let him know that you want to come and to check that there is an opening still available. Let him know which session you are interested in and if you'll need a loaner instrument. Jon will reply to your email and tentatively enroll you if there is an opening. If you haven't heard back from him in a few days, please email him again in case your email got lost (it does happen...)
  2. Then print and fill out this Enrollment Form, fill it out and mail it to the address on the form along with your check for the full registration fee
  3. When your enrollment form and check have been received Jon will email you back a confirmation that you are fully enrolled, along with information on how and where to make your room reservations

That's it! A month or two before the session Jon will email you a few simple tunes melodies to learn in advance. As the session week approaches Jon will email you additional information on what to bring musically and weather-wise, as well as any last minute developments.

Other Activities

Spring Asheville Session

Possible extra-curricular activities include:

Fall New England Session

For afternoon breaks we might If you've never been to the area you might want to spend a weekend before or after Chord Camp to do some sightseeing. Marlborough is about 30-40 minutes from Boston, Minuteman National Historic Park, and historic Concord and Lexington, MA, and the Wrentham Outlet Mall. There's lots to see and do.

Spouses/Traveling Companions

You are welcome to bring your spouse or significant other with you to spend the week vacationing here. They are invited to join you/us for all non-teaching activities (cocktail hours, dinners, jams, and offsite activities). While you are attending workshops they are free to explore Boston and historic eastern Massachusetts, or just relax.

Note that they will receive free admission to the Thursday evening New England concert.

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