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Following my Musical Muse

I have always wanted to play a musical instrument. When I was a child, my parents paid for guitar and then piano lessons to no avail. I was hopelessly musically challenged.
Over the years I've tried different instruments to see if I had outgrown this affliction and each time I was reminded that I hadn't.

Then about 6 months ago while wandering the internet, I discovered the Bowed Psaltery.
This instrument seems to be made for the musically challenged like me!

The Bowed Psaltery is a simple stringed instrument. It sounds a bit like the violin with the droning quality of the bagpipes. If you love bagpipes like me, you'll love the sound of the Bowed Psaltery.

You don't need to coordinated the left and right hand (less complication for the musically challenged!) On the violin you hold down the strings with the left hand to get different notes. The Bowed Psaltery does that for you by already having the strings at different lengths. Then all you have to do is use the bow on the correct string. To overcome that obstacle, I marked the letters next to the strings. And I marked the letters next to the notes on the sheet music.
Now all I have to do is match the letters and count!
Yeah! I'm playing music!
Well, okay, it's not something that will get me a recording contract but then no one went screaming from the room either!

This past week at the Tamarack in Beckley, West Virgina, I meet up with about 45 other Bowed Psaltery players (some real musicians, some wannabes like me). Players came from as far as Illinois, Ohio, Massachusett and South Carolina. We gathered for the Second Annual Bowed Psaltery Symphony.
Four days of song playing and practicing melodies and harmonies together with a public concert on the last day.
This was the first time I had played a musical instrument in public and the first time I've played along side others. The experience was a life-long dream come true.

I've also made some great new friends through this experience. They were so welcoming.

The two people most responsible for making this event come together were:

Tish Westman, one of only a few Bowed Psaltery makers in the country
Donna, the mastermind behind the Bowed Psaltery forum where we all share information on this wonderful instrument.

Coming back from this wonderful event, I'm more in love with the Bowed Psaltery than I was before.
Finally, I can play simple melodies on a musical instrument!
Truely a life-long dream come true!

Keep trying for your dreams. You never know when one will come true.

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