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Danny Shepherd
I was born and raised in Hopkinsville, KY.  After high school I attended Austin
Peay State University, Clarksville, TN, until being drafted into the U.S. Army.  My
first assignment was with the 101st Airborne Band as a Percussionist.  My next
assignment was the Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, VA as a
Percussion Instructor, where I gave private and group instruction and performed
in faculty ensembles.  After four years of teaching, I was assigned as a Solo
Instrumentalist with the United States Continental Army Band at Ft. Monroe, VA.   
My final Army tour was with the 79th Army Band in the Republic of Panama where
I served as the Enlisted Band Leader (1st Sergeant). My military years were filled
with wonderful travel and performance opportunities across the United States,
Central and South America.  

After my Army retirement I returned to my Kentucky “roots” and completed my
Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. I've taught K-5 Elementary Music for the
past eleven years.

About six years ago I purchased a cardboard mountain dulcimer kit in  
Fredericksburg, TX. About four years later I finally got around to putting it
together. The first time I played it I was “hooked”! It wasn’t long before I began
using  the instrument in my 3rd-5th grade music classes.

As a Music Educator, I have the opportunity to pass on the heritage and traditions
of American music.  One of my goals is to teach children about American folk
music and the instruments used to perform it.     

My book “Mountain Dulcimer for Children (and the Young At Heart), The Color
and Play Method reflects concepts I have been teaching for the past several
years in my classroom.  This method has worked very well with my 3rd – 5th
grade students and in 2008-2009 I’ll begin using it for the first time with 2nd grade
students.

    My dulcimer books were designed to:
Introduce children of all ages (and the young at heart) to the Mountain
Dulcimer
Provide a simple method for learning to play the dulcimer with one finger,
on one string
Provide immediate success and gratification from the first song you learn to
play
Provide core rhythm concepts from the very beginning, so students have a
solid foundation on which to build
Teach to a variety of individual learning styles:
Visual (looking at graphics, text, numbers, colors, shapes, & patterns)
Auditory (by saying the rhythms out loud, singing the songs, listening to the
companion CD)
Tactile/Kinesthetic  (using the crayons to color the circles on each page
using the color guide at the bottom of the page – reinforces, shapes,
numbers, and patterns of notes and rhythms)

About our Cardboard Dulcimers
Limited funding for musical instruments motivated me to find an affordable
solution for providing one instrument per student in my classes.  My classroom
has a few wooden instruments, and I have also built cardboard dulcimers from kits
for my students to use.    

Recently, after self-publishing my books, I decided to build more dulcimer kits
using the colorful fabric patterns you see here on our website. The fabric is
applied using an art medium which originated in the 17th century (known today as
decoupage).  I’m now able to offer my teaching method, along with an attractive
and affordable student level instrument.