Lois Sprengnether Keel


Location: Clarkston, MI
Country: US

My Latest Followers:

Ferrator kateharp Ballad Gal tndulcimer Laurel K Scott Mary hugssandi Garret IRENE dulcinina Jim Soltis Mill Branch Dulcimores Dan Lisa Golladay charlene carrie roberts Cat Brown Christine Shoemaker Tom Hoy Steven Berger Skip Susie Jan Potts David Bennett Richard Streib John C. Knopf Larry Conger Dusty Turtle Tull Glazener Robin Clark Ken Longfield Banjimer Doug Berch Jeannie in Paradise Ken Hulme Robin Thompson Strumelia


images: 9

As a professional storyteller, Lois often enriches her performance with folk music.  The mountain dulcimer has become her favorite instrument, but she confesses she has a veritable "petting zoo" of instruments and sometimes uses them, too. 


Latest Activity


Latest Group Discussions

Lois Sprengnether Keel

A bit of humor for builders & Aussies

The caption on this was "I just can't cut this board.  It keeps staring...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 4 years ago - Comments: 4
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Chords "with a slash"

We've all seen chords like these: F/C, G/C, C/E.  A song I want to play...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 5 years ago - Comments: 4
Lois Sprengnether Keel

3 Ravens

Back on Old Style Drone & Noter Players 2 inter-related discussions...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 6 years ago - Comments: 13
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Types of baritones (not talking brands)

Someday I hope to add to my dulcimer zoo a baritone, because I love...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 6 years ago - Comments: 0
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Piano as 1st Language

It's said your first language colors your thinking. (Trust me, thiswill...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 9 years ago - Comments: 12
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Finger dancing basics?

Have been away from FOTMD a bunch lately, but notice Finger Dancing...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 9 years ago - Comments: 17
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Playing the non-melody strings

I love Shakespearian and other Early music, so I suspect this is a...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 10 years ago - Comments: 10
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Isaac Woodbury & dulcimer 1850?

Tracing the dulcimer history is tricky, but Wikipedia says Isaac B....
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 10 years ago - Comments: 5
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Strum Direction Consistency

I really need to ask this, but am not sure if it's relevant to all...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 11 years ago - Comments: 15
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Wooden pegs lose pitch

An acquaintance wants to play her grandmother's dulcimer, but says the...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 11 years ago - Comments: 12
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Combining Noter/Drone with Chords?

I've seen some mention playing a piece first with Noter and Drone style...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 11 years ago - Comments: 15
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Strums and also practicing without a dulcimer

This may be two separate topics. I've seen Strumelia's Bump Ditty...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 11 years ago - Comments: 15
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Starting the New Year Right

I'd put this on "My Page", but don't see how to start something there....
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 12 years ago - Comments: 6

Latest Audio


Latest Videos


Latest Photos

Dulcimer in School.jpg
Swan Dulci Head.jpg
Swan Dulci Tail Wing.jpg
Swan Dulci Signature on Back.jpg
Swan Dulci Logo.jpg
Swan Dulci Logo on Fretboard.jpg
Swan Dulci 2d View.jpg

Latest Forum Discussions


Why I generally play solo

Posted: Sunday September 26 2021, 7:56 AM
By: @MandaPanda

Groups - Quiet or am I missing the obvious?

Posted: Saturday December 12 2020, 2:20 PM
By: @Strumelia

Virtual Dulcimer Festival Site

Posted: Friday September 11 2020, 3:50 PM
By: @Lois Sprengnether Keel

A bit of "our" humor

Posted: Saturday June 27 2020, 9:41 PM
By: @Steven Berger

Who Made Swan-shaped Dulcimer?

Posted: Tuesday April 7 2020, 6:00 PM
By: @Lois Sprengnether Keel

Call 'em Ukes, Ukuleles, but never Ukeleles!

Posted: Thursday November 14 2019, 7:55 AM
By: @Terry Wilson

How do I post in the Photos section of my...

Posted: Sunday September 8 2019, 11:53 AM
By: @Strumelia

Possible Source of Wood for Instruments

Posted: Tuesday April 10 2018, 3:45 PM
By: @notsothoreau

Bridge for key change?

Posted: Wednesday December 13 2017, 7:44 PM
By: @Lois Sprengnether Keel

Protecting skin

Posted: Monday January 23 2017, 10:41 PM
By: @Dusty Turtle

Chord books

Posted: Monday May 4 2015, 3:23 AM
By: @Wout Blommers


02/07/21 01:04:59PM @winks:

Hi Lois. Thanks for the welcome. No, I've never used my dulcimer in my work - not confident enough to do that. I did try playing a duet with one of my teens a few Christmases ago. I was using my mandolin during my mandolin period (that has since ended and the mandolins are gone the way of all flesh, so to speak) and she - Jessica - was using her violin. We were playing Away in a Manger on Christmas Eve. Well, she was playing Away In A manger; I froze and could not remember one single note. Now mind you, I've been speaking in front of people and preaching and teaching for 40 some years so you would think 'no problem.' Uh-uh. Froze. Stage fright. Since then I afflict myself only on my wife and our dogs. By the way, Jess said she would never duet with me again. Smart gal.

Anyway, nice to meet you and thanks again for the welcome.

Kevin (Winks)

Lois Sprengnether Keel
11/02/20 09:54:13AM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

Even quarantined and in Rehab, my husband found a way to give me a birthday surprise!  He called before they took him away for therapy and directed me to the chaos of his closet.  Found the big envelope tucked away.  He had heard me mention a book, Playing Dulcimer in the Chord-Melody Style and got it!  Great songs in it, but most important was him sitting in his hospital bed figuring out a way to start today with a thoughtful surprise.  That is SOOOOO my Roadie and I hope we can get him back to that job.  Of course we all would find getting back to our jobs a great Christmas present.  In the meantime this book will encourage me to take time out for music.

Lois Sprengnether Keel
11/12/19 08:28:05PM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

Here's an unpaid shout out for Folkcraft.  I'm overdue in showing my beautiful Tennessee Music Box made by @Irene"> @Irene .  I just reviewed online the custom case for it Folkcraft made.  Five star & wish I had the option for higher.  Excellent customer service & quality.  Check their upcoming-events   page.  Shows their involvement beyond IN (about an hour out of Fort Wayne) + 2d Saturday workshops April - September for only $35 with 4 hour clinic, jam before & concert after.  I may try to avoid working on those Saturdays.

Laurel K Scott
06/02/18 02:19:34PM @laurel-k-scott:

Thank you, Lois -- I will take a look! (oh, and I'm a Jeff Furman fan, too -- really enjoyed my class with him at the Crooked Road festival last week).

Interestingly, it was my other instructor, Nancy Galumbush, who observed that pianists often have trouble learning things like back-fretting, since we're so conditioned to pick those fingers up after most keys are hit.

Jim Soltis
04/23/18 01:13:43PM @jim-soltis:

This was in the email I rec'd about the one-day Ridgeway event:

"The morning workshops are geared to mountain dulcimers, but afternoon is Everybody Welcome....hammered dulcimers, banjos, fiddle, guitar, what have you so please come on over and enjoy the day!  Lunch is a Bring Your Own affair, though I will likely be ordering pizza if anyone wants to do that."

A flyer was attached that you can access here:



Jim Soltis
04/20/18 01:22:33PM @jim-soltis:

Looking forward to meeting you too, Lois.  I haven't had all that much workshop experience.  I was lucky enough to get three days of instruction with Bing Futch,  Dave Haas and Richard Ash at the Indiana Dulcimer Festival in the days right after I got my dulcimer in September 2015.  It was a great intro.  I've also done a three-day immersive with Steven Seifert and Bing a couple of years ago in Evart. Very helpful.  I'm attending a one-day workshop with Brett Ridgeway in Lake Odessa MI in May and now this one in Interlochen in June with Tull Glazener, DeeDee Tibbets and Wanda Degen.  I'm glad about the last two workshops because, apart from Evart, we don't get access to many workshops here in Michigan. 

Lois Sprengnether Keel
10/25/17 12:31:40AM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

Back in August I posted about today's Jeff Furman workshop.  Lots to absorb and I'M IN LOVE!!!  No, not Jeff, although he's good.  Love the sound of a baritone dulcimer!  With my deeper voice it's a natural.  Today's workshop included capo usage and I will, but the sound of a baritone is true love for my ears.

I told my husband.  He foolishly wondered if I would be getting rid of any of my dulcimers.  Fortunately he has even less reason for all his banjos, so I'm safe.

Just yesterday I was talking about Carole King's song, "Anticipation" and now I get to live it!  Time to learn more.


Lois Sprengnether Keel
08/02/17 09:06:33PM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

FOTMD member, Jeff Furman, is coming to Marine City, October 24 to do a workshop.  For registration information contact Tom Hoy at Tom's email.

Lois Sprengnether Keel
03/18/17 10:11:36PM @lois-sprengnether-keel:

The cast is finally off my hand & wrist!!! Will definitely need to work on flexibility & strength, but I can play againjoyjoy -- o.k. need to work on endurance, too, but am sooooooo happy.

Tom Hoy
11/05/14 07:57:57AM @tom-hoy:

Hi Lois, I'll need your email address.


Gary Major
08/04/14 04:53:00PM @gary-major:

LOL We have a Smile competition going here Lois. lol 103.gif

Gary Major
07/22/14 07:45:41PM @gary-major:

Hi there: Thank you for being my friend. Hope to chat soon.


Robin Clark
02/06/14 03:24:51AM @robin-clark:

Hi Lois - thanks for the friends invite. Send your question over and I'll do my best to answer.

Jim Damico
10/11/13 01:19:40PM @jim-bagsh:

Thanks for the friend request Lois. Looking forward to learning a lot with everyone on FOTMD. :)

Robin Thompson
02/16/13 09:39:24AM @robin-thompson:

Hi, Lois! The closest thing I can think of to noter play without droning is when Randy Adams plays across the strings with a noter; when played on one of his fretless dulcimers, it has a really blues-y sound. Very cool.

Ken Longfield
12/31/12 08:01:52PM @ken-longfield:

Lois, sorry I confused you about Folkcraft/Folkroots dulcimers. Both are made in the same facility in Woodburn, IN. Do you do your storytelling relatively quiet settings? If not you might want an instrument you can plug in to an amplifier or one with a double back. The bigger bodies of the Folkroots dulcimers give them a deeper sound than the standard Folkcraft and McSpaddens. McSpaddens have a slightly longer fret board than the standard Folkroots. You can order the Folkroots with different vibrating string lengths (VSL). The smaller the length the shorter the distance between frets. You can check out Folkroots dulcimers at the www.folkcraft.com . Send me a message if you have any questions about Folkroots. Ken

B. Ross Ashley
12/06/12 11:01:58PM @b-ross-ashley:

Thanks for the friend request, Lois. Michiganders might count as honourary Canadians!

Jim Fawcett
09/14/12 01:11:10PM @jim-fawcett:

Lois, thanks for the friend request...Come visit us in the chat room...just jump right in.

Karen Keane
09/08/12 11:55:39AM @karen-keane:

Hello and welcome to the site. This is a great place to share ideas and listen to music. I hope you enjoy!

John Keane
09/08/12 09:29:00AM @john-keane:

Howdy and welcome to the FOTMD family!