Lois Sprengnether Keel


Location: Clarkston, MI
Country: US

My Latest Followers:

John C. Knopf Jeannie in Paradise Laurel K Scott hugssandi Cat Brown Jim Soltis Christine Shoemaker Strumelia Tom Hoy Susie Mary Larry Conger charlene carrie roberts Robin Clark Lisa Golladay Doug Berch Rick Garrett Joyce Hibbard Ken Hulme Dusty Turtle Deborah Hinz Jan Potts Helen Seiler Ken Longfield


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

Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 4 days ago • comments: 6
Posted a new Comment on Finding a comfortable key to sing in and accompanying dulcimer chords:
"The "little tweaks" recommended by @jan-potts may have just helped solve a problem I was going to ask about in the Baritone Dulcimer group.  I've been..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 3 weeks ago • comments: 5
Posted a new Comment on @lois-showers:
"Welcome, fellow Lois!"
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • one month ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "How do you Practice?":
"I confess my time available for practice gives me too little review time and tends toward program needs and a song or songs matching themes coming up at our..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • one month ago • comments: 6
Posted a new Comment on @jholtslag:
"@jholtslag, Your question interests me, too, as I often find DAD too high and often try CGC and CGG.  As a newbie here, might I suggest posting it in the..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 85
Posted a new Comment on @ken-hulme:
"Ken, somehow I don't think of using an "@" when replying, but my two comments were especially for you.  In case you don't drift back to the "spooky,..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 2
Posted a new Comment on Dulcimer Capos:
"I was using (unsuccessfully?) the Search feature for "Little Musgrave" & a lot of unrelated discussions appeared.  I say Unsuccessfully?  Because I..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What's your favorite mournful, spooky, or lonesome song to play?":
"Bit of a postscript here.  I had heard of the title "Little Musgrave", but that's about it.  This is one wicked little song.  Yes, it ends as unhappily as..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What's your favorite mournful, spooky, or lonesome song to play?":
"WOW!  I just went to YouTube and caught Nic Jones's fingerstyle guitar version.  Oh Ken, that's one heck of a rockin' Child's ballad.  I know for a fact they..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 13
Posted a new Comment on 3 Ravens :
"Five. -First verse about the ravens & their asking where to have breakfast (yum! tried to give with a bit of hint towards wicked taste)  -Second about..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "What's your favorite mournful, spooky, or lonesome song to play?":
"I'd post The 3 Ravens, but if you read my update on how my performance went, I'm not sure I'm ready to go back to it for a lo-o-o-o-ng while. I do play..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 2 months ago • comments: 13
Posted a new Comment on 3 Ravens :
"Oh Lisa, I wish this had come sooner!  I try to work ahead on the themes for the monthly meeting of our folklore society.  Meetings are the first Saturday..."
Lois Sprengnether Keel
Lois Sprengnether Keel
@lois-sprengnether-keel • 3 months ago • comments: 0
Posted a response to "NOTICE: Forum/Group consolidations":
"Hi, I've been away a bunch, and that sometimes meant figuring out what group had a discussion.  The one that really stumped me at times was the one for..."

Latest Group Discussions

Lois Sprengnether Keel

3 Ravens

Back on Old Style Drone & Noter Players 2 inter-related discussions...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 6 months 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 last year - Comments: 0
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Unfest in Hastings

Held off posting here and in the North of the Lakes group until after...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 4 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 4 years ago - Comments: 18
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Finger dancing basics?

Have been away from FOTMD a bunch lately, but notice Finger Dancing...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 4 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 5 years ago - Comments: 10
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Isaac Woodbury & dulcimer 1850?

Tracing the dulcimer history is tricky, butWikipedia says Isaac B....
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 5 years ago - Comments: 6
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 6 years ago - Comments: 18
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Wooden pegs lose pitch

An acquaintance wants to play her grandmother's dulcimer, but says the...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 6 years ago - Comments: 14
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 6 years ago - Comments: 21
Lois Sprengnether Keel

Strums and also practicing without a dulcimer

This may be two separate topics. I've seen Strumelia's Bump Ditty video...
@Lois Sprengnether Keel 6 years ago - Comments: 19
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 7 years ago - Comments: 6

Latest Audio


Latest Videos



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.


Joyce Hibbard
05/08/14 09:10:42PM @joyce-hibbard:

Hi Lois, myself and five other ladies from the Mt. Echos troupe in Ortonville are plannng to attend the Interlochen Immersive workshop. Are you planning on going? Have you learn how to play the dulcimer. or you still with your guitar?Grin.gif

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. :)

Helen Seiler
10/10/13 11:08:10PM @helen-seiler:
Hello there young Lois. Thank u for your doggy message and for sharing your thoughts. I had some good news yesterday on my hand problem. I saw a great physio who checked and found I had tightness andin pressure on my ulnar nerve in both arms and he followed it right up to my thoracic outlet near the clavical on each side (tight there also). He is pretty confident he can free it up with a couple of appointments and with special exercises for home. He certainly stirred it up yesterday. Great news is it wont require surgery. It is caused by a combination of how I bend my arms when sleeping, my poor posture and slightly weird physiology. Such a relief. I go to a balance clinic next week to see if we can sort that out as well. How is your body treating you now? Are u back to your old self? What's happennjng musically and with the story telling? Sorry, lots of questions, but I have been a bit flat and am trying to get my finger out and become part of the world again. I am going to a local folk music group tonight. I dont feel up to playing this week but there is a Blues festival near here on the weekend and it is rumoured we may have some of the musicians in town for that dropping in to our group tonight. Fingers crossed. H x
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!

Joyce Hibbard
09/17/12 10:00:08AM @joyce-hibbard:

Hi Lois, Now I remember who you are, from that jam event...You and your husband were there together...I gave him the tab for Keel Row, thought it was neat because of your name being Keel.. Please come to Ortonville soon..Joyce

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!