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Mack Johnston

mack johnston photo

Mack is a graduate of the UNC-based Dulcimer University Teacher Program, and he and his wife Melanie teach mountain dulcimer to groups and individuals. In additional to their own students, they teach for the OLLI program at UNC Asheville and at festivals in New York, New England and North Carolina.

Now retired from careers in health care, Mack and his wife are thoroughly enjoying their second careers as musicians. Together they founded the Connecticut Mountain Dulcimer Gathering and the Northeast Dulcimer Orchestra. Since moving to NC, they founded the Black Bear Dulcimer Gathering and the Asheville Dulcimer Orchestra.

Melanie and Mack created the Jam Training Wheels book after seeing students struggle in jam settings. This book provides the basic melody of tunes in an easy to read and play quarter note version. The book is also meant to be helpful in encouraging students to graduate to playing these tunes without music, adding their own strumming patterns and passing notes.

In addition to teaching, Melanie and Mack perform as “Heartstrings” in Asheville area including at the Biltmore Estate, the NC Arboretum and in the River Arts District. Melanie plays mountain dulcimer and Mack plays mandolin, guitar and mountain dulcimer.