lessons and workshops

Lessons with Kara logo

Instrumental Instruction

For information on Kara's Sliver Strings dulcimer program, click here.

Kara is one of Indiana’s most sought after instructors teaching all styles and levels of guitar, banjo, tenor banjo, dulcimer, mandolin and octave mandolin in her Brown County, Indiana studio.

With a current roster of over 50 students, there are rarely openings. However arrangements can be made to schedule master class sessions or to be put on a waiting list. If Kara is unable to work you into her schedule, she has several great instructors to whom she can refer you.

Great musicians aren't always great teachers! If you have any level of discomfort with your current instructor you’re likely in the wrong place.

Please contact Kara for scheduling information and fees.

Here's what Kara says of her teaching philosophy:

"Teaching music is my passion. I thoroughly enjoy students at all levels. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or a professional musician you have your own unique emotional and physical challenges to overcome in order to achieve your goals. It is my job to find a method that works best for you. I will ask you to have patience with yourself as we take this journey together. I will require you to be gentle and kind to yourself. I can help you with your instrument as long as you understand what it takes to fully overcome your personal obstacles."

Looking for the videos that go with one of Kara's instruction books?

Each set of instructional videos on the "Kara's Music Books" YouTube Channel is its own playlist. Use the links above to get there quickly.

If you find yourself on the main YouTube channel for Kara's Music Books for some reason, you'll see all the videos for all the books. To find just the videos for your book from there, click the "Playlists" tab.

kara's advanced dulcimer arrangements
and in-person lesson videos

View on YouTube

Click here to access the "Dulcimer Lessons with Kara" YouTube channel.
Click here to access the "Advanced Dulcimer Lessons" YouTube channel.
Contact Kara to request tablature.

Lesson Cancelation Policy

Good communication regarding your schedule is a must. All students are charged for same day cancellations. Each student gets two excused cancellations per year. After the second cancellation, students must pay for all missed lessons.


Workshops Taught at Festivals

Kara Barnard Workshops

Mountain Dulcimer:

  • Tuning, Timing and Tablature for the Reluctant Beginner
  • How to play the mountain dulcimer in any key
  • Embellishing Songs with Hammer Ons, Pull Offs, Slides and Fills


  • Guitar Theory: Learning the Tools You Need to Navigate the Fretboard
  • Playing Scales and Chord Progressions in any Key with and without a Capo
  • Fingerstyle Basics
  • Flatpicking 101


  • Banjo 101, Intro to Chords and Rolls
  • Advanced Banjo, Moveable Chord Theory, Intro to Scales and Playing Up the Neck
  • Beginning Melodic Style


  • Mandolin 101, Intro to Chords and Scales
  • Intermediate Mandolin, Moveable Chord Theory and Scales
  • Advanced Mandolin, Fiddle Tunes and Cool Riffs to Embellish Them

Monthly Weed Patch Workshops:

  • Kara's Group Therapy, for Adult, Intermediate and Professional Musicians with Performance or Technique Obstacles to Overcome
  • Shredders Club, for Teen and Pre-teen Guitarists
  • Problem Solving
  • mindful Playing
  • Mountain Dulcimer, Phases 1, 2 and 3

Recording artists and performing musicians that have studied with Kara

Ann McWilliams
Dino Codalata, Birdmen of Alcatraz
Paul Holdman, Larry Crane Band, Jennie DeVoe Band & Carrie Newcomer Band
Troy Seele, Ma Kelly, Sindacato, Iced Earth,
Frank Dean, Sindacato
Jennie DeVoe
Johnny Richards, Myrllen’s Coat & The House Marys
Clinton Page, Page Family
Mikel and Arminta, Blaq Lilly
Will Stockwell, solo
Rebecca Lynn, Rebecca Lynn Band
John Lortz, Lortz and Holly
Diane Porter, The Lost Brothers
Laura Connallon, solo
Dionne Ward and Mandy Miller, Kindred
Ken Wilson
Rick Hedrick, Reel Time String Band
Chris Bryan, Reel Time String Band
Dan Bilger, White Lightning Boys
Jeff Owens, MC AXE and Firecrew / Kasey the Fire and Life Safety Dog
Jonas Schrodt, solo
George Blair, various Brown County based jazz and Dixieland bands

Looking for something in particular? There is a site index available.