I have the great fortune of playing the fretted* (mountain) dulcimer for more than 40 years now and I was thinking recently about the first student that I taught on the Appalachian dulcimer. Her mother had called me and asked if there was a simple instrument that I could teach her daughter (Pammy) that would be easy enough to learn and allow her something of her own that could help build her confidence. I suggested the Appalachian dulcimer. The family could not afford a dulcimer but they could afford a dulcimer kit. Pammy’s mom asked me if I would build an Appalachian dulcimer and give her daughter lessons. I had never built any instruments but was happy to take up the challenge.