Karen Mueller


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Karen Mueller is one of the top autoharp and mountain dulcimer players performing and teaching today. Her exciting and innovative performing style has been applauded by critics and audiences from LA to Boston. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine has said "Karen Mueller's touch, timing and taste make her a true virtuoso. Her talent and clarity deserve a wide audience."

Karen won the 1986 International Autoharp Championship and was a National Dulcimer finalist in 1985, both at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. In 2006 she was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame. A native of Winfield, she first attended the festival while in high school and was inspired to learn to play the autoharp and dulcimer by the performers she saw there. Karen’s playing bridges many traditions as she formulates her own dynamic style, from traditional Appalachian and Celtic music to pop, jazz, and original material.

She has appeared at major dulcimer, autoharp, and folk music events across the US as well as in the UK, including Walnut Valley, Augusta Heritage Center, Sore Fingers Week in England, Scottish Autoharp Weekend, Dulcimer U, Swannanoa Gathering, Kentucky Music Week, Ozark Folk Center, John C. Campbell Folk School, Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, California Autoharp Gathering, Seattle Autoharp Week, Cranberry Gathering, Dulcimer Week in the Wallowas, and many more.

Karen also has over 30 years' experience teaching private lessons for all ages and levels, now all online via Skype, Zoom and Facetime. She has taught elementary school music classes and residencies, including making and playing dulcimers. The consensus among her students is that, as one said, “Karen has the ability to help students achieve a high level of competence in a short time frame.”

Karen has released six solo recordings and authored three music books, including “Celtic Autoharp” and “Favorite Dulcimer Arrangements,” and has contributed to numerous anthology recordings, including two volumes of “Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer,” and “Autoharp Legacy.” Her most recent CD is "Accent on Dulcimer," a retrospective celebrating 40 years of playing the dulcimer. She also plays and teaches bass dulcimer, guitar, mandolin, Irish bouzouki, and ukulele.


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