About Mary Lynn

In 2012, Mary Lynn discovered a passion for playing the hammered dulcimer. and has studied intensively with Ken Kolodner, widely regarded as one of the nation's top hammered dulcimer players. She now teaches over 70 hammered dulcimer students privately and on FaceTime (from CA, NM, NY, TN, NH, AL, CO, MD, MI, and Australia). She has prepared dozens of students to attend Ken Kolodner's Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreats, an elite hammered dulcimer retreat held in Sandbridge Beach, VA. Mary Lynn serves as an assistant teacher for Kolodner. Performances and teaching appearances include The Evart FunFest (2017, 2018, 2019), The National Cathedral (DC), The Black Mountain Festival, The Poconos Dulcimer Festival and with Kolodner in Chicago, Watkins Glen, NY and elsewhere.

Mary Lynn began playing piano at the age of 6 and studied for 14 years. In sixth grade she played trumpet, but discovered her true passion the next year when she heard a french horn. She earned a Bachelor's degree in music education from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master's degree in music education from Eastman School of Music. Mary Lynn has performed with the Durham Symphony for 20 years and served as Principal Horn for the past 5 years.


Mary Lynn teaches private and group lessons in hammered dulcimer

From her home base of Hillsborough, North Carolina, ML maintains 70+ students on hammered dulcimer, piano, flute and French Horn. Trained at the prestigious Eastman School of Music, Mary Lynn has earned a masters degree in Music Education. As a hammered dulcimer player of just six years, she has joined Ken Kolodner on stage in concerts in Chicago, Watkins Glen, NY and at The Black Mountain Festival, as well as performing solo and with Mark Grobner on the main stage at the Evart Dulcimer Festival.

~ Distance learning via FaceTime is available


Mary Lynn is available to play for your wedding or special event

Mary Lynn has performed on the main stage (with Mark Grobner) at The OPDC FunFest in Evart, MI, with a children's choir at The National Cathedral in Washington, DC and has performed with Kolodner in Chicago (IL), Watkins Glen (NY), The Black Mountain Festival (NC) and elsewhere. Locally, she has performed for church services and private events. Her love for the instrument and for music is shared with her students and audience members.

See What People Are Saying

"...Mary Lynn has turned into an outstanding player and teacher of the instrument. As a teacher, she is superbly patient and encouraging, and possesses an intuitive ability to diagnose technical issues. I enthusiastically refer gigs and students to Mary Lynn. You will be in great hands!"

~Ken Kolodner,  Hammered Dulcimer instructor and performer

"Mary Lynn is an "always" musician: always on time (always early), always prepared, always musically expressive, always easy to work with. Whether playing the horn or hammered dulcimer, I have had the pleasure of experiencing her "A game" every single time, without even a hint of "look at me" attitude. She is an ideal musician!"

~David Stuntz, Director of Music, Blacknail Church.

"Whether it's over Skype or in person, Mary Lynn's teaching methods are clearly accessible, targeted, and effective. My student has developed his skills impressively with Mary Lynn's help. More importantly, he went from discouraged and stuck to encouraged, motivated, and ready to tackle new challenges. I will absolutely refer students to Mary Lynn in the future"

~Karen Alley,  National Hammered Dulcimer Champion

"A gorgeous French horn solo by Mary Lynn van Deventer stands out in my memory."

~Kevin Hoover,  review of a performance with The Metropolitan Opera Stars

Get In Touch With  Mary Lynn

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