KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean the learning should stop. 

Pellissippi State Community College is offering noncredit lifelong learning classes to the public this summer. 

Rudy Ryan teaches several classes on the Appalachian Dulcimer. He is known for his mastery of the three-stringed instrument with roots in our region. 

Ryan is teaching a 9-week beginner class on the Hardin Valley Campus. He says no prior musical experience is necessary. All you need to provide is your own dulcimer. 

“We do literally start with beats, start with strumming, like this air strumming. We start from nothing,” said Ryan. 

A lot of his students have never played an instrument, so they start with the basics, and after nearly 14 hours of practice they might surprise themselves. 

“Then when they actually start playing something they realize I am making music with this instrument and so they really enjoy that,” said Ryan. 

Ryan says people are drawn to the mountain melodies and he feels lucky to be there at the start of their musical journey. 

“To get them to have fun with it and it may be the last time to take an instrument, so that’s the reward is just to see those faces having fun playing with other people and everything, so it’s great,” said Ryan. 

The beginner class is on Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The 9-week class runs from June 16 to August 18 and costs $115. 

Visit to register for classes online.