1. If possible, leave your dulcimer on its stand and ready to play. You will be more apt to practice if you don't have to drag your instrument out every time.
2. Practice at small intervals throughout the day. You would be surprised how quickly your practicing time will add up.
3. Have fun! Never let your practice time become a drudgery.
4. If you come to a difficult part of the tune that you just can't seem to get down, take a break and come back to it later.
5. Don't worry about speed--that will come. Learn to play the tune smoothly and evenly.
6. If possible, play a recording of the tune throughout the day or as much as possible (while doing housework, in the car, etc.). Having the tune in your head will imprint it on your mind and will go a long way in helping you to learn it.
7. If you're using an instructional tape, the same rule applies--listen to it often to help imprint into your memory.