Re: [Harp-L] College music program on harmonica?

I can tell you what I told Greg Hommert (Delta Saints) when he was ready to
go for a music degree.  Colleges probably are not expecting anyone to be
good enough on the harmonica to apply it to a music degree.  So they are
not going to offer a program for something they may not think is possible
or for which they may not be prepared.  Those of us who are good enough to
make such a program work will have to show them what is possible and
introduce them to what it takes.  We still may not get them to put a
program in place, but we will make their world just a little bit bigger
until they are finally able to understand and, perhaps, be able to plan for
such a program.

I told Greg to choose his college and program given what was already
offered.  Once accepted, learn what they needed him to learn, but show them
what he can do on the diatonic harmonica, too.  Open their eyes and ears
and let them become interested.  So what if you are classified as a flute
major or a guitar major, when you can play a Bach partida on the diatonic
harmonica, you will have their attention.  They may think you are playing a
toy, but it is an instrument.  If you cannot play a trumpet, it is also a
toy.  Show them what your "toy" will do when it is in the hands of a

Greg Hommert graduated from Belmont College with his music degree along
with his band mates in the Delta Saints.  (The Delta Saints are really a
well educated blues/rock band -- with good taste.)  Greg can play a Bach
partida on the diatonic harmonica.  He showed them what it took to do so
while he was there.  He came to SPAH in 2004 as a high school student and
fan of Blues Traveller.  He left SPAH that year having learned to overblow
and customize his own harmonicas and who else he should study to learn
more.  He took more lessons from one of the SPAH instructors, participated
in his local St. Louis harmonica club, attended at least one more SPAH, and
continued to grow until it was time to show Belmont College what they had
really let in their doors.  They may have remained unconvinced at Belmont,
but they cannot deny that they have seen a harmonica player worthy of their
program on his instrument.

Short of starting your own college, what Greg did is probably what you will
have to do -- attend one of the established programs and then tweak it to
suit what you are after.


On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM, George Miklas <harmonicat@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> Back in the early 1980s, there was an article about a girl (name escapes my
> memory) who was supposed to be declared a harmonica major at Mercer
> University, in Macon Georgia.  I was in high school then, and contacted the
> music chair at Macon University.  The chair told me that the girl was not a
> harmonica major, although she played the harmonica, but she was a flute
> major.
> I am seeking to find a college that wants to expand their offerings to
> include harmonica study.  When I find that college, my resume to teach will
> be expedited along with my daughter's student application.
> --
> George Miklas, Harmonica Performing Artist and
> Entertainer<>
> John Philip Sousa's THE HARMONICA WIZARD
> Harmonica Repair Done Right by George <>
> Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica<
> On Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Chesper Nevins <chespernevins@xxxxxxxxx
> >wrote:
> > Is there a college level music degree program in the USA (or anywhere
> > else) where the student can enroll as a harmonica or accordion major?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Jason
> >

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