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

On Apr 20, 2012, at 11:56 AM, George Miklas wrote:

> We need a musical revival in America where the harmonica is taught in US
> public schools by certified teachers in each state.  College Music
> Education majors will need to have a methods class in Harmonica.


Making this happen should be a part of SPAH's operations. We can't preserve or advance our instrument to a meaningful degree unless the organization aspires to be more than a one week harmonica party for people who can afford to take a week off from work and pay for a hotel and airfare.

Your suggestion to focus on the US music curriculum is an excellent point. Many elementary schools, for example, feature the Recorder as part of its music curriculum. It's not all that easy to play it. Why not the harmonica? Learning simple melodies is easy as pie. As to high schools, I share a story about where my daughter currently goes. King Philip has an elite music program with a national reputation. When I broached this subject with the director a few years ago, it was clear he lacked familiarity with the work of the harmonica masters (both past and present). To shut me up, because I'm a persistent guy (some have even accused me of being a pain in the a**), he was willing to host a master class for his students providing someone furnished the teachers both for the master class and to support of weekly lessons. I broached this subject with various board members two or three years ago at one of the conventions. Well, you know the outcome of the conversation.

Clearly there are many moving parts to a project like this; however, self-imposed limits to do what "seems" possible based on what's on hand at a given moment sells everyone short. Every great trip begins with a strong intention to go someplace extraordinary. And the journey itself, with all its twists and turns is just as important as the destination.

Maybe it's time to give this a try?


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"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence." Albert Einstein

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