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

Brothers & Sisters of Wailin',

Anybody want to get a certified online course going on the Internet from a recognized school? I'd like to hear of several hallowed halls of higher learning offer to tackle that one!

Some years ago a regional college was stumping for music majors and played our high school. Afterwards I spoke with the director who was praising the band and ordering the repack of the college transport. I said that the band only needed one instrument. The director said "I suppose you are a guitarist?" to which my grin alone nearly 'cut heads'. "Yes sir, I am." He invited me to come to an afternoon session and to bring my gear.
A few weeks later I auditioned for a degree as a stage band sit-in. The director handed out music. We played for a couple hours. When they were done I approached the director, hoping that I at least didn't disrupt the practice. The director looked about getting several nods from select members of the group. Okay, I thought. They're going to tell me to try again. (At least an opinion would be appreciated.)

The director smiled and said "Son, I have some good news for you and some bad news for you. The good news is that the all expense paid 4 year degree is yours. The bad news is that you'll have to get your degree in a different instrument...When you graduate YOU will be the department guitar director."

I don't recall getting that music degree. But I would like to think that there's somebody out there whom might like to audition for a stage band that's missing a harmonicist...(And already be a guitar player)!

Be Blues...And Jazz,

Suave Blues Man

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Cohen" <bob@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "harp L" <harp-l@xxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Tony Eyers" <tony@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2012 12:27 PM
Subject: 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?


For more information about the SPAH election go to

"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

"The revolution will not be televised," Gil Scott Heron

This archive was generated by a fusion of Pipermail 0.09 (Mailman edition) and MHonArc 2.6.8.