More than just tooting at School!

Speedy YellowWhat else do we get up to at Harp Academy?
For most of us, Harp Academy means half-hour harmonica lessons at school. In some cases we also teach individually or to whole classes. Did you know we also get up to musical mischief outside school too?

In July we join Paddle Round The Pier on Hove seafront, where we strut our stuff on¬†the Kids’ Stage for an hour. At October half term we also get involved with the National Harmonica Festival in Bristol. Beside the programme of workshops, performances, trade stands and camaraderie, our more confident¬†players compete¬†in the annual harmonica music competition. Consequently, Harp Academy has been the home of the national player of the year, uninterrupted, since 2011. Here’s some footage of our very first champion. More information is in our Events menu.

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Subscription Renewals Now Due!

Blues brother 2Summer Term Subscription Renewals Now Due

Payment of £67.00 for the summer term is now due. You can visit our Store and pay for lessons by credit or debit card, or else transfer your payment by BACS using our bank account details from the FAQ page. Summer teaching dates are published in the My School menu. If you do not wish to continue harmonica lessons please also let us know, as we may be able to offer your Paypal iiiplace to a newcomer.

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Paddle Round The Pier 2015 – Kids’ Stage

Paddle Round The Pier 2015 iPaddle Round The Pier – 4th-5th July
‘Paddle’ takes place on Hove Sea Front each summer and, besides the water born events¬†and¬†festival arena, it¬†supports performing arts¬†of all kinds. This includes the Kids’ Stage for music and activity groups.

PRTP Hove LawnsThe kids’ stage is located adjacent to the Peace Statue on Hove Lawns and the great news is that Harp Academy has been invited to play for an hour during the Festival. We’re letting all our parents and harmonauts know now, so you can make a note on your busy family calendars! Our performance is open to HA players of every age¬†and ability, and it’s a wonderful¬†opportunity to enjoy performing in public.¬†More details to follow.¬†www.paddleroundthepier.com

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Blowing Up Your Harmonica

Laughing ChildrenDuring our lesson today, we were looking at arrow tab with some KS1 children. The teacher asked what a white, down-arrow meant. Ryan answered, ‘it means it’s a draw note, so you have to breathe in.’ Right answer! The teacher then asked what a black up-arrow meant. ‘I know’, answered Jessica, ‘it means you have to blow up.’

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SPECIAL OFFER – 2 Free Lessons

Special OfferRecommend a friend and receive 2 lessons free!

Children enjoy taking part in activities when¬†their best friends are involved. This includes music making on the harmonica. If you know¬†someone who may be interested¬†in joining Harp Academy, ask them to register for a Taster Session using the golden harmonica to the right¬†and¬†our promotional¬†code harmonaut. The cost ¬†for the taster session¬†is¬†just¬†¬£6.99¬†and we’ll supply their starter harmonica. If they¬†already have a diatonic harmonica in C Major however, they can bring this to their taster session and the lesson will be completely free. If¬†your¬†friend then¬†joins Harp Academy for a complete term (1 taster session and 9 further lessons), we will credit you¬†two free lessons, which you can of course share – one each!

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Oops, I Forgot My Harmonica!

Oops iHow to join in, even if you forget your harmonica

Firstly, please don’t worry – everyone forgets things from time to time. As you are on our register and part of our group, we still want you to¬†come along and you can still join in. But before we get started, think very hard. When did you last see your harmonica? Perhaps you did remember it after all, but you just can‚Äôt remember where you put it!¬†You‚Äôd be amazed how often we discover harmonicas¬†in school¬†bags or class room drawers. So have a quick think. If it’s still not there, that’s ok, let‚Äôs look on¬†our time together as a music lesson, not just a harmonica lesson. There is plenty to learn, even without a harmonica and you’ll certainly understand what we’ve covered. Here are some ideas for joining in, which we’ve used lots of¬†times. Continue reading

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Crazy In Love [Sample Lesson]

Disco 4Got me lookin’ so crazy right now

Time to use your harmonica like a horn player! And here’s a great place to start. Crazy In Love was written by Beyonc√© and¬†Jay-Z. The song is a mixture of hip-hop, funk and jazz styles, but for us the crucial part is the line played by the brass section.

Listen to

The line we’re interested in was borrowed from a 1970 song by the Chi-Lites called Are You My Woman (Tell Me So). Everyone recognises it, which is why¬†we call¬†it a hook. You can check it out here.¬†There are just two patterns to master, so grab your C harmonica and let’s nail this thing…

Continue reading

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Harmonica Dates – Spring Term 2015

Calendar iHarp Academy Teaching Dates

Our teaching dates can be found¬†under the My School in the menu bar above. It’s a good idea to check these regularly. Please also be aware that we run 10 sessions each term; this means we may not be meeting every week through the term. This is standard for independent music services and also means we’re normally out of the way during the busiest times at School. If you have missed recent email reminders regarding¬†our dates and subscription renewals,¬†please check that our information is reaching you – it may be sitting patiently in a spam folder!

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Subscriber Log-In

Backstage PassAccess all areas

For our paid-up Harp Academy students and parents, we provide a subscriber username and password that gives access to all our useful and fun information. Much of this supports our classroom learning and it provides a very effective resource for home study and practise. If you have lost your subscriber log in, or have only just joined Harp Academy, send us an email mentioning your child’s name and school, and we will forward you our special username and password.¬†To log in, click Subscriber Log In¬†in the top corner of the screen, to the right of our logo, enter the subscriber code words and enjoy your VIP backstage pass!

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Improvisation

Boy with ballGive me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown

Improvisation is something that can be quite daunting at first. How do you start? What should you do? The simple answer is anything you feel like, but for some, a blank page can be a huge challenge. At the outset, many of us need guidance on how to improvise. This is an important foundation for future enjoyment and freedom of expression.

Listen to
Two of our team were teaching a KS2 group in Hove last week. It was the children’s¬†first lesson of the Spring term.¬†The first HA teacher started a simple¬†chug, or¬†riff,¬†on his 10 hole harmonica, while the second HA teacher punctuated this pattern with two¬†simple¬†chords, or¬†vamps..

Continue reading

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