September is nearly here!

HA Promo 1eLet the tooting commence
We hope you’ve had an enjoyable and relaxing summer break. We’re now preparing for the new academic year and a new season of music making. We look forward to seeing everyone very soon and would welcome your help with registering for the autumn term as soon as possible. Further details are below.

New Rates
Whether you settle by monthly Standing Order or Termly Payment in advance, if you’d like to continue lessons this autumn please ensure that you transfer or send your fees as soon as possible. We would ask you to adjust your payments to accommodate the small increase in rates for the new academic year – our first increase in five years. Monthly Standing Order instalments are now ¬£16.75 and Termly Payment transfers are now ¬£67.00. Full details on how to pay are¬†here. Continue reading

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Why Play Harmonica?

From our testimonial page..

Crawley Down Village Primary School
My daughter had a terrible night with a cold and she only went to school due her harmonica lesson today! She had her first session with Will last week and she is really Mother and daughter with tablet 2enjoying her introduction to using a harmonica. We have practiced her homework for this week, which was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and logged onto the website to listen to the C Scale notes. I have been practising too; what an enjoyable hobby this is!

After spending all day working on a computer and talking to people, it has been a most relaxing experience -¬†so much so, I’m going to get a harmonica myself.¬†I would encourage people of all ages to give this hobby a try. It’s most KS2 Harp Boy 3enjoyable to hear a tune that you can smile about. I’m trying When The Saints Go Marching In!¬† Richard¬†was most helpful in discussing the various payment option and¬†detail of my daughter’s¬†taster session. He’s a most accommodating person who certainly has the people skills to manage anyone’s expectations.¬†A superb start to a fascinating musical instrument.

Hertford Infants School, Brighton
Thanks for all you have done for our visually impaired son. Over the past three years Рyour gift of music helped him come out of himself and realise that he can create part of his own world through sound! He has thoroughly enjoyed his sessions at Hertford Infants with you.

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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. One by one the children were invited to step up and play anything they liked over the top, and most rose to the challenge quite readily. When we came to Jack however, he was holding his chair so tightly, his knuckles had turned white and his eyes were wider¬†than saucers. Continue reading

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Sheet Music

Sheet Music 4Down the road someone is practising scales,
The notes like little fishes vanish with a wink of their tails Louis MacNeice

Children joining Harp Academy receive a Tuff zip bag for their equipment, which includes a Music Diary and Music Book. Once early key skills are mastered however, and the first music book is finished, we move on to sheet music and Folders 6harp tabs. Harp tabs are usually issued by our teachers, but they can also be downloaded and printed off at home using the link on each of our Music Library pages. This system affords our teachers the flexibility they need to inspire each group, and freedom to choose fun, topical items for seasonal performances.

It can also mean that as term progresses, children build up a collection of musical paperwork. With this in mind, we would ask parents to help our harmonauts assemble their paperwork in a simple folder; one that will slip readily into their Tuff Folders 3zip bag. A clear-pocket folder is the simplest solution. This will help us dedicate more time to music-making, and spend less time paper-chasing.

As¬†children move through the key stages, old¬†papers can be kept at home and replaced with¬†current material.¬†Sheet music and¬†harmonica tabs will inevitably remain part of the way we operate.¬†So, on behalf of your Harp Academy teacher, thank you for helping us¬†maximise¬†children’s music-making time!

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La Cucuracha (Mexico / Complex Time)

Cockroaches normally have six legs. The song's inspiration however, came from a coackroach that had lost a leg. The result was a pattern (or meter in musical terms) that gave five beats to the bar. Subscriber and username required.

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Harmonica Hand Skills

Thank you for visiting this page. Please log in with the secret Harp Academy Username and Password to view its content. You can find these inside the front page of your Music Diary. If you are still having difficulty logging in however, just let us know using the Contact Us form in the blue menu bar above. We’ll assist you as soon as a member of our team is available.

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Crazy In Love

Thank you for visiting this page. Please log in with the secret Harp Academy Username and Password to view its content. You can find these inside the front page of your Music Diary. If you are still having difficulty logging in however, just let us know using the Contact Us form in the blue menu bar above. We’ll assist you as soon as a member of our team is available.

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Scale Of C Major

Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do

When we start harmonica, we usually learn to play the Major Scale first. This is a series of notes that most of us will quickly recognise.¬†It’s an easy and useful pattern to remember.

Since beginner harmonica music and instruction material is normally written in the key of C Major, our first scale is also in C Major. Harmonicas are available in every key, major and minor, but we don’t need to worry about this at the moment. We just want to get you making music as fast as possible.

There are 4 blow notes and¬†4 draw notes in the Major Scale on a diatonic harmonica. That’s 8 notes in total. We call this an Octave. An Octopus has eight legs, an Octagon has eight sides and an Octave has eight notes.

Listen to
Our aim is to play all 8 notes steadily, accurately and with full tone. This will take time to learn, controlling your breath as you go, but try to keep each note clean and in pitch (see first notes). Let’s explore the C Major Scale now, and see how we can use it for key skill building on the harmonica. Continue reading

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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Star Face iHow I wonder where you are

Here’s the first tune we love to play on the harmonica. We’re sure you will recognise it!

Listen to

It’s a great way for learning your first movements around the harmonica, how to play single and repeated notes and how to control your breath. Let’s see how it’s done. Continue reading

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