Our teaching dates are advertised¬†in the My School¬†menu above. It’s a good idea to check these regularly and make a note on your family calendar, or in your diary. Parents should be aware that we run 10 sessions each term; which means our lesson¬†schedule usually¬†finishes before the¬†school’s end of term. This is standard for music services. It also means we’re out of the way during busier times at School. If you seem to miss¬†our regular¬†email-reminders regarding dates and subscription renewals,¬†please check that our information is reaching your in-tray and not sitting quietly¬†in a spam folder!
The summer holidays are upon us and we hope you enjoy your time off school. Remember there are plenty of harmonica activities in our Harp QI menu to keep you busy during the break. Check out the crazy videos, ‘interesting’ information, hall of fame and harmonica activity ideas; you can even build your own harmonica! You can also investigate new songs and skills in our Key Stage menus, and practise the songs you’ve been learning this year.
Send us a picture of you and your harmonica on¬†holiday, or from somewhere at home, by Fri 4.September¬†and we’ll enter your name in our postcard¬†prize draw.
“I just wanted to thank you for organising the Paddle Round The Pier event; Edith loved taking part in the harmonica performance.We stayed next to the children’s stage for the rest of the day and both Edith and her sister Nell enjoyed watching, or taking part in, all of the subsequent performances on stage! It was our first time at the festival (despite living in Brighton & Hove for the last fifteen years). We’ll be going every year now!”¬†Parent of Aldrington Primary School.
A great big thank you, and well done, to all the harmonauts and parents who joined us on the seafront in Hove for Paddle Round The Pier, and to celebrate 4th July!¬†We had players from Woodingdean Primary, Aldrington Primary, Hove Juniors and St Nicolas & St Mary’s, Shoreham. It was a gloriously sunny lunchtime and a real privilege to see our harmonauts giving so much pleasure and entertainment to others.
The day’s repertoire included Summertime, Twinkle, South Australia, Tingalayo, Blow The Man Down, Ode To Joy, Drunken Sailor, Wimoweh, When The Saints, Bobby Shafto, and Somewhere Only We Know, all of which were played to backing tracks ably engineered by our new team member, Lee Sheers.
Shortly before the performance, our trio from Hove Juniors, Ethan, Tor and Alex, busked outside the Festival area , complete with upturned hat; they covered their bus fare home in very short order! Impressive stuff, and all in the spirit of our summer tooting celebration. Meanwhile on the Kids’ Stage, the guys gave a great a capella rendition of The Wallace & Grommit Theme, which was only equalled by a gutsy a capella solo performance of¬†Jump Down Turnaround, by Delphy from Woodingdean. Go Delphy!
Thanks to Nathaniel, Logan, Edith, Delphy, Tor, Ethan and Alex for giving us a great show. Thanks also to all the mums, dads, sisters, brothers, grand parents and friends who came to support our effort. Huge thanks also to Lee for being our sound engineer, to R√©ka for organising the Kids Stage and to the festival organisers for letting us loose in public.¬†Have a great summer everyone!
What 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. You can register your interest in these events by clicking the Golden Harmonica.
During 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.’
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!
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
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.
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…
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!
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.