Covid-19 Safety Awareness

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases

As our harmonauts return to school this Autumn, here’s Dr Dog with a short review and some good advice. We would also like to pass on these handy home-learning health and safety modules. They’re devised by the e-bug organisation and have been recommended via the UK Government website.

Microbe Mania
Hand Hygiene
Super Sneezes
Respiratory Hygiene
Antibiotic Awareness

Harp Academy will be returning to Schools after October half term break. Until we’re back, just remember: catch it, bin it, kill it, and wash your hands thoroughly!

Behind the scenes

Harmonica lessons at Harp Academy HQ

During the long break from teaching at School, we’ve been busy refurbishing Harp Academy headquarters, and we’ve now started teaching one-to-one lessons in a live format.

The very first students to enjoy our new set up were Dylan from Goldstone, followed by his schoolmate Joe. Here’s Joe learning blues harmonica and enjoying the new set up. Dylan and Joe are both making amazing progress.

We also had a lovely visit from Chyanne and Jacob this week. They spent the afternoon checking out where our harmonicas are cleaned and repaired, where our teaching resources are created and where we store everything. They also tried out the new teaching facility where we practiced the theme music to Jurassic Park. As you can see, Chyanne took some fabulous souvenirs home afterwards!

The new teaching space has dedicated access, plenty of ventilation, space for safe distancing, and a great view across the garden. If you’d like to book a private lesson with Richard at Harp Academy HQ in Hove, send an email from the Contact page in our menu and we will get you set. We also offer online lessons using Zoom or Skype, where you can choose your preferred Harp Academy teacher.

In the meantime, we hope you’re enjoying the summer holidays and don’t forget to enter our harmonica picture postcard competition! There are some great prizes to be won. Full details are here on our home page.

Looking back at Live@5

Music and mayhem to end the week
During the Corona lockdown, Harp Academy went online with weekly lesson links, live tutorials, and the ever popular Live@5 show. Our Friday YouTube shenanigans featured regular moments of mischief, harmonica interludes, quizzes, and a pie-tastic finale.

We’re delighted that our Live at Five broadcasts were so popular and who knows, one day we may resume the weekly mayhem. In the meantime, you can continue to enjoy our offerings by clicking through the links below.

Enjoy our previous Live@5 broadcasts
Live at Five 1a      Live at Five 1b      Live at Five 2     Live at Five 3     
Live at Five 4        Live at Five 5        Live at Five 6      Live at Five 7  
Live at Five 8        Live at Five 9        Live at Five 10   Live at Five 11

A cup half full

Laughing ChildrenHarmonica Lesson Outtakes
Today we were working on a new way to play the C major scale, by pairing notes. We call this playing in couplets. It makes a simple exercise more exciting and promotes good breathing and navigation skills. We can add other effects to make the process even more challenging, such as legato and staccato, and emphasise notes. Eventually we produce a fun melody with an Irish twist.

So what do we mean by a couplet?’ asked the teacher. No reply. ‘The answer’s in the word! Try removing the last two letters‘ the teacher prompted. ‘I know, I know‘, said Jake, ‘it’s a small cup‘.

Sample Lesson – The Saints

Mardi Gras Harlequin Mask iI want to be in that number

It’s time to learn some fun jazz on the harmonica and here’s a song everybody will recognise. It’s called When The Saints Go Marching In and it’s from New Orleans, The song has a long name, so we’ll call it The Saints for short.

Listen to

The Saints started life as an American gospel hymn and it was sung quite slowly. But once the Jazz Bands of New Orleans got hold of it, they soon gave it some swing! (more…)