Bringing harmonica music to your school community
The harmonica is a great way to refresh and elevate music learning in your school. It’s affordable, it plays in tune and it sounds really cool. For younger learners there are no tricky frets, keyboards or finger holes either. Harp Academy has been teaching harmonica in EYFS and Primary Education since 2010 in Small Group, Club and Whole Class formats and it’s a highly effective portal for music education.
Harp Academy works with children from 4-11 years as follows:
• Daytime whole class access to music (approx 30 children)
• Daytime small groups (6-8 children) – 30 minutes
• Lunchtime Clubs (6-12 children) – 30 minutes
• After School Clubs (6-12 children) – 30 minutes
• 1:1 music lessons on site – 30 minutes
• Bespoke workshops, presentations and projects
Our minimum group size is 6 children for small group learning and clubs, and we provide 10 sessions per term (30 sessions each academic year). We’re happy to include EYFS/Reception Year children. Indeed, some may already have learnt harmonica with Harp Academy at their local Nursery. Ideally we look to provide at least an hour’s worth of activity on site, in key stage or year groupings.
Control of budgets is important for schools and parents alike. Our small group and club sessions include one free taster session to ensure that everyone is happy with arrangements before they commit. This includes a free starter harmonica and music sheet, which children can keep. Ongoing lessons are £40.00 half termly in advance (5 sessions), or £75.00 termly in advance (10 sessions). That’s about a third of the price of private music tuition and Harp Academy administrates subscriptions directly with parents/carers. The only other cost is £15.99 for KS2 parents to secure a 10 hole harmonica for ongoing sessions. Music packs are also available in our Store, but parents can supply their own kit (pocket folder, diary and pen). We regret that harmonicas cannot be hired or borrowed for hygiene reasons. Subject to numbers, children can join at any point in our schedule.
Ready to launch?
When you are happy that Harp Academy meets all your criteria, we will deliver a 15 minute demonstration in assembly. We can play to the children as they arrive, and again as they leave for classes. During the assembly we will explain how a harmonica works, demonstrate the way it sounds, try some simple breathing exercises and invite one or two children to try it out. To capture the enthusiasm generated, we supply flyers for children to take home the same day, or a pdf for your office to email out. All parents/carers need to do is visit our website and click the gold harmonica to register their interest, and we will send them further details.
Promoting your new harmonica activity
We also ask for your support in promoting the harmonica to parents. An announcement in your school newsletter, an entry on your website activity page or a group text can be very effective. Whether you have a paperless policy at school, or an alternative recruitment system, let us know in advance so that we can work with you. We can also supply colourful posters, busk at home-time, and provide logos and information for your website. Within a week we will let you know the level of response. If we achieve the minimum group/club uptake of 6 children, we are ready to get started and will forward our harmonica register.
Payments and admin
Harp Academy will handle day-to-day admin with parents, processing registrations, subscriptions and answering queries, so there is no additional burden on your office team. We will forward our register and dates periodically, so you will always know which children are involved and when we are operating. We will also liaise with your front office colleagues, safeguarding officer, School business manager and clubs coordinator as appropriate, to understand and uphold any school-specific requirements.
Points to consider
Before we visit you at school, answers to the following questions will help with preparations:
• When would you like to start your harmonica activity?
• Are you considering daytime teaching, whole class teaching, or an after school club?
• What is the target group (Reception, KS1, KS2)?
• Is an enclosed teaching space available?
• Is there potential for teaching back-to-back half hour slots (eg. KS1/KS2 or Y3-4/Y5-6)?
• What are your School’s health and safety requirements?
• Is there a cost for room hire?
• Can we arrange assembly playbacks from time to time?
• Can harmonica parents attend our playbacks?
• Do you need references from other Harp Academy schools?
• Can we be included in school newsletters and on the school website?
• Can we feature in the school’s newsletters/clubs information?
• Can we display Harp Academy flyers and posters in school?
• Can we deliver a demo assembly twice a year to maintain interest levels?
Whole class teaching
As an alternative to our small group and club scenarios, we can provide weekly 30-60 minute whole-class sessions; usually in 10 week courses. These can be tailored to Key Stage learning and we are happy to work with a number of classes in one day. The guide price for each lesson is £60.00 per hour pro rata. This is invoiced to your school and payable within two weeks of our final session.
For whole class teaching, there is just the additional cost for a stock of starter harmonicas to be considered; for health and hygiene reasons these cannot be shared. Harp Academy will recommend the best harmonicas for your needs and supply these at discounted rates. Our guide price for bulk orders of 4 hole Speedy starter harmonicas is £4.50 per child (inc VAT); 10 hole Airwave models can be supplied for £8.50 per child (inc VAT). Schools can often recover the instrument cost through funding, sponsorships or parental donations.
From time to time individual children outgrow their group settings, but are keen to continue the harmonica. We offer daytime 1:1 private half hourly sessions, which might be something you’d like to consider. Musicians Union teaching rates apply.