Children’s Harmonica Workshop

Harpin’ By The Sea Harmonica Festival, Hove, 5th Feb 2023














Thank you to everyone who joined us for the children’s workshop at this year’s Harpin’ By The Sea international harmonica festival.

Thirty children from 4 to 11 years old joined Richard Taylor and Quim Roca for two hours of music and mayhem, culminating in a performance to our grown ups live on stage. It was epic!

Thanks to Matt our Sound Engineer and everyone at The Brunswick for a great morning of fun.

Harmonica for 4-7 Year Olds

Would you like to include music-making on the harmonica in your Early Years setting?

Here’s Richard presenting Play Harmonica, the theme tune from Harp Academy’s early years harmonica courses for 4-7 year olds. He’s using a 4 hole easy-play Speedy harmonica (available in our Store). Set to the tune of Wind The Bobbin Up/There’s A Dinosaur, the song encourages young players to acquire the following key skills:

∙ Hole location by number – 1 2 3 4
∙ Breath control – Blow and Draw
∙ C Major Arpeggio – C E G C
∙ Musical Alphabet (with Makaton) – A B C D E F G
∙ Progression to C Major Scale – C D E F G A B C
∙ Enjoyment of Rhythm and Rhyme
∙ Follow hand signals for intonation
∙ Read and follow harmonica arrow tab notation

If you would like access to the backing track, harmonica tabs, or further details about music making on the harmonica and running weekly sessions in your Early Years setting, get in touch using the details on our Contact page. Please also visit our Early Years menu for more insight into our Pre-School harmonica activities, or our KS1 for young School Age children.


We are the Champions my friends

Well done to Tom Coleman and Callum Shuttlewood, who won their respective categories at this year’s National Harmonica Festival Music Competition in Bristol.

Tom performed Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) by Solomon Linda in the melodic section. Meanwhile, Callum finished the day’s schedule with Avicii’s Wake Me Up. They both showed immense strength of character by delivering two highly entertaining and very musical solo performances.

A big well done also goes to the family members who turned out to support our intrepid harmonauts.

Why Play Harmonica?

From our testimonial page..

My daughter had a terrible night with a cold and she only went to school due to 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 practised 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 enjoyable to hear a tune that you can smile about. I’m trying When The Saints Go Speedy Pink 2Marching In!  Richard was most helpful in discussing the various payment options and details 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.

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

Folders 6

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 harp 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 3 zip bag. A clear-pocket folder is the simplest solution. This will help us dedicate more time to music-making, and less time paper-chasing. As children move through the key stages, old papers can be kept at home and replaced with current material. Sheet A4 Tiger Tuff Bag 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!