This article is reprinted from the book called, "A Handbook For Harmonica Club: For Forming and Running and Harmonica Club" ©2005 Richard Martin
By Richard Martin
The following information is provided with suggestions for harmonica club members, on becoming a successful harmonica player.
Music reading ability. In the future, more and more players will want to participate in a harmonica ensemble. Due to the complexity of ensemble musical arrangements, players must develop their music reading skills to be able to play 2 to 5 part musical arrangements. Gone are the days, when "by ear music in the key of C" will be sufficient for playing these arrangements.
Realize that people resist change. No matter how sincerely individuals may be convinced of the necessity for reading and playing music in all keys, the natural emotional response, to this new requirement and the changes it will bring, is negative. No matter how acute the need to upgrade skills in musicianship and perform–ance, it will take a super effort on your part to sell it, implement it and win enthusiastic cooperation to upgrade these skills.
Harmonica Periodicals, Harmonica Club Newsletters, And Seminars Are The Key Means For Harmonica Instruc–tors, Musical Directors, And Harmonica Players To Learn About And Stay On Top Of What Is Happening In The Har–monica Field.
There may not be a consensus right now, but the writing appears to be on the wall. To change the way the public thinks about the harmonica as not being a serious musical instrument, then players will have to change to the way they are presenting the harmonica to the public.
a. Being able to play a variety of music from the score written in all keys.
b. Playing music written for the soloist and ensemble player for flute,
recorder, oboe, voice, and barbershop music.
Encourage club members to select individuals, who are interested in training as harmonica instructors and musical directors.
For one thing, it is harder to play the music from the musical score for individual musical parts. This requires a high degree of musical ability to play as a disciplined soloist or ensemble player. Much of the better musical solo and ensemble arrangements are difficult to play. It is easier for the average player to play the har–monica by convenience, rather than by the way the music wants us to play. It takes a lot motivation, effort, and practice to be able to play the better musical arrangements, for vocal, choral, recorder music, string ensembles, and solo selections with accompaniment. Because of this, the average player tends to occupy himself or herself with playing the music by ear, and in the key of C or G. As a result, these players tend to rely exclusively on their ears to learn music and get by up to a certain level, but a lack of reading skills restricts the level to which they could aspire.