p16 alive

Alive November 2016

The Harmonica The people’s instrument If Volkswagen was once touted as the “People’s Car” then surely the Harmonica is the people’s instrument. Ironically, they are both of German ancestry. No wonder it is the people’s instrument as it is generally played by everyday people, amateurs and professional musicians. It is quite inexpensive to buy and very transportable. The harmonica, also known as the French harp or mouth organ, is a rectangular metal box made of brass and steel. Most models can easily fit in a shirt pocket and taken anywhere but there are many types and sizes. The harmonica is fairly easy to learn and usually comes with detailed instructions on how to play the instrument. You can learn to play it yourself but if one can afford lessons from a teacher, it is probably a better alternative. The harmonica is a very versatile instrument, to be enjoyed as a solo instrument or in a group ensemble. Walt Schneider, a childhood friend, said, “When I followed instructions carefully, I could play Stephen Foster’s, Old Black Joe; what a feeling of accomplishment!” In a few weeks he learned all the songs in the instruction book and said his feeling of satisfaction was very high. Schneider started playing the harmonica in the fourth grade and he actually got very good at it. As a young boy and young man I was in awe of his playing ability. DR. LAWRENCE E. ANDERSON Founding Director, Danville Community Band


Alive November 2016
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