Please check back this winter for information about the 2020 Harmonica Workshop which will be held June 1-3, 2020 during the 49th Annual Kerrville Folk Festival (dates subject to change). All information below is for the recently completed 2019 Harmonica Workshop.

The 2019 workshop will be held Monday, June 3 through Wednesday, June 5.   Pre-paid reservations are required.  Register prior to April 1 for a discounted rate!  Registration includes the class, tent camping, lunches, and admission to the Sundown Concerts.

HARMONICA WORKSHOP

The Harmonica Workshop is led by Rob Roy Parnell

Other instructors include Cheryl Arena, James Conway & Michael D'Eath

 

Mission of the Kerrville Folk Festival Harmonica Workshop: To provide a positive learning environment for teacher and student that engages all to learn, study and promote a broader understanding of the harmonica and to inspire all in becoming more passionate about becoming a better player and person outside the workshop environment.

 

What Should Students Bring?

  • Harmonicas in the Key of A, C, D and F in good working order. A harmonica in the key of C is good to bring for 3rd Position Study and Chromatics. The key of C is recommended for the Chromatic for all positions.

  • Notepad with a hard back for writing notes while sitting in a chair with a pen or pencil.

  • Hand held recorder to help capture specific information helpful to the student from the teacher

  • Dress in cool clothes. Although we are on a shaded stage “Kennedy Theater Stage” being comfortable is important.

  • Container to drink water. Kerrville Folk Festival has reasonably priced souvenir thermos cups to purchase or you can bring your own from home.

 

Syllabus (May be adjusted to meet the needs of the students)

Day 1

  • 10:00 am: Hour 1 – Introductions by teacher and students around the stage to get everyone comfortable to learn.

  • 11:00 am: Hour 2 thru 2.5 – I, IV, V chord progression and other types of chord progressions and discussion on scales and how they relate to the harmonica. Brief discussion on circle of fifths. Discussion on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions.

  • 12:30 pm: Lunch – 30 minutes

  • 1:00 pm: Hour 3 – Meet as a group and all play 24 bars of a I, IV, V progression. All play a 24 bar first position solo. All play a second position solo. All play a third position solo.

  • 2:00 pm: Hour 4 – Two teachers will take students at 20-minute intervals for the ‘one-on-one’ learning environment. One teacher holds class with remaining students and talk about how the circle of fifths and the first three positions are important to master. Use 1st, 2nd, and 3rd position scales. Talk about bends, vibrato, use of the upper comb and over blows. Meet briefly as a group to discuss homework and the events for the new day.

DAY 2

  • 10:00 am: Hour 5 – Two teachers (teachers will rotate) will take students at 20-minute intervals for the ‘one-on-one’ learning environment. One teacher holds class with remaining students and talk about chromatic and other types of harps, go back over bends, over blows, vibratos and the first three positions of the harps. Teachers go over playing styles and etiquette.

  • 11:00 am: Hour 6 – BREAK OUT SESSION 1 (Based on 18-21 student scenario) Breakout sessions for all three teachers with the students (based on student’s self-evaluation as beginner, intermediate or as advanced). Option: One teacher teaches beginner, another teaches intermediate, another teacher advanced – teachers rotate at each similar type session.

  • 12:00 pm: Lunch – 30 minutes

  • 12:30 pm: Hour 7 – BREAK OUT SESSION 2 (Based on 18-21 student scenario) Breakout sessions for all three teachers with the students (based on student’s self-evaluation as beginner, intermediate or as advanced). Option: One teacher teaches beginner, another teaches intermediate, another teacher advanced – teachers rotate at each similar type session.

  • 1:30 pm: Hour 8 – BREAK OUT SESSION 3 (Based on 18-21 student scenario) Breakout sessions for all three teachers with the students (based on student’s self-evaluation as beginner, intermediate or as advanced). Option: One teacher teaches beginner, another teaches intermediate, another teacher advanced – teachers rotate at each similar type session.

  • 2:30 pm: Hour 9 – Discussion of the days learning activities and possible performance at the festival as well as a campground performance that night.

 

Day 3 

  • 10:00 am: Hour 9.5 – Discussion of the previous night’s performances, discussions on further needs from the students. Understanding mechanics of the harmonica and the cleaning, care and repair of the harmonica.

  • 11:00 am: Hour 10.5 – BREAK OUT SESSION 4 (Based on 18-21 student scenario) Breakout sessions for all three teachers with the students (based on student’s self-evaluation as beginner, intermediate or as advanced). Option: One teacher teaches beginner, another teaches intermediate, another teacher advanced – teachers rotate at each similar type session.

  • 12:00 pm: Lunch – 30 minutes

  • 12:30 pm: Hour 11 – Teachers will discuss “Every Groove A Bluesman Needs to Know.” It’s about how to communicate with a band. What kind of lingo and slang terms musicians use to quickly convey the groove they want.

  • 1:30 pm: Hour 12 – Teachers go over playing amplified through mics and pa as well as mics and amps. Discussion on gear etc.

  • 2:30pm: Hour 13 – Teachers give feedback to each student to launch them into successful wood shedding.

  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm: Performance at the Threadgill Memorial Theater with a band backing you up!

Cheryl Arena

James Conway

Michael D'Eath

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