Harp lessons

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Harp lessons

Postby eline » Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:27 pm

Has anybody have any experience with teaching or harp lessons?
If so, what waas the experience like, and were you able to make any extra money?

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RE: Harp lessons

Postby songdog » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:55 pm

Hey Eddie

I haven't taught harp lessons but I've taken numerous lessons and attended a few workshops. There is actually good money to be made once you get established. We have a harp player locally that gives group lessons with beginner to intermediate classes offered. He always has 10-20 people signed up for the beginner classes (the classes are usually one night per week for 6 weeks).

My son was teachin beginner guitar lessons during his senior year in high school. While his buddies were bagging groceries or mowing lawns for cash, he was making $40 an hour giving private lessons. He shared an office/studio space with a half dozen other musician/instructors so his overhead was only about $100 per month. He tried to maintain about 10 students so he made several hundred dollars per week with very little effort. Not bad pay for a highschooler or someone looking to make some extra cash.
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RE: Harp lessons

Postby harp54 » Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:27 pm

I had a few months in Australia during which a lady heard me testing an amp out in a store and asked if I would give her granddaughter lessons.

This led to an introduction to an old peoples home where the lady worked. I gave weekly lessons to around 10 people and by the feed- back I received it could have developed to something more substantial. Sadly I had to leave (visa ran out) but personally it was a very rewarding experience.

I focused mainly on chugging and simple rhythm techniques because this seemed to the quickest to pick up and was something we could all do together.

One thing I will say though is that you must have a truck loads of patience.
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RE: Harp lessons

Postby dcblues » Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:14 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-15-06 AT 07:14 PM (EST)]Teaching can be a good gig, but it also can be frustrating. Remember, you're trying to teach something that really can't be shown. Can you explain to a total beginner how to get a single note? How to bend? How to play the blues scale and diatonic scale?

To be a good teacher, you should know as much about the instrument as you can and know some basic music theory (stuff like what a 1-4-5 progression is, and 12 and 8 bar blues).

I haven't taught for a while, but I was pretty good with beginners when I did. I'm going to be one of the instructors at the harp workshop at the Washington Folk Festival this summer. I have no idea what I'm going to do there yet. :)
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