In these strange times a lot of people spend a lot of time at home. It seems like a good time to indulge in your favorite hobby but many don’t. I have thought a lot about why people seem to miss this opportunity for extra harmonica study. In this article I give you a great option for getting more practice in.
The question that started it
Back in October of 2020 a friend of mine from Wales asked if wanted to join a weekly Zoom call he was thinking about arranging. After thinking about it for some time I replied that there was only one available option each week for me and that I wasn’t sure that I could join every week. He set up a test session one day and it all seemed to work fine. Also, the other people he had talked to was OK with the time that worked for me. A couple of days later the first session was on. Everyone in the meeting was very happy to re-connect with people they hadn’t seen for a while. Everyone who wanted played a something and the rest of the group gave feedback, we also talked about how to structure the meetings. Everyone agreed to meet up again a week later.
The beginning of something great
After a few sessions we all started realizing that this was going to be something great. Once a week we got to show off what we had been working on and get feedback from the others. From this point we have become more and more serious (in a laid-back way) about the weekly call. It gives us all a goal to shoot for every week and it is also perfectly fine to just listen and give feedback if your everyday life has prevented you from practicing. I think this is a key success factor in getting us all hooked on this. The pressure is not coming from the group, just a lot of encouragement, the pressure is more our own internal drive to become better harmonica players. What started as a simple idea has turned into our own harmonica study crew.
Later additions and success factors
A later addition that my friend made was that once a month Joe Filisko joins our calls. This gives us an extra occasion to get feedback from the best teacher in the world. It is not only great to hear your own feedback but you also learn a lot from listening to the other people getting feedback.
When thinking about why this works so well I have come to the conclusion that the fact that we gather in a setting that is but kind of serious but also very laid-back and friendly is the main thing. Not having a specific teacher leading a class is also a great thing, we all contribute with what we know. We are also on different levels when it comes to experience, technical refinement and musicality. The mix is what makes it great. The combination of hanging out with friends, learning something and having a weekly goal is perfect for me.
All in all I just want to say, get yourself a harmonica study crew. Now is a good time to start since we are all a bit more used to being in on-line meetings now. I also think this is something that we will hang on to also when our social lives are getting back to normal. Do not hesitate, get some on-line friends together.
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