HOW TO LEARN HARMONICA – COMPARING FOUR STRATEGIES TO BALANCE EXPENSES AND QUALITY

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The best way to learn harmonica ? Four strategies explained

It would undoubtedly be deemed a wise strategy if anyone, who wants to become a harmonica player, outlines a plan to keep a check on spending the right of money so that he could maintain a substantial level of quality learning throughout. Today, I’m not going to address you regarding any instrument techniques; instead, I would like to invite you to ponder on some critical aspects via this blog. If you realize their significance, you may classify this article as one of the most rewarding harmonica lessons for you.

Let’s find out which elements determine the scope of success for a course of studying the light of common problems that a beginner player fears facing:

Money: Among various elements you need to rely on, today, to achieve something, one can’t go without taking into account the most fundamental and essential factor, which is money. I’m telling you straight away that without spending money, it’s almost impossible to learn to play harmonica aptly; whether it’s an online course which you’re investing in, some private lessons or books, you have to pay out some amount.

Study Material: The proposed material should ideally be capable of generating a smooth flow of study. You may find yourself oscillating like a pendulum from one topic to another, or you may get stuck on topics too tricky for you at that time, in the worst case. Curriculum, whether selected or designed, shouldn’t be kept limited to suggesting a video merely or some verbal explanation, but something that stays even after that session, preferably any printed information or maybe in the form of electronic documents which you may refer to, on need basis. Another factor worth considering while evaluating the material is whether it serves the purpose of diversity; e.g., does it present you with a variety of music styles? Does it give you some theoretical notions also?

Another essential aspect is expert feedback: a person who can guide you whether you’re doing right or wrong in terms of your performance and advise you on areas you need to work more.

Practice is an integral part of learning harmonica; thereby, we’ll call this important aspect ‘quality of practice.’

The last item on the list is time: Learning to play harmonica takes its toll in the form of drawing time from your routine, which may span no lesser than three of four years, perhaps.

Let’s see how each element influences the entire learning process by reviewing these four strategies: one of them speaks for you. 

Strategy 1 - Forever FREE, the harmonica universe loves me:

Cost: You don’t spend money at all, reason: you don’t regard your time as a valuable asset when you are busy searching for things you need to study.

Study Material: You’ll hardly find any syllabus compiled progressively; even if you take a free online harmonica course, you may get a random piece of information but not an organized set of sequential phases. Free courses lack the very attribute of logical succession which paid courses usually provide. I call this the 'Youtube trap'.

Time: The downside is that you may have to bear it for a more extended time as the chances of you getting stuck on many a thing are quite high.

Feedback on your study: None in real; neither can you rely on your friends or other beginners like you for any real valuable help.

Quality of Study: Expect it to be low, deprived of valuable feedback, and without any guidance that it will end up making it difficult for you to maintain a high degree of effectiveness.

Strategy 2 - I’m in love with my teacher: he is the best:

Expenses: Assume that as per your requirement, it’s suggestive to take at least one private harmonica lesson fortnightly or, ideally, every week. A productive experience should last 40 mins at a minimum, and it may cost you a lot of money. I know that some teachers would charge up to 80 dollars for an hour-long session: it may vary depending upon their subject grip or their location.

Study material: Mainly owing to a competent and organized teacher, you can get an excellent study material: well structured and documented, i.e., everything ready for your study.

Time: It shall take you lesser time because you have all the material available and that you only need to follow what your instructor teaches you to practice!

Feedback on your study: Continual – the best-recommended way to correct your mistakes, improve your knowledge, and deal with stressful situations. A good teacher will always motivate you!

Quality of study: High, you get the best product in exchange for money.

Strategy 3 - An online structured course:

Cost: You don’t have to pay much for these courses; e.g., a complete beginner course on my site shall charge you $35 per month. If the course is completed successfully availing all the benefits, then it is a better option to study as compared to the FREE strategy 1.

Study material: A well-presented structured content is only possible due to a conscientious teacher; how much time and effort he’s willing to put in creating those lessons and what he conveys to students via electronic material describes it all.

Time: It will take lesser time in comparison with studying for free and without any instructor but a little more than studying with the help of a teacher. The point that the material is well organized saves you hours of work.

Feedback on your study: Again, it depends on your teacher. People who work full time on teaching, just like I do, can give valuable feedback to those even who prefer to follow online courses. Sometimes a small chit chat is enough to remove a doubt and allow the student to progress autonomously.

Quality of the study: Average. A good compromise somewhere between expense and its output if accompanied by some feedback.

Strategy 4: An online structured course with some private lessons:

Cost: You will have to pay out for the online course besides the price of one or more lessons.

Study material: As we have analyzed, the content may be of high quality but depends chiefly on who created it.

Time: It surely takes less time as compared to studying alone as you’ll be explained clearly about what you’ll be studying before taking any lesson, and also because during the lesson, what you studied previously may be elaborated or recalled again.

Feedback on your study: Getting feedback is a significant advantage, and you can also use the lesson time to ask questions or for any clarification, and most importantly, talk to your teacher regarding the material you’re going to study.

Quality of study: The quality of your study with this strategy would be high because your teacher knows what you may face and will provide you with follow up suggestions and instructions during the private lessons. You can portray this moment as a checkpoint to realign your study, which was about to derail if you had been managing it on your own.

I hope to have helped you understand through this article that there are different ways you can study harmonica: all you have to do is to choose the best for yourself. Good luck! See you next time.

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