The UK education system has been a little slow with the uptake of this amazing instrument. For many years the Recorder has been the first instrument of choice - but lacks longevity as an instrument that can be carried into adulthood. The Harmonica is also a much 'cooler' instrument and is accepted across all musical genres, from Orchestral through to Blues, Rock and Pop. Because of this, Harmonica tuition has increased in the last decade and many schools around the UK are now teaching the instrument as part of the curriculum.
Suzuki have been at the leading edge of this push forward with the development of the 'Airwave', a brand new Harmonica perfect for those early learning stages. By increasing the space between the mouthpiece holes beginners can easily find the correct notes. Once this is mastered the student can progress to standard Diatonic Harmonicas or Chromatic Harmonicas.
Although Suzuki has an extensive range of instruments available, we have selected a few that have proved successful in the educational sector here in the UK. For more information, please visit our main Harmonica website: www.suzukiharmonicaworld.com which features the full range plus videos to introduce each model and maintain to your Suzuki Harmonica.
Scroll down for advice on choosing the right instrument for your pupils.
Suzuki Airwave AW-1
Available in three colours, the Airwave has no external screws or metal parts like other harmonicas so it's safe for even the youngest of pupils. It is constructed of tough and virtually unbreakable resin so will easily withstand the occasional trip to the floor! The ergonomic body design is easy to hold and play, notes are much easier to find due to the hole spacing. Do not be mislead by appearance - this is no musical toy and benefits from Suzuki's wealth of experience and technology. The Professional quality reeds, combe and air tight body mean this harmonica really plays!
The Easy Rider is our entry level Diatonic and the perfect introduction to the world of 10 Hole Harmonicas. Don't be fooled! 'Entry Level' does not equate to poor quality and poor sound, instead we use lower cost materials and streamlined production methods to strike the balance between price and quality. In fact, the Easy Rider sounds so good, many of our professional players regularly perform with the Easy Rider and simply replace them at regular intervals to save on maintenance.
Harmonica Type: Diatonic
Number of Holes: 10
Key: C major (others available on request)
Colours: Red or Chrome
Cover Plates: Brass
Combe: ABS Resin
Our Chromatix series is a professional quality range of Harmonic's that are easy on the pocket and built to last. The SCX-48 is our best selling Chromatic Harmonica and is used by some of the worlds leading harmonica players. This is largely due to quality of sound, build quality, ergonomics and airtight mouthpiece. There are three in the range (12, 14 and 16 hole) however we recommend the SCX-48 for educational use.
Harmonica Type: Chromatic
Number of Holes: 12
Key: C major (other keys on request)
Cover Plates: Chrome Plated Brass
Reed Plate: Phosphor Bronze
Included Accessories: Case and cleaning cloth
Choosing the Right Harmonica
As an Educator it is vital you consider carefully and select the right harmonica for your pupils. There are essentially three main types: Diatonic, Chromatic and Tremolo.
The most popular Harmonica by far is the 10 hole Diatonic (Airwave, Easy Rider). These popular instruments are widely available around the world, are a cost effective learning tool and great results are quickly achieved. However, they do not contain all the notes of a scale which means music has to be selected around the instruments 'key' or scale. We recommend C Scale for beginners, this being the only key available for Airwave. The Diatonic is the most popular Harmonica to be used in contemporary popular music - from Blues to Rock.
Chromatic Harmonicas are larger than a Diatonic model and normally available in three sizes; 12, 14 and 16 holes. It is possible to play a full Chromatic Scale with little effort due to the 'slide'. This means on one hole, four notes are available. This is the reason our popular 12 hole Chromatic Harmonica is named SCX-48 (12 hole, 48 note). Also available are the SCX-56 and SCX-64. Whilst a Chromatic Harmonica can be used for contemporary Music (think Stevie Wonder) they are often used for classical and folk music where a greater range of notes are required.
Generally Tremolo Harmonicas are not used as an educational instrument so we have not included it on this page. These have a second set of reeds which are slightly detuned from the primary set. This results in a beautiful 'chorus' effect popular with many Harmonica players over the years.
Whatever Harmonica you choose for your pupils they are certain to enjoy the experience of learning to play a very cool instrument. If pupils are keen to learn - your job as an educator is made far easier.
|EZR-20. 10 Hole Diatonic with card box.||£7.79|
|EZR-20T. Retail Packaged with Quick Start CD ROM.||£13.99|
|AW-1 Airwave Harmonica without packaging or booklet (available in Blue, Red and Orange).||£12.99|
|AW-1 Retail packaged Airwave (available in Blue, Red and Orange) with instruction booklet.||£13.99|
|SCX-48 Chromatic Harmonica, with plastic case and cloth.||£179.99|