The Harmonica Book Pdf
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When the Nazis invaded Poland, a Jewish family is split apart. The parents are sent to one concentration camp, their son to another. Only his father's gift, a harmonica, keeps the boy's hopes alive and, miraculously, ensures his survival.
Tony Johnston is the author of many books for children, including Cat, What is That? (David R. Godine), Bone by Bone (Roaring Brook Press), and The Cat With Seven Names. She lives in San Marino, California.
Ron Mazellan has been a graphic designer and commercial illustrator for more than 20 years. The Harmonica is his first children's book. Ron teaches art at Indiana Wesleyan University and lives in Marion, Indiana with his family.
This dark place is based on a Holocaust survivor's experience. A boy lives happily with his parents in Poland, singing and learning to play harmonica; however, the mixed-media illustrations already swirl with anguish and the barbed wire on the cover looms large. Sent to a concentration camp alone, he endures hunger, cold, and forced labor. In a painful twist, an officer discovers his musical gift: "'Play, Jew!' The commandant spat, night after night." Tormented, the boy plays Schubert, wrestling with a the question of how the beautiful music can both invoke his loving parents and also bring rapture to a murderous Nazi officer. One night in the dark barracks, a voice whispers, "Bless you": the Schubert has reached the ears of the prisoners as well. So in his heart, he plays for them - and for his gone-forever parents. Frequent figurative language gives the narrative voice an adult tone. Visually effective and grim.
Based on a true survivor story, this powerful picture book is yet another astonishing Holocaust account for discussion. A Polish Jewish child, blissfully happy with his loving parents, gets a harmonica from his coal-miner father and learns to play Schubert while his parents dance. The realistic mixed-media, double-page illustrations contrast that glowing warmth of home with the darkness that comes when Nazi soldiers break down the door, separate the boy from his family, and send him to the camps. His harmonica becomes his solace. The commandant hears about the child's playing. He orders the boy to play Schubert and throws him bread. In the end, however, the music does nothing to humanize the brutal Nazis. In fact, one unforgettable picture shows the commandant blissfully listening to music, one hand over his heart and the other holding a whip. The home memories are idyllic, but there's absolutely no sentimentality about the child's survival. Johnston gives children and grown-ups lots to talk about here- for example, Can a person be both sensitive and cruel?
Set in WWII Poland and inspired by a true story of a Jewish family, Johnston's (Uncle Rain Cloud) stirring tale opens on a wistful note: "I cannot remember/ my father's face,/ or my mother's,/ but I remember their love,/ warm and enfolding/ as a song." Mazellan's lifelike, earth-toned mixed-media paintings reveal a boy and his parents, first huddled together over a book, then singing together, then listening to the music of Schubert coming from a neighbor's gramophone. When his father returns from his job in a coal mine with a harmonica and gives it to the boy, his son practices on it until he can play Schubert. Meanwhile, "Somewhere outside, a war/ was raging. But it was far away-/ a bad dream- leaving us untouched." But not for long. The tenor of the narrative changes abruptly as Mazellan depicts Nazi soldier banging on the door; the family is separated and the boy is sent to a concentration camp. When the commandant insists the lad play his harmonica for him each night, the boy cannot imagine how someone so cruel could appreciate the beauty of Schubert's music and is disgusted to perform it for him. But he finds solace in the realization that his playing also reaches his fellow prisoners, "who might hear the notes/ and be lifted, like flights/ of birds." The illustrator makes an affecting children's book debut, choosing images that communicate the story's pathos while sparing the audience many of the setting's horrors.
This is a gem of a Holocaust story! This picture book for older readers does not explain its Holocaust setting, but the point of the story is not history, the point is celebration of love and life and hope. Based on a true story, this is the tale of how music helps a boy survive on many levels. The young narrator's harmonica-playing helps him survive, literally: a Schubert-loving Nazi officer throws him extra bread. It helps him keep alive the memory of his parents who used to dance to his playing. And when he learns that other prisoners need the beauty of his playing, it brings him hope and a reason to go on. Every word is carefully chosen, and the story reads like a prose poem. The illustrations are breathtaking. While the palette is necessarily dark, color is used consciously to cue the mood with warm or cold tones. Faces are individual and expressive, positioning is hyper-realistic, and the implied movements are graceful. While realistic, the illustrations are also symbolic and sometimes slightly surreal: the Nazi's dogs have devilish red eyes, and in one scene a death's-head can be discerned in the shadows behind the commandant. This well-constructed book is an inspiring tale of human resilience, with an appeal that will reach both Jewish and non-Jewish readers. A must for any Holocaust collection.
Inspired by the story of a Holocaust survivor, this exquisite picture book is poignant and powerful. Simple sentences charged with delicate word choices briefly recount the first-person narration of a poor but happy boy and his parents in Poland who were captured, split up, and taken to concentration camps. The youngster manages to take with him the harmonica his father gave him, on which he plays Schubert. The commandant of the camp learns of his talents and orders him to, "Play, Jew!" The boy complies - and finds out that the whole camp hears him and takes heart from the music. The mixed-media illustrations change from a warm to cold palette to underscore the move from home to camp. While the story is set in World War II, the theme is broader, and makes a case for the power of music/art to support and sustain humanity. There is an appended note about the life of Henryk Rosmaryn.
Hendrik Meurkens is known as first major voice on the harmonica since Toots Thielemans. This book includes 32 of his own compositions on 85 pages, with his immediately recognizable style of Brazilian Jazz.
Hendrik Meurkens is known as first major voice on the harmonica since Toots Thielemans, This book includes 32 of his own compositions on 85 pages, with his immediately recognizable style of Brazilian Jazz.
This beginner's tutorial is presented in an educational and fresh style. It will help you to learn how toplay melodies on the harmonica. Step by step, from the first note to your first full melodies*.
During the first session, initial focus will be on teaching people different exercises with the harmonica to improve their breathing. We will move into playing simple songs by the end of the session. Classes are to be held via Zoom.
The classes are taught by Larry Vesely RRT, who has 24 years of experience as the Lead Respiratory Therapist at a hospital-based Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program and 13 years of experience teaching harmonica to respiratory impaired patients (COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, lung transplant, as well as other health issues including cardiovascular issues, tobacco cessation, etc.). He has presented this harmonica program to Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and at Respiratory Care conferences nationally. Larry also plays harmonica and piano professionally.
This program is based on a book written by Mary Jane Gormley and Larry Vesely, Harmonicas for Health: A Guide to Breathing Better (2009), which can be downloaded from the above website. Portions of the book will be used in the classes.
The Harmonicas for Health program at IU Health Bloomington Hospital was started in 2006 by a COPD patient (Mary Jane Gormley) and a serious harmonica-playing respiratory therapist (Larry Vesely, RRT).
The printed 2nd edition book can still be purchased for $10 from IU Health Bloomington Hospital individually or in bulk (for groups and classes). Download the order form here and mail with a check to the address shown.
In 2017 I attended the annual SPAH harmonica convention in Tulsa Oklahoma. A highlight for me was impromptu baroque duets with SPAH vice president Mike Runyan. He played chromatic harmonica, I played alto recorder. While the chromatic harmonica is a 20th century invention, for 20th century music, our duets from 300 years earlier worked well. After the SPAH convention I compiled this baroque duet collection, so that other chromatic harmonica players might also try this music.
The music in this collection was mostly written for either baroque flute or recorder. The composers understood these instruments well, and wrote music to fit them. Some pieces will adapt nicely to chromatic harmonica. Others, particularly those by Quantz and Telemann may prove difficult. Moreover baroque ornamentation, a natural fit with recorder and baroque flute fingerings, will present challenges for chromatic harmonicas.
It is my hope that chromatic harmonica players will engage with this music, and bring it into the repertoire. The pieces here were widely tested in the 18th century and found to be great. They remain so today. Please share them with your peers. 2b1af7f3a8