HARMONICA AND BLINDNESS - TEACHING MUSIC TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED

A conductor leads the musical notes towards the ear of the listener

Hallo! This page has been optimized for the screen readers. We are happy to have you here.

I currently teach online one to one lessons for beginners to advanced students. I'm developing a support material to help everybody to get access to my lesson's tabs and scores. I speak english, spanish and french.

Contact me using the form you find in this website or write me a email at the address:

suonando@yahoo.com

Contact page.

You cand also find Lezionidiarmonica.it on facebook.

HARMONICA FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED, OUR WEBSITE IS RENEWED! 

  "Hi, I've read that you facilitate harmonica and guitar courses. I'm just writing to ask you out of courtesy of others not just for me. I'm vision impaired. I've followed many online courses, various tools, and the problem is that I find it more often that the sighted person relies on gestures and only non-verbal cues of what needs to be done. For example you are asked to blow here, put your hands like that, you don't have to do this; or if there is a board with some notes it is said to play this note indicating it without saying its name. 

This means that we the visually impaired are excluded. Please consider my suggestion, among other things it can be convenient even for those who do not have sight problems, in fact often when you look at the instrument you do not look at the screen and it is therefore useful to have everything you need in earshot. Thank you, I farewell you with affection... "
When I received this message, it reminded me of what I was thinking about a few days ago regarding playing the harmonica. On our site, among the stories that talk about this instrument there is one that describes how a blind boy learns to play the harmonica. After all, of all the instruments I know this is one of those that is played mainly with tactile and auditory sensations. When you bring the harmonica to your mouth you certainly don't see where the holes are, you can barely see a small piece of the harmonica body in passing and out of focus, a bit like looking at your nose. In addition to this, there are so many musicians who close their eyes when they play the harmonica. I myself used to take this approach at first, before correcting it so as not to appear in the photographs always with my eyes closed. Everything is done using the sensations in the mouth and on the tongue if you use the tongue blocking technique. This is why I have always thought that the harmonica is a tool suitable for those with vision impairment.
Sonny Terry was blind and yet he became an icon of the harmonica, and he is also in good company because there are few famous musicians who have lost their sight even before becoming real stars. Ray Charles, Andrea Bocelli and Stevie, the latter deprived of sight since birth, are all characters that even without seeing the light shine illuminate the musical landscape themselves.
Reflecting on the subject, I thought that in effect it makes no sense that there are barriers that are not even too difficult to eliminate, which prevent someone from being able to play the harmonica. For a blind person who wants to learn to play or study music, the problem is mainly to read the scores, while the hearing is good: the combination of audio material and clear and legible written descriptions should do a lot to help those with visual impairment to follow the music lessons.
As curious as I am, I wanted to experiment with what it means to surf on a website using a computer aid that can read the screen. I installed a software called screen reader, I closed my eyes and tried to use the internet. I can not tell you the frustration I faced in not even being able to open the browser and go to any site to navigate like we are used to doing without even noticing. After this little experiment I contacted the person who wrote to me and we started to explore how to make my harmonica pages, the free course, lessons and everything else more accessible. It will not be an immediate transformation, but as of today, some of our sections will contain the possibility of downloading the material regarding the notation and the audio parts. The format chosen for the notation is in tabular form and is easy when consulted with the help software, and even the explanations, produced in sequential texts, can be read without difficulty. With this small step we are sure that we will give the possibility to many people to have fun with the harmonica and learn to play this wonderful instrument.