Reed My Lips Workshops & Masterclasses

Harmonica Workshops & Master Classes

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Ushering in a New Generation of Harmonicists

Many have owned but few have mastered the harmonica. Even fewer understand the free-reed instrument’s ability to unlock the unlimited potential of a child, musically and beyond.

In 2002, urban Jazz harmonicist Frédéric Yonnet launched an educational seminar to foster a greater appreciation, awareness and understanding of the harmonica. The mission is carried out through the presentation of captivating mini-concerts, informative clinics and instructional workshops and master classes for youth and adults.

Workshop participants range in age from 7 to 78 years old.  Whether a group of 10 or 500, each event is customized to consider key factors including: the goals, number and age of participants, musical competency, production capabilities of the venue, etc.   

Reed My Lips educational programs are designed to:

  1. Introduce an accessible and affordable gateway instrument to foster music appreciation;
  2. Expand participant’s perception and interest in the harmonica and music in general;
  3. Cultivate a new generation of harmonica enthusiasts.

Typically participants will:

  • Experience a Mini-Concert. Yonnet performs with a live band or over tracks to demonstrates his unique style on the harmonica. (10-15 mins)
  • Understand the History of the Instrument. Yonnet provides an interactive overview of the history and future of the instrument. Using the expressive sounds of the harmonica, i.e. trains, barking, howling, Yonnet offers insight into the social conditions that shaped the harmonica’s musical contributions in America. Participants become familiar with the names, faces and music of some of the great harmonica innovators, from Sonny Terry to Howard Levy and Stevie Wonder. (5-10 mins)
  • Expand their Perceptions. Yonnet explains his personal philosophy or FRēEDlosophy: “Free Your Mind and Your Harp will Follow,” and helps participants make a personal connection to the instrument. He shares personal stories of growing up with asthma as a child and how the harmonica changed his thinking. (5-10 mins)
  • Get Answers. Q&A is encouraged throughout the workshop. 
  • Learn the Basics. Yonnet demonstrates various harmonica techniques – bends, puckers, overblows, blocking and vibratos. If harmonica’s have been pre-purchased, participants receive their own harmonica and learn basic techniques. (15 mins)
  • Jam. Yonnet teaches participants musical patterns they later perform individually and/or as a group. Skilled music students may be invited to form a band to backup Yonnet or to jam with Yonnet and his band. (10 mins).
  • Group Photo. At the end, participants are welcome to take group and, time permitting, individual photos.

Requested Items: Butcher paper or white board, colored markers and TV monitor with HDMI input (optional). Facilitator will bring: camera, laptop and pre-purchased harmonicas.

If you’re interested in hosting a workshop or included them in grant proposals, please contact workshops@fredyonnet.com or call 855-855-8700.

Upcoming Workshops

10November

Richmond, VA Workshop

Maggie L. Walker High School
Coming Soon
09November
09November

They Said It Best...

  • “I can’t put into words the thanks I owe you and the band for what turned out to be a life altering experience for most of our students.
    – Donald Nagel, Art Director, Northwest School of the Arts, Charlotte, VA

  • “When they heard my voice in the hallways for the remainder of the day, by the dozens they ran out of their classes to hug me for making the event possible, some with tears in their eyes. The principal has received over 400 emails and phone calls from parents thanking her for making the day possible.” – Donald Nagel, Art Director, Northwest School of the Arts, Charlotte, VA

  • “I can assure you that most of our students have never come close to going to a concert. Half our students are on free/reduced lunch, and come from families that buying concert tickets would never be an option. The experience energized the student body like I have never seen. They seem to remember why they auditioned to get into our school, and felt like each of the band members were their new extended family. A new excitement for their pursuit of the arts was so evident.” – Donald Nagel, Art Director, Northwest School of the Arts, Charlotte, VA

  • “We all can’t say thank you enough. Fred and the band were fantastic. This is something the students will remember for years to come.” – Leah W. Puryear, Director, Upward Bound, University of Virginia

  • “The experience energized the student body like I have never seen. They seem to remember why they auditioned to get into our school, and felt like each of the band members were their new extended family.” – Donald Nagel, Art Director, Northwest School of the Arts, Charlotte, VA


Host a Workshop for Youth, Teens and Adults

Interested in hosting a workshop or you’d like to included our program in your grant proposals, please contact workshops@fredyonnet.com or call 855-855-8700.