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Since then, the harmonica has gone through major upgrades and made its way around the world. American President Abraham Lincoln has been said to play the harmonica during periods of depression.
This tiny instrument that can fit into your pocket is a mouth organ that utilizes your breath to create beautiful music. Unlike most other mouth organs, the harmonica creates music through both inhalation and exhalation. This leads to an increase in your lung capacity and teaches you how to breathe right.
As you may imagine, this class requires you to have a harmonica in your possession. Additionally, these online classes will teach you how to play the harmonica from the absolute basics, so you don't need any prior experience with this instrument.
As mentioned before, the harmonica is a mouth organ. However, unlike other mouth organs such as the flute, the harmonica is not played using your fingers, but is played using your mouth! So the title of the mouth organ truly applies to the harmonica.
Secondly, the harmonica is the only instrument that requires movement to be played. For instance, you can stand perfectly still and play the flute, but with the harmonica, you're constantly shifting the instrument over your mouth.
Finally, the harmonica is the only musical instrument that a musician cannot see while playing. This allows you to develop a better ear for music and understand, through muscle memory rather than visual aids, where the correct notes lie.
Additionally, while the harmonica had its golden period under Bollywood composers C. Ramachandra and the legendary R.D. Burman, we can see a revival of this instrument in modern Hindi, Marathi, and South Indian movies. Popular Hindi films such as 'Kites,' 'Nautanki Saala,' and 'Life... in a Metro' feature songs with the harmonica.
Thus, learning to play the harmonica at this time is perfect for anyone - as a hobby or to advance one's musical career. And when you're learning it from the maestro Ashok Bhandari himself, you know that you have a bright path ahead of you.
It was a warm summer day in the 1950s when Ashok Bhandari received the harmonica as a gift. This small child was fascinated by this musical instrument, and at the tender age of four, Ashok received an award from Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and BD Jatti (then President of India) for his harmonica prowess.
With such an illustrious beginning, it's no surprise that at the age of eight, he started performing at annual days and school fests for both creative satisfaction and some extra pocket money. By investing his hard-earned money towards his passion, Ashok soon had a collection of harmonicas.
As his father was an artist, Ashok used the waves in his father's painting to visualize the artistic strokes and song waves when playing the harmonica.
Later, in his life, Ashok went to Banaras Hindu University, where he met different musicians, created his own orchestra, and played for some of the greats such as Girija Devi and Siddheshwari Devi. However, one evening, his orchestra couldn't make it to a scheduled performance, and Ashok was forced to improvise with the harmonica he always kept in his pocket.
Due to his talent, Ashok performed in numerous colleges and won many competitions. One such performance of his was judged by an All India Radio (AIR) announcer. This was another formative moment in his career as this brought him to the All India Radio, where he performed for three years.
A talented magician as well, his work allowed him to travel all over the world and meet harmonica players from different lands. To date, he has played the harmonica after his magic shows in Italy, Germany, Russia, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, and many other countries!
With advancements in technology, Ashok took advantage of this opportunity and utilized it perfectly by uploading his very first video on YouTube back in 2008. During this time, he was on tour, but when he got back home, he realized that his video had received thousands of views. This encouraged him to put out more videos on his YouTube channel, and, currently, this channel features over 10.8K subscribers.
Ashok has also collaborated with noted Bollywood celebrities such as Mahesh Bhatt and Sonu Nigam.
Successfully running two harmonica schools in Delhi with a passionate team, Ashok has students all over the globe. Recently, he was impaneled as the Harmonica and Magic Teacher at the National School of Drama (NSD). This is of note as in the past, Ashok had tried and failed - thrice! - to gain admission to this very school, and today he is an instructor there!
Currently, Ashok Bhandari is working on releasing a harmonica album to rejuvenate the popularity of this instrument.