|Bluesman Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks plays amplified harmonica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I love playing music for people to hear. Ever since I was little I had a knack for performance. My parents have endless hours of home videos of me and my sisters performing in all kinds of made-up bands. Rarely did a month go by when we were not practicing for some kind of performance and making posters so that our parents would know to come to the show?
My mom always popped popcorn and brought snacks and they enjoyed our live shows just as they would a movie at the local theatre. As a child, I had no idea how much the support of my parents was instilling in me such a deep belief in my own abilities. I loved playing my harmonica most of all.
Looking back, I'm quite sure that I never had a harmonica lesson in all of my years of music playing. My father bought me a harmonica for my seventh birthday after I had been begging for one for nearly a year. When I wasn't busy with my guitar or piano lessons, you could find me on our front porch struggling to learn the harmonica on my own. It must have come somewhat naturally to me because I was playing it in a folk band by the time I entered high school.
My sisters and I became known in our town as budding musicians. This was a title we loved and desperately wanted to live up to. We would rush home from school each day and spend hours playing songs in our makeshift garage studio that my parents had so graciously turned over to us. I played my harmonica and sometimes played the guitar. My older sister was the lead singer of our little band and she played the violin sometimes too. The two youngest sisters worked hard to become proficient at the piano and the guitar. We had quite the little set up going on. I loved nothing more than the songs that I didn't have to do anything other than stand and play my harmonica.
I have loved the harmonica I think because it is so simple and small. I've always been a simple person and I have strived to live simply in every way. So I guess my love for the tiny harmonica came to me honestly. I never owned more than one harmonica at once, though, because that would be excessive. So every year or so I'd sell my harmonica and buy an updated one that fit my mouth just right.
Playing the harmonica has been one of the smallest things yet one of the biggest blessings of my life