HOW TO LEARN THE MELODICA
Melodica from the age of 6
Learning to play the melodica is generally recommended for children from the age of 6. For this age group, small group lessons have proved to be the best form of instruction. Individual tuition is also possible, but group tuition has a number of pedagogical advantages. The autodidactic way of learning to play the melodica is always possible for beginners.
A basic knowledge of music is recommended, but not essential. After early musical education or from the age of 6, the melodica is an ideal introduction to elementary instrumental playing. The melodica is an easy-to-play wind instrument and the sound production on the small “piano keyboard” is very easy for children to learn.
Not just for children
To describe the melodica as purely a children’s instrument would be to miss the point, as it is also played by young people and adults. It is also used from time to time in popular music (jazz, reggae, folk, pop, etc.), for example by the reggae group UB40, the rock band The Hooters, the jazz musicians Don Cherry and Monty Alexander or the pop group Depeche Mode.
As a typical beginner’s instrument, the melodica is particularly suitable for children who want to go on to learn another keyboard instrument such as the accordion, piano or keyboard. As a reed instrument, the melodica is related to the accordion and the harmonica, and its sound is also reminiscent of these instruments.
Versions of the melodica
There are three types of melodica: the soprano melodica with a range from c1 to c2, the alto melodica with a range from f to f2 and the melodica piano with a range from f to e2. The soprano and alto melodicas are mainly used for elementary playing. In addition to the mouthpiece, some melodicas also come with a blowing tube. This allows the child to place the instrument on the table in front of them while playing, similar to a keyboard.
Development of the melodica
The melodica was developed in 1959 by the world-famous accordion and harmonica manufacturer Hohner and has proved itself as a beginner’s instrument primarily in the field of music education, but has also found its place in popular music, as described above, and is becoming increasingly popular with young people and adults.
First steps in elementary instrumental playing
Like the recorder and the glockenspiel, the melodica is an excellent instrument for taking the first steps in elementary instrumental playing. The melodica offers children an uncomplicated way to gain their first experience of notes, rhythms and finger dexterity without having to learn difficult instrumental techniques.
What are the benefits of this instrument?
- Easier learning of note values and note names
- Better understanding of melody and rhythm
- More fun through an action-oriented approach
- Easy to blow, no overblowing as with the recorder
- Multi-part playing possible
- Easy transition to accordion if playing a fixed mouthpiece melodica
- Easy transition to piano and keyboard playing on a tube mouthpiece melodica
- Ideal for group lessons