Electronic Press Kit
What is The Harmonica Pocket?
Silly and sweet, The Harmonica Pocket is a young at heart band from Port Townsend, Washington.
Harmonica Pocket shows are upbeat and festive, but not frenetic. Audiences are drawn in by catchy, engaging songs and unexpected props. Humor, improvisation and play are generously sprinkled on top.
Shows incorporate a loop pedal to "build a band" right in front of the audience's ears. Each instrument is played one at a time to create layers of sound – acoustic guitar, bass, ukulele, wah-wah guitar solos, harmonicas, and vocal harmonies.
Harmonica Pocket kids shows are about connecting with the audience in a playfully positive environment with no wrong answers.
Kids (and their grownups) are creatively empowered to answer questions and improvise rhymes, which are then woven into songs in the moment. Sparks and smiles fly as kids hear their ideas amplified onstage.
We have a lot of fun out there and audiences do too!
Select themed shows include “Get Loose with Dr. Seuss,” “Singing Thanksgiving” and the early literacy program "U is for Ukulele." The Harmonica Pocket also offers Songwriting, Hula Hoop, Movement, and Music Theory workshops. A more complete list of Shows and Workshops are listed below.
The Harmonica Pocket is a part of the growing Kindie Rock music scene, but makes music that truly appeals to all ages. Their 2021 release, titled Sing Your Song, is an album of 13 thoughtful, optimistic songs about being yourself, playing outside and about being itchy.
Prior family releases Sundrops and Apple Apple received critical acclaim including a pair of coveted Parents' Choice Gold Awards and NAPPA Medals.
Their music is recorded in an off-grid studio powered by solar electricity and is being streamed all over the planet.
The Harmonica Pocket has performed for busloads of children and grownups in theaters, classrooms, libraries, clubs, and festivals nationally and internationally.
Put on a funny hat, come to a show and discover why everyone is so smitten with The Harmonica Pocket.
Fun! Fun! Fun! Harmonica Pocket is definitely one of the most entertaining shows we have had. The kids were captivated for the entire program -- laughing, dancing, and singing along. The energy of this talented duo is really infectious!
Highly recommended! Proof positive that you don't need to be loud and crazy to hold a child's attention. It truly is one of the best programs I have seen!
An acoustic treat.
Tell me more...
Here's what people we have worked with and have seen us in action are saying. References are available.
The musical equivalent of a big red balloon.
Amazing and electric....A magical world of color, song, and dance. They had the whole room singing. If you didn't book them this year by all means book them next year! One of the best children's shows I've ever attended.
These kid-friendly indie-pop folks are on the way to becoming big favorites.
Uplifting, entertaining, and a totally engaging children's program.
The crowd was HOOKED! We are eager to welcome this wonderful duo back to Third Place.
Selected Performance History
Where else do you play?
We perform in schools, libraries, festivals, theaters, farms, farmer's markets, all-ages rock clubs, and for private parties. Below you'll find a well rounded list of relevant past shows. For upcoming performances check the calendar.
- Seattle Symphony (Seattle, WA)
- Teatro Zinzanni (Seattle, WA)
- Edmonds Center for the Arts (Edmonds, WA)
- Symphony Space (New York City, NY)
- Central Park NYC (New York, NY)
- MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA)
- Northwest Folklife (Seattle, WA)
- Colombia Theatre for the Performing Arts (Longview, WA)
- Seattle Public Library System (Seattle, WA)
- King County Library System (WA)
- Sno-Isle Library System (WA)
- Timberline Regional Library System (WA)
- Multnomah County Library System (OR)
- Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA)
- Hands On Children's Museum (Olympia, WA)
- Bite of Oregon (Portland, OR)
- ASCAP Songwriters at Pianos (New York City, NY)
- Festival Internacional de la Danza (Quito, Ecuador)
- Burningman (Black Rock City, NV)
Lets get technical
The Harmonica Pocket can provide a full sound system for audiences up to ~350 people. Lets chat specifics about your venue to make sure our sound system is a good fit for your space.
If you are providing the sound system and soundman, please read on…
Acoustic Solo / Duo technical needs
Below is a checklist of what we need you to provide if we are using your sound system. It may be helpful to look at our Acoustic Duo Stageplot Diagram or Solo Stageplot Diagram while reviewing this list.
- A professional quality sound system and professional sound technician
- 1 D.I. Box for a 1/4” guitar cable
- 2 upstage harmonica/vocal microphones on boom stands
- 2-3 on-stage monitors, positioned according to stage plot
- 2 armless chairs on stage
- Access to 2 electrical outlets within 25 feet of stage
- 1 medium sized table off stage for merchandise
- Open space on stage for hula hoop, dance, and play.
We travel with 2 wireless vocal microphone systems. Each channel terminates with a balanced line out which will feed into the house sound system. (Translation: your soundman runs two mic chords from our gear into his mixing board.)
Full band technical needs
Here is a link to our Full Band Stageplot Diagram. In addition to the checklist above we will also need you to provide:
- A microphone on boom stand for the upright bass amp
- Drum kit microphones as needed for the performance space
Shows and Performances
Here are descriptions of select programs we offer.
We are always creating new shows and are always booking both physical and virtual events. Contact us if you would like to connect with one of our references, get info about our fees, or if you need anything else.
Sing Your Song
Open up your mouth and sing.
Everyone has a voice. In this light-hearted, engaging and playful music program, families with kids are empowered sing together. Ukuleles, acoustic guitars and harmonicas accompany silly and sweet songs about trees, bugs, counting and being itchy. Learn original finger plays, nonsense rhymes and new words to old songs. "Singing Books" are brought to life with melody and music.
This program can be tailored to your audience's age range.
“I love a good noisy, flashy, high-energy show that has kids really jazzed up, but I also see such a need for the quiet, thoughtful, deliberate style that I first saw years ago in a Harmonica Pocket show and that has me inviting them back again and again.”
Equipped with some hula hoops, a ukulele, and a suitcase full of simple props, The Harmonica Pocket celebrates the holidays with their program: "Singing Thanksgiving."
This interactive 50-minute set gets young and old alike singing American Folk tunes including Over the River and Through the Woods, Turkey in the Straw, and She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain. Audience members are invited to co-create and improvise lyrics on a Harmonica Pocket original song Give Thanks and sing names of harvest fruits and vegetables on Apple Apple. Dance, fingerplays, a waltz with a pumpkin, and zany skits tie this program up into a thoughtful, playful package.
“Amazing and electric...a magical world of color, song, and dance. They had the whole room singing. If you didn't book them this year by all means book them next year! One of the best children's shows I've ever attended.”
Part story time, part sing-a-long and fully loaded with laughs! This one man show features wah-wah guitar solos, electric ukulele, and bass all performed live using a loop pedal.
Packed with playfully-presented early literacy concepts, children and their grownups create original rhymes to traditional folk songs, raise their voices to play with the alphabet's many amusing sounds, and sing along to favorite children's books.
Finger play, movement, picture books and an engaging, highly-interactive banter between presenter and audience make this show a hit with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Words fly and imaginations spin as participants are encouraged to display their creativity in a failure-free zone.
Sing. Laugh. Read.
“An Acoustic Treat.”
Get Loose with Seuss
Dr. Seuss, born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield Massachusetts, is an American Icon. Through setting a handful of his famous and lesser-known books to music, we get to know Theodor Seuss Geisel. Audiences are invited to sing the words to Dr. Seuss's ABCs, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and to help save the Whos on a giant speck of dust. Using theater, we learn the history behind the creation of Horton Hatches The Egg. And of course, to properly celebrate any centenarian's birthday, we sing Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss.
Contact us for specific dates and availability.
“I truly loved Get Loose with Seuss. It was great watching the faces of both kids and grownups light up during this magical program. This is a program to be enjoyed by every age! The creative combination of music and movement, featuring the books and words of Dr. Seuss captured the imaginative spirit in all of us.”
U is for Ukulele
The Harmonica Pocket brings the ABCs to life with their early literacy program "U is for Ukulele."
Favorite nursery rhymes, beloved books like Dr. Seuss's ABCs, original songs and fingerplays are mixed up with playful stories and improvisation to celebrate reading and the alphabet.
We sing, we rhyme, we pull enormous letters out from under our hats!
Designed for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergardeners, this show features ukuleles and acoustic instruments, harmonicas and catchy songs to get kiddos and parents excited about books and reading.
Sing. Wiggle. Read.
“The way The Harmonica Pocket delivers language and song is a treasure and very inspiring to teachers. They are natural educators.”
Snowing Ice Cream
Put on a cozy hat and celebrate the magic of winter with books, ukuleles, and silly-sweet seasonal songs.
Families with kids are invited to learn finger plays, sing-alongs, and to wiggle and giggle with catchy tunes about snowmen, warm woolen mittens, and ice cream falling from the sky! Winter's hear, let's sing!
“The Harmonica Pocket, will win you over with its laid-back originals and quiet reworkings of traditional tunes.”
Below are descriptions of select educational workshops we offer.
The interactivity of The Harmonica Pocket live show is a natural fit for classroom and community learning venues. Workshops are designed to bring our signature-style creative process into instructional settings and engage students of all levels in learning through the arts.
We have experience working with a range of settings and age levels, including traditional and non-traditional preK-12 settings, as well as with adult learners.
How to Write a Rock Song / How to Write a Song in the Woods
A hands-on Creative Writing workshop with The Harmonica Pocket's lead songwriter Keeth Apgar.
Together we co-create an original song from scratch based on participant-powered ideas.
As we dig into the creative process, the group works with music concepts such as rhythm, melody, tempo, and chords. We also touch upon the role of vowel sounds (end rhyme, internal rhyme, imperfect rhyme, eye rhyme), discuss song structure and creating images with words, dip into music theory, and develop listening skills.
This workshop can be tailored for all ages and levels. Prior musical training is welcome although not necessary.
Hula Hoop it Up
Hula Hooping improves coordination, flexibility, concentration, builds kinesthetic awareness, and is irresistibly fun.
Hula Hoop Basics
In Hula Hoop Basics participants begin by building custom-sized hoops. Through a hands-on process students cut, join, and decorate loops of PVC tubing. Then, we move on to learning the basics of hooping, including beginner tricks and dances. We play a variety of hula hoop games depending on group size, age, and ability. This is med-high energy cardiovascular activity.
Advanced Hula Hooping
In this workshop, students with prior hooping experience build on their skills, adding advanced tricks, stalls, and illusions using their hoops. Students build confidence in improvising and linking moves together. We discuss and practice original dance ideas and choreographed sequences. We finish the class with an open-play session where students freely explore working with their hoops along to music.
Hula hooping workshops can be tailored for all ages, all levels, and all movement styles. Come prepared to sweat and have a good time.
- Large, open, indoor space with sufficient room to move. In warm weather a dry, grassy outdoor space can work.
- Ideal group size is around 12 students. Maximum group size is 30 students.
- A materials fee will apply to cover PVC rolls, joiners, and tape (approximately $7.50 per hoop). Alternatively we can provide hoops for the duration of the class. If we are making hoops with students we also need access to hot water (~180 degrees) for the hoop joining process, or electricity to run an electric teapot.
- For school and library groups, additional support of at least one supervising adult.
Ukulele for Everyone
Ukulele: Tiny instrument, big fun.
Learn some essential ukulele basics in this introductory hands-on program. With a playful and light-hearted touch, teaching artist Keeth Apgar gets students up and running on the ukulele with chords, strumming and some finger picking. We'll discuss how to tune, hold and rock out on the instrument!
No prior experience playing or reading music necessary. Intermediate and advanced students welcome.
University of Play
Sing, laugh, make weird faces and hilarious sounds, dance backwards, play catch with a ball of nothing....Welcome to the University of Play!
In this unique workshop, The Harmonica Pocket's Nala Walla (MSc) & Keeth Apgar bring their diverse teaching artist backgrounds together to explore the concept of Play. Throwing the arts "into the blender" we merge physical theater, clowning, improvisation, music and spoken word as we discover new ways of moving our bodies and experiment with unique possibilities for music making. We play games using our voices, bodies, props and found objects.
No experience necessary, only a spirit of playfulness! Large open space with access to electricity required.
Music Theory Demystified
If you have ever wondered why an F Chord is called an F Chord then this class is for you!
A hands-on workshop designed to initiate students of all playing levels into the secret world of music theory.
With a focus on ukulele, guitar or piano, we discuss the fretboard / keyboard, major scales, sharps and flats, major and minor chords, extended chords, how (and why!) chords work together, and transposing songs into different keys.
With a playful and light-hearted touch, Keeth walks students step-by-step to a more complete and confident understanding of music and their instruments. Students interested in songwriting will be inspired by this sequential class as the laws of Music Theory stimulate creative ideas.
No prior experience with reading music, music notation or songwriting necessary. A basic knowledge of music will be helpful but is not required.