Bio

This is a photo of Keeth.

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, Ukulele, 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 current family 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, clubs, schools, libraries, parks and festivals nationally and internationally.

Testimonials

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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!

Laurin Linscot
Children's Librarian (Kent, WA)

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!

Monica Sands
Children's Librarian (Black Diamond, WA)
An acoustic treat.
Seattle's Child Magazine

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.

Popalooza
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.
Carole Watson
Timberland Regional Library System
These kid-friendly indie-pop folks are on the way to becoming big favorites.
Rhapsody.com
Uplifting, entertaining, and a totally engaging children's program.
Adele Warsinske
Children's Librarian (Skyway, WA)
The crowd was HOOKED! We are eager to welcome this wonderful duo back to Third Place.
Cheryl McKeon
Children's Events Producer, Third Place Books
(Lake Forest Park, WA)

Selected Performance History

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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 Town Hall
  • Benaroya Hall / 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)

Press Images

High-resolution images for print and web publications

Technical

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 with sound tech, 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 Solo Stageplot Diagram or Acoustic Duo 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 vocal microphones on boom stands
  • 1-3 on-stage monitors, positioned according to stage plot
  • 2 armless chairs or low stools on stage
  • Access to 2 electrical outlets within 25 feet of stage
  • 1 medium sized table for off stage merchandise
  • Open space on stage for hula hoop, dance, and play.

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.”
Erin Ostrander
Children's Librarian
(King County Library System)

Singing Thanksgiving

Equipped with a ukulele, some vegetables and a suitcase full of props, The Harmonica Pocket celebrates the holidays with their seasonal program Singing Thanksgiving.

The interactive 50-minute set gets young and old alike singing American Folk tunes including Over the River, 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 thoughtful program up into a 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.”
Carole Watson
(Timberland Regional Library System)

Rock-n-Read

Part story time / part sing-a-long, this lighthearted and engaging music program gets families singing and reading together.

Shows incorporate simple looping technology to build a band with wah-wah guitar solos, electric ukuleles and bass right in front of the audience's ears.

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 learn original finger plays, rhymes and new words to old songs.

Words fly and imaginations twirl as children are encouraged to let their creativity shine in a failure-free zone.

Yes, this show can be tailored to different audience age ranges including toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children!

“An Acoustic Treat.”
Seattle's Child Magazine

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, and to help save the Whos on a giant speck of dust. We uncover 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.”
Ellen Duffy
Youth Services Coordinator
(Timberland Regional Library)

U is for Ukulele

The Harmonica Pocket brings the ABCs to life with their early literacy program "U is for Ukulele."

Designed for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners, this show features ukuleles and acoustic instruments, harmonicas and catchy songs to get kiddos and parents excited about books and reading.

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!

Sing. Wiggle. Read.

“The way The Harmonica Pocket delivers language and song is a treasure and very inspiring to teachers. They are natural educators.”
Mary Wilson
Kindergarden Teacher
(Grant Street Elementary School)

Snowing Ice Cream

Put on a cozy hat and scarf 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 and jokes about snowmen, warm woolen mittens, and ice cream falling from the sky.

“The Harmonica Pocket, will win you over with its laid-back originals and quiet reworkings of traditional tunes.”
Kids Music That Rocks

Workshops

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 light-hearted creative process into instructional settings and engage students of all levels in learning through the arts.

We have experience working with a wide range age levels and settings, including traditional and non-traditional preK - 12 settings, as well as with adult learners and intergenerational groups.

How to Write a Rock Song

In this creative writing workshop, anyone and everyone is a songwriter.

Together we co-create an original song from scratch based on participant-powered ideas.

Facilitated by professional songwriter Keeth Apgar, we discuss musical concepts including rhythm, melody, tempo, and harmony. As we dig into the creative process we also touch upon the role of vowel sounds; play with creating images with words; dip into music theory and develop listening skills.

This is a folk art process, blending storytelling with songwriting. All voices are valued and included, without regard to "formal training" or "prior experience." An empowering container is established where there simply are no wrong answers.

The workshop can be tailored for all ages and levels, including young children, advanced music students and intergenerational groups. Prior musical training is welcome although not necessary. Time permitting we record a live version of our co-creation.

University of Play

Sing, laugh, make weird faces and hilarious sounds. Welcome to the University of Play!

Imagine if all kids knew that they can absolutely play music and make art. In this unique music and improvisation workshop, teaching artist Keeth Apgar leads students in experimenting with playful possibilities for music making.

Using a tabletop looping station, some microphones and a suitcase of unusual "musical instruments," we play games with our voices, bodies and found objects. We toss around an imaginary Ball of Nothing. Through a series of exercises kids are invited to explore their voices and instruments and create original music.

Students who have been studying an instrument are invited to bring their instrument to this workshop. No experience necessary, only a spirit of playfulness!

Uke 101 . Ukulele for Everyone

Get some big fun out of this tiny instrument!

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 one- and two-finger 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.

Uke 201 . Next Level Ukulele

You have the basics down. You can play a dozen open chords, strum in 4/4 and maybe play some simple leads.

Now what?

Overcome the stagnancy of your learning plateau and take your playing to the next level in this intermediate ukulele class. We cover a range of rhythmic, harmonic and melodic topics including:

Major and minor triad inversions along the entirety of the fretboard;
Strumming in style — downbeats, upbeats, ties and rests; and
Soloing using major and minor pentatonic scales

We pull back the curtain on some basic music theory to examine how (and why) chords get their names, and use a “Chord Ladder” to learn how chords can be linked into progressions.

The goal of this class is to broaden foundational understanding of the ukulele and synthesize this new information into playing better music together.

No prior experience playing or reading music necessary. Advanced students welcome.

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.

Requirements
• 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 - 20 students. Maximum group size is 30 students.
• A materials fee will apply to cover PVC rolls, joiners, and tape. 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.

Music Theory Demystified

If you have ever wondered why a G Chord is called a G 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 rules 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.

Contact Us

We’d love to come play for you. Please let us know if you need anything else from us and we will follow up via email.
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