RSL Awards is delighted to announce its partnership with HarmonicaUK which will see the creation of the world’s first regulated graded qualifications in harmonica performance!

The partnership with RSL Awards will see HarmonicaUK provide the expertise in creating a new set of qualifications for learning and performing harmonica. These qualifications give a progression route from the very first steps on the student’s musical journey to the creation of performers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to perform pieces of popular music specially arranged for the instruments.

The partnership will see the release of a new syllabus for the first five graded exams (Premiere to Grade 3), and method books published to accompany Premier and Debut Grades. The method books have been designed to be used in individual lessons and classroom teaching, offering a brand-new route for whole class music teaching.

Just like the Rockschool Piano and Ukulele Method Books, Rockschool’s new Harmonica Method books have been designed for beginners as a fun and interactive introduction to the instrument. Complete with newly composed exercises, games and pieces, the Harmonica Method books are the perfect entry point for players getting to grips with the harmonica. Created and benchmarked to the same standards as all of Rockschool’s syllabuses, the Harmonica Method books will prepare students for Rockschool Premiere and Debut.

Be the first to find out more about these world first qualifications in harmonica and when they will be available to purchase by filling in the contact form below:

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    HarmonicaUK President, Paul Jones said, “For years HarmonicaUK members have asked the traditional music exam boards to give harmonica players the same recognition as other instrumentalists. It is brilliant that RSL Awards has achieved this with us, and HarmonicaUK are delighted to work with RSL Awards to ensure that harmonica playing across the globe gets the recognition it deserves. We need to ensure that the education community are aware of the benefits of playing these accessible and inclusive instruments, and inspire future generations of players.”

    RSL Awards Chairman, Norton York said, “In 2020 I heard an interview with a harmonica player on the radio about the impact of the pandemic on musicians. I realised quickly that harmonica players faced the same issues that we had solved for guitarists, drummers, and bass players in 1991. They needed the same formal recognition that other musicians have received for years. HarmonicaUK are the natural partners for RSL Awards, and we are very excited to welcome harmonica as the next instrument in the Rockschool grades.”

    Rockschool Harmonica Method Books – Coming Soon

    About HarmonicaUK

    HarmonicaUK is Britain's national harmonica association, with members in over 50 countries around the globe. HarmonicaUK aims to support, help and encourage the playing of all types of music on the chromatic, diatonic, tremolo, octave, bass, chord and orchestral harmonicas. HarmonicaUK is a charity run by volunteers, both enthusiasts and professionals.

    About Paul Jones

    Paul Jones is an English singer, actor, harmonicist, radio personality, and television presenter. As lead singer and harmonicist of Manfred Mann he had a number of hit singles in the US and UK, including ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’. As a harmonica player he has performed with artists such as Harmonica with Eric Clapton, Chris Barber, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tina Turner, Katie Melua, Ruby Turner, Memphis Slim, Van Morrison, and many more.

    He has gone on to receive great acclaim acting for film, theatre and TV in the West End, Broadway, Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, along with presenting ‘The Blues Show’ on BBC Radio 2 for thirty-two years. He continues to perform alongside former Manfred Mann bandmates in ‘The Blues Band’ and ‘The Manfreds’. His latest release ‘Paul Jones The Blues’ is released on the 30th September 2022.

    About RSL Awards

    In 1991, under the direction of founder Norton York, Rockschool created a unique set of products for a brand-new marketplace: recognised, graded qualifications for contemporary musicians. The traditional instruments performing in a rock band were included in the original graded examinations, Electric guitar, Bass guitar and Drums. After the initial success with these instruments, the company has developed syllabi in Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Piano and Keyboards, Ukulele, Contemporary Music Theory and the world's first Music Production syllabus.

    Over recent years the company, based in West London, has developed a full suite of vocational qualifications for the creative industries, which are delivered in over 500 schools and colleges, principally in the UK. These sit alongside a program of contemporary dance qualifications, covering three distinct disciplines: musical theatre, jazz and street dance and a new suite of first to market CQ qualifications in Vlogging and Podcasting.

    A head office team of 50, and a team of over 150 highly trained and certified global examiners, assessors and moderators help deliver the qualifications across the globe. RSL Awards qualifications are recognised and regulated at the highest level by OFQUAL, SFA, CCEA, Qualifications Wales and the Department for Education, with all successful level 3 (Grades 6–8) exams being awarded UCAS points, bolstering university applications.