Play Harmonica Holiday on the Isle of Wight
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Take your first steps learning to play the Harmonica on the Isle of Wight, learning the folk/blues harmonica, including breathing, finding chords, and single notes, 'chugging' and simple tunes and blue riffs. Build confidence with guidance and teaching from our professional leader, working in small groups with time available for individual tuition and a group performance.
Suitable for beginners.
- Music sessions every morning, late afternoon and evening
- Afternoons are free to explore the local area
- Work towards an informal performance on the final night
- Small groups of up to 12 guests
- Full-board en-suite accommodation
- Full programme of tuition from our knowledgeable leaders
Freshwater Bay House boasts a beautiful cliff-top location overlooking the bay. Enjoy dramatic chalk cliffs, sandy beaches, picture-postcard villages and more from this wonderful island gem.
Freshwater Bay House has 48 bedrooms located in the main building and a cottage in the grounds. Many of the rooms have sea views, whilst others overlook the gardens and downs.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our option evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance with an evacuation are identified at this point and alternative door hangers are issued to help the team members identify them
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- All team members have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for and specialist food can be arranged with prior notice
- Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
- Fridges can be supplied for medication with prior notice.
Musical experiences are always better when shared. Enjoy creating wonderful music with other like-minded enthusiasts. This holiday is for complete beginners. If you already play a little so much the better, but we will start with the absolute basics. We’ll cover breathing and note production, getting a good tone, vamping and accompaniment, articulation and playing tunes. We may get onto some position playing and note-bending for blues styles.
You’re welcome to check-in from 2.30pm (1pm for Best and Better rooms). Please join us for afternoon tea.
During your stay
We’ll start playing each morning from 9.30am, and have a nice cup of tea halfway through.
Enjoy lunch together, then you’ve got some free time. There are fantastic walks right on the doorstep and our Discovery Points are ready to make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way. Or you can always get some more rehearsal time in by yourself.
There’s more practice before dinner from 5.30pm and again after, so you can spend the evening doing what you love best!
There’s usually an informal concert at the end of the holiday. Why not show off your new repertoire to other guests in the house?
Leave (on a high note) after a leisurely breakfast.
What to Bring
This holiday is for complete beginners. You’ll need 10-hole Richter-tuned diatonic harmonica in the key of C major. Some of the well known models are made by Hohner, Seydel, Suzuki and Lee Oscar. There are many others. It will cost you about £35. Any good music shop will advise you. If you want to bring a harmonica in other keys please do. The best keys to get - after C - are A and D, which work well for blues and folk.
Please bring your own music stand.
How to play if you’ve not tried it before
It’s worth trying to purchase your harmonica a little while before the start of the holiday, and trying to produce some notes from it. The low notes are on the left as you play it. Breathe through it, blowing out and drawing air in, not too hard. Make a good airtight seal with your lips.
You’ll hear two or more notes together, which harmonise, as this is the way the harmonica is laid out. There are two basic ways to isolate a single note; by puckering your lips, or by blocking the left side notes with your tongue, leaving a channel between your tongue and your right cheek. Eventually you should be able to do either. Have fun experimenting with this!
Discover the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a delightful haven away from the bustle of the mainland, easily reached by ferry. Broadly diamond shaped, the island is 25 miles long and 15 miles wide. This makes it ideally sized for a week’s walking and exploration.
Freshwater Bay is a small semi-circular cove at the foot of the garden of Freshwater Bay House. There is a pebble beach here, or better sandy beaches approximately 3 miles away at Totland Bay or Colwell Bay. Shops and banks are located in Freshwater village, about 30 minutes’ walk away.
The small harbour town of Yarmouth is located 3 miles north of Freshwater Bay; either a 10 minutes drive, a pleasant 1 hour walk, or reached using the 'Needles Breezer' open-top bus. Yarmouth has a selection of small shops and pubs, and there's always a bustle of activity around the harbour. Yarmouth's Tudor castle is also worth a visit. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/yarmouth-castle/
Queen Victoria’s island residence, managed by English Heritage, is located near East Cowes at the north of the island. Enjoy the lavish interiors and take time to explore the extensive grounds which slope down to the Solent. Osborne House is about 40 minutes drive from Freshwater Bay. During the main season (May to Sept) we offer an excursion to Osborne on most Wednesdays. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne/
A fine medieval castle situated near Newport in the heart of the island. The castle's most famous 'resident' was King Charles I, who was imprisoned here after the English Civil War. Walk around the impressive walls and visit the castle's famous well where donkeys are used to raise the water using a large treadmill. The castle is around 20 minutes' drive from freshwater Bay, and can also be reached direct using the number 12 bus. www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/carisbrooke-castle/
Isle of Wight Steam Railway
Step back in time and ride this vintage steam railway from Wootton to Smallbrook Junction. The railway has a particularly historic collection of locomotives and rolling stock, including many wooden 4-wheeled carriages dating from the the 19th Century. The main station is at Havenstreet where you'll also find a museum and the line's workshops. The steam railway is about 45 minutes' drive away, but can also be reached by local bus, via Newport. www.iwsteamrailway.co.uk
This fantasy theme park is a big hit with children of all ages. Attractions include Cowboy village, 'Fantasyland', maze and the giant snakes and ladders. Adults may also enjoy the maritime exhibition and working sawmill. Blackgang is 20 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.blackgangchine.com
Ventnor Botanical Gardens
The island's rich climate enables Mediterranean plants to prosper. Enjoy magnificent floral displays and relaxing gardens. Ventnor is 30 minutes' drive from Freshwater Bay and in Summer can be reached using the 'Island Coaster' bus. www.botanic.co.uk
Travel to Freshwater Bay
Our address is: Freshwater Bay House, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight PO40 9RB
By ferry & transfer - great value!
We offer a reduced price ferry and transfer ticket - just £23 return for adults and £13 for children. This includes a foot passenger ticket for the Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry, plus a connecting taxi / coach transfer to Freshwater Bay.
Our transfers operate every Saturday and Tuesday (Friday and Monday in the low season). These connect with the 1500 or 1600 ferries from Lymington. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Yarmouth in time to catch the 0845 or 1005 ferries to the mainland.
Book your tickets at least 14 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 020 8732 1220.
The nearest train station is Lymington Pier on the mainland. This is immediately adjacent to the ferry terminal. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The Wightlink Lymington to Yarmouth ferry is the most convenient for Freshwater Bay - see www.wightlink.co.uk
Alternatively the Red Funnel Southampton to East Cowes ferry is often the cheapest option if you want to take your car to the Isle of Wight - see www.redfunnel.co.uk
From Yarmouth turn right out of the ferry terminal onto the A3054 and over the bridge across the River Yar. After 1 mile turn left down Pixley Hill, signposted to Freshwater Bay. Turn left at Freswater Garage and continue along Afton road. At the Lifeboat station turn right and follow the road round passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is the next driveway on your left.
From East Cowes: Follow signs for Newport following A3021 and then A3054. Continue through Newport and Carisbrooke. Turn left onto the B3401 through Calbourne. At the T junction with Afton Road (A3055) turn left and then right by the Lifeboat station and follow the road round passing the Albion Hotel on the left. The entrance to Freshwater Bay House is the next driveway on your left.
Alternatively leave your car on the mainland and travel to the Isle of Wight as a foot passenger. There is a pay and display car park at Lymington Pier - price approximately £8.50 per day.
Travelling from overseas
If you're travelling from Europe the most convenient airport is at Southampton. From Southampton Airport Parkway station (adjacent to the airport terminal) there are regular trains to Lymington Pier - journey time 40 minutes). See www.nationalrail.co.uk for details.
For most guests, travelling to either London Heathrow or London Gatwick airport is the best option. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for onward connections by train to Lymington Pier.
Robin is an Outdoor Education Teacher who lives in the Lake District. He plays harmonica (national champion 1999), guitar and percussion as well as ukulele. You can often find him at weekends in a pub, playing washboard with the Sun Street Stompers or performing with his Blues partner, Rex Haymes. He plays gigs and jam sessions around the north-west of England.
Passing on his skills and enthusiasm is now his passion, and he has recently completed a Certificate in Music course at Lancaster University. He has great fun playing and teaching the ukulele, a wonderfully accessible and versatile little instrument.
The success of the 'Play Ukulele' holidays has prompted him to branch out with holidays devoted to the Blues.
Robin is a fantastic musician and teacher. I loved every minute and have wonderful memories with the CD he kindly gave to all the guests. A wonderful memorable experience.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|25 Oct 2019||FWMPH - Play Harmonica - Freshwater||3||£339.00||£314.00||Book Now|