Winslow Yerxa

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
You can expect me to listen to what you tell me, listen to how you play, and then give you information and activities to increase your understanding and develop your abilities. It could be anything from which end of the harmonica is up to advanced classical or jazz performance, or anything in between - blues harp, Neil Young, you name it.
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Winslow teaches



Winslow passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Winslow delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
January 1972

My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.


Author, Harmonica For Dummies, Second Edition
Jan 2014 - Present
John Wiley and Sons

Harmonica For Dummies is now in its second edition, a 400-page book with online audio, video, and animation clips to supplement the written content.

The first edition has been translated into French, German, Russian, and Portuguese.

Aug 2012 - Present
Harmonica Collective

The Harmonica Collective is an annual gathering of some of the best harmonica players, crafters, and performers to share their knowledge with intermediate and advanced players for three days. Enrollment is limited to 50 in order to give individual attention to each attendee.

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Author, Blues Harmonica For Dummies
Jan 2012 - Present
John Wiley and Sons

Faculty instructor
Apr 2008 - May 2018
Jazzschool Community Music School at the California Jazz Conservatory

I taught the ten-week Beginning Diatonic Harmonica Courses when they were offered. I still teach private lessons on Saturdays at the Jazzschool location in Berkeley, California.

Aug 2012 - Aug 2015
SPAH, Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica

Since 1964 SPAH has produced a quarterly magazine and an annual convention for up to 500 attendees, with seminars, one-on-one teaching, jamming, open mic, and concerts, along with exhibits by vendors and manufacturers.

Editor and Publisher
Jan 1992 - Nov 1997
HIP - the Harmonica Information Publications


Music composition, voice
Sep 1976 - May 1977
McGill University
Music composition and arranging
Sep 1974 - May 1976
Vancouver Community College


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Pete Pedersen Lifetime Achievement Award
Aug 2016
SPAH, the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica


California Jazz Conservatory
Apr 2008

The California Jazz Conservatory is a nationally accredited music conservatory providing a dynamic community of students, artists, educators, scholars and audiences with a forum to study, perform, teach, research, appreciate and enjoy jazz and related styles of music from throughout the world. Comprising two distinct education programs, the California Jazz Conservatory, a postsecondary degree-granting program, and the Jazzschool Community Music School, a non-degree-granting community education program, the institution honors the contributions of past masters and promotes artistic innovation, bringing together a diverse music community to develop practical skills, acquire artistic sensibility, realize creative potential and find artistic voice.

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Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica
Jan 1991

SPAH is the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica. It is a non-profit, member organization dedicated to serving the harmonica community.

Photos & Videos

Photo by Winslow Y.

Photo by Winslow Y.

Interview on note bending with David Barrett of
Performing in diatonic harmonica at the 2009 West Coast Jazz Harmonica Summit
Improvising some amplified free-form blues harmonica at the 2016 Harmonica Collective teaching event.
My student Jack (then 12 years old) performs at the SPAH harmonica convention on a youth scholarship.
Performing a Finnish folk tune on chromatic harmonica at the 2009 West Coast Jazz Harmonica Summit, with Tuula Cotter on violin.
"Winslow Yerxa brought his elegant, calm, POWERFUL, energy to the workshop [Kerrville]. Thanks Winslow!" (mother of the 7-year-old student)

With 17-year-old Kaleena Hutchins at the 2008 SPAH convention. That night she performed onstage with what I showed her.


14 Reviews

Write a Review
Gabriel P. May 14, 2019
Harmonica · In studio

Great foundation in harmonica

lena yao Mar 6, 2019
Harmonica · In studio

I had fun and learn something new.

Daniel Feb 27, 2019
Harmonica · Online

Very good teacher; he wrote the book on playing harmonica.

Doug S. Dec 2, 2018
Harmonica · Online

Great teacher. Knows where I am at and knows where I need to go.

Doug S. Nov 16, 2018
Harmonica · In studio

Great lesson. Already sound coming from harmonica is better.

Sharon Aug 9, 2018
Harmonica · In home

Very patient. Knowledgeable.

Andrew Jul 22, 2017
Harmonica · Online

Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!

Philip E. Nov 11, 2016
Harmonica · Online

Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.

Bob S. Aug 5, 2016
Harmonica · In studio

My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.

Steve W. Jul 29, 2016
Harmonica · Online

Far exceeded my expectations. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. Winslow is a GREAT instructor and a well respected expert, well known in the worldwide Harmonica community.

Paul Jun 15, 2016
Harmonica · Online

Winslow is an excellent teacher and I feel fortunate to be learning from him. He is a harmonica master, both in his playing and in his in deep knowledge of the mechanics of the harp and how to play it. He has literally written books on learning to play (Harmonica for Dummies, Blues Harmonica for Dummies).
What I like about our lessons is that he's a great listener. He can hear where I need work and he offers not just one but often several exercises and riffs that address the issue. In addition, he knows the blues, the players, the songs, and the harp riffs for reference. To top it off his manner is light and warm. I feel honored to be learning from him.

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Robert Jun 8, 2016
Harmonica · Online

In my first lesson with Winslow he listened to what I had to say about my experience, my frustrations and my goals. He listened to me play and quickly diagnosed some issues and offered some helpful advice on how to address them. I came away with a much better sense of how to structure my practices to make them more productive and with some specific things on which to work.

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George Chavez Apr 1, 2016
Harmonica · In studio

Good first lesson. Teacher listens and explains clearly. I look forward to my next lesson.

Julie Feb 14, 2016
Harmonica · In studio

Winslow is great. He really knows what he's talking about and helped me improve a lot! I highly recommend him.

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