Music has always played an important role in my life so when I learned that the youth of our stake would be going on trek I imagined thousands of our children walking across a stretch of Wyoming singing “Come, Come Ye Saints” interspersed with some who accompany on the harmonica.  

I had learned the basics of harmonica playing years ago when my wife gave me a book, a cassette tape and a harmonica for a present.  I would listen to the tape in the car on the way to work and practice the skills at the stop lights.  Now in the day of the internet I found an online class which has the first lessons for free.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddM5RlWSJ4E The early, free lessons were enough for the foundation we needed to play some hymns.  We worked on the basics at mutual one night and then we would practice a hymn at the beginning quorum meeting every week and the boys were encouraged to practice at home.  After a couple of months the teachers quorum taught the others who would be going on trek how to play the harmonica for a mutual activity.  As with any activity some appreciate the experience more than others and those who practiced become fairly proficient.  I really enjoyed the hymn playing at the beginning of quorum meeting with our boys.

When starting it can be helpful to have some “music” to play from.  I have attached some simple transcriptions of some hymns to play on a standard diatonic harmonica.  These transcriptions assume a familiarity with the hymns and only indicate which holes to blow or draw from.  They assume a familiarity with the rhythm of the song.

Battle Hymn of the Republic

Come, Come Ye Saints

Secret Prayer