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. 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