Phil Duncan



Phil Duncan earned his Masters of Music Education degree in 1973 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.  His Master in Music Education’s thesis focused on the study of methods for teaching beginning voice and instrumental techniques.

At the age of seven, his grandfather taught him how to play the harmonica.  He continued to play harmonica through high school, college and his military service.  Upon returning to civilian life, he began to develop teaching procedures and methods for harmonica through adult community education,

After many years of research, Mel Bay Publications published his first harmonica method book.  He later applied that harmonica book to the public school classroom.  With this effort he launched a five-year extensive research study using “The Deluxe Harmonica Method” book as a teaching tool.

Mr. Duncan’s educator’s experience ranged from elementary school through university levels.  He served for 30 years as a vocal and general music teacher in the Park Hill School District (AAAAA) of Kansas City, Missouri.  For two years he served as Director of Choral Music Activities at Park University in Parkville, Missouri, as well as classes in Kansas City Jazz Style, Music Appreciation, American Folk Music and other Music Educational courses.

As a clinician, Phil has conducted workshops and seminars at several harmonica conventions such as the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of Harmonica, Inc. over 30 years, Virginia Harmonica Festival, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Arkansas, and the Texas Music Educator’s Conference, and many other clinics throughout the Midwest.  He has been a Minister of Music at several churches in the Kansas City area.  He has been active in community education and has for continuing education advised teachers at the university level in techniques in the art of teaching music through harmonica.

He served his country honorably from 1966 to 1970 in the U. S. Army.  His is a disabled Vietnam War Veteran. Phil performs for military reunions, rotary clubs, universities, area churches and local community activities such as Concert Series in the Park in Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding areas.

Mr. Duncan plays Hohner’s Country-Tuned Special 20 harmonicas.  He also plays Hohner’s Chromatic and Tremolo harmonicas.  Phil has performed with Steve Baker, Buddy Greene, TJ Klay, Kirk (Jelly-roll) Johnson, Mike Caldwell of Nashville, TN, Jimi Lee of Austin, TX, Todd Parrott of Durham, NC. Phil is a Hohner endorsee. His styles are Folk, Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, Classical, Celtic, Patriotic, and Gospel.


Mr. Duncan’s career as an author for Mel Bay Publications began in 1979.  Since this beginning, he has published over 30 method instruction and music literature for harmonica.  His has eight published instructional videos (DVD’s) and over 22 CD’s available in music stores.  He has written on virtually every aspect of playing the harmonica, making a significant contribution to the understanding and repertoire for this instrument.