Colin Dussault Session

21.03.2016

HARMONICAS FOR HEALTH at Southwest General Hosptial in Middleburgh Heights, suburb located southwest of Cleveland, Ohio is off and running. The program, spearheaded by David Ferris of Southwest General was created as a fun alternative to the normal breathing exercises that patients with COPD normally undertake as they manage and recover from their ailments.

Mr. Ferris along with help of several other staffers reached out to Cleveland blues harmonica player & Cleveland resident COLIN DUSSAULT of Colin Dussault’s Blues Project, to see if he would be interested in volunteering to assist with the program. After passing a security and background check, Mr. Dussault was on board as a hospital volunteer and harmonica instructor!

From there, Dussault, a HOHNER ENDORSEE, contacted Mr. GIZZY O’TOOLE at the HOHNER HARMONICA CO. to see if Hohner would be interested in helping out with this worthwhile endeavor. Hohner was indeed interested and donated two cases of HOHNER BLUES BAND HARMONICAS to the hospital and Harmonicas for Health initiative.

The harp lessons are 1 hour in length and take place once a week between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm every Monday in the Anderson Hall Auditorium located at Southwest General. The 4-week long classes are scheduled to run on consecutive Mondays beginning on March 7 and taking place again on March 14, 21, and 28, 2016.

The first class on March 7th attracted 12 patients with COPD who all signed up and attended the inaugural session. Each patient was given a free HOHNER BLUES BAND “C” HARP and a booklet of songs chosen by Dussault containing classics and standards with harmonica notations.

 

 

Dussault introduced himself to the class by briefly describing his 27-year career as a singer/songwriter/harmonica player and band leader in and around northeast Ohio. He then played a few blues and country riffs on his HOHNER BLUES BAND HARP After explaining that the bends and trills and other advanced techniques are achievable with some practice, Dussault went on to explain that “the focus of this class and assemblage of new harp enthusiasts was really just to dupe them into breathing in and out and working their lungs in a way that would be more fun and interesting than breathing in and out of a plastic tube or some other plastic hospital issued device.”

Once the class was comfortable with the simple “blow and draw techniques” Dussault had them all blow and draw chords by utilizing the first 4 holes / notes on the harp. After a few minutes of this the sheets of music were utilized and songs like “This Old Man,” “Amazing Grace,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and other simple tunes were explored and taught to the very eager room full of students. The students were each shown how to blow and draw single notes and chords and before anybody realized it the first hour and class had flown by!

The class sounded pretty good and the prospect of learning the harp had each student/patient eager to continue on at home! But more importantly, with the help of HOHNNER Inc., DAVID FERRIS and COLIN DUSSAULT, 12 patients who needed to breath and exercise their lungs had done so with little notice being paid to the time that had elapsed as they worked their lungs.

Dussault has found this to be a very rewarding and interesting program and is excited about the next session. He looks forward to helping and continuing to give back to the community. Information on Hohner Endorsee Colin Dussault can be found at: www.colindussault.com

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