Harmonica lessons in Montpelier and online

All levels and ages

"I can't recommend [Ari] more as teacher for any age. He has infectious enthusiasm for the harmonica, and making music in general. If you want to learn to play an instrument that you can carry in your pocket, and bring music into your life at any moment, Ari is the person who can help you!" - Karen L.


Hi! My name is Ari Erlbaum. My first encounter with the harmonica came at age 11 when I picked up the old ‘Victory’ harp lying around my family’s house. It quickly became my favorite toy, generally found either in my pocket or at my lips. This has not changed in subsequent years.


My Teaching Philosophy

When I was a kid I played saxophone in school. In the beginning, I loved it. After a few years of mandatory practice logs and scales tests, however, my passion waned and I quit. Fortunately, I had also picked up harmonica without the pressures of school, and the passion for that never faded.

Ideally, music should never feel like a responsibility. The most fun way to experience music (and the best way to get better at it) is to treat it playfully, experimenting and exploring, trying to make music with anything you can get your hands on, taking joy when you discover or master something new. This way you will end up playing more and learning more, simply because it is enjoyable. In my lessons, my mission is to keep this joy and excitement alive and moving forward.


My Teaching Style

You have the opportunity to control your lessons. If you have a particular interest or path you want to pursue, I am excited to assist you. Of course, most people won’t have this vision to start, because they don’t yet know everything the instrument is capable of. This is fine. I will guide you through all the foundational skills and instrument possibilities, giving you choices at every step of the way so that whatever you’re learning is something you want to be learning.


 What is Pocket Music?

Pocket Music refers to the simple, yet powerful act of carrying an instrument in your pocket. It is the ability to make music wherever you go. With Pocket Music, there is no need to carve out times to practice - just play on your way to work, while you’re waiting for your bread to toast, or at the bus stop. 


Who can be a student?

Anyone! If you know how to breathe, then you have the ability to learn harmonica. If you don’t know the first thing about harmonicas or music, this is a great place to start. If you are more advanced, I can help you develop further.


 Do you teach things other than harmonica?

Yes, and in fact, I encourage exploring them in your lessons. I think of music as a very large and interconnected entity that harmonica is just a fragment of. Learning something completely different lets you take a step back and view music from a different angle. This makes you a better musician as a whole, and may even change your understanding of the harmonica. See the About the Lessons page for a full list of other skills and instruments I can teach.


 Can I just try out a lesson first to see if I like it?

Yes! I offer the first harmonica lesson half price so you can try it out affordably.


 How do I sign up?

Head over to the registration page. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.




Pocket Music

Ari Erlbaum• ari.erlbaum@gmail.com • (201)-565-4793