Blues For Everyone - Education For All Ages

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formerly Blues For Kids

Blues for Everyone teaches music lovers of all ages the joy of Blues music, fulfilling one of the stated missions of the Minnesota Blues Society to: "educate and promote the past, present and future of Blues music in Minnesota." Blues for Everyone workshops are scheduled through schools, community organizations, festivals and events. Workshops are custom designed to meet the needs of the audience and can include guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals, or Blues history. Our most popular workshop provides kids with a free harmonica and lesson.

Hohner Harmonica
Blues For Kids Uses Hohner® Harmonicas

To Volunteer or for more information, contact Everett Smithson at email:

Harmonica Fundraiser February 23, 2020


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Harmonica Fundraiser 02/23/2020 Slide Show

The C-Notes The C-Notes The C-Notes John Garden Mick Zampogna Mick Zampogna & Sonna Olson Mick Zampogna & Sonna Olson The New Feral Cats The New Feral Cats Nick Zwack Ross William Perry Sonna Olson Sonna Olson Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr John Franken John Franken & Steve Vonderharr Everett Smithson Band Everett Smithson Band Everett Smithson Band

Slideshow Images By Michael Border


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Blues For Kids Is Fun!
Inquire About A Program For Your Next Event.

Everett Smithson @ LeRoy-Ostrander School, Jan. 28, 2016
Everett Smithson Blues For Kids Harmonica lessons at LeRoy-Ostrander School, 1/28/2016

Blues For Kids Recruiting Handout

Testimonials For Blues For Kids

Thank-you to Joe Filipovich for his harmonica lessons at Valley Crossing Community School, 2/11/2016:

Thank Yous For Joe Filipovich

"Dear Joe and the Minnesota Blues Society,

I cannot tell you what an impression you made on so many students today! Joe worked VERY hard and our students were so fortunate to get to meet you, hear you play and to learn from you. As a music teacher I really appreciated your ability to teach the blues chord progressions and the sounds of these genres of music so easily to our young students. Our students were highly engaged with everything you told them about the blues and their eyes were wide as saucers when you handed them a harmonica! I have heard so many good comments from the students already. One little girl next to me said, 'this is SO cool.' Smiling. High praise from a 6th grader indeed. I sincerely thank the blues society of Minnesota for making this contribution and supporting you in this new endeavor. All students in the state of Minnesota should be so fortunate as to have your teaching and playing abilities available to them!

Our sincerest thank you to both the Blues Society and Joe!"

Debra Graf

For more on this, please see the article in The Woodbury Bulletin.

More of the same:

"Dear Blues Society,

I would like to personally express my appreciation for your support of my students learning about the blues and how to play the harmonica. The session given by Joe Filipovich at our school was outstanding and the students were so excited to hear him play and to make music with him. The way Joe taught the students was clear and concise for all students to be able to understand and access the blues. The best part of all it was of course hearing these students come out of the clinic saying how "cool" it was to play their harmonicas and to get to play the blues. Your generous contribution brought some 300 students together to hear the blues played by Joe and about 50 students benefited directly in getting a new harmonica and being inspired to learn more.

Here is a direct link to our website and what our community of learners had to say about this wonderful event:

I sincerely hope you will collaborate with more people like Joe to spread this music to our schools and inspire more young children with events like these in the future.

Thank you sincerely,
Debra Graf
Music/Instrumental Instructor at Valley Crossing School"

Thank-you to Joe Filipovich for his harmonica lessons at Seven Hills Prepratory Academy:

"Dear Minnesota Blues Society:

On behalf of our school and student body at Seven Hills Preparatory Academy, I'd like to share our great enthusiasm for having Joey Filipovich share with our students. Through the class presentations and harmonica workshops, as well as the afternoon performance for our entire school, our students were inspired through blues music. Our students still express their excitement to have their own harmonica which they've been exploring since Joey's visit. Again, thank you for coming to our school and sharing your talents with us, and thanks to the Minnesota Blues Society organization who so graciously offered the harmonicas to our young students. We appreciate your time and effort to promote the art of music and blues in particular.


Steve Boniface
Seven Hills Preparatory Academy
Richfield Campus

Thank-you from Washington Co Libraries:

"The wonderful Blues for Kids educators share a brief history of blues music, a bit of music theory, and provide lots of harmonica-playing demonstration. Each child receives a complimentary harmonica and CD so they continue to practice their mouth harp skills at home. The kids really seem to get it and walk away feeling bluesy and more musical. The parents often stick around to watch the program, just for the fun of it. What a fantastic program for our library kids!" - Jennifer Verbrugge, Youth Programming Coordinator, Dakota County Library

"We loved our Blues for Kids programs! The musicians were great with the kids and made an effort to include everyone in their jam sessions. The sounds coming from the harmonicas got better as the sessions grew to a close, which is always impressive when learning to play a new instrument. The children especially loved the free harmonicas to take home and practice what they learned. Nothing but positive feedback from parents and lots of smiles from the kids!" - Dawn LaBrosse, Washington County Library

Ditto on Harp
— Hi & Lois ©King Features by permission of Greg Walker.

Past Events











Blues for Kids at Girl Scout Jamboree

Blues for Kids at Girl Scout Jamboree
Blues for Kids at
Girl Scout Jamboree

Twenty-one Girl Scouts and their leaders participated in a Blues For Kids workshop held on July 20 in collaboration with the Minnesota Dreams Girl Scout Jamboree.

In the two hour hands-on workshop, instructor Clint Hoover covered the basics of playing blues harp as well as showing off his extensive collection of harmonicas and teaching the history of the instrument. Clint did a remarkable job of stimulating the desire of these future musicians, resulting in the comments from one attendee, "Workshop time was just right; though you definitely wanted more...we are pepped up and want to continue learning Blues Harp". — Doug Spike


First Blues For Kids Event Held at Coffee Grounds

Mike Fugazzi with student.
Mike Fugazzi listens
for the pure single note.

The Twin Cities metro area has 8 new harmonica players thanks to a successful Blues For Kids workshop held July 14. The attendees received free harmonicas and a professional lesson.

Korey Hicks & Mike Fugazzi
Korey Hicks & Mike Fugazzi

Instruction covered practice techniques, ways to play harmonica notes, chords and scales. The group learned a common blues riff and two songs. Recommended artists for learning by listening as well as on line resources were shared. Most of all, the kids learned to have FUN with music.

Thanks to Mike Fugazzi and Korey Hicks from the band NiteRail for their valuable instruction and to The Coffee Grounds for hosting the event. — Doug Spike


GTCBMS Launchs Blues Educational Program for Youngsters

Blues For Kids

Blues For Kids has been initiated to fulfill one of the stated missions of the Greater Twin Cities Blues Music Society: "to provide learning opportunities related to this American-roots music genre."

Blues For Kids introduces children to the blues by providing a free professional harmonica lesson and harmonica. Scheduled through community organizations and events, our first programs were held in July 2007 at the Coffee Grounds in St. Paul and in collaboration with the local Girl Scout Council. Additional event opportunities are being sought.

Volunteers are needed in many aspects of the Blues For Kids program, from assisting with events to fundraising. Email us at info@gtcbms.org for more information.

Pete Berglund
Pete Berglund
(Photo from Armadillo Jump)

Funding for Blues For Kids has been provided by the GTCBMS as well as generous contributions from:
Pete Izmirian, Portraits in Blues
John Coburn, in memory of Pete Berglund

Pete Berglund was passionate in music and was a member of local blues band Armadillo Jump. As "Uncle Puffy" he enthusiastically excelled at harmonica and guitar. Pete passed away unexpectedly in May 2006 and was loved by his friends, respected by his peers and is sorely missed by all who knew him.

— Doug Spike





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