ILR—Meet the Instructors: Dale Boschke

Dale Boschke teaching kids to play the harmonica

Ken Marich

The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is proud to introduce Dale Boschke as a member of our faculty. The first class he taught in SaddleBrooke was Introduction to Harmonica. The class was a blast, and we all learned that the harmonica (aka harp) is much harder to play than a kazoo.

Dale was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering (1977) and a master’s degree in engineering management (1985), both from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). Dale spent 39 years working as an engineering manager at Outboard Marine Corporation (21 years) and Engman-Taylor Company (18 years). He also served as a part-time Adjunct Professor of Engineering at MSOE.

Dale’s musical exploits started with the accordion at 12 years old. He then shifted his interest to guitar and joined a high school rock band. In 1974 he married Susan, and she recognized his love for music. In 1989 she gave him a harmonica starter kit for Christmas. She thought it was a gag gift, but he spent hours practicing until he was bold enough to get on stage with any band that let him. The rest is history! He finally joined the South End Blues Band in 2005 (Milwaukee) and played the harmonica for various venues for 12 years. At the band’s peak, Dale was playing about 50 gigs per year. Dale has also taught several harmonica classes sponsored by the Milwaukee Parks and Recreation Program. He loves playing the harmonica so much that he considers his car a personal music studio. He always has several harps in the car, so when an appropriate song pops up on the radio, he grabs a harmonica and plays with the band.

Dale and Susan rented a house in SaddleBrooke for several years, and in 2020 they bought a house and are now “winter residents,” sharing their time between Tucson and Milwaukee. They enjoy SaddleBrooke, the weather, and all the amenities. They are both active pickleball players and enjoy walking and hiking. When Dale has a little time left over, he plays softball and golf. They have two children and enjoy visiting them in Los Angeles (Daniel) and Minneapolis (Heather). We look forward to more harmonica classes, and maybe we can start a harmonica band with four-part harmony.

If you would like to teach a class in the ILR program, go to our website for more information.