I play a melodica. I own two of them. The reason I quit playing in public is that I could no longer stand people coming up to me and asking, “What do you call that instrument?”
Yes, the melodica is used for musical education but it can also be a serious instrument. I’ve seen parts for melodicas written into theater scores (You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown for example) and I know they have been used in jazz recordings. The melodica is easy to play and very expressive.
I also play hyperflute.