Harp Lessons - Studio and Online

teach-500x333My harp studio welcomes students of all ages. Previous musical study helps, but is not a requirement. I offer both Suzuki and traditional methods.

The harp studio is located in the Falls Church/McLean, VA area. Under normal circumstances, lessons are conducted within the studio with occasional online lessons. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, online lessons have become necessary. Read more below about how we accommodate online learning below.

Students will learn to use the harp as a vehicle for their own expression and the skills they learn will transfer to success in the future. Each student receives a tailored curriculum to match their specific learning needs. The studio is a positive learning environment that seeks to increase and maintain enthusiasm for learning music and discovering the joy of the harp.

Lessons include instruction in the realms of harp technique, musicality, music theory, ear training, and performance practices.

Lessons are available in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute weekly sessions. All students need a harp available at their home for regular practicing and any online lessons. The studio maintains a limited number of rentable harps for students. I also provide guidance for both outside purchase and rental.

Instruction will emphasize:

  • Good hand position
  • Good tone production
  • Effective practice techniques
  • Music reading—when child is ready to read
  • Changing strings, tuning harps, and basic harp maintenance

Once basic skills and note reading have been mastered, lessons focus on preparing for auditions and competitions, arranging and composing music, and improving performing skills.

Students perform in studio recitals at least twice a year

I encourage students to participate in many different music programs, including the American Harp Society National Competition, Music Education Auditions, The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, American String Teacher’s Certificate Program and Suzuki Summer Institutes. I also encourage students to seek out performance opportunities in their schools, churches, and community.

Online Lessons and Covid-19

I have always offered online lessons to students for various reasons such as inclement weather, illness, or extended periods out of town. With Covid-19 and social distancing, online lessons have become a standard approach to continuing harp education. Just as with in person lessons, online lessons are available in 30, 45, 60, and 75 minute session lengths. In addition to having a harp at home, students will need a device capable of video conferencing, such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Bigger screens are generally better for taking visual instruction. Online classes emphasize all of the skills mentioned above. Please see the Online Lessons FAQ below for more information.

Praise for Student Accomplishments

Students have been members of: The American Youth Philharmonic, The Capital Symphonic Youth Orchestra, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra, The McLean Youth Orchestra, The Youth Orchestra of Fairfax, Senior Regional Orchestra,  Virginia All State Orchestra.  They have attended the Saratoga Harp Colony and Young Artists Harp Seminar, MPulse, Interlochen Music Camp, North Coast Harp Institute, New England Music Camp and have had the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Students are regularly accepted into college harp programs, including The Eastman School of Music, The Peabody Conservatory of Music, Indiana University and others. Students have placed in regional,  national, and international  competitions, including the American Harp Society National Competition, The Hampton Roads Harp  The Cescere Con La Musica International Harp Competition, Competition, The Christopher Newport Harp Competition, Mid Atlantic Harp Competition, NVMTA Concerto Competition, and the Young Artist's International Harp Competition.

I maintain an active membership in the Music Teachers National Association, Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA), American Harp Society, DC Chapter of the American Harp Society, American String Teachers Association, Virginia String Teachers Association, The Suzuki Association and the Suzuki Association of Greater Washington, and the American Federation of Musicians, local 161-70.


Current Student?

View teaching calendar, student policies, and lesson scheduler on the password-protected students' page. (Forgot the password? Send me an email at melissa@capitolharpist.com.)

I have waited this for a long time, but it feels little weird that I'm really done with it. I just wanted to say thank you for teaching me and everything! Without you, I couldn't be here and couldn't have done anything. All your teaching made me to think about music and harp more seriously and it inspired me more than anything.

Meeting you was like a turning point of my life!

Thank you so much!! It was my pleasure to meet you and have an opportunity to work with you. I will keep update my next step of life at Eastman!!!
Many thanks,
You have made a positive impact on my life because you have taught me a new skill--playing the harp.  I now have more confidence in speaking and appearing in front of many people.   I have participated in two recitals--my first.  Because I can play the harp, I’ve been able to add to the musical talents of my Girl Scout Troop.  Because I can play the harp, I met a new Korean lady when I played at the Little Sisters of the Poor.  

Because of this talent, I have a new harp and not a rental.  I can play several songs and I’m learning to play more.  

You’ve always been there to help me and my Mom with decisions on other harp opportunities.  When I earned my Silver Award in Girl Scouts, you helped me to prepare for my presentation.  As you know, my Silver Award project was to expose the 2nd Grade class at St. Columba School to music--notably the harp.  I loved performing for them and I think they’ve learned a lot. 

I’m thankful that I’ve found you to be my teacher and friend. 

Thanks for being an inspiration! 

Getting Started


Melissa will help coordinate harp rentals for students and rents a number of harps directly through the studio. During lessons, students can play both pedal and lever harps, depending on interest and experience.


All ages are welcome, no prior musical experience necessary. Admission is by brief audition/interview.


Students or parents/guardians of students who are interested in lessons can contact Melissa at 202-262-2613.

Harp Lessons FAQ

Online Lessons FAQ