Harp Instruction

teach-500x333Teaching is a passion of Melissa’s. Melissa offers lessons to students of all ages and all levels from her home studio in the Mclean/Tysons/Falls Church area. Previous musical study helps, but is not a requirement. Lessons in both the Suzuki and traditional approaches are available.

Melissa will teach your child the language of music and the joy of harp! Her studio has a positive and enthusiastic environment. 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. Melissa tailors the curriculum to match your child’s specific learning needs.

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

Instruction will emphasize:

  • Good hand position
  • Good tone production
  • Effective practice techniques
  • Music reading—when child is ready to read

Once basic skills and note reading have been mastered, lessons include audition and competition preparation, arranging and composing music for harp and performing skills.

Melissa’s students perform in studio recitals at least twice a year.

Melissa encourages her students 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. Students are also encouraged to seek out performance opportunities in their schools, churches and community.

Dedicated to finding and creating opportunities for her students, Melissa is the founder and director of the Harp Program at the NOVA Music Camp.   Geared toward 5-8th graders, it focuses on orchestra and harp ensemble playing and it is the only music camp in Northern VA that offers harp!!

Melissa is proud of her student’s accomplishments.

Students have been members of: The American Youth Philharmonic, 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 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 Mid Atlantic Harp Competition, NVMTA Concerto Competition and the Young Artist's International Harp Competition.

Melissa is an active member of 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 Lesson FAQ