Private Harp Lesson Program

From the initial moment you learn to pluck a harp’s string, it will sound beautiful. For many other instruments (violin, for instance) it may take years to develop a pleasing tone. With the harp, you will often have more immediate results. Having said this, the harp is no more easier or difficult to learn than any other instrument. The rate at which you will progress heavily depend on how much time and effort you put into practicing regularly and your willingness to learn and advance. Harp students will explore areas of technique, musicality, and repertoire and gain knowledge in music theory through one-on-one private instructions.

What student age is appropriate to start harp lessons?
Just about any age is good to start with harp lessons. We have students ranging from 5 years old through senior citizens. Previous musical knowledge, although highly beneficial for starting any new instrument, is not compulsory in order to start harp lessons. However, for very young children, we recommend that they already know or are already in the process of learning how to read and count before beginning lessons, since both are involved in harp music. Much like the piano, the harp can be a wonderful first musical instrument.

Recommended Session Duration:
Children: 30 minutes; Youth, Teenage, and Adult: 45/60 minutes

 What type of harp should I purchase/rent?
There are different kind of harps for example Lever (Folk or Celtic) harps, pedal harps, Ethnic Harps (Paraguayan, Chinese), and Cross Strung and Double Harps.

The kind of harp that you should learn depends on your future goals for the kind of music that you would like to play, and your size/age. For children and beginners, we recommend starting on a Lever Harp because it is smaller and easier for children to play. Lever harps are not as expensive as Pedal harps, so they can decide if they really like it before investing a lot of money.  If you want to play mainly classical music, have aspirations to be in an orchestra, or to major in Harp at an University or College, you will probably need a Pedal Harp.

Is it possible to rent a harp for lessons?
Sometimes people strongly interested in learning to play the harp shy away from enrolling in lessons because they feel they cannot afford to invest in the instrument. Renting, or renting to own, provides an opportunity for students to try harp lessons at a fraction of the cost of purchase. Some companies have a rent to own program, and some even just rent harps. Many private harp owners also rent out some of their harps to students.

Here are the names of some harp companies in the Chicago Area with purchase, rental, or rent-to-own plans:

Lyon and Healy: Lever and Pedal Harps (Located in Chicago)
Phone: 312-786-1881

Venus: Pedal Harps (Located in Chicago)
Phone: 773-278-4210, or 773-278-4238

Harps International: Pedal and Lever Harps, This company sells Camac, Triplett harps, and others (Located in Joliet) Ask for Patrick Dougal
Phone: 815-741-0665

Used Harp Links:
(Note: consult your teacher before purchasing) (Under Classifieds) (Under Classifieds)

For a list of our current and upcoming Art Classes/Camps and Music Camps,
please visit our “Classes & Camps” Page:

Classes & Camps

For information about our private music lessons and other music instructional
programs, please visit our
“Music Lessons” Page:

Music Lessons

Our Harp Faculty

Fox River Academy’s Harp Department provides students with a fun and nurturing environment in which to grow musically and individually.

Our Harp instructor, Nicole Luchs (MM. Northwestern University, BM. Northern Illinois University) is Principal harpist for the Peoria Symphony, DuPage Symphony, and Illinois Valley Symphony, and an active free-lance musician, performing throughout Illinois and Iowa.  Her professional performing experience with orchestra and the concert stage bring our harp students first-hand knowledge and excellence in music instruction.

Nichole Luchs

Harp Instructor


Nichole Luchs, native of Freeport IL, started playing the harp at the age of ten through the harp program at her public school. At the time, Freeport School District was the only district in Illinois with the harp as part of the school’s music program. She studied with harpist Nanette Felix, until she graduated from high school, and then went on to study with Elizabeth Cifani, principal harpist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Nichole received a Bachelors degree in Harp Performance from Northern Illinois University and a Masters degree in Harp Performance from Northwestern University. During her studies, she was the recipient of the prestigious Eckstein Scholarship and the Keefer award. In 2002, she performed two duets with world-renowned Steel-pan artist, Liam Teague, on his Christmas recording A Christmas Gift produced by Sack records. She also performed on the debut recording of modern composer Dexter Morrill entitled Dexter Morrill: Three Concertos produced by Centaur Records, Inc. Recently, she was a featured performer in the Paidiea Project, a documentary on the music of ancient Greece.

Nichole is currently an active free-lance musician and performs throughout Illinois and Iowa. She is the principal harpist for the Peoria Symphony, DuPage Symphony, and Illinois Valley Symphony, and she has performed with many orchestras in the area including the Rockford Symphony, Evanston Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, Fox Valley Symphony, Quad City Symphony, and Dubuque Symphony. She is a member of the Naperville Chamber Musicians and performs numerous chamber recitals with the group throughout the year. Nichole is also an active teacher and is the harp instructor at Fox River Academy of Music and Art in Oswego , IL and also at North Central College in Naperville, IL.