"Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart"

Shinichi Suzuki

As a creative and innovative teacher, Mrs. Lake currently teaches over 30 students in the Chicago area. Mrs. Lake loves to teach all ages and levels as evidenced by her three teaching posts at a private harp studio in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago near Halsted and 25th , Loyola University, and the Music Connection in Orland Park.

Mrs. Lake believes that whichever method makes the best music while remaining healthy for the player is the right method.  She is a registered Suzuki teacher for harp books 1 through 5. ( Suzuki Certification )   Keep an eye out for her new book "Beginning Music on the Harp" which is geared towards young children with no musical training. (Why start on the piano when you really want to play the harp?)

All lessons include theory, history, technical study, clear practice assignments, and encouragement.

Every member of the studio has the chance to participate in monthly studio classes, quarterly recitals, and other Midwestern events.  Past student venues have included the Art Institute, Milwaukees's Irish Fest, the Chicago Public Library, and the Second Presbyterian Church on Michigan Avenue.

Mrs. Lake's private studio is on the near west side of Chicago on the corner of Madison and Leavitt streets. Terms for private lessons are as follows:

Lessons are to be pre-paid according to the payment plan chosen.

  1. If lesson is canceled within 24 hours of the originally scheduled lesson, the payment is still required. Exceptions to this rule include only a diagnosed contagious disease; (at least two hours notice is required), weather that warrants a school closing, or a death in the family.Please call as soon as possible.

  2. Rescheduling must be done at least 24 hours before the originally scheduled lesson.

  3. Lessons do not transfer between quarters.

  4. Punctuality is important! Missed time will not be made up.

Payment Packages

Lessons will be paid according to a quarter system.


Quarter Length of Quarter
Lesson Quarters:
Winter Quarter January 1 - March 30 (13 weeks)
Spring Quarter April 1 - June 29 (13 weeks)
Summer Quarter June 30 - September 2 (10 weeks)
Fall Quarter September 3 - December 31 (16 weeks)

Please choose the number and length of lessons that you would like to receive.

Rate: $55 for 60 minutes, $45 for 45 minutes, and $35 for 30 minutes.  Studio class is $30/quarter.  For students under 18, the studio class fee is required.


Number of Lessons 60 minute lessons 45 minute lessons 30 minute lessons
Lesson Length and Rates
6 lessons per quarter $325 ($5 savings) $265 ($5 savings) $205 ($5 savings)
9 lessons per quarter $485 ($10 savings) $395 ($10 savings) $305 ($10 savings)
12 lessons per quarter $605 (one free lesson) $495(one free lesson) $385 (one free lesson)









Mrs. Lake accepts personal checks made out to Janelle Lake or cash.

Weekly lessons are recommended for all students to ensure continual progress, and are required for all beginners for the first 6 weeks. Mrs. Lake is currently accepting students ages four and up. No one is "too old" to play the harp.


Each lesson includes these components: Warm up/technical exercises, music review, rhythmic work, and a clear assignment for home practice. Mrs. Lake teaches music history, music theory, and harp maintenance in lessons.

How to Begin Harp Lessons

First, contact Janelle Lake to set up a trial lesson. During a trial lesson, you can see if the harp and harp lessons are feasible for you without being obligated to sign a package contract. Trial lessons are $30 for a 30 minute lesson with a free interview afterward.  If you are in the middle of the quarter and you would like to start right away, once you secure the necessary books and supplies , you may pay for individual lessons until the next quarter begins.

Choosing a Harp

Choosing a harp is like choosing your first car. Most likely, you did not waltz into a car show room and pick out the first one you liked, or even worse... pick one out on the internet because it looked nice or was the cheapest car. You researched. You heavily weighed different pros and cons. You took it for a test drive. You consulted someone who knew more than you did about cars.

The better sounding the instrument that you choose, the more fun you will have with it and the more fun you have, the more you will want to use it. Luckily, you have two of the world's best harp factories here in Chicago. Mrs. Lake regularly chooses harps for students. She has personally matched over seventy students with harps that they are all happy with.

It is important that you choose a harp that fits your body type, the musical style(s) that you wish to play, and your budget. In addition to the model, you should consider that each harp has its own personality. Since wood was living at one time, and harps are made out of wood, all harps sound different.

See Choosing a Harp for more information.

Small Harps

Also called lever harps, Troubadour Harps, Folk harps, Celtic harps, Irish harps, Clàrsachs, or Latin Harps, are generally used to play folk, Celtic, or Latin music respectively. However, you are not limited to those types of music with small harps. Many small harps have similar tension to pedal harps so that the transition (if desired later on) to a larger harp is not a difficult process. The main difference between small harps and pedal harps is that most small harps have levers to change the sharps and flats instead of pedals.

The harps are small enough for any adult to transport and any child to reach all of the strings and mechanisms. These harps are ideal for beginners as they are the most affordable option. See the links section at the bottom of this page for some major lever harp manufacturers' and retailers websites.   


Links to Helpful Sites

Instrument, Strings, Accessories, and Music Resources

*  Janelle Lake holds no consistent preference for any harp company over another!


Links for Students (Extra Credit for visiting them!)