Emily Mitchell teaching at the Southeastern Harp Weekend in Asheville, North Carolina

Harpist Emily Mitchell, shown here teaching at the Southeastern Harp Weekend in Asheville, North Carolina, will teach harp lessons this fall for the SFA Music Preparatory Division.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will offer harp lessons for the upcoming fall semester.

Award-winning harpist Emily Mitchell, artist in residence in the SFA School of Music, will teach the lessons for ages 8 through adult.

“When I perform, audience members will often say to me afterwards, ‘Oh, I always wanted to learn to play the harp!’ Well, here's your chance,” Mitchell said. “It's going to be fun, low pressure, with lots of camaraderie.”

Lyon-Healy Troubadour lever harps will be provided. No prior musical training is necessary. Classes will be organized according to age and musical proficiency.

“You can make a beautiful sound on the harp from the very beginning – no squeaks or squawks,” Mitchell said. “It's very gratifying to learn to play the harp, because even the simplest of songs can be made to sound beautiful, and you don't need accompaniment. The harp is similar to the piano in that respect.”

Students who excel during the three-times-a-week sessions will have the option of continuing with private lessons, Mitchell explained.

“The SFA Music Preparatory Division is very fortunate to have Emily Mitchell teaching harp,” said Pat Barnett, Music Prep director. “Mr. Ed Cole and wife, Gwen, purchased the harps to add to the preparatory divisions’ music offerings. We are forever grateful to the Coles for their generosity and for bringing the harp to us and the SFA School of Music.”

First-time registrants will receive a $30 scholarship off the $90 tuition for the class.

Emily Mitchell enjoyed a 30-year career in New York City where she was principal harpist for the incomparable Eos Orchestra. She was an established name in the television, motion picture and recording studios of New York and taught on the faculties of New York University and Purchase College. Mitchell toured the United States as a soloist and chamber musician for Columbia Artists’ Community Concerts for many years. She relocated to Texas in 2008 and was appointed to the music faculties of SFA and Sam Houston State University. Mitchell performs with Saint Cecilia Chamber Music Society in Houston, Better Than One harp duo with Jaymee Haefner, and is director of The New Houston Harp Ensemble. Mitchell has championed the works of flutist and composer Gary Schocker on four CDs for Albany Records recorded from 2011 to 2016.

Music Prep offers private music lessons in piano, harp, violin, Suzuki violin, flute, cello, trumpet, trombone, voice, percussion and more. Private lessons begin the week of Aug. 21 for 16-week upper level faculty instruction and the week of Sept. 11 for 12-week SFA music major instruction.

The Music Prep office is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, contact Barnett at (936) 468-1291 or at musicprep@sfasu.edu. Application forms and information about the various programs offered are available on the Music Prep website at www.music.sfasu.edu/prep. Visit the Facebook site at SFA Music Prep.