Susan Knapp Thomas, Harpist

About Online Lessons & Teaching

Susan Knapp Thomas is an experienced online harp instructor, and has taught students at numerous levels online since 2012. Online students have included beginning harp students through to the preparation of a 12 year-old student for a national competition 6 months prior to her competition video submission. The student was selected as one of 10 finalists.


Many individuals considering music lessons can be skeptical about online teaching methods as they contemplate music study and are surprised to find that the convenience and musical progression afforded to both student and parent actually enhances not only the life quality of the family, but time management for the often overscheduled student.


Susan Knapp Thomas’s Online Teaching Philosophy:


• Quality and detail in the delivery of technical, musical and practical instructions as one of the most important aspects to assure clear understanding and successful learning.


• Detailed lesson notes taken during the lesson in supplement to instructions delivered during the lesson, and emailed as a follow up within 48 hours, with recommendations to read, review, print and paste lesson notes into a lesson notebook.


• The recommendation of occasional onsite lessons as a supplement to online teaching.


Advantages to Online Teaching:


• Convenience to the student and family – no travel or transit necessary!

• Consistency of lessons – online lessons can be taken during snow days, with fewer sickness cancellations.

• more consistent lessons means faster more assured progress, and more regular practice.

• More ease in rescheduling missed lessons.

• Student can play comfortably on the familiarity of their own instrument, in the comfort of their own home, enabling a more accurate representation of their preparation and playing.

• Reduced travel time, with the result of better time management and more ability to manage homework and extracurricular activities.



1. Is there a special application for online lessons, or is Skype okay?

Online lessons can be taken on Skype or Facetime.


2. What kind of device do I need for a Skype or FaceTime lesson?

A tablet, smartphone, laptop or desktop computer are all acceptable; mobile devices are a bit easier to adjust.


3. How do I set up for an online lesson?

Leaning your device against something to keep it upright, or using a stand fitted to the device allows the student to position the device for maximum teacher/student viewing. Your teacher will direct you further in exactly how to set up.


4. Is there a cost difference between online and on-site lessons?

Because lesson notes take additional time after the lesson, the cost of online and onsite lessons is the same; onsite lessons taken at the student’s home can incur extra on-site travel.


5. What about transmission problems during the lesson?

If not taken in an area where there is a strong Wi-fi signal, the student may experience transmission problems during the lesson. It’s best to plan for a few extra moments before and after the lesson to make up for any “Freezing” or disconnects.


6. What are payment options for online lessons?

Square, Zelle and PayPal are all options; mailing a check is also acceptable.


7. I’m concerned that my child won’t get proper instruction on technique in an online lesson. Is technique covered in online teaching?

Each lesson is begun with a set of basic finger exercises for the purpose of warming up and applying good technical instruction. Proper set-up of the device is crucial to insure good visual on the hands. In practice time it’s the responsibility of the student to follow-up with regular technique homework at each practice, to insure strong technique. Technique is often a larger focus at follow-up on-site lessons.

**Introductory 4-Lesson Online Packages Are Available – Please Contact Susan Knapp Thomas for pricing**



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