George Mason University

Since the fall of 2012, I have been teaching at George Mason University, located in Fairfax County, just fifteen miles from Washington D.C.

The harp studio has a large window overlooking the pond. The school owns three harps: a troubadour, a Lyon-Healy Style 30, and a Salvi concert grand. Students may also bring their own harps. Only the harp students and instructor have key access to the harp studio.

Performance opportunities include orchestra, wind symphony, opera orchestra, musical theater, and other ensemble groups.

Degrees offered for harpists are Bachelor of Music in Performance or Music Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Many of the harp students pursue dual degrees, pursuing their interests in other academic fields.

Significant scholarships are available for both in-state and out-of-state prospective harp majors based on audition. Academic awards are also available. George Mason University has historically been very generous with scholarships in support of the harp program.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact me for a trial lesson prior to auditioning for the school, but this is not required.

Student Feedback

Elizabeth Blakeslee is not a good teacher. Nor is she a great teacher. She is the type of teacher that imparts a love of music that nurtures your own. She believes in you even when you doubt yourself. With patience for all mistakes and frustrations, she encourages you and helps you practice to overcome musical hurdles. With qualities like that, Mrs. Blakeslee deserves to be defined by so much more than trope adjectives like 'good' and 'great.' She was and remains a musical inspiration to me." – Christina Badalis

“What I love about the GMU harp program is all the opportunities it has provided. From participating in the GMU orchestra, opera and choir concerts to performing as a concerto soloist with the GMU orchestra. I have had numerous performing opportunities in a variety of settings. GMU had set-up Mason Music Productions which employs musicians to play in gigs which has helped me expand my gig contacts and experience. Being a Music Major is designed in such a way that another major can be added which has allowed me to pursue my other passion of International Politics. The practice space provided for the harp studio has been an excellent experience for me with a whole wall being a window overlooking the Mason Pond and minimum practice time conflicts. I recommend GMU to any harpist whether they want to be a performance major or a music major while pursuing other interests." -- Francesca Savoia, a senior at George Mason University, double majoring in Music (concentration in Harp Performance) and Government and International Politics

“I transferred to George Mason University my second year of college, and my reasoning was primarily for a better music department. At my first college, they had no harp staff or orchestra or chamber groups at all; basically all of my practicing and learning happened on my own. Going from that situation to learning from Ms. Blakeslee at GMU proved to me what an asset it is to have lessons from an experienced harpist. I have the freedom to set my own goals, and I also have the assistance that I need to achieve them. I never expected that all the exercises and techniques I’ve learned so far would help me so much, and I can tell that my harp playing has improved; I’m able to accomplish more in the practice room in a shorter amount of time. George Mason University enables me to properly balance time between my music minor and my design major, so I never have trouble keeping up with my harp lessons and finding time to practice. Plus, the facilities students have to use are really nice and pristine!”
-Abby West

The Harp Studio
at George Mason University



For application and more information about the school, please visit the website: music.gmu.edu 

Feel free to contact me for more information at eblakesl@gmu.edu


Café 1930 from "L'Histoire du Tango" by Piazzolla, Julianna Nickel, flute, Elizabeth Blakeslee, harp;  October 16, 2016