Cindy Harris

Cindy H.

Pittsburgh, PA
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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I work with students exclusively by ear, concentrating on development of rhythm and the syncopation of melody against rhythm.
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Cindy teaches



Cindy delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 12+ and special needs

Teaching since:
January 1998

Cindy has been making music for as long as she can remember. She was the assistant director of a synagogue children's choir by age 14 and has directed and sung with many community choirs and pickup groups since then. But it wasn't until 1996 that she discovered the autoharp and began teaching and performing in earnest. Now one of the best recognized autoharp workshop leaders in the US, she has taught and performed at festivals and private concerts from Pennsylvania to California, as well as Tasmania, Australia, England, aboard cruise ships, and an upcoming visit to Sweden. She also shares her knowledge of old-time West Virginia fiddle techniques and repertoire, and is known locally as a sympathetic and effective voice teacher for those who think they cannot sing. In addition to her teaching activities, Cindy founded and directs the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir, a group of women who sing at the bedsides of people who are very ill or dying.

Lessons with Cindy are self-directed with coaching intended to help the student accomplish his or her personal objectives. She will ask you to provide examples of music that you love so much that you'd be willing to work hard to learn to play it, and you will find yourself working on that music right from the start. Technique is taught in the context of the music: if you need a technique for a particular song, you will learn that technique. And of course once you've mastered a technique it's yours to use on the next song or tune and the next. It's a constant process of enjoying the music and discovering and mastering the technique needed to recreate it in your own playing or singing.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons start with a review of the work you've been doing. We might take that song or tune to the next level with a new technique, or we might apply technique you've already learned to a new piece. Every lesson is different, customized to the needs of the student at that moment.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Instruments, audio and video recording equipment

*** Travel Equipment ***
Instruments, audio and video recording equipment as needed

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Fiddle instructor
Jan 2003 - Present
Stone Soup Consulting

Teach private students in one-on-one lessons.

Autoharp instructor
Jan 1998 - Present
Stone Soup Consulting

Teach private students in one-on-one or group lessons. Often teach at festivals featuring autoharp

Choral director and voice coach
Jan 1982 - Present
Stone Soup Consulting

Direct both established and "occasional" choirs and vocal ensembles. Currently directing the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir, a group of women who sing at the bedsides of people who are very ill or dying, as well as the Pittsburgh Men's Threshold Singers

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Choral Music
Jul 2013 - Jul 2013
Melodious Accord Fellowship (Alice Parker)


Limited Proficiency


2017 International Autoharp Champion
Sep 2017
Walnut Valley Festival Association

Photos & Videos

Competing at the Winfield Valley Festival Autoharp Championship, 2013

Part 1 of "Gravity Drives the Music", a four part introduction to basic autoharp technique.
Cindy with Eileen Kozloff at the Cygnet Folk Festival, Tasmania, January 2012

Cindy on stage with Lindsay Haisley during the finale of the Illawarra Folk Festival, Australia, January 2012.

Cindy at the Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering, 2011
Second place at the Walnut Valley International Autoharp Championship, 2013


7 Reviews

Write a Review
Chad S. Mar 14, 2018
Fiddle · Online

Love Cindy's lessons, super patient.

Naida Jan 29, 2018
Singing · In studio

Patient, every word she says means something important! Learned a lot today!

Tenley Sep 22, 2015
Singing · In home

I recently approached Cindy for vocal coaching on songs that I perform on a regular basis with my duet. I am extremely pleased with her instruction. She was to the point, very clear and concise with her guidance. I know she improved my performance (I had a concert the very next day!). She gave me so much to think about. I really trust her approach with me. She made me feel very much at ease, which resulted in rapid-fire student/teacher give and take vocal direction. This is the way I like to learn! I loved my time with her and will certainly have another session with her soon!

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Marie B. Aug 18, 2015
Singing · In studio

I have more confidence know that I been leaning from Cindy she teaches everything about music. Know I will know what to do when I'm singing with my church choir. She is a lots of fun and knowledgeable on what she does. I always look forward every week leaning something new. Thank you Cindy

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Marie B. May 25, 2015
Singing · In studio

I had three lesson with Cindy so far and can't wait to go again she has built my confidence in singing. She is a lot of fun. She is helping me to accomplish my goals

Leticia P. Jul 20, 2014
Singing · Online

Cindy is a knowledgeable and nurturing teacher. Her musicianship and generosity of spirit are exactly what a student needs. As a music teacher myself, I wholeheartedly recommend her to you.

I had the opportunity to learn from her the techniques she uses to teach pitch matching to singers and observe her successfullyl using it with a brand new student. She has a gift for pinpointing what is happening and then clearly explaining how to improve, all while building self-confidence. A teacher like her that can help others gain skills, and find joy in music, is a true gem!

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Anne Y. Jul 17, 2014
Singing · In studio

I am one of those people that has been told all my life that I can't sing. I believed everyone and always thought there was no hope for me. Then I met Cindy. She converted me. I am now a believer. She was able to teach me to match a tone but to believe in myself. Now, I believe that I can learn to match a tone and eventually produce music. Thank you Cindy for that belief in myself and for the knowledge I needed to be able to produce music! Cindy is one of those incredible people that knows how to read people and find a process that works for each.

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