Private Studio

Alison Attar

My mission as an educator is to provide a safe, consistent and structured learning environment where harp students can develop their full potential and discover their unique voice. I have maintained a small, private teaching studio for over 25 years. I teach men and women of all ages and abilities, offering private lessons, as well as individual and ensemble coachings. Lessons focus on the fundamentals of technique and core repertoire; curriculum is tailored to each student’s individual interests. My students find me to be warm, engaging, enthusiastic and genuine. I strive to challenge and support my students, and to provide the highest level of teaching. This is crucial to my students’ success in their continued education and careers, as well as their sense of personal enrichment.

In addition to my private studio, I work with young students as Assistant Director of the Chicago Harp Ensemble and as a Chamber Music Coach for Midwest Young Artists. The Chicago Harp Ensemble has been a wonderful addition to the Chicago harp community. Founded in 2010 by Lyric Opera’s Principal harpist, Marguerite Lynn Williams, the ensemble strives to provide vital ensemble experience to harpists of all ages, performance levels and harp types. Not only does CHE provide an opportunity for students to improve their ensemble skills, they enjoy socializing with other young harpists in a supportive harp community. Midwest Young Artists was founded in 1993 by Dr. Allan Dennis and is the largest youth ensemble program in the Midwest. MYA consistently offers the highest quality ensemble experiences for young musicians of all ages, as well as theory, music history and chamber music. Harp is an integral part of the MYA orchestral and chamber music programs.

Chicago Harp Ensemble | Midwest Young Artists

What my students are saying…

Alison has taken my non-music reading daughter and created an enthusiastic and determined little musician. Her easy going teaching style mixed with her passion for quality in technique creates the perfect environment for all levels of students.” – P.S., parent


Alison is an awesome teacher and coach—always encouraging, never intimidating. My lessons are always enjoyable, and I am making good progress which makes me happy!” – V.R., adult student


I believe that Alison is one of the best harp teachers a person could have. She is extraordinarily patient and kind and has really helped me to learn a lot in the few years that I have been playing. She makes learning this beautiful instrument so much fun—I actually look forward to my lessons!” – A.H., student


Ms. Alison is a very nice and patient teacher. Going to harp lessons every week one of favorite things to do.” – A.S., student


From the moment I met Alison, I was impressed with her amazing teaching methods. As an adult beginner, I don’t learn as quickly as her younger students do. She has adapted her teaching so that I don’t ever get discouraged. She is always asking me what I hope to accomplish with my lessons and understands if I haven’t completed what I should each week. She motivates me to keep trying and reach my musical goals.” – M.H., adult student


Alison is a marvelous teacher, a fine artist and one of the neatest people I know. It’s a privilege to be her student” – L.P., adult student


Ms. Alison is a gifted musician, performer and teacher. She has shown patience, kindness, perseverance and flexibility to our family in the years my daughter has been taking lessons. Between lessons and CHE, our daughter’s musical ability has grown in leaps and bounds!” – A.P, parent


Affordable, exceptional, quality of music instruction—my daughter loves learning from Dr. Alison.” – N.M, parent


Alison is an excellent teacher. Her expertise, talent, and patience is remarkable. I am honored & blessed to have her for my teacher.” – L.F., adult student


I started taking lessons from Alison at age 45 with the hope that one day I would be able to play harp in an amateur orchestra. Within one year I was playing parts with a community orchestra and during the ten years that I took lessons regularly, Alison helped prepare me to play Scheherazade, the Shostakovich 5th and 7th symphonies, excerpts from The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, and many more works. Besides being an outstanding harpist, Alison has a remarkable ability to teach what she knows and unlimited patience in dealing with her students.” – D.P, adult student

What my former students are saying…

If you are serious about your musicianship, Dr. Attar will take you to new levels in technique and the hidden nuances of musical expression. She has a special ability to motivate you in your private practice and excels at exploring the intricacies of the Baroque and Modern periods. I thoroughly enjoyed my time under her tutelage and consider her one of the finest teachers in the area!” – Brittany Smith, former student and professional harpist,


I appreciated Dr. Attar’s attention to detail, particularly the quality of tone and dynamics. She truly cares about creating excellent harp music.” – Andrea Fronk, former student and professional harpist,


Lessons with Alison were always something that I very much looked forward to. She honored my pace for learning new and appropriately challenging material without ever overwhelming, and supported my interests in playing traditional Irish music (in addition to classical music) on the harp. This flexibility, balanced with a sense of humor and structured lessons, are all qualities that I try to integrate with my students now.” – Aislinn Gagliardi, former student and professional harpist,


I studied with Alison for four years during high school. In addition to being a sensitive, smart player, she is an acutely perceptive teacher who knows how to effectively break down and communicate difficult passages, techniques, or concepts. She has a strong sense of musical style and an approach that is equal parts intellectual and technical. I am very, very grateful for the time I spent with her.” – Ben Melsky, former student and professional harpist,