Learn to Play

Harp instruction

You and the harp

Welcome to the harp world!

Did you know that The HARP is both ancient and thoroughly modern, serene and intense, Eastern and Western in origin, at once mystical, spellbinding and sizzling with rhythm? How lovely to imagine yourself immersed in its meditative beauties, and falling in love with its energizing spirit. So prepare to be thoroughly captivated by this instrument!

With over 25 years of performance experience, composition and recording, arranging for ensembles, and curriculum development, Caroline understands its magnetic appeal, and has become deeply experienced with students of all ages

Private Lessons

I teach at the Kelowna and Vernon Community Music Schools as well as working from the High Spirits Studio in West Kelowna. We are flexible, and able to teach IN PERSON – with protocols in place. We are also using ZOOM as needed (or if preferred) during the health crisis, and besides that… when the winter brings us snowy roads!

Private lessons have proven most effective for Beginners and Intermediates, while Performance Coaching, Arranging and Ensemble Direction are also available for more Advanced players.

Over several years, High Spirits Music has developed the Celtic Harp Studies Curriculum especially for the Folk Harp student, with an emphasis on solid technique and relaxation. I love teaching Children and Teens (!), and also specialize in Adult learning styles, finding each student’s individual strengths. Theory and ear training are components of this program and may be started at any level. 

Ensemble playing is encouraged, so Duos, Trios and a large group Harp Orchestra have made waves around the BC Interior! Current restrictions have not dampened our enthusiasm, and we work together online until we are free to meet again!

“Thank you so, so much for everything. You have helped me become a very comfortable confident player, I couldn’t have done it without you. It is so great being around such a positive, kind person. You are an incredible musician and I will miss having you as a teacher so much.”


(graduating student)
“Thanks for all the music you put together for me. Your method books are just great – what a lot of work has gone into that project. I’m impressed!”


“Thank you for a wonderful year of harp. The introduction to Music Theory has been a special bonus. Your gift for teaching, encouraging and yes, correcting, have enriched my life. The life lessons along the way are happy “accidentals”! Many thanks. “


“Thank you for being so patient and kind. For teaching me and believing in me. You were the only person in my life that thought I could play music. My life has an outlet of happiness now. And I hope I can share it with others, as you have shared it with me. “


“Thank you for the exquisite beauty you brought to my life through your teaching and your person. I have so enjoyed, learned from, delighted, been inspired by our time together and cannot wait for the next time I see you and our next lesson! Sending gratitude.”


“Thank you so much for teaching me harp! I enjoyed learning many different songs, some fast and some slow. I hope to some day come back to harp and play again for people. I’ve learned a lot that I can take and use in the future. You have been a wonderful and amazing teacher. “


(graduating student)

Harp Rentals

HIGH SPIRITS MUSIC provides Rental Instruments for those who wish to begin lessons without having to buy a Harp just yet. Caroline’s husband Daniel Schmitt, the Okanagan’s Harp Builder, Artisan and Proprietor of DIAMOND HARPS for 18 years, founded this exclusively Canadian Company in 2001.

Local students ~ Please ask about this RENTAL service when you register.

Learn Online

Our NEW High Spirits Music Celtic Harp Studies program ONLINE opens up the world of this thrilling and versatile instrument to every harp lover everywhere! This is a 2-part Video series of 18 lessons in BOOK ONE and 24 Lessons in BOOK TWO, with opportunities to add Private Lessons by Zoom. 

Schedule a zoom lesson

Getting STarted

Book 1, Lesson 1

demonstrates immediately what to look for in a harp, shows you how to sit comfortably and approach the strings with a relaxed technique, and encourages you to be The Joyful Beginner! You will join me in the High Spirits Studio where I sit beside you, closely guiding you through early exercises and songs. Each concept involves a “Practice Moment” where you pause briefly to repeat and deepen a new skill. Lessons are systematic, and designed to build your skills at your own pace.

Step 1


This includes Lessons 1 – 6, each about 25 – 35 minutes in length, with Step-by-Step Videos and Downloads of the corresponding
Sheet Music.

Try them out with your harp, rented locally, or borrowed from a friend!

Step 2

Come for a private Zoom Lesson

wherever you live, some time during the first 6 lessons. Caroline is ready to check your technique and shower encouragement
upon you!

Step 3

Purchase UNIT 2 of BOOK ONE

This includes Lessons 7 – 12.
Follow it with another Private Lesson or two by Zoom. More enthusiasm!

Step 4

Purchase UNIT 3 of BOOK ONE

from the HS Music website. This includes Lessons 13 – 18. Follow up with another Private Lesson or two by Zoom.
CELEBRATE! – You are a graduate! 

Workshops & Retreats

Every Spring, HIGH SPIRITS MUSIC plays host to a Celtic Harp Workshop. We started out on Vancouver Island from 1998 to 2001, with KIM ROBERTSON, SHARLENE WALLACE, LAURA ZAERR and CAROLINE MACKAY teaching in the famous Chemainus Theatre in mid-February! In 2002, we moved the Workshop to NARAMATA on Lake Okanagan, and took advantage of the beautiful scenery and spring blossoms at the Retreat Centre.

Since then, we have moved to the North Okanagan, near Vernon, and to West Kelowna in 2019, for our 20th anniversary! Hundreds of students have enjoyed high-energy retreats with HARPER TASCHE, SUNITA STANESLOW, KERI LYNN ZWICKER, ALYS HOWE, REBECCA BLAIR, KIM ROBERTSON

Keep an eye on this page for future Workshop announcements, once we can gather in groups again. 

“Excellent workshop – please come back again! Great practice tips, warm ups, and practice sessions to deal with difficult passages. The venue was beautiful. Pure comfort – tranquil and harmonious. Caroline, as usual, you did a stellar job of organizing a really special weekend. “


“Excellent classes. Kim is good at planting the seeds of ideas to grow on. Thanks for your work organizing and keeping it going annually. Well done.”


“Great workshop! I like these smaller workshops… and Kim always has something relevant and important to teach. I think I may finally understand improv!”


“Thank you again for a fantastic week. You saw to every detail to help make the retreat and adjudications a success. I feel so invigorated with all the harp making, and it is always a joy to spend time with you and Daniel.”


“Awesome! Structure of the sessions were well thought out and I learned a lot. Loved Rebecca’s teaching style, so personable, approachable, engaging, funny and creative. She was so clear and concise, I noticed that there wasn’t any confusion in the group. “


“Thanks for such an amazing workshop and thanks to Daniel for installing my new bass strings. Wow! What an amazing sound. I couldn’t believe it when I played the harp yesterday. A lot of work went into making it such a great weekend.”