The following are testimonials from students and parents of students in Jessica’s studios:
“Jessica is an exceptional instructor. She has found the elusive balance between friend and mentor. Hayden has rapidly developed a love of music, which has resulted in a bloom of self-confidence. Jessica is always warm, inviting and full of commendation. It is rare to find an adult with her talent and knowledge who can connect so wonderfully with children.”
- Amanda Gartrell, parent
“Jessica is such a wonderful piano teacher! She has developed a great relationship with my daughter, which has resulted in Emma caring very much about what Miss Jess thinks about her playing. She makes the lessons fun and engaging. She seems to take a genuine personal interest in her students, evidenced by coming to important events such as their school musicals. We are so pleased with Jessica that we have now started our middle child with her as well!”
- Susan Gill, parent
“Jessica is a highly qualified harp teacher who is sensitive to any level of talent, skill, and musical knowledge. She teaches all ages and levels of students and takes them where they are and helps them move forward. She is well organized and presents material to help the student grow. She makes performance opportunities available and shares harp information and workshop opportunities to all. She is a fine musician and demonstrates excellent skill and musicianship in her performances.”
- Ann Daggett, student
“I would recommend Jessica to anyone who has an interest in harp lessons! Not only is she an extremely gifted and talented harpist, but she is a very patient and understanding teacher. She has the ability to teach young students through senior citizens, the beginner who knows no music through those who are advanced. She encourages us to do our best and gives us goals and incentives to accomplish this mission. I am sure any student, any age, would enjoy learning how to play this beautiful instrument by becoming a student of Jessica’s.”
- Lou Holsten, student
“We started working with Jessica in January 2010 when my daughter Annie was nine years old. Over the course of the last eight months I have watched Annie blossom. Music has taught her responsibility, discipline, and an appreciation for the performing arts. Jessica has been a gift. She recognized the spark in Annie and has nurtured the love of music. Jessica is a wonderful, encouraging, and positive teacher and coach. She has also given Annie the opportunity to see harpists of international acclaim.”
- Amy Ressa, parent
“I have been taking harp lessons from Jessica Frost-Ballas for the last three years, and I intend to be a part of her studio for many years forward. She has given excellent instruction in technique, in the care of my instrument, and in the demanding physical aspects of playing the harp. Our group lessons are a bit like parties, with a different goal and format almost every time we meet, including exposure to a great variety of music and performances to inspire us. My private lessons seem to go so quickly. Jess has a talent for finding just the right piece of music to excite me and challenge me to keep practicing, while gently pulling me into a higher performance level. She is also very well organized, with constant communications to keep up with scheduling and special needs. I love working with her because she brings laughter to our lessons. I feel like all of us in the studio are part of a big family, with Jess at the head, keeping us going.”
- Cathy Cunningham, student
“I have been taking harp lessons from Jessica for several years and I’ve always had so much fun!! She always keeps my lessons interesting, challenging, and on par with my level of playing. I would encourage anyone beginning or advancing in harp to take lessons from her. Her comments on the pieces I play are always very helpful and encouraging. Thanks to Jessica, I have also had so many opportunities to perform with different music groups.”
- Emily Maldonado, student
“Although I can’t remember exactly how many years Sarah and I have been taking lessons with you now (at least four!), I wanted to tell you how much we have appreciated your long support of both of us as learners who are in very different stages of life.
I think I have a unique perspective since I am not only one of your middle-aged students, but also a parent of one of your young students. I consistently see ways you differentiate instruction to meet our individual needs, astutely assessing when it is best to present more challenge or to back up a few steps. You not only use a variety of approaches to teach us new skills, but you encourage Sarah to mentor me at home since she is a more advanced player. (What teenager doesn’t love to know more than her parent and to teach mom a thing or two? And, wonderfully, it has strengthened our relationship both as a mom and daughter and as musicians.)
Above all of your technical strengths as a teacher, though, what I am most grateful for is your never-ending patience and constant positive encouragement. For me, learning an instrument which requires two hands to do different things and to coordinate with middle-aged vision, as well as learning to read notes on a whole new clef, has been akin to an Everest climb. While it’s thrilling to see my young daughter soar ahead, and while I am pleased with every baby step I am able to make, it might be an overwhelmingly discouraging endeavor without you walking beside me cheering me on at each twist and turn. Many days I have questioned whether it makes sense for me to continue at this crazy, hectic time of life, homeschooling two teenagers, and doing all the other things moms do. However, even if I’m only moving ahead a “toe” at a time, I’m making some progress, which is much better than none. I can’t tell you what it has meant that you have been willing to help me work within all my “real life” limitations and demands.
Last of all, I want to thank you for always “stretching” your students by arranging opportunities to learn from other teachers, such as Robbin Gordon-Cartier, to use our gifts to raise money for a worthy cause, to attend events like “Beginning in the Middle”, or to play at our own churches or at nursing homes. Even if we can’t do it all, we are happy to have those chances when we can, and appreciate your efforts to include every player, no matter what the level.
Thank you, Jessica, for making the world a better place, one harp song at a time.”
- Kathryn Ward, parent and student