Melissa Dvorak October 2023
Melissa Dvorak joins the NVMTA Board as the new NVMTA Recording Secretary. She is a harp teacher in Falls Church, VA. Melissa recently completed the MTNA requirements for becoming a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM). She said, “It was a nice milestone to achieve. After many years of teaching it was great to see how all the pieces fit together. The certification process reflects all the things we do to be excellent teachers in our fields.” Her current project is to finish her Suzuki Harp School training. This milestone is just around the corner since she just has one book left!
She loves playing the harp. She loves its sound and says that there is not a more beautiful sound in the world. Melissa says, “I love how my hands feel when they squeeze and close around the strings. I love how the entire instrument resonates.” Interestingly enough, harp was not her first instrument, she started music lessons on violin. Later, she began learning piano and played all 3 throughout high school. She even auditioned as a double major piano and harp student at her conservatory auditions. But the love of playing the harp won out. I had a wonderful pre-college piano teacher and I draw a lot on her teaching philosophies for young people. I would like my students to have a well rounded repertoire and to study the music history of each piece we play.
Melissa enjoys her involvement with NVMTA and has learned that there is always a great opportunity out there to be shared with her colleagues and students. She thinks that some collaborative experiences would be fun for NVMTA members (and students). She said, “NVMTA is very active and I am very inspired by the numerous and varied offerings!” Her best advice to new members is to participate in NVMTA’s events!
One of her favorite events is the NVMTA String Concerto Competition. She said, “It is a very well run event where the students get to listen to the other competitors and don’t have to wait weeks to find out results!
Proud Moments with her Harp
Melissa often has opportunities to perform for “celebrities” when they come to Washington DC, but one of the highlights in her life was performing for Pope Francis on his historic visit to DC in 2016. Melissa has had the honor of playing for every living president. Other memorable performances include being part of a harp ensemble featuring over 100 harps to commemorate the retirement of her teacher Alice Chalifoux. “The sound of 100 harps playing at once is something you never forget. This memory is one that I take with me as I start a new position this year as Director of the American Youth Philharmonic Harp Ensemble.”
Hobbies and Other interests
When Melissa isn’t practicing her harp or teaching, you can find her at her son’s soccer and cross country meets or at a dance competition or performance with her daughter. She loves to listen to all kinds of music ranging from classical to Top 40 and everything in between. Melissa enjoys traveling and looks forward to seeing the world!
Find out more at Melissa’s website.