Phyllis Adams

Harp Faculty (Suzuki and Traditional)
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Suzuki Education
Adult Studies
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Northwestern University, B.M. Harp Performance with Edward Druzinsky

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Harp teachers: Gloria Agostini, Jana Bouskova, Alice Chalifoux, Edward Druzinsky, Karen Lindquist and Carol McClure
Mentors: Julius Baker, Sherrill Milnes & Ray Still

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

With more than 30 years of professional experience, I know that music brings joy and solace to people and that music means different things at different points in life.  I enjoy teaching students of all ages and levels of experience from young beginners who cannot yet read music to experienced college students and adult enthusiasts. In order to bring this joy to others effectively and reinforce a positive experience within each performer, I use a success-proven method that gives each student all the necessary tools required to achieve their goals. Students are encouraged to listen to good recordings of all musical periods and genres, not just harp music, and to attend live performances on a regular basis.

Awards and achievements: 

Louisville Orchestra Apprentice Program Award 1973 - 1975, Jorge Mester


Professional affiliations & activities: 

• Louisville Orchestra - Second Harp 1973 - 1975, Jorge Mester

• Chicago Civic Orchestra – Principal Harp, 1975 – 1977

• Wolf Trap Festival Orchestra – Principal Harp 1979 - 1981

• Chicago Symphony Orchestra – sub and extra, Solti & Levine

• Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra – Principal Harp, summers 1982 –1989

• Venus Harps 1983 - 2005, Staff Harpist, Quality Control Supervisor and Artistic Director

• Lecturer in Harp - Illinois State University, School of Music 1985 -1990

• Exsultate Trio, Flute, Soprano & Harp 1989 – 1991

• Adams Magnificent Music – 1979 to present; with flutist Monty Adams

• ABRMS National Summer Harp Academy - Recitalist, Faculty Member & Special Seminar Presenter 2012 – 2015

• Creator/Producer of “The World of Harp Music” WNIB, Chicago Classical Radio 97.1 FM – sponsored by Venus Harps (1995 –2001)

• Co-Created/Produced the Opera Idol Competition for world renowned baritone, Sherrill Milnes/VOICExperience Foundation (2006 - present)

Interests outside of music: 

Astronomy, entomology, world history, and yoga.

Favorite quote: 

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”  - Plato

Favorite practice tip: 

Always practice in a relaxed manner with a specific goal in mind.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

Brahms, Richard Strauss, Karl Jenkins

Favorite musical moment: 

Recording sessions with flutist Monty Adams for our CD’s “Opera by Request” at Universal Studios in Chicago

Research and presentations / publications: 

• CD’s available on ITunes or CD Baby – “Opera by Request” and “Universal Peace” with flutist, Monty Adams

• Adams Magnificent Music Publications – 60+ transcriptions for flute & harp available from Flute World

• “Essential Recordings for Every Harpist’s Library”

• “Comparative Performance Practices and Perspectives for Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro” – Using, Comparing and Listening with Different Editions for the Most Effective Performance

• “The Nutcracker Ballet” – Performance of Combining Two Parts into One

• “Thinking Outside the Box - How to Create Your Own Career”