Nina Lee's Music Studio
Specializing in Harp, Piano, & Violin lessons, repair, and sales
   Home      My Story
About Me

In 1981 I was born in central Illinois, I was the first of four kids that my parents, Neil and Jeanne, have borne and raised. My name was shortened from Christina to Nina when a young toddler couldn't say my real name. From then on I have been known as Nina!

One of my first memories is of me wanting to learn the piano. At the age of 7, my Mother found a teacher so I could study the instrument. At first, I absolutely loved every minute of it...and then it dawned on me...Studying music is WORK! I then wanted to quit but my Mother wouldn't let me. She'd let me have breaks then I'd go right back to lessons. I then fell in love with the piano all over again after being inspired by one of my instructors, Janet Cagle in AR. She helped me realize that although music does take work, it could be fun work! I have studied piano with various teachers from both IL. & AR. I learned piano technique, performance, and my favorite...Theory!

I started Violin when I was 15. A friend of mine let me play on her violin and I was hooked. My first violin was given to me for Christmas and my first attempt at playing was pretty squeaky! I promptly found an instructor and began to study. That first violin was a German violin. I now own a beautifully hand constructed Jeremiah Senner violin. It has the sweetest tone and the playablity is amazing. I have played my violin for weddings, recitals, and have been a member of an orchestra as well as small ensemble groups. My 2nd Cd, Christmas Blessing, has me playing this superior instrument on Ave Maria with my Lever harp accompaning. A beautiful mix of complementary tones! My instructors include past members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as well as from several local orchestra's in central IL.

If I'm not teaching, performing or building harps, I love to arrange music.  My three CD's, "For The King", "Christmas Blessing" and "Divine Intervention" feature my arrangements of several songs. Most arrangements are available in sheet music form for other harpists to enjoy!


In 1997 I saw a picture of a harp...I thought "WOW! wouldn't that be neat to play?" I did some research on harps and quickly found out that they were too expensive for my family or myself. I figured that was the end of that. My Dad didn't think so! He mentioned that someone has to make them, why not you?! That was an interesting thought! Then I did some more research on harps only this time on building them. I found information on it and got ready to start my instrument. I then ran into another problem. The wood that I needed for the harp was also too expensive for me. Dad's reply, "We have dead trees in the backyard. Let's use them!" He and the rest of the family then built a sawmill from scratch with plans that he drew up. I had to learn all about cutting, curing, and storing wood for harps! Then I needed to learn about cutting, fitting, and shaping wood to build the harps. My very first (successful!) 36 string lever harp, made of Black Walnut wood was completed in 1998. I decorated it with horses, paintings, carvings, even the feet are horse hooves!


Not long after becoming a professional lever harpist I started to get requests for a harp CD! Oh my, what a project! I arranged 14 hymns for harp solo, harp/voice, and harp/cello combinations. I then went looking for a recording studio...with one thing in mind...the recording engineer must have experience with recording harps! I then found a studio in Champaign, IL and the studio engineer, Mark Rubel, even owned a harp! I learned how the recording process worked and had a good bit of fun with all the wires and mics hanging around! :) I then needed a CD cover. I made a costume of blue and silver baroque satin and then my mother, Jeanne, my personal photographer, took all of the pictures for the CD covers and booklet! In Feb. of 2004, my first CD "For The King" was released! My customers then wanted another CD...only this time, with Christmas music! As soon as I had enough money saved for another Cd I went to work on recording CD #2..."Christmas Blessing". I made a red satin dress and decorated it with rhinestones. My Mom again took all of my pictures for the CD booklet and covers! It took a year to arrange the 15 songs and then another year to actually record them and release the CD! In Sept. of 2006, the Christmas Blessing CD was released to the public for the Holiday season!
All of the proceeds from this Cd went into "Nina's Pedal Harp Fund"....the CD has become so popular that on Dec. 11th 2006, I was able to purchase a brand new, Concert Classic pedal harp from Venus Harps in Chicago! This particular model was the pedal harp that I hoped I could one day own when I first saw it in a brochure! The harp is antiqued maple with roses hand carved throughout the pillar, highlighted in bronze, a gold crown and decal. 46 strings and the most perfect voice for recording CD #3....
Divine Intervention, CD #3, has been released! It features old hymns that I've arranged for pedal harp. For sale here on the recordings page or through CD Baby! Get your copy today!

 December 28th 2013, I married Steve Woodgate. I have moved my business to the "soo" (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan) and will continue with my music in the new location! 435 E 8 Mile, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. Business phone has not changed.



Instructors include, Terry Coulton (violin), Thomas LeVeck (violin), Beatriz Martin-Ruiz (harp), Alice Spero-Keene (harp) Deb Sutter (piano), and several other outstanding individuals!
I maintain a large private studio ranging from 40-45 students. I teach harp, piano, and violin. I have yearly recitals, contests and ensemble groups for my students. My students' ages range from 3-81!