Special to the Citizen
One of the only things harder than running a business is running a business by oneself.
Michelle Harper, owner and founder of Harper Haus Music Co., manages to run her business and even make it sing at 220 Main Street, Suite 203, in Platte City.
Harper Haus features a single, 504-square foot room where all of the action takes place in Platte City. Though the space is small, Harper manages to take advantage of the time she is given throughout a week of work.
Along with teaching 40 students a week through individual lessons, Harper also oversees all human resource and administrative work, too.
As much passion as she has for the company she has created, none of it would exist without a drive to produce something for the music world.
“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” Harper said. “Music has always been home for me. Following graduation from Webster University in 2009, where I received a BA in Music, I started a lesson studio in my home in St. Louis.”
A life in music was orchestrated from the beginning for Harper and eventually led to her first studio, Classical 2 Contemporary (C2C). The leap of faith into deep end of music teaching was nerve racking. Even so, Harper found music teaching was more than something she could manage.
“I remember being incredibly nervous about teaching my first lesson,” Harper said. “I had no formal education training - just a desire to teach music and pass along the knowledge I had gained from my own music education. That first week of lessons went better than I could have ever imagined, and I found teaching to come easy for me. March 1, 2019 will mark my 10-year teaching anniversary.”
C2C started in 2009 and closed its doors in 2015 so Harper could be closer with her now husband. Music was now in the past for Harper as she began to pursue other career avenues. Then, just three years after closing the previous chapter of her life, a new door opened with an opportunity she could not turn down.
“One thing I had on my bucket list for as long as I can remember was to be in a musical theater production,” Harper said. “After taking nearly three years off from music, I found out about auditions for, Shrek! The Musical with Weston Community Theatre in 2018.”
Harper landed the prestigious role of Fiona and says that her “music obsession came rushing back.” With music back to the forefront of her mind and a number of people curious asking for lessons, Harper knew Harper Haus was the next step in her life.
The journey to Harper Haus has been long, but the result is a studio with nearly a decade of experience, passion and unbridled attention. For Harper, the lessons she teaches to every student are just as important as what she has learned herself. At the least, a decade of growth as proven Harper as a capable music teacher.
If the growing continues on, Harper dreams of opening a dedicated performing arts center (PAC) in Platte City.
“The PAC would have several rooms dedicated to arts education, practice rooms for students to utilize, a lobby or café where arts enthusiasts could meet, mingle and collaborate, a theatre for concerts, recitals and shows, and much more.”
Until the stars are a little more in reach, Harper is perfectly happy with the two studios she has built from the ground up. 40 students a week is sure to keep her busy until the next leap of faith comes along. Once the next opportunity comes along, Harper will be sure to jump right in.