Until recently, Jessica Schaeffer lived the adventurous life of a professional freelance harpist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Memorable moments from her 20+ year career include performing with the National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, recording two albums with the harp-and-bassoon duo “The Harpoons”, and collaborating with The Broken Consort, a nationally-touring experimental chamber ensemble.
Jessica was one of the top entertainment harpists in the greater bay area with a wide-ranging repertoire, tasteful arrangements of popular music, and general versatility. She has played for celebrities and for those without a home. She has played for audiences of two up to 20,000. She has worn ball gowns for black-tie events and performed for events where the suggested attire is 'athleisure'. She has played San Francisco from top to bottom. (Literally. Everything from cocktails on the top of the Salesforce tower to busking at BART). Jessica was also part of the harp team at UCSF medical center, lead by bay area harpist Laura Simpson, which provides live harp music in the hospitals 4 hours a day, five days a week.
Jessica's other great passion is sharing the power and joy of music-making with people of all ages. She is a faculty member at Holy Names University Preparatory Music Program and maintains private teaching studios in the East Bay and San Francisco. She is also a certified Dalcroze Education instructor, a wide-ranging somatic-based method that continually informs and inspires her own practice as a performer and teacher.
Originally from the Dayton, Ohio area, Jessica's formal education includes Interlochen Center for the Arts, Aspen Music Festival, Northwestern University (B.M.), Longy School of Music (M.M. & Dalcroze Education Certification).