"My wife and I are extremely pleased with the professional musical training that five of our children have received from Joel Harris. Let me start by saying that Joel is more than a musical educator, he is a true worshiper of God and that bent is very contagious. Under Joel’s instruction, all of our young musicians have not only gained a love for music and also a heart to worship God with their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Two of our children now participate in Sunday morning worship service and the other three look forward to it.
All of our children started out on the piano to learn basic music theory and have been exposed to
keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, and drums. This helped each one learn multiple instruments and to
eventually gravitate toward their instrument of choice. As a result, we practically have a full family band.
Besides gaining a heart of worship and being exposed to lots of instruments, our oldest daughter
has composed two songs with help from Joel along the way. One of her songs, is now part of the
Sunday worship services at our local church. It is hard to describe the personal blessing of having
her songs being created, practiced, and perfected right in our living room. Our whole family has
been blessed through the process. I wouldn’t be surprised if several of our children end up
composing original music due to Joel’s influence and encouragement.
If you are considering musical training for your children with an emphasis on worship, multiple
instruments, and composition, then Joel Harris would be the musical educator of choice."
Mike and Sheri H. – Home School Parents, Oregon City, OR
"It has been a blessing and personal privilege to know and study under the skillful eye of Joel Harris.
For years, I have appreciated the sound of the acoustic guitar in many different music genres, but
especially in the hands of a skilled worship leader. Aspiring one day to develop the skills to play
the guitar for worship both personally and corporately, I finally decided to stop aspiring and start learning. At a time most people would consider middle-age (47), I have not only learned to play the guitar, but I have had the joy of working together with other musicians in our church as we worship together in a corporate setting.
Joel has not only blessed me personally as a guitar teacher, but he has blessed our church by using our facility to teach lessons weekly. Several aspiring students of music and worship have enjoyed Joel’s skillful instruction and godly professionalism as he has equipped them for service in worship ministry. In addition, Joel served our church as an instructor/leader in our first ever worship seminar last fall. His spiritual maturity, sound theology, and love for God and God’s people have been obvious in every venue I have shared with him.
As a pastor and guitar student, I recommend Joel Harris as a man who not only has the giftedness and abilities to teach the fundamentals and principles of music and worship, but as a man whole-heartedly committed to the glory of God. Not only has it been a blessing to learn play the guitar and realize a lifelong dream, but it has been a blessing to count Joel a friend and partner in the ministry of the gospel."
Tim C. – Senior Pastor, Vancouver, WA
"After taking classical lessons for years, I finally found something that worked for me!
Learning worship piano from Joel Harris was easy, fun and very practical.
It gave me the confidence I needed to become a part of my church worship team
and eventually lead as well! Joel's encouraging tips and musical skills assisted me
greatly in learning to play with other instruments and learning to adapt to many
musical styles. My lessons from Joel have changed the way I play the piano,
but it has especially given me a greater joy in leading people in worship at my local church."
Jennifer R. – Worship Leader, Oregon City, OR
"Having two of our children learn music in a way that is
glorifying to God has been a real blessing and gift not only to our
family but to our church as well. Joel's method of teaching praise
and worship music has made it easy for our children to feel confident
in front of others, to lead our family in worship and truly be able to
grasp the privilege and honor we have to worship the Lord!"
Marie S. – Home School Mom, Oregon City, OR
"The music lessons I took from the Northwest Academy of Music prepared me for the musical
responsibilities I have as a worship leader, worship team instrumentalist and member of
alternative rock group TheSoulPrinciple! I am grateful for Joel’s teaching and see many
fine musicians sprouting from his studio. Several of which I use on my Sunday morning
worship teams, including keyboardists and drummers!"
Harlan E. – Recording Artist and Guitarist for The Rebelution's Do Hard Things Tour
I wanted to write and thank you personally for Northwest Worship Academy.
What a blessing you have been to our church. When we helped plant this church in
Milwaukie, Oregon four years ago, our daughter was one of the few keyboard players
at the church. With limited worship team experience, your academy helped her to sharpen
her skills on the keyboard as well as assemble and lead a team in worship on Sundays.
We now have eight different worship teams at the church, with many participants attending
your academy for keyboards, guitar and percussion. Our daughter has also started learning
guitar from you, and the experience she got on keyboard worship equipped her to learn the
guitar quickly. Thanks again for your ministry to our family, and the church."
Steve R. – Pastor, Milwaukie, OR
"At each lesson, Joel Harris is ready to share my excitement over a newly composed worship
or scripture song, making informed musical and theological editing suggestions, while allowing
me to do the revisions. Joel can effortlessly change from guitar to piano instruction answering
theory questions from a deep well of classical knowledge and training. He enabled me to learn
keys on the piano through chording for worship songs. I was thrilled to worship through many
of our most meaningful songs at church after only a few lessons! He even willingly helps me
explore a piano method that is of special interest to me. Joel brings classical training and a love
for the Cross, together to create an inspirational and disciplined musical experience.
This is truly “Delight-Directed” study!"
Karen E. – Songwriter, School Teacher and Mother, Gresham, OR
"Jessica and Jeffrey led worship together Sunday and it was an incredible blessing to everyone.
They make quite a team!!! Jeffrey was flawless on the drums. It added so much to the worship!!!
Now 2 of their friends whose Dad has been teaching them electric guitar want to join them to lead
worship this next Sunday. We are excited to see the young people planning and leading worship!!
These other 2 boys are only ages 13 and 15! And one of Jessica's friends (age 16) played the
piano during offering as she has been inspired by Jessica's example. Jessica has always been
"shy" with "performing" on piano – as has Jeffrey on drums – but the way you have taught them
to lead worship is NOT a performance – but truly honoring and glorifying to God. Thank you
so much for the "new life" of worship music you have brought into our church and our home!
God continue to bless you."
Lisa & Steve R. – Pastor's wife and Pastor, Oregon City, OR
Northwest Worship Academy