Dr Brian Cope
Brian studied music at the University of Edinburgh. He is a composer, music educator and consultant with a particular interest in issues of inclusion in music education. He has worked as a Specialist Music Advisor to Creative Scotland and has travelled extensively as a music consultant and trainer for the international humanitarian organisation, War Child Holland where he worked on psychosocial music projects with children affected by the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Abkhazia, and Sierra Leone in West Africa.
He worked for six years as the Artistic Director for Drake Music Scotland, an organisation that uses innovative music technology and teaching methods to enable people with physical and learning disabilities to play and compose music independently.
His composition work spans a wide range of activities including film music, theatre and concert works. He recently completed his PhD in Musical Composition at the University of Edinburgh where he also taught harmony and counterpoint.
Some fun facts about Brian:
- The strangest food he's eaten is Ostrich burger
- If he was an animal he'd like to be a bear
- The next instrument he'd like to learn is the violin
- His favourite children's book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Brian teaches drums and percussion
- AlmaCo-founder/Saturday ManagerAlmaCo-founder/Saturday Manager
Alma co-founded the music school with husband Brian in 2005 and for the past 12 years, in addition to maintaining a full-time career, has dedicated her every Saturday morning to the smooth running of the school. Alma's sunny and engaging personality has helped foster a real sense of community in the music school, creating a safe and welcoming environment for children to thrive.
Alma is available in the main waiting area from 9.00am until 1.00pm and can help with all enquiries relating to music school matters.
A few fun facts about Alma:
- Alma is from Albania and is often mistaken for being Spanish
- 3 scoops of ice-cream: raspberry ripple, pistachio and Ferrero Rocher
- She loves to sing
- She speaks Abanian, English, Italian and French and will pretty much have a go at any language!
- HollyBaby & Toddlers and Musicianship TeacherHollyBaby & Toddlers and Musicianship Teacher
Holly Carter BA (Hons)
Holly studied music at the University of York and then Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. During her career Holly has sung with many choirs including the National Youth Choir of Scotland, Edinburgh University Chamber Choir, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus and the vocal quartet Dolcezza. She performs regularly in both solo and choral performances and weddings in the UK and abroad and has performed roles in Operas such as Susanna in the Marriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Cissy Woodger in Albert Herring.
Holly has worked with children since graduating in 2005. She has held positions such as a Kodàly Instructor in schools in Aberdeenshire and an Early Years Music Leader of baby and young children’s music groups and of music classes in nurseries. In addition, Holly has worked as an Assistant Director and Musicianship Instructor for the National Youth Choir of Scotland in several of their area choirs.
A few fun facts about Holly:
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a monkey.
- Her favourite children’s book is Angelina Ballerina.
- 3 scoops of ice cream: Salted Caramel, Cookie Dough and Turkish Delight!
- Her favourite day out in Edinburgh is walking her dog around Arthur’s Seat whilst making him do tricks with his frisby and then going to the Fudge Kitchen on the way home!!!
- Favourite performance: Singing with NYCoS and Christina Aguillera at the MTV awards or getting to eat lots of real cakes on stage whilst playing Cissy in Albert Herring!!!
- TillyMusicianship TeacherTillyMusicianship TeacherTilly Mütter BMusTilly is a student on the MSc Music Therapy Course at Queen Margaret University. She completed her undergrad in music at Canterbury, where she got the opportunity to perform with many ensembles such as Voces8 and Glynbourne. After graduating, Tilly became the Music Lead at The Sunflower Federation Schools in Hertfordshire; for students with additional needs and profound multiple learning disabilities, where she used music to help improve the students' individual targets.Tilly loves to perform, and prior to the pandemic, she got the opportunity to do so in some amazing places such as Kenya and Azerbaijan with her choir, The Canterbury Voices.A few fun facts about Tilly:
- Her favourite activity in Edinburgh is walking up Calton hill.
- The next instrument she'd like to learn is the trumpet.
- Her favourite colour is green.
- Since moving to Edinburgh she has started playing Rugby.
- KirstyViolin TeacherKirstyViolin Teacher
Kirsty Main BMus MMus
Kirsty was born in Edinburgh and attended St Mary’s Music School before graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music with a BMus in violin performance in 2015, and now enjoys freelance work with many classical and contemporary ensembles and orchestras throughout the U.K. She has recently performed with the Scottish Ballet orchestra, Opera Dei Lumi, the Broen Ensemble and the London Contemporary Music Festival Orchestra.
Kirsty enjoys playing all different styles and genres of music, from early music to pop music. She specialised in historical performance practice during her masters at the University of Glasgow (in conjunction with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), and now regularly performs with early music ensemble Eboracum Baroque. Session work has included performing at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and BBC Maida Vale studios with artists including Biffy Clyro, P. P. Arnold and Goldfrapp.
Passionate about music education, Kirsty is an experienced and enthusiastic violin tutor of all ages and stages. She has been a violin tutor for Renfrewshire and Camden councils, worked with London Music Masters and recently attended the Benedetti Sessions teachers’ workshops at the Southbank Centre.
- My favourite colour is yellow
- My favourite game is UNO
- My favourite children’s book is Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
- The most unusual place I have performed is in an Italian supermarket doing a flash-mob!
- MeganFlute TeacherMeganFlute Teacher
Megan Porter BMus (Hons)
Born in West Lothian, Megan first began flute at Broxburn Academy and in 2020 graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a first class Bachelor of Music degree.
Before the covid pandemic Megan regularly performed as part of ensembles and chamber groups, some of her highlights include performing Mozarts Concerto in G major with the Edinburgh Napier Chamber Orchestra, premiering Kenneth Dempster’s Song of Songs at the Usher Hall, and premiering a site specific cello and bass flute duet by Katrina Burton. Currently she is part of the Aquila Duo, a flute and piano duet based in Edinburgh, and is principle bass flautist of the award winning Flutes Unlimited Flute choir.
Megan is extremely passionate about new music. She loves collaborating with composers and performing contemporary music. She aims to play a diverse repertoire of music by composers from minority groups, and those often underrepresented in the classical world.
Megan loves sharing in the joy of learning and making music, she has studied teaching methodology while at university and has 2 years teaching experience, as well as over 200 hours of volunteer work with children.
Some fun facts:
- Her favourite video game is Animal Crossing.
- If she were an animal it would be an octopus.
- Megan loves animation - her favourite tv show is either Avatar the Last Air-bender or Shera and The Princesses of Power.
- Her favourite country that she has visited is the Netherlands.
- LindsayDrum TeacherLindsayDrum Teacher
Lindsay Anderson BMus (Hons), MMus, PG Dip (TQFE)
During her studies at Edinburgh Napier University and Birmingham Conservatoire, Lindsay specialised in percussion performance, focusing on the marimba. She has performed in a variety of orchestras and ensembles including the contemporary music group, Thallein Ensemble, based in Birmingham. Most recently, Lindsay has completed a Teaching Diploma in Further Education at Stirling University.
Lindsay has a broad portfolio of music teaching experience and is actively involved in introducing children to drums, percussion and world music in a variety of Edinburgh based in-school and after school groups and also within private lessons. She is currently the visiting music specialist at Edinburgh Montessori Arts School and visiting instructor of drum kit and percussion at the High School of Dundee.
A few fun facts about Lindsay:
- Favourite country visited so far: Cambodia.
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the bodrhan.
- If she was an animal she would be a monkey.
- Her favourite colour is green.
Lindsay teaches drums
- MikeGuitar TeacherMikeGuitar Teacher
Mike Parr-Burman BMus MSc
Mike is a guitarist and electronic musician based in Glasgow. He graduated with a BMus in guitar performance and electronic composition from Newcastle University in 2014. He then went on to do an MSc in Sound Design at Edinburgh College of Art in 2016 and has experience in a wide range of styles including experimental, rock, jazz, classical and folk.
He performs regularly with his trio Taupe and the Glasgow Improviser’s Orchestra and regularly collaborates with other musicians and dancers.
Mike has been teaching guitar for over 10 years to all ages, backgrounds and aspirations, and
also holds a guitar teaching position with Glasgow City Council.
A few interesting facts about Mike
- If he could be any animal he would be an owl. If that’s not possible he would like to be an octopus please.
- The next instrument he would like to learn is the double bass.
- His favourite country he has visited is Germany.
- His favourite food is falafel.
- CathalClarinet TeacherCathalClarinet Teacher
Cathal Killeen BMusEd (Perf), MMus
Beginning his clarinet journey at age eleven at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Cathal was a scholarship student of the RIAM 2007-2013. Under the tutelage of John Finucane, Cathal was awarded his Bachelors in Music Education (Performance Specialisation) in 2017 and completed a Masters of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2019, where he studied with John Cushing.
Cathal won a position with Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra in 2019, and also won all competitive internship positions at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was subsequently invited to play with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He also won the Dunbar Gerber award for chamber music and Jury prize at the Irish Freemason’s Young Musician of the Year.
During the pandemic, Cathal was invited to study with international soloist Emil Jonason in Sweden, where he also took lessons with former Concertgebouw principal clarinet Andreas Sundén and Martin Fröst.
From a young age Cathal has been interested in the community spirit of orchestral and chamber ensemble playing. Cathal now freelances with orchestras throughout the UK and Ireland, where his work involves public performance, community engagement, touring and commercial recording. He also performs with Cluain Tarbh Trio, a new collaboration for Clarinets, Piano and Violin/Iranian Santoor, and Delighted2BHere, a contemporary Bass Clarinet duo.
As a soloist and recitalist Cathal has enjoyed bringing his music to new locations. Berlin, Wigmore hall in London, Stockholm, Madrid, Prague, Budapest and Miami hold happy performance memories for him. When not playing the clarinet, he enjoys cooking semi-edible meals and honing his already adept procrastination skills.
Some fun facts about Cathal:
- His favourite country so far is Italy
- If he didn’t play clarinet, he’d most like to play French Horn
- Pineapple on Pizza? No way
- His favourite word is AIR!!!!!
- ClarePreschool TeacherClarePreschool Teacher
Clare Cushing AGSM
Clare studied oboe and piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After a post-graduate year of orchestral studies she took up the position of Assistant Principal oboe in the SNO. She remained in this position until 2003, when two young boys and a yearning to be more involved in music education meant she decided to venture into the free-lance world. She is currently involved in a range of educational work with NYOS and is a staff member of the NYCOS Stirling children's choir as well as a NYCOS mini music maker group leader. She also works with the whole range of primary aged children through Stirling Council's YMI-funded Kodaly programme.
Some fun facts about Clare:
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a tortoise
- Her favourite day out in Edinburgh is a walk along Portobello beach
- She started to play the oboe when she was 11
- Her favourite children's book is The Star That Fell
Clare teaches Preschool Creative Music Classes
- DominiqueGuitar TeacherDominiqueGuitar Teacher
Dominique Boeynaems BMus MMus
Dominique started his practice of the classical guitar at the age of 8. After several years of private lessons, he attended De! Kunsthumaniora, high school for the arts in Antwerp, Belgium, where he graduated with distinction. In 2017, he completed his undergrad at the Royal Conservatoire of Ghent in guitar performance, where he studied with Johan Fostier and Yves Storms. He recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he received classes with Scottish guitarist Matthew McAllister.
Dominique is very passionate about teaching guitar and music in general to the next generation. He also enjoys being involved in chamber music as well as working with other musicians, and is always looking towards new projects to take on. One project that Dominique is currently leading is the second season of the Glasgow Guitar Nights, giving a stage to young and upcoming guitarists.
- EricGuitar TeacherEricGuitar Teacher
Eric Thomas BMus (Hons) MMus
Eric is a lutenist based in Edinburgh. He studied music at Edinburgh University, dividing his time between performance, composition and musicology, and gained a BMus (Hons) degree. He went on to pursue his interest in early music, completing an MMus in Historically Informed Performance Practice, with the aid of a Carnegie-Cameron postgraduate bursary, jointly at The University of Glasgow and the Royal Conservatiore of Scotland, under the supervision of John Butt, receiving lute tuition from Jamie Akers.
Eric continued his studies at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, studying lute and theorbo with Fred Jacobs, and also attended the Urbino Early Music Festival to study with Paul O’Dette and Dartington International Summer School for lessons with David Miller. Eric is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University of Southampton, under the supervision of Elizabeth Kenny and Laurie Stras, being awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship to research the role of improvisation in early 16th century Italian lute music.
Eric has played with the Kellie Consort, and has appeared in concert with Dame Emma Kirkby, as well appearing regularly with recorder player Annemarie Klein as part of Musica Mundana. This year Eric was selected to be apart of the Britten-Pears baroque orchestra conducted by Christian Curnyn. Eric is also a committed guitar teacher and enjoys teaching pupils of all ages!
Some fun facts about Eric:
- The next instrument he would like to learn is the oud.
- If he was an animal he would be a tortoise.
- His favourite food is curry.
- His favourite country visited so far is the Netherlands.
Eric teaches guitar
- BenDrum TeacherBenDrum Teacher
Ben Collard BA(Hons)
Ben graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Popular music, with a focus on performance. Since graduating Ben has spent the majority of his time behind the kit in some capacity, whether in a live performance setting, recording sessions, and of course teaching.
Ben has been a working musician since he was a teenager, playing regular gigs and live shows all the way through high school and university. He has continued to do so regularly and now performs with many different bands in many different settings - rock; jazz; funk; electro; hip-hop and even orchestral.
Ben has had three years of one-on-one instrumental teaching experience at Edinburgh Napier’s junior music school, as well as group tutoring/mentoring experience with the Tinderbox Orchestra.
A few interesting thing about Ben:
- If I were an animal I’d be: any exotic sea animal. Maybe a sea turtle.
- The next instrument I’d like to learn would be: Piano. Or bass guitar. Or saxophone. I am indecisive.
- Favourite colour is green.
- Superpower: To fly and/or breathe underwater.
- LouisePrimary 2 Music TeacherLouisePrimary 2 Music Teacher
Louise Martin MMus, PGCE, BA (Hons)
Louise spent eight years as a secondary school music teacher before running away with the circus, where she branched out from classical cello and piano into rock, punk, ska, country, theremin, musical saw and stilt-walking. Following postgraduate MMus study in Ethnomusicology, and Music in the Community, she settled back in Edinburgh.
She now works as a freelance musician in a variety of contexts: she leads creative music projects for organisations such as East Lothian and Highland Councils, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Ensemble; has taught Music in the Community at Edinburgh University and Napier University; has organised education work for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; works with adult amateur musicians as Musical Director of the Merchant Sinfonia (Glasgow) and Stockbridge and New Town Community Orchestra (Edinburgh); and in 2015 was appointed Director of Access, Engagement and Participation with the exciting contemporary group Red Note Ensemble.
A few fun facts about Louise:
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a Friesian cow – just mosey-ing along, grazing all day. Mmmmoooooo!
- Her favourite day out in Edinburgh a walk along the River Almond walkway, ending up at the ice-cream van at Cramond harbour
- 3 scoops of ice-cream: Belgian chocolate, blackcurrant sorbet, raspberry sorbet
- She started to play the Recorder when she was 8
Piano when she was 9
Violin when she was 10
Cello when she was 11
Musical Saw when she was old enough to know better!
Louise teaches Primary 2 Creative Music, String Group and Adult Singing Group
- HeatherPrimary 1 Music TeacherHeatherPrimary 1 Music Teacher
Heather Glasspool BA (Hons) PPRNCM
Heather studied music at Durham University and Vocal Studies at The Royal Northern College of Music. She has sung professionally as a soloist throughout Britain and with the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne and Opera North Choruses. Heather ran a busy teaching practise in North London for many years. She moved to Edinburgh in 2006 where she trained in the Kodály method with the National Youth Choir of Scotland and became a member of teaching staff for the Edinburgh Area Choir later that year. She teaches privately and works on vocal projects in schools with Edinburgh council.
Some fun facts about Heather:
- Three scoops of ice cream: chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla.
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a sea otter.
- Favourite children's books: the Hairy Maclary and Friends series by Linley Dodd.
- Favourite day out in Edinburgh: a trip to the Botanical Gardens, looking at the amazing plants in the glass houses and then going into cafe for a treat.
- Strangest food she has eaten is snails.
Heather teaches Primary 1 Creative Music
- FrancesPiano TeacherFrancesPiano Teacher
Frances Louise Allen BMus MA
Born in Inverness, Frances moved down to study music at the University of Edinburgh in 2014, where she specialised in performance and composition. She then went on to achieve a Masters in Sound Design and Composition at the Royal College of Art, London, in 2020 during which her compositional works were presented and performed at the IRCAM Forum, Paris, 2021 and at IKLECTIC, London, 2020.
Throughout her time studying music, Frances has worked as piano and saxophone teacher and musicianship teacher. She has worked with a range of music and arts educational providers and charities across the country including Impact Arts, Islington Piano Tutors, PianoFunClub and Sutton Music Service.
- KatherinePiano TeacherKatherinePiano Teacher
Katherine Morrison BMus (Hons)
Katherine's interest in music started at a very young age and she can recall some of her earliest memories involving being completely mesmerised as her grandmother performed Ragtime classis on her old upright piano, and being taught to headbang to Deep Purple by her father! She was thrilled to receive the chance to learn violin in primary school but after a few years chose to follow in her grandmother's footsteps and switched her focus to the piano. She progressed through the ABRSM grades, completing grade 8 by the time she was 16 and decided to study music and piano further at Edinburgh Napier University. There she revelled in expanding her repertoire, performing in ensembles of all genres and furthering her interest in the history and context of music.
Her teaching journey began in second year and it quickly accelerated to an army of pupils by fourth year! After graduating with a first class degree and dabbling with freelance and performance-based roles, she decided to focus on teaching full-time as it became apparent nothing was more fulfilling and exciting than inspiring pupils to love something that had meant so much to her her entire life. She is interested in experimenting with different styles and genres and is very open to what her pupils want to focus on, whether that's progressing through primarily classical-based grades, learning simple melodies and chords or studying the keyboard solos of Jon Lord! She loves integrating elements of theory and history in her lessons, leaving pupils with not just a sense of how to play, but also what it is they're playing. Katherine now has over 12 years experience in teaching and has worked with 100s of pupils, many of which have gone on to study music to Advanced Higher level and beyond.
A few fun facts about Katherine:
- Her favourite children's book series is Goosebumps by R.L.Stine
- Her favourite film trilogy is The Lord of the Rings
- Out of the countries she have visited so far, her favourite has been Finland.
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the classical guitar.
Katherine teaches piano
- PhoebePiano TeacherPhoebePiano Teacher
Phoebe Janisch, Piano Teacher
Phoebe is completing her postgraduate degree in music therapy from Queen Margaret University. From the United States, Phoebe brings a unique perspective of repertoire, musicality and passion to her piano teaching at Portobello Music School.
From a very early age, Phoebe found comfort in the piano keys. She started piano at the age of six, per recommendation from her school music teacher at the time, advising her mother on what to do with ‘a girl who cannot stop singing.’
Since then, Phoebe has taken on many roles in her music community. She can play multiple instruments (guess how many!) and has participated in many musicals, choirs, workshops, ensembles and band camps. Like her students, she was also enrolled in a music school, learning how to perform and compose music at a nationwide level. From there, she has personalised her piano teaching for many different students in age range and ability.
Phoebe loves experimenting with different music styles, theory elements, and ways to teach. She is open to what inspires her students and their goals, wanting them to leave each lesson with not just a sense of how to play, but excitement about what they're playing.
The piano is at Phoebe’s heart, but she also enjoys performing and discovering new instruments. She is passionate about adventure, people and music, which is a big reason why Phoebe chose to pursue music therapy in Edinburgh. She also has a knack for knowing way too much about Broadway musicals.
A few fun facts about Phoebe:
Her favourite composers are George Gershwin and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ... special thanks to growing up with a Russian piano teacher!
If she could only eat one kind of food for the rest of her life, it would be dill pickles
She is scuba diving certified and has dived to shipwrecks in the Great Lakes
The next instrument she would like to learn is the fiddle
- CarmenClassroom AssistantCarmenClassroom Assistant
Carmen has been a student at music school for a number of years where she studies flute and music theory. She has played in the Concert Band and taken in part in The Edinburgh Competition Festival for a number of years. She has been working at the music school for the past year helping our younger students with their musicianship and music theory.
A few fun facts about Carmen:
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a tiger
- Her favourite children’s book is Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
- 3 scoops of ice cream: mint choc chip, coconut and vanilla
- The next instrument she would like to learn is guitar
- If she had a superpower it would be flying
- AilsaClassroom AssistantAilsaClassroom Assistant
I started playing violin at Portobello Music School when I was 7 years old. I am still playing, and am now working towards my Grade 6 exam. I have also started playing trumpet at school, and more recently piano at Portobello Music School. I enjoy playing in music groups, and played in String Quartet. I now play violin in Edinburgh Secondary School's orchestra. My favourite style of music to play is folk, and I am thinking of becoming a music teacher in the future.