Brian Cope BMus (Hons)
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 for the international humanitarian organisation, War Child Holland where he worked on music projects in the Balkans, Caucasus and 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 disabled people to play and compose music independently.
His composition work spans a wide range of activities including film music, theatre and concert works. He is currently studying for a Ph.D in Musical Composition at the University of Edinburgh where he also teaches composition.
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!!!
- CristinaMusicianship TeacherCristinaMusicianship Teacher
Cristina Wilkinson BA MSc
Cristina earned a B.A. in Music from North Park University in Chicago in 2015, and a MSc in Sociology from the University of Edinburgh in 2017. She has also completed the Certificate in Music for Social Change and Human Values from North Park University’s School of Music.
Cristina has a diverse musical background. Born and raised in Ecuador, she began studying the piano and violin at age 6 and eventually took up the clarinet at age 10. In 2011, she moved to Chicago, and continued studies in music at North Park University, with a special focus on the piano. While at university, she gave her own solo recitals and regularly performed as pianist, accompanist and singer with various ensembles, including Café con Leche Trio, the Women’s Chorale and the University Choir.
Since graduating in 2015, Cristina has worked with children between 6-12 years old. She taught Music Theory at The People’s Music School in Chicago, a non-profit organisation that provides free access to music education, and worked closely with their Beginner’s Orchestra. In addition, she has taught piano privately and worked as an accompanist for the community choir at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
A few fun facts about Cristina:
- If I had any superpower it would be travel in time so I could see my favourite composers live!
- The strangest food I have ever eaten is lemon rosemary and lavender gelato
- My favourite children’s book is Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
- The next instrument I’d like to learn is the guitar
- 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
- 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
- MairiViolin TeacherMairiViolin Teacher
Mairi McCabe BMus (Hons)
Mairi studied music at Edinburgh Napier University during which time she spent six months studying piano Central Washington University. Following a few years of teaching piano and strings at various schools in Edinburgh and in Fife, in 2015 Mairi decided on a move to Manchester to complete a PGCE in Secondary Music Teaching with Specialist Instrumental Teaching, studying at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Royal Northern College of Music. During this time she was introduced to Dalcroze Eurhythmics and completed her Foundation Certitifcate in July 2016. Upon graduating Mairi has been a viola tutor for the RNCM Young Strings Project and enjoyed a variety of teaching experiences as a Secondary, primary and instrumental music teacher. She is currently completing a part time MA in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Whilst in North of England, Mairi enjoyed dipping her toe into the English folk dancing scene and continues to enjoy playing Scottish fiddle music.
Mairi is very happy to be back up north and returning to Portobello Music School!
Some fun facts about Mairi:
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a Sea bird.
- Her favourite children’s book is The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton.
- Favourite country visited so far: Sicily, Italy
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the double bass.
- Her favourite colour is blue
Mairi teaches violin
- LydiaPiano TeacherLydiaPiano Teacher
Lydia Jones BMus (Hons)
Lydia began playing piano at the age of three and began teaching at the age of 15, having completed all grades within the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Lydia graduated in 2015 from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a BA (Hons) in music where she was classically trained to a concert level. Here, she was avidly involved in the Maynooth University Choir and performed for former president Mary McAleese during her time in the choir. She has also accompanied many ensembles as well as performing solo for the University lunch time concerts herself. As well as playing piano, she has also played saxophone with multiple jazz ensembles around both London and Ireland. Most recently Lydia has began her Masters in music therapy in Queen Margaret University and is hoping to continue on the excellence of music therapy practice and research in Scotland.
Lydia has many years teaching not just piano but music. She has taught at mainly primary level to a multitude of abilities both privately, within a classroom environment as well as intervention for students with different disabilities and issues. She strongly believes that anyone can play the piano and most importantly it can be both fun as well as a relaxation and therapy in its own right.
Some fun facts about Lydia:
- If she had any super power it would be the ability to turn any situation into a musical on the spot.
- The next instrument she'd like to learn is the sitar.
- She has never ever gotten a brain freeze! (She can eat ice cream and drink milkshakes super fast because of it)
- The strangest food she has ever eaten is a double bacon cheese burger that was both dairy and meat free!
Lydia teaches piano
- LauraGuitar TeacherLauraGuitar Teacher
Laura Browne BMus (Hons)
Laura is a classical guitarist who has recently completed her Bachelor of Music Honours Degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she is now entering her first year of study for a Master of Music. Although classically trained Laura completed a diploma in electric guitar at The Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) and also plays a variety of styles including Jazz, Pop, Rock and Traditional guitar. Dedicated and passionate about learning, Laura has been involved in a number of music education projects. Most notably, she has conducted school workshops at the Glasgow City Halls and played an interactive music therapy role at The Royal Blind School. These experiences have given Laura the opportunity to work with a whole range of abilities and ages, alongside an understanding that the learning process is an individual and unique journey for everyone. Based in Glasgow, Laura is currently performing in the UK and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician.
A few fun facts about Laura:
- Favourite Food: Chinese.
- If she could be any animal she would be: a Lion (because The Lion King is her favourite movie).
- Her worst kept secret is: that she loves eating Nutella out of the jar.
- If she could have any super power it would be: the ability to teleport to any place in the world.
Laura teaches guitar
- KatherinePiano TeacherKatherinePiano Teacher
Katherine Morrison BMus (Hons)
Katherine's interest in the piano started at the age of ten when she inherited the instrument from a beloved relative. She immediately began lessons, worked through ABRSM grades 1-8 whilst performing numerous solo recitals in high school concerts and as part of Edinburgh-based young musician competitions. She then went on to study piano with Nicholas Ashton at Edinburgh Napier University where she graduated in 2012 with a first class honours degree.
Since graduating, she has been focusing primarily on piano tuition, and currently teaches a wide range of students, varying in age, level, and ability. She is also a freelance performer and accompanist, and has performed in such venues as The Voodoo Rooms, and St Giles Cathedral. She appreciates and takes part in a wide range of musical style, and has collaborated with many musicians with varying background and approach (from classical-style quartets and duets, to more electronic techniques in progressive rock and pop acts).
Katherine has over 6 years experience in piano tuition, and takes immense pride in her students' continual progression and improvement. Her teaching technique aims to inspire confidence, creativity and correct playing technique from the very beginning. Music is her passion in life, and she strives to share that passion and enthusiasm with her students.
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
- LouisePrimary 2, String Group & Adult Singing GroupLouisePrimary 2, String Group & Adult Singing Group
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
- HannahClarinet TeacherHannahClarinet Teacher
Hannah Templeton BMus (Hons) MA PhD
Hannah studied music at King's College London from 2008-2011 where she specialised in performance, receiving her clarinet lessons at the Royal Academy of Music. She also has an MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies, and has recently submitted her PhD in music history. Her PhD explores the fifteen months that the composer W.A. Mozart spent in London with his family as an 8-9 child in 1764-5.
Alongside Hannah's music research she has nine years of instrumental teaching experience, including five years as a clarinet and piano teacher at Bishop Thomas Grant School in London. Hannah has also worked as the research leader for the London-based Classical Opera's Mozart in Europe education project, and has appeared in the BBC Four documentary Mozart's London Odyssey.
Now based in Edinburgh, Hannah teaches clarinet and piano while continuing her research into musical life in the eighteenth century.
A few fun facts about Hannah:
- Her favourite children's book is Tom's Sausage Lion by Michael Morpurgo.
- The strangest food she has ever eaten is fried locust tacos in a Mexican restaurant!
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the guitar.
- If she were an animal she would like to be her cat Cleopas. When it's cold he sleeps by the radiator all day and when it's sunny he climbs trees in the garden. He also gets lots of treats!
- Her favourite day out in Edinburgh is a walk in the Braid Hills followed by hot chocolate at The Chocolate Tree.
Hannah teaches clarineo and clarinet
- KatriMusicianship TeacherKatriMusicianship Teacher
Katri started her music studies in her home town of Rovaniemi, Finland at the Music Academy of Lapland. She has continued to study music through her life and completed her Kodaly and Colourstrings Training through Colourstrings and the Szilvay Foundation in Galway, Ireland. She has also taken courses Child Psychology and Education through the University of Jyväskylä and Jyväskylä Educational Consortium in Finland. She is currently completing her BA(Hons) at Edinburgh Napier University where her main study is voice.
Katri sings and plays in numerous groups and has been performing rock, world & traditional music and jazz around Scandinavia, Ireland and Scotland for over 10 years. She continues to write, record and perform as much as she can.
2010-2015 Katri worked in Maoin Cheoil na Gaillimhe Music School in Galway, Ireland teaching Colourstings and Musicianship classes, as well as teaching and co-writing a Kodaly based syllabus for music education in local primary schools. She has also been teaching private students voice, flute and piano for many years.
A few fun facts about Katri:
- If she could have any superpower it would be Telekinesis!
- The next instrument she'd like to learn is the cello.
- Her favourite children's book is: His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.
- 3 scoops of ice cream: Licorice, Pistachio and Irish Cream.
- If she was an animal she would like to be a bat as she'd get both echolocation and be able to fly!
Katri teaches musicianship and choir
- JennyGuitar TeacherJennyGuitar Teacher
Jenny Clifford BMus (Hons)
Jenny holds a 1st class honours degree in music, majoring in classical guitar from Edinburgh Napier University. She has also won various performance awards including the Norman Quinney medal for solo performance and Rita Quinney medal for ensemble performance. She has performed around Scotland both as a soloist and within various ensembles, playing music of an eclectic range including classical, jazz and rock.
Jenny's passion for music has been strong and varied for as long as she can remember. She began her instrumental music lessons with the cello at the age of 8 and enjoyed performing in orchestras and string groups. In High School she discovered the wonders of guitar, and was immediately entranced. In the past 8 years Jenny has evolved and honed her technical guitar skills and musical knowledge through a wide range of genres, including 4 years of classical tuition under the guidance of innovative performer and teacher, Simon Thacker.
Although she has a great passion for performing, she equally loves experiencing the fulfilment of inspiring and developing these skills in young musicians. She has extensive experience in teaching guitar and music to pupils of all ages and abilities, priding herself in her optimistic and energetic approach to teaching.
A few fun facts about Jenny:
- The strangest foods she has eaten are snails and frogs legs
- If she could have any superpower it would be teleportation.
- The next instrument she'd like to learn is the saxophone
- Her favourite children's writer is Roald Dahl.
Jenny teaches guitar
- HeatherPrimary 1 TeacherHeatherPrimary 1 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
- 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
- CatrionaFlute TeacherCatrionaFlute Teacher
Catriona Crosby BA (music performance), LGSM
Catriona studied flute with David Nicholson and piano with Bernard King at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Music) in Glasgow. She has had some fabulous and fun music teachers and hopes to get everyone to enjoy playing music as much as she does. She started playing the piano when she was 4, but fell in love with the flute when she started playing at aged 12 and discovered it was the best instrument in the world – a slightly biased viewpoint but I’m sure you will agree if you decide to learn to play the flute.
Catriona currently teaches flute and piano in schools and privately in and around Edinburgh and enjoys playing the flute regularly with New Edinburgh Orchestra, Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra and Stockbridge and Newtown Community Orchestra. She is usually found rushing around Edinburgh in her somewhat battered Honda Civic.
Some fun facts about Catriona:
- Her favourite country visited so far is Kashmir.
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a snow leopard.
- Her favourite ice cream is Haagen Dazs Pralines and Cream
- The strangest food she has ever seen (but not eaten) was seahorses on a stick
- She has always wanted to play timps in an orchestra but nobody has let her as yet!
- Her favourite childhood books are The Magic Faraway Tree (Enid Blyton) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C S Lewis) and she is still trying to find Narnia at the back of her wardrobe!!
Catriona teaches flute
- FelicityClassroom AssistantFelicityClassroom Assistant
Felicity began working at Portobello Music School in 2017, helping with a variety of music classes. She started learning music and playing the piano when she was eight, and continues to have passion for it, which was why she wanted to work at music school and encourage children to pursue their own enjoyment of music. After leaving school she will be taking a gap year working through the ski season in Switzerland. She will then go on to study History at the University of Glasgow and hopes to continue music in the future, as it is something she greatly enjoys.
A few fun facts about Felicity:
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the saxophone, as she have never tried a wind instrument before.
- If she had a super power it would be to time travel.
- Her favourite children’s book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
- CatherineClassroom AssistantCatherineClassroom Assistant
Catherine has been helping at the music school since 2015 and has been part of the school as a student since she was 6. Music is one of her great passions and she enjoys sharing this with the children she assists at the music school. She has been playing music since she had her first violin at the age of three. She then moved on to play the drums, piano and clarinet. After her last year of school, she will be studying Media and Culture at Utrecht University in Holland and whilst being away intends to uphold her love for music in bands and orchestras.
Some fun facts about Catherine:
- Her favourite children's books are Charlie and Lola.
- If she were an animal she would like to be an owl.
- Her favourite three scoops of ice-cream are vanilla, hazelnut and mango.
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the trombone.
- If she had a super power, she would be a shape shifter.
- JodieClassroom AssistantJodieClassroom AssistantJodie is currently in S5 at Holy Rood High School and planning to study music at Edinburgh Napier University. She has taken part in many different music activities such as playing in the Edinburgh Secondary Schools Orchestra, No Strings Attached, a community wind band and SCO Vibe. She has been playing music from a very young age as both her parents play instruments and greatly encouraged her to play music when she was younger, eventually leading to her learning a few different instruments as she has grown older. At the music school she works as a classroom assistant, helping Louise teach the Primary 2 music classes.A few fun facts about Jodie:
- If she was an animal she'd like to be a meerkat.
- The next instrument she would like to learn is the trumpet.
- If she had a superpower it would be teleportation.
- Three scoops of ice cream: cookie dough, coconut and chocolate fudge.
- 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
- OliviaClassroom AssistantOliviaClassroom Assistant
Olivia plays clarinet and saxophone to Grade 7 level and has been taking singing lessons for a number of years. She was a pupil at Towerbank Primary School and originally studied clarinet and saxophone at Portobello Music School. She is delighted to be back at the school and is currently working as a classroom assistant in the Preschool Creative Music Classes. Olivia loves to act and plans to pursue a career in acting. She has already been in a show in the Traverse Theatre and more recently in a play at the Lyceum Theatre. She has also acted in various short films. Acting is such a big passion of Olivia's and she has learnt many different skills from it which she uses in different areas of her life. She also worked as an assistant drama teacher for a primary school drama club, which gave her more experience with children and also reminded her of when she first began to love acting.
Some fun facts about Olivia
- If she was an animal, she'd definitely like to be a dolphin.
- If she could invent anything, she would invent heat-up shoes to keep your feet from being cold when it's bad weather.
- Her favourite board game is Pictionary (and she never ever cheats!!)