gaining a huge amount of experience and knowledge in a wide range of physical and learning disabilities.
She graduated from City University, London in 2004 with a Bachelor of Music Honours degree, specialising in Music Therapy with children who have sensory impairments. This then led to working for the Deafblind organisation Sense Scotland where she worked as a music practitioner in the east coast of Scotland, further gaining a Diploma in DeafBlind Studies and level one British Sign Language.
In 2013 Fiona set up her own Music Practice working predominantly with children and adults with profound multiple learning and physical disabilities. This has led to collaborative work with various councils, charities, schools and organisations across Scotland including Drake Music Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The Amber Trust, and Pamis.
Fiona’s passion lies in making music as fun and accessible as possible.
came at a very young age thanks to her parents. Her Mother was a piano and singing teacher, and during Fiona’s childhood, both her parents were active in the Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society which influenced Fiona to become involved in musical theatre, becoming a member of the National Youth Music Theatre.
“Music was always around me when I was growing up. My father would even spend weekends recording me singing along to my favourite pop songs”.
An interest in music and disability has been a life long journey. When Fiona was six years old she decided to fundraise for The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh, actively showing support for the school throughout her childhood. Ten years later she took on a placement at the school shadowing the Music Therapist. This inspired and encouraged her to study music and pursue this line of work as a career.
“I was never academically minded at school and unfortunately I suffered from a critical illness when I was a teenager which made my education particularly challenging. Music was my one form of escapism which I am forever thankful for. I want everyone to feel they can play and access music for their own creativity, self-expression and escapism. Helping support individuals to do this is something I am extremely passionate about.”
then moved to Aberdeen to study Social Sciences at the Robert Gordon University. After graduation, David started working as a support worker with adults who have learning difficulties and mental health issues. He now has 18 years experience in this area.
David’s love of music started at a young age. He would listen to his Dad’s cassette tapes including The Beatles, Elvis, The Eagles and Queen. David received a guitar for his 16th birthday and has been playing ever since.
Between 2016 and 2017, David worked in the respite unit of a care home. He learned popular songs from the 1940’s and 1950’s and would bring in his guitar and sing along with the residents. He was also involved in the creation of a resident’s choir. He accompanied the choir on stage at the Rothes Halls as part of a dementia awareness event.
David returned to University in 2017 and graduated in 2021 with a first class honours degree in Audio Engineering.
She began playing the flute at the age of twelve. Further studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music led her to her current position with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. When not performing on the stage with the RSNO she is planning and delivering creative projects in a variety of healthcare and educational settings. Helen is also professor of flute at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a tutor for the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. She is passionate about the power of music to transform lives. As an Associate musician with Drake Music Scotland Helen is active in bringing musical experiences to people with Additional Support Needs.
Helen loves living near Loch Lomond where she enjoys walking with her family and trusty black Labrador, Indie.
She has been playing the flute since the age of eight and has received a diploma in music performance through the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
She worked as a music teacher in South Africa teaching young children, adolescents, and teenagers not only flute and recorder but also larger groups incorporating Kodály teaching philosophy. She has also taught young children using Colourstrings, incorporating songs, movement, and poems in her lessons. She has played in several orchestras including The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra and The South African National Youth Orchestra.
With an honours degree in psychology, she is also soon to receive her master’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Dundee. She has a keen academic interest in development and has experience working not only as a music teacher but also as a support worker to children with various learning and developmental difficulties.”