About myself

I am a trained classical pianist and have a degree in music from Cambridge University.

I always preferred the buzz of working with other musicians – singers and instrumentalists. I won an international prize for my accompanying, and performed in festivals and concert venues around Britain and abroad, as well as for the BBC.

I worked for Glyndebourne Opera for a long while, and loved my involvement in  Glyndebourne Education’s days for children, introducing operas they would later see.

Since having my own children, coming to live in Hastings, and collaborating with very creative local people, all sorts of new musical shoots have sprung up.

I’ve led Kindermusik classes for 5-6 year olds with East Sussex County Music.

I started to teach piano and found I loved it

With two singers and a director, I started Raising the Roof, a local music-drama group focusing on drawing out young people’s voices and talents through performances with professionals. With local artists and designers, and working in two local schools, St. Paul’s and The Grove in St Leonards, we put together a performance of Britten’s Noyes Fludde which was a resounding success, packing the church full.

For me, the process of gathering the music together through sheer hard work and the complexity of school timetables, inspired by the energy of my musician friends, was a watershed. I am still touched by the memory of watching the percussion section, formed from a group of 15 year old boys from The Grove, some unable to read music – their concentrating faces during their performance and their delight in their achievement. None of them would have opted to take part in a ‘classical music’ performance, yet there they were, drawn in, rapt, and working as a team.

When a colleague told me about her dream of forming a children’s choir from the local primary schools, I found myself offering to lead it.  In 2008 we were awarded a grant from Youth Music to continue for a year and a half, and ran it as an after school club, singing all sorts of songs from folk to spirituals, playing musical games and  action songs. Mostly we sang a cappella, and I made simple arrangements for instruments that the children could play, and soundscapes from their voices to accompany some of the songs.  During this time I took part in some courses in Stroud led by the inspirational group Tonalis which thrilled me with their child-centred, imaginative work which inspired me in my own work. This planted the seeds for wanting to develop my own creative music groups

I’ve now moved to Lewes and will be starting music groups and choirs there soon.

Please Note: I am fully validated by an up to date CRB check. Public Liability Insurance is in place.

The Enchanted Lark Singing Group

My new Lewes group continues with another mini course in the May half-term

Spread your wings with a fun and friendly programme of voice games, songs from round the world and all manner of musical magic. Details Here


Come and see how much fun these courses will be.
Dip in with your child for an hour one morning for a taster.
To find out next dates please contact me.

Nancy Cooley

As a ‘born and bred’ St. Leonards person, I want to say what a delight it is for me/us that you and your talented friends have decided to come and live here and get involved in the local arts community. Looking around that audience, there were several people for whom it must have been a whole new experience….
Judy Appleyard, St Leonards musician.