Early Years Music Scotland is a project designed and managed by musician and early years specialist Yvonne Wyroslawska. The project is funded by Creative Scotland’s YMI Strengthening Youth Music Fund for 2023/24.

For more about Yvonne, please visit her website.

10th February Workshop Descriptors and Presenter Biographies

Yoga for Musicians


Neil Gillies

This session will provide an introduction to the ancient art of Yoga Asana. B.K.S Iyengar is one of the most influential Yoga teachers of our era. With an emphasis on precision and alignment, the Iyengar style brings stability to the body and mind. Amongst many of Iyengar’s well known students was the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who was so impressed with the practice that he commissioned Iyengar to come to London to share his teaching.

Neil first attended Iyengar Yoga classes in the late 1980’s. Taught by Tom Yeudall and Fiona Morton, he was inspired to train as an Iyengar Yoga teacher. He later went on to learn and train with Elaine Pidgeon and Meg Laing in Edinburgh. As one of the more senior teachers in Scotland, he holds a level 3 teaching certificate. He has completed two courses at the RMIYI in Pune. As a professional flautist, Yoga has been invaluable, as it fosters postural awareness and mental alertness, both invaluable during performance. Neil established Iyengar Yoga Classes at The Western Baths in Glasgow’s west end, where classes have been running successfully for over twenty years.

Beginner Ukulele: Simple Songs for 3-5s


Rachel Wilson

Learn some very basic ukulele skills including chords, strumming and plucking. We will learn some easy songs to sing with and to 3 to 5 year olds.

Rachel studied the double bass at the Royal Conservatoire of Music, commencing in 2018. She has since been teaching in multiple settings, including English as a Foreign Language in Hong Kong and Italy using music to enhance vocal and literacy skills. Upon her return in 2021 she began teaching music with Glasgow City Council working on the Babystrings project and with the Youth Music Initiative. Rachel is a self-taught ukulele player and has been using ukulele in her practice for the last 6 years.

Beat in your feet


Naheed Cruickshank

In this session we will explore a variety of ways using rhymes, songs, games, books, and moving to music to develop the all important sense of beat/pulse (when working with 3-6yr olds)

Naheed is an early years music specialist with over 30 years teaching experience. She teaches musicianship and piano (to beginners) and runs weekly Colourstrings classes for 3-6yr olds in the West End of Glasgow. Naheed is a Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training Instructor, delivering early years music education training to students around the world.

Chill and Chat

Take some time to chill out in the breakout room and chat with fellow early years music specialists!

Wellbeing and high performance in life and work -can we have both? with

Lee Holland

This workshop will explore the 3 systems we use to regulate our emotions and behaviour and how they all have an impact on our life. We will explore our understanding of stress and factors that contribute to burnout and how we can support ourselves. This session will also include practical exercises and resources to help support well being through mindfulness and breath work for optimal performance in life and work.

Lee is freelance orchestral flautist performing regularly with the RSNO, SCO and Scottish Opera. She is hugely dedicated to supporting individuals and teams in high performance settings through her work as a performance coach. Lee has a specialism working with arts professionals, and lecturing undergraduate and post graduate students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and beyond. She holds an MSc in Performance Psychology and Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh and Derby University, Professional Coaching Certificate from Full Circle Global, and teaching certificates from the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University. She is a registered practitioner through the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

The Power of Puppets


Charlotte Allan

Puppets can be a great vehicle for direct and group conversation (verbal and non-verbal) as well as for performance. This will be a playful session exploring how puppetry can be incorporated into work with very young children. A quick dip into puppeteering skills and Early Years pedagogy, then trying different puppetry styles with a focus on discovering and playing with voice.

Charlotte Allan is a Theatre for Early Years artist, creating work with her company Ipdip Theatre. She has a background in performance, writing, and youth theatre, often exploring the places where playfulness, creativity and learning meet. She is currently working on a PhD through Strathclyde University researching the intergenerational audience experience at live performance for babies and toddlers.

Song Share

What songs do you love to sing with your wee ones? Share them with colleagues and learn some new repertoire.

Sing out of the silence - helping little voices out


Nana Welsh

Join Nana for an interactive and practical session that will demonstrate how to tweak and change simple activities to engage children that are not yet comfortable using their voice or language in music class. We’ll learn games and songs that allow children to join in with minimal or no language, but still feel like a part of the class and experience the joy of music. Follow progressive steps to build the confidence of hesitant children, while acknowledging their communication styles and preferences. We’ll find out more about different types of bilingualism, the silent period and how to shift activities to engage learners with English as a second language.

Bulgarian born harpist and music teacher Nana Welsh has worked in music education for nearly 10 years. After studying for a combined BEd and BMus degree in her home country, Nana relocated to Scotland to pursue a MMus degree from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as further her experience and practice in music education. In her time in Scotland, Nana has attended workshops and summer schools to familiarize herself with Kodály, Orff and Dalcroze methods of music education. Nana has taught musicianship classes in various settings all around Glasgow, including RCS Early Years, Pre-Juniors and Juniors programs, Reel Kids Music Club afterschool classes, in-school music classes with Beatroute Arts and afterschool workshops with NYCOS. Since 2018 Nana primarily teaches at Sistema Scotland's Big Noise Govanhill center, teaching Nursery music classes and from 2021 leading the Nursery music classes delivery in the local nursery as well as musicianship classes for all of Primary during Big Noise's afterschool program.

Singing for the soul


Rachel Lightbody

In this workshop, Rachel Lightbody will guide us through fun exercises, rounds and songs to help us explore our voices and create music together. The music will all be taught by ear to encourage the natural impulse to move, however lyrics can be provided. Come and get to know your voice a bit better and leave with the natural lift that group singing brings.

Rachel Lightbody is an acclaimed vocalist in the Scottish music scene. A graduate of University of Strathclyde's BA in Applied Music course, she has worked non-stop ever since as a front woman, backing vocalist, and educator. Recent notable achievements include: her nominations for 'Best Vocalist' in the 2018-2021 Scottish Jazz Awards; the featured vocalist in sold - out performances of Joni Mitchell's 'Court & Spark' (featured on BBC Radio Scotland, 2018); and Carole King's 'Tapestry' with Start to Endat Celtic Connections ; and her work as a backing vocalist with Little Acres, Siobhan Miller and Kris Drever (featured on BBC Quay Sessions 2019 & 2022).'