"Putting Musicianship
into Practice."

Class Teachers.

A distinctive aspect of Music Box is that our teachers are highly experienced, trained musicians who have received additional training in teaching musicianship skills to young children. All teachers are DBS checked.

Noel Rainbird

Noel Rainbird

Music Box is run and co-founded by Noel Rainbird, mother of 2 daughters.

Before teaching full time, Noel was a professional baroque and classical bassoon player playing in many of the major period instrument orchestras in this country and on the continent.

Alongside this work, Noel taught the bassoon and piano privately and in schools including Marlborough College and the Dragon School to children from ages 5 - 18. She continues to teach both instruments privately.

Until very recently, Noel was a class music teacher at Rye St Antony and Headington Prep School. She was responsible for writing the Kodaly-based curriculum at Headington Prep. She currently teaches bassoon at Oxford High School.

Noel also has a music degree from York University and is a qualified primary school teacher.

She has a teaching diploma on the bassoon from the Royal Academy of Music and on the piano from the Guildhall School of Music.


Susan Glaisher

Susan Glaisher

Susan Glaisher is co-founder of Music Box.

Susan is a Primary music specialist, currently working as an advisory teacher for Ark schools, an educational charity that runs a network of inner city academies in London, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Hastings. She has also held the post of Director of Music at three local Prep schools.

A singer, flautist and pianist, Susan holds degrees in Music Education and Music Psychology. She is also a licentiate of The Guildhall School of Music and Trinity College, London. Her thesis, completed as part of her MA on the role of Self- Regulated learning in instrumental learning for novice musicians, was undertaken to help find ways for busy children and parents to make the best use of their instrumental practice and tuition time.

Susan has wide ranging experience as an instrumental teacher; she is also an experienced vocal animateur and Children’s Choir director and has undertaken extensive training in both Kodaly and Dalcroze methods of musicianship training. Her work as a music educator has been informed by the conviction that a good music education should be the birth right of every child and sees the use of the voice and movement as essential components in early musicianship training.

Emma Lowe

Emma Lowe

As well as teaching at Music Box Oxford Emma currently teaches the piano privately and at the Dragon School.
She conducts the West Oxford Primary School Orchestra, is the pianist for Cumnor Choral Society and continues to play with singers and instrumentalists as time allows.

Emma trained at the Guildhall School of Music and then the Royal Academy of Music. After college she played for singers, instrumentalists and ballet classes in London.

She also taught the piano, as well as ‘O’ and ‘A’ level music, conducted school choirs and orchestras and put on musical shows for school children in India and England.

Before coming to Oxford she worked at the Mayerlismann Opera Centre in London and played for many of their performances and workshops.

She has also worked as a repetiteur for Stowe Opera and British Youth Opera, formed Diva Delight with two singers performing in Spain and London, and performed a series of concerts with her piano duo.

Val Whitlock

Val Whitlock

As a vocal consultant and choral director Val is renowned for her infectious enthusiasm and skill in motivating people about singing. Experienced with all ages and abilities from nursery through to post graduate level, she is in demand to direct choral events and performances both nationally and internationally.

She works as a vocal consultant for and conductor of children's choirs, youth choirs and adult choirs. She also leads corporate singing workshops to develop team work, creativity, and motivation and communication skills. She has worked with many high profile groups, including Opera North Children's Chorus, Opera North Youth Company, CBSO Children’s Chorus, and the award-winning St Stephen's College Preparatory School Choir from Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Metropolitan Youth Choir.

Val is also a versatile vocalist with experience in cabaret, music theatre, jazz, folk and classical singing. She has worked with such groups as Bellowhead & The Lost and Found Orchestra. She was also a member of Pulse, a sixteen strong vocal group directed by Mary King, which was in residence at The Southbank Centre, London. Val is an experienced session singer and skilled acoustic guitarist.

Tobias Sturmer

Tobias Sturmer

Tobias Sturmer is a percussionist and drummer focusing on West African and Afro Cuban rhythms and their application in Western music education. He has studied a Jazz Diploma in New York and a MA in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, London University. To deepen his understanding of music in its cultural context he has lived, worked and taught in Senegal and Venezuela.

Before moving to Oxford last year, he has been playing on the London Jazz, Latin Jazz and African music scene for the last 17 years performing with Badejo Dance Company, Baka Beyond, Yaaba Funk, Roberto Pla, Bollywood Brass Band, Cholomenleys Dance Company and many others.

Tobias has wide ranging experience in teaching percussion, drums and rhythm in primary and secondary schools as well as in adult education. He taught workshops at Royal Opera House, Goethe Institute, Royal College of Music, Laban Centre, City Literary Institute and City University as well as for several music services of London boroughs.

Tobias is a creative practitioner seeking to contribute his teaching experience not only to improving musicianship but also to promote wellbeing and community building. He leads workshops on family learning, group drumming for mental health, special needs, creativity and improvisation as well as rhythm, movement and mindfulness.

Grace Lane

Nancy Gladstone

Grace started playing piano at the age of seven and violin at the age of eleven. She completed ABRSM Grade 8 violin at high school and has been playing in a variety of ensembles and orchestras ever since, both here and abroad. She currently plays with the Oxford Symphony Orchestra and the Oxford Sinfonia.

Grace teaches using the Colourstrings approach which she discovered whilst living in Canada. She has attended violin teacher training at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music under the tutelage of Geza Szilvay, founder of Colourstrings, and firmly believes that music belongs to every child and that music education should be fun, interesting, and accessible. Grace has two children and lives in Oxford.

Colourstrings is a world-renowned, Kodaly based, child-centered approach to instrumental teaching that has been taught for over forty years in Finland, the UK, Canada, South Africa and other countries. Using an innovative colour-coded system of notation it simplifies the process of learning to read and write music. Musical stories, drawings, and symbols simplify even the most demanding technical difficulties and make music theory readily understandable so that when a child first picks up an instrument, they are confident about the theory and can concentrate on the mechanics of their chosen instrument. This enables children to more rapidly become versatile and well-rounded players.

For more information on Colourstrings and its approach, please consult www.colourstrings.fi

Nancy Gladstone

Nancy Gladstone

Nancy Gladstone comes from a family of professional musicians. She started learning the cello at the age of three and continues to play to a high standard. Nancy remembers the challenge of learning to read musical notation, and loves the fact that Music Box makes it fun. She played cello with university orchestras at Cambridge and continues to take part in Oxford's busy music scene, both as a cellist and a singer. She has a son aged six.