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Kindergarten Teachers

Our Kindergarten classes are run by teachers fully trained in the Colourstrings-Kodály approach, and all have wider musical backgrounds, see our kindergarten teachers below and find out more!

Beatrice Driver smiling at the camera

Beatrice Driver

Vice-Principal, Head of Kindergarten and Middlesex University Saturday School

Inspired by a family friend playing his French horn to a field of sheep, Beatrice took up this wonderful, at times mysterious, instrument at the age of 10.  She went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music and in the Netherlands, where she remained for a decade enjoying performing across a great variety of genres and repertoire – symphonic, musical theatre, chamber music, big band and contemporary including being a member of Louis Andriessen’s Orkest de Volharding.

Returning to England, Beatrice discovered Colourstrings and the North London Conservatoire when her children were very young, which led to a new musical adventure, teaching Music Kindergarten and Kodaly musicianship to children. She still plays the horn and loves the outdoors (but has yet to make an impression on any sheep)!

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Cat Eden

Cat Eden  is a trombonist and musician from Northampton.   She attended the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff for her undergraduate degree in Classical Music and is now studying her Masters of Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  At the moment, Cat mainly performs in big bands and jazz ensembles, such as the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO).

She grew up playing trombone in her local music service in Northampton, performing in orchestras and wind bands - opportunities that she is very thankful for as she sees her wonderful local music service as having been crucial to her development all-round as a musician today.  In turn, Cat feels very rewarded being able to support the next generation of young musicians.

Some notable musical highlights for Cat include a recent UK Tour, performing the music of Ray Charles with Strictly Come Dancing singer, Tommy Blaize and NYJO, a sold-out show with Lisa Simone (Nina Simone’s daughter), at Cadogan Hall, and in early 2024, a sold-out show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. 

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Eleanor Bartlett

Eleanor graduated with a first class music degree from the University of Durham before continuing her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she completed a Masters degree in music performance.

She then undertook her Colourstrings training with Geza Szilvay and David Vinden, and has also studied with early years music specialist Nikhil Dally.

She has been teaching in the Kindergarten department at NLC since 2011, where she enjoys reconnecting with her inner child. She has also taught in the violin department where she still occasionally covers lessons.  You might also see her occasionally in the musicianship department, Saturday Flying School, coaching orchestras and chamber groups and compering at concerts.

When she’s not teaching she enjoys a diverse career as freelance violinist, guesting with various orchestras and ensembles around London and further afield.  If she had any spare time, she’d enjoy spending it doing yoga and baking. 

Eva Babjak-Garai smiling at the camera with her violin in black and white

Éva Babják-Garai

Éva started playing the violin in Beregszász, Ukraine when she was six years old. It soon became clear that she wanted to be a musician and she continued her studies first in Békéscsaba, then at the Béla Bartók Faculty of Arts of the University of Szeged, Hungary,under the wings of Dr. Márta Gévayné Janurik and Ferenc Szecsődi.  She firstly qualified as a violin teacher and two years later obtained her Master's Degree as a violinist.    She participated in various master classes (Kapás, Perényi and Denisova).

During her university years, she began teaching and was also a member of several orchestras.   She currently lives in London with her husband, little daughter and 4 year old son.  She is  an avid visitor to London's classical concerts and she says that one of the most defining moments of her life was seeing and hearing Maxim Vengerov play, live.  Éva joined the NLC in September 2022.

Hannah Blumsohn smiling at the camera with her oboe

Hannah Blumsohn

Hannah Blumsohn grew up in Sheffield and studied modern and Baroque oboe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

She plays with various ensembles around the UK, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Touring Opera, Florilegium and the London Film Music Orchestra. In 2022 she went on tour to Bolivia playing Baroque music alongside Bolivian musicians. Her Baroque chamber group, Bellot Ensemble, is a Brighton Early Music-featured Young Artists Ensemble for 2023-2024.

Hannah joined The North London Conservatoire in 2019 and has worked in both the Kindergarten and Musicianship Departments. She also teaches oboe, music theory and Kodály musicianship / kindergarten in other schools and privately. She has worked as a mentor for the National Children's' Orchestra and has run workshops for the British Double Reed Society. She is currently a musician for the Wigmore Hall “Chamber Tots” concerts.

In her spare time, Hannah enjoys tap dancing and knitting (her NLC classes get to see her knitted animals, which match the Colourstrings songs!)

Holly Watson smiling

Holly Watson

Holly started learning the piano aged five when her grandmother noticed how she was always drawn to the instrument when she visited, so she began to teach her.  Although music continued to be an important part of her life, she chose to work for many years in the television and film industry and during this time, she lived and worked in Budapest, Hungary for three years where she first encountered Kodály’s work in music education.  However, it was back in London and through her children that she discovered Colourstrings, she immediately loved this approach and wished she had been taught this way.

She trained as a Colourstrings Kindergarten teacher and has worked at NLC since 2017.   As she loves all areas of the arts, she feels lucky to live in London and tries to access the capital’s culture as much as she can.  She also enjoys London’s varied restaurants, eating out with her family is perhaps where she is happiest!  She still plays (as does her daughter) on the same piano her grandmother taught her on all those years ago. 

Ina Winjahr smiling at the camera

Ina Surikova Winjahr

Ina’s love of music started very early on in life through hearing the rich offerings of folk culture in the former Soviet Union in a daily TV/radio broadcast. She would listen to the simple rise and fall of the melodies, sang them back and savoured the intervals and movements without knowing what they meant; her curiosity was so inspired that she used to get lost in her imagination and make up stories to herself about who might have composed the tunes, what it looked like in their  own land where they sang them and what the singers felt when they sang the melodies.

At the age of seven, Ina auditioned with one of her favourite songs to be admitted to study piano and all the supporting subjects; twelve years later, she graduated with a Diploma in Piano (tuition, performance, accompaniment). She taught and accompanied in Almaty, Kazakhstan and in Bonn, Germany, then settled in London in 1995, which has been her home ever since. While on maternity leave, she took up undergraduate studies in Humanities with Music at the Open University and was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours. She joined The North London Conservatoire in 2009 and has enjoyed working there since, in a variety of capacities.

In her spare time, Ina loves spending time with friends and family, potters around at home with her comprehensive plant collection and keeps on learning new things about music and life in general.

Katalin Kahno smiling outdoors

Katalin Kahno

Katalin started learning piano at the age of 7 in a specialist music school for children in former Soviet Union, in the city of Uzsgorod, Republic of Ukraine.  Her love for piano came about in the nursery where her mother was a manager and Katalin heard accompanists playing for the children.  She was mesmerised with the different music she heard on the piano asked her parents to let her learn to play it.

She graduated as a Piano teacher, Pianist (Performance) and Accompanist and has been teaching and accompanying ever since.

As Katalin is of Hungarian origin, she moved to Hungary in 1991, where she had her diploma accredited as equivalent to a degree from the Liszt Academy in Budapest.  This allowed her to continue teaching and accompanying widely in Hungary.

Katalin now lives and works in Muswell Hill.  She enjoys meeting friends, taking long nature walks and visiting arts performances that London is so rich with.  She joined The North London Conservatoire as a Kindergarten assistant teacher in 2019 and as a piano teacher in 2022.

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Kathy Chan

Kathy Chan was born in Hong Kong with two older sisters, moving to England at fifteen. Unlike her studious siblings, she favoured all things creative over studying, much to her parents' dismay! Her passions have always been art and music, which saw her either spending hours doodling at her desk or attending choir rehearsals and competitions. She played piano from age six and took up drums and percussion a few years later, just so she could play in an orchestra!

Kathy chose Architecture for study at university but adamantly kept music a constant part of her life. She eventually discovered Colourstrings at the NLC with her first child – this approach completely opened her eyes to early years quality music education. Her fascination grew into deciding to train as a Colourstrings Music Kindergarten teacher, which she feels privileged to have obtained certification for with Distinction.

Kathy has been a lead teacher at the Conservatoire since 2019. She still works as a freelance Architect in between teaching times and in her rare free moments, continues to take on keenly any creative challenge that comes her way! She plays the piano and loves walking her Norfolk Terrier Rolo while catching up with friends.


Nikoletta Duszka

Nikoletta’s Hungarian heritage was always a strong part of her childhood.  Piano and guitar study led her to the Liszt Academy in Budapest but an interest in flamenco, gypsy and Hungarian folk music, singing and dancing brought her to Granada, Spain where she worked in an orphanage in order to experience the spirit of flamenco in everyday life.

On returning home, she took various jobs, then travelled to India for a few months to learn sitar and kathak dance, followed by studying Sanskrit at a Buddhist college in Budapest.

Niki moved to London in 2011, joining The North London Conservatoire Kindergarten and Guitar teams in 2013 and 2016. Courses such as the Kodály Seminar in Kecskemét and Kokas and Ringató Pedagogy in Budapest have kept her busy.  Recently, she enrolled at Middlesex University for a Music BA and still intends following many other plans, including studying music therapy.

Niki loves the visual arts - drawing, photography and creating plasticine figurines in miniature worlds. Ayurveda, yoga and a healthy lifestyle are also becoming more and more important in her life.

Stefani Trendafilova

Stefani Trendafilova is studying oboe, cor anglais and baroque oboe at Guildhall School of Music and Drama.   She has performed in many different projects at the Guildhall, such as opera, symphony orchestra, baroque orchestra, UBU ensemble for contemporary music, wind orchestra, composers’ workshops and more.  Meanwhile, she has also had professional performances outside the Guildhall as both a modern and baroque wind player with groups such as the Hastings Philharmonic, Vratsa Symphony (Bulgaria), Wokingam Choral Society and others.

One of Stefani's latest successes is winning First Prize in the cor anglais competition at the Guildhall.

In her free time, Stefani loves spending time with her family and dog surrounded by nature.

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