In association with
Ms Isla Ratcliff

Musicians Union Logo
DipABRSM Teaching Diploma (Distinction)
BA Music (First Class)
DipABRSM Violin
Instruments: Scottish traditional fiddle
Classical violin
Genre/Style(s): Scottish traditional fiddle
Classical violin
Ability Levels: Beginners to Advanced


Who am I? Hello! I’m Isla Ratcliff, a 23-year-old Scottish traditional fiddle player, singer, composer, classical violinist, classical pianist, community music practitioner and instrumental teacher with a DipABRSM Teaching Diploma with Distinction (90% pass). I am currently in my second year of a 2-year Masters degree in Scottish traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland while working part-time teaching and gigging.

What do I teach? I teach Scottish traditional fiddle and classical violin.

Who do I teach? I teach individual lessons for children and adults of all abilities and experiences.

Where do I teach? Negotiable.

What do I charge? First lesson free. Then £25 for 30 mins; £30 for 45 mins; £35 for 1 hour. These prices reflect the fact that I hold a DipABRSM Teaching Diploma with Distinction and are in line with Musicians’ Union recommendations.

- Mother of 6-year-old after one lesson: ‘Isla was brilliant in my son’s first lesson. He was very responsive to the lesson and I was surprised as he usually gives up at the first hurdle when something requires patience, discipline and the idea that you need to practise, but he was very taken by Isla and felt really satisfied with himself after the lesson. Great job!’
- Mother of 8-year-old student after one lesson: ‘We always had to push our daughter to practise, but this week she has been asking me every day if she can please practise violin.’
- 11-year-old student after three lessons: ‘I just wanted to let you know that when I first started violin I hated it, but now I really enjoy it.’
- Mother of 10-year-old student after three lessons: ‘Just wanted to let you know that my daughter performed the first tune you taught her at a school showcase today. She is normally very shy and rarely performs but she got up on stage on her own and was really confident! I am so pleased she is enjoying learning the folk tunes with you.’
- 22-year-old student: ‘Brilliant teacher, very professional and a lovely person.’
- 36-year-old student: ‘Isla has successfully restored my ability to play, and has found a suitable method to myself. She is extremely patient, clear and makes you feel at your ease. I am more than glad to have chosen her as my teacher and I could not recommend her highly enough.’

What is my teaching methodology? I tailor each lesson to suit the needs of each individual student. My teaching method is influenced by my personal experience of learning through the Suzuki method, the research that I have conducted on the positive impact of music on our mental wellbeing, and the teaching methodologies that I learned for my DipABRSM Teaching Diploma. I value the importance of praise, fun and hard work. Music is an enjoyable activity!

What is my teaching experience?
I currently teach 4 students in Glasgow.
I achieved a DipABRSM Teaching Diploma with Distinction (90% pass) in July 2018.
I taught 20 private students in Edinburgh between November 2017 and August 2018. My students thoroughly enjoyed their lessons and improved quickly.
I was Assistant Teacher at Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin for 9-18 year olds in April 2016.
I was Volunteer Music Teacher at Tender Talents Magnet School in August-September 2014, a music school for vulnerable children in Kasangati, Uganda. I taught violin and music theory, led choir rehearsals, and founded and conducted Tender Talents Symphony Orchestra. In total, I taught 31 students aged 7-18. By the end of the month, my students were visibly happier and more confident, both in their musical abilities and in their personal lives.
I was Assistant Teacher at a Suzuki violin group class for 4-16 year olds in March-October 2012.

What are my qualifications? DipABRSM Teaching Diploma (Distinction), BA Music (First Class), DipABRSM Violin, Grade 8 Piano (Distinction), AMusTCL Theory and Composition, Grade 8 Theory (Merit), Advanced Higher Music (A), Higher Music (A), Intermediate 2 Music (A). I’m currently studying a 2-year Masters degree in Scottish traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Where did I receive my musical education? Suzuki violin and piano lessons aged 5-12, City of Edinburgh Music School violin and piano lessons aged 13-17, University of Oxford BA Music 2014-2017, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland MMus Scottish Music 2018-2020

What is my performance experience? I have performed at Celtic Connections, Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Sidmouth Folkweek and Festival Boult-aux-Bois et Cordes, and I have appeared on BBC Radio Scotland's 'Take The Floor' programme. I am a member of Stramash Cèilidh Band. I am an alumna of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra (2012, 2013, 2014). Aged 13, I performed a duet with Nicola Benedetti to 2,900 people in the Usher Hall.

What is my composition experience? I have composed many fiddle tunes, two short film scores, two theatrical scores and a 30-minute cultural-political musical-theatrical production, A Reawakened Monument of Antiquity (2019). I have written several songs, one of which was Winner in the Lyrics category and Runner-up in the Performance category of Amnesty International's Power of our Voices competition 2013.

I look forward to teaching you!

Contact Isla

Address: Central
Phone: Show Number
Fee (30 minutes): £25.00
Fee (60 minutes): £35.00

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