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The viola is slightly larger than the violin, and its strings are tuned to a perfect fifth lower than a violin. Violas provide the deeper richness of the cello with the agility of a violin but historically it has often been overlooked as an option for learning as a first study instrument, meaning viola players often find themselves highly in demand for orchestras and other groups!

We offer exceptional viola tuition from experienced teachers fully trained in the Colourstrings-Kodály approach. Our teachers provide high quality instruction to students of all ages and abilities, helping to develop musical skills and a passion for music in a fun and creative way. Find out more about our viola teachers below.

Seila Tammisola smiling with her violin

Seila Tammisola

Head of Violin/Viola

Seila Tammisola started playing the violin at the age of 3 in East Helsinki Music Institute with Géza Szilvay, the originator of the Colourstrings Method. In this way, Seila gathered first-hand experience of the method, playing in the teacher training courses around Europe and later leading The Helsinki Strings, Géza’s internationally famous youth orchestra. (You can also hear Seila’s voice as a child on the Finnish versions of TA and TI TI-recordings!)

Seila studied violin at The Junior Sibelius Academy from 1992 and ‘only’ 17 years later graduated with a BMus from there in 2009 with the highest possible marks.  She came to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Dram and graduated with an MPerf in 2009, having studied violin with Prof Krzysztof Smietana and classical improvisation with Dr David Dolan.

Seila loves chamber music and has performed in the biggest festivals in Finland (Kuhmo,Savonlinna and Turku) as well as touring around Europe and Japan. She spent an unforgettable year studying in a historical castle of Edsberg’s Chamber Music Institute, Stockholm and later on the master classes of European Chamber Music Academy with distinguished professors including Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet), Rainer Küssmaul and members of the Juilliard Quartet. With her prize-winning string quartet Seila has made the premiere recordings of Melartin String Quartets No.2 & 4, Ralf Gothoni’s arr. of Hugo Wolf’s Italianisces Liederbuch as well as a Finnish National Radio YLE broadcast of Bartok’s 2nd String Quartet.

As an orchestral player Seila has freelanced with The Helsinki Philharmonic and Tapiola Sinfonietta in Finland, lead the 2nd violin sections of festival orchestras in Encuentro de Santander and Kioto International and is performing with many freelance orchestras in London.  In 2012 she worked with Southbank Sinfonia, leading the orchestra at the Cheltenham Festival, and played as a soloist and in chamber music together with young artists from The Royal Opera House.

Seila also likes improvising and anything unconventional.  Her latest project took her on stage at The National Theatre and The Duchess Theatre, playing Alan Bennett’s Hymn.  Currently, Seila is studying the Laban Method for dancers and wants to learn more about the ancient tradition of storytelling.

Seila has been teaching at the North London Colourstrings Centre and Conservatoire since 2010.

Ana Popescu-Deutsch playing her instrument, smiling at the camera in concert dress

Ana-Elisabeta Popescu-Deutsch

Ana Popescu Deutsch was born in Satu Mare- Romania, and started singing before she could talk properly.  Whilst on her way to a concert with a family friend aged 5 and a half, she was humming a tune in the car.  Little did she know that by the end of the evening, Ana would become the pupil of Olivia Papa, her first violin teacher and passenger in the front seat that night.

Olivia’s lessons were made up of a healthy balance between playing the violin and petting one of her numerous cats.

She furthered her studies at the George Enescu Music High School in Bucharest, and in 2002 met her future mentor Alecu Leseanu.  He regarded the human voice as the epitome of musicality which lined up with Ana’s childhood passion.

Whilst accumulating prizes at national and international competitions, Ana sang in two children choirs, recording 6 CDs with the “Bim Bam”.

In 2010, she became part of the European Union Youth Orchestra, touring both Europe and America and sharing music on stages such as the Konzerthaus, Berlin and New York’s Carnegie Hall alongside renowned musicians Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman to name a few.  Meeting people from all around Europe also inspired Ana to study abroad.

From 2011-2017 she got a place at the Royal Academy of Music completing both her undergraduate and master's degrees.  Her love of ensemble playing drew her to apply for the Southbank Sinfonia, receiving a one-year fellowship and making invaluable friendships on the way.

Sharing the wonderful gift of music has always been at the core of her being, and becoming part of the Colourstrings family has been one of the happiest moments of her career.  The passion and dedication of all the teaching staff have created a tight knit community, where each member inspires the other, growing simultaneously with their pupils.  Who could ask for more?

Anna Caban smiling at the camera against a white background

Anna Caban

Anna Caban was born in Poland, in a small town called Szczytno, surrounded by beautiful lakes and forests. She started violin at seven, fell in love with her instrument and hasn’t been able to stop playing since!  Musical explorations brought her first to Katowice in southern Poland, where she finished her Bachelor’s Degree at the Karol Szymanowski Academy and then even further, to London. There she finished a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Artistry at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Since 2014 she has been living in London, working as a freelance musician and teacher, including playing in orchestras and chamber groups like Aurora Orchestra, Opera North and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.  She loves exploring different musical genres, from classical to tango, folk and popular music. 

As much as performing, Anna loves teaching and sharing her passion for music. She has been a violin and viola teacher at The North London Conservatoire since 2017.  She also works for the Music Masters charity and regularly as a tutor for The National Children’s Orchestra.  

In her free time, Anna loves to read, watch movies, cook, hike, explore London’s rivers and canals in her inflatable kayak, practise yoga and climb rocks!

Coby Mendez-Juarez holding his instrument, smiling at the camera outdoors

Coby Mendez-Juarez

Coby’s passion for music started before he was born! His parents were both professional Mexican folk dancers and his father was an expert traditional Mexican folk musician. There is still a whole roomful of the various native instruments at home in Mexico, most of them strings.

Coby fell in love with the sound of the viola when he first heard it during a string quartet rehearsal. He considers himself extremely lucky that his former viola teacher, Gellya Dubrova, settled in his hometown of Morelia, where she spent ten years successfully reconstructing Coby’s technique.

Coby says he loves the rain, cold, grey skies, walking through woods with rivers and running. Above all else, though, taking part in live music and dance of any kind, especially side by side with his pupils or children playing, is what he loves! 

Gosia Kuznicki holding her instrument smiling at the camera in concert dress, black and white

Gosia Kuznicki

Violin Teaching & Concert Management, Orchestra Tours, and External Events

Gosia Kuznicki was born in the UK to Polish parents and has travelled all around the world as an educator in search of the best Kodály methodology specialists and Colourstrings practice to expand her as a musician and teacher.  She is a Violin, Viola and Kodály musicianship teacher as well as a chamber music and orchestral coach at the North London Conservatoire.

Having specialised in the Kodály method, she has taught at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and is involved in other organisations that aim to help musicians, some alongside Viktoria Grigorieva and striving to bring music to as many young people as possible.  This includes being invited to teach on the Jersey International Masterclasses and Pro Corda Chamber Music courses.

Gosia is a leader of several chamber groups and symphony orchestras in London.  She has played and broadcast in the UK and has recorded for several artists, including a CD ‘Celebrating Jon Lord: Live at the Royal Albert Hall’.

In her spare time she has learnt how to surf on the waves of Saunton Sands in North Devon with her partner Craig Jarvis, who also teaches at the North London Conservatoire.  As an avid fan of Kundalini yoga, she frequently attends yoga retreats in sunnier plains!

Jacky Woods smiling at the camera holding her instrument

Jacky Woods

Advanced only

After studying with Sheila Nelson and at the RNCM, Jacky played professionally with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne Touring Opera among others.  She has also worked with many chamber ensembles and was a member of the Adderbury ensemble and Ceruti string trio.

Her love for teaching has gradually taken over, and she now combines teaching at the Purcell school, Junior and Primary Academy, Eton college and colourstrings with a private teaching practice and running courses.  She has taught on many courses including the National Childrens Orchestra, Summer Strings, Pro Corda, National Symphony Orchestra and Cadenza.  She is the founder and artistic director of the Arpeggione viola courses, Parkview chamber and Beares chamber.

Jacky is an Esta council member and an artist in her spare time.

Janos Gazsi in a bow-tie smiling at the camera at a formal event

Janos Gazsi

Janos Gazsi was born in Budapest in Hungary, where he started his violin career at the very tender age of four. He attended the Bela Bartok Conservatoire and at the age of 14 won the Hungarian Koncz Janos Violin Competition. He then went on to study as a violinist at the Hungarian Franz Liszt (Liszt Ferenc) University of Music.

Janos has been teaching for 12 years in The North London Conservatoire and he continues to perform with a jazz trio in various locations for events and festivals.

He has been married for thirteen years and has two children (ages 12 and 6). He enjoys spending time and travelling with his family.

In Janos’ spare time he collects string instruments and he has attended various instrument exhibitions all around the world. Janos also enjoys attending classical music concerts: his favourite violinist is Maxim Vengerov.

Janos enjoys seeking new talent and passing on his love and knowledge of music to his students.


Julia Randall

Viola Teacher, Concert Management, Orchestra Tours, External Events, Alumni Associations

Julia was born in Canada and first started playing violin at age five as part of a musical family. Both her father and grandfather come from strong Hungarian traditions of violin playing going back to Jenö Hubay.  At the age of just sixteen, she was accepted into the professional performance diploma programme at the renowned Music University of Vienna, where she graduated in 2007.

Extensive solo and orchestra performances throughout Germany, Austria, Italy, China, Japan, Canada and many other countries, as well as solo electric violin tours, have provided her with a wealth of experience as a versatile soloist and chamber musician.  Having also studied with György Pauk (Royal Academy of Music), Gyula Stuller (Haute Ecole de Musique, Lausanne) and Marina Sorokova has given her a broad technical and musical background.

In 2012, she also completed a MA in Music Industry Management in London to complement her previous music studies, having discovered a strong interest in the managerial aspect of music - events management in particular.  However, throughout her studies and performances she has always loved teaching and this has become her main focus.  She has taught at the North London Conservatoire since 2013.  She continues to enjoy performing both with her acoustic and electric violin in concerts, and always tries to find some time for designing and sewing clothes, reading and exploring the South Downs.

Madlena Georgieva holding her instrument, smiling at the camera indoors

Madlena Georgieva

Madlena's passion for music began as a child in Bulgaria, where her mother (folk singer and conductor) introduced her to the enchanting rhythms of Bulgarian songs. She often took her to music festivals and by four, she was learning the violin, captivated by its deep tones and her teacher's curly hair!

Her home was always filled with diverse music – from choral and classical to blues and swing. She especially loved emotional pieces with powerful build-ups, like Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky violin concertos and would dream of playing them on stage. Her older sister's violin skills inspired her to practise harder, but her preference was playing in ensembles and orchestras. The magic of music for her was sharing feelings and moods with other children, without words. (This very phenomenon recently inspired her to obtain a second Master’s degree, in Philosophy.)

Her dedication to music led to a Master’s in Violin Performance and Teaching from Sofia's National Music Academy. Most recently, she has collaborated with well-known orchestras like the Hastings Philharmonic, London Arts Orchestra and Phaedra Ensemble (to name a few) and explored collaborations with other art forms, drawing inspiration from the visual arts.

Beyond music, she cherishes theatre, reads philosophy, loves picnics, enjoys comedy nights and practises yoga. She is always excited about travelling and discovering new cultures and types of cuisine. Music is her heart's language and through it, she continues to explore and express the colourful tapestry of life.

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