Born in the South West of England, Rachel Gabrysia Cooper started the violin aged 4. She went onto study Music at the University of Chichester where she gained First Class Honours in Violin Performance. After moving to London in 2012 Rachel took up her Masters degree in Music Performance Science at the Royal College of Music graduating in 2014 with a Distinction. It was during her Masters that Rachel’s interest in Music Education Research grew, writing her thesis on the importance of informative music education for young people, in which she used her own residential summer music course as her case study.
Since graduating from her Masters at the Royal College of Music, Rachel has built up a varied portfolio of teaching, performing, research and outreach projects. Rachel is a trained Suzuki Violin teacher working as a Violin/Viola and Chamber Music Coach at Guildhall School of Music and Drama Junior Department, Violin teacher for London Music Masters, Head of Strings at a large free school in Berkshire, and a Violin Coach/lecturer for Nicola Benedetti’s new education initiative: The Benedetti Sessions. Many of Rachel’s students go onto study at Junior Music Colleges in London. Rachel is also a Lecturer and Mentor on a PGCEi course which provides instruction to violinists in group instrumental teaching in association with London Music Masters and Birmingham University. In September 2020, Rachel joined the faculty at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, lecturing in Music in Education on their Undergraduate program.
Rachel is regularly invited to give masterclasses across Europe including Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Belgium. Rachel has played with a number of freelance ensembles and has recently done a recording for Decca Classics with the Benedetti Foundation. Each summer Rachel runs a string course called ‘Enigma’ down in Devon for 8–15 year olds. For more information on this course please go to the Enigma Summer School page.