Catherine Head Shot

Catherine is known for her deeply intuitive approach to her education and community work which is well-grounded in research and over twenty years of practical experience.

With a BA (hons) in Music & an MA with distinction in Community Music (including modules on education, teaching and learning) Catherine has a diverse and adaptive skill set which enables her to tailor tuition to her pupils needs and bring out the best in them.

Thank you so much for today’s lesson and the notes.  You explain it so clearly and it’s appreciated hugely as I’m able to follow too!  With love and enormous thanks for everything.  –  Charlotte Barber


Catherine is an accomplished and sensitive accompanist and ensemble performer particularly enjoying working with higher level students and collaborating with other professional musicians.

Catherine is such an encouraging and inspiring teacher –  Bev

With Catherine Shackell, York, UK.

Masterclass areas of focus can include:

– Expression – Interpretation – Phrasing – Articulation – Ensemble Skills – Performance – Listening – Musicality – Tone Quality – Character – Historically Informed Performance Practices – Incorporating Influences from other Cultures & Traditions –

(Left) Duo Sonita: Catherine Holbrook & Jessica Quinones – an exciting international contemporary performance collaboration.

Choice is very important for a musician in finding their own personal interpretation of the music they are playing.  In order to have that choice you have to know what your options are.  I work with all kinds of instrumentalists helping them develop their musical pallette and expressive capacity.  I help people to find the joy and delight in detailed practice that brings a freedom, flexibility and confidence in performance while honouring and supporting each individual in finding their unique musical voice.


Drawing on her experience as a bassoonist, conductor, orchestrator and accompanist Catherine works with a wide range of instrumentalists in a variety of combinations.

She has a wonderful musical sensitivity which combined with the depth of her understanding of expression and interpretation and her attention to detail which really brings music to life for the groups that she works with.






Catherine is Artistic Director of the All Seasons Orchestra, a vibrant and friendly open-access orchestra for music lovers in York and beyond.  The orchestra exists to provide musical opportunities and experiences for players of all instruments and abilities.

There are no entry requirements and no auditions.  ASO plays a variety of music from across the orchestral repertoire, some easy pieces and some that are satisfyingly challenging so there’s something for everyone – beginners and experienced players alike.

Click here to find out more & join in

Catherine is a professional member of the Incorporate Society of Musicians, who supply her Public Liability Insurance, process her DBS checks, and provide continuing professional development training opportunities and support.  You can find out more about Catherine’s background and training in Music on the bio page.

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