Lara won a scholarship to study with Gillian Thoday at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester
She then continued her studies with Professor David Strange and Philip Sheppard at the Royal Academy of Music. After spending some time working as a freelance cellist, her love for teaching young children gradually took over. In 1998 she was exposed to the wonderful pedagogy of Sheila Nelson which inspired her to work and train as an apprentice alongside Wendy Max, Cecily Mendelssohn and Philippa Bunting on the First String Experience programme, where she has dedicated herself to the teaching of children ever since. As well as her work at the Junior Academy, she leads the String Project at South Hampstead High School for Girls, directs the North London Chamber Music course, has given seminars for the European String Teachers’ Association, and runs a thriving private teaching practice.
Lara’s work with children on courses such as Stringwise, Frinton-on-Sea, and Music in Progress has fuelled her interest in holistic musical training, and she particularly enjoys working with children in the earliest stages of learning, setting them up physically and mentally as they grow, mature and flourish into young teenagers. Lara strives to tailor her teaching to specifically nurture and fit the needs of each individual pupil. She passes on the experience she has had working in masterclasses with Paul Watkins, Heinrich Schiff, Zara Nelsova, Ralph Kirshbaum, Raphael Wallfisch and Mats Lidstrom.
Many of her students have gone on to win places in the National Youth and National Children’s Orchestras, and to secure scholarships at junior and senior level at London conservatoires and prestigious schools.