Lissa Cowie


Instruments: Strings, Cello

Age: Primary, Intermediate, Secondary, Adult



Teaching locations

NCMA, Home in Central Nelson, Local Schools

About Lissa Cowie

Born in Scotland, Lissa emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 12. She studied cello at Auckland University with postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Orchestral experience includes: the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, National Symphony Orchestra of Scotland and Scottish Festival Orchestra. She is a founder member of the Elgin Piano Trio who performed the Beethoven Triple concerto in 2002 and were trio in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. Lissa’s string quartets gave concerts in Scotland, the Isle of Mann, Belgium and England, including at Clarence House, St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St John’s Smith Square. She has taught cello and chamber music for 25 years in NZ and the UK, including at the Junior Department of the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and at many schools including Jordanhill School, Lady Eleanor Holles, Kings College School, Wimbledon and St Kentigern College, Auckland.

Lissa now enjoys being part of the Top of the South’s vibrant music scene including teaching and playing with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, Goya Ensemble, Grampians Trio and Blenheim pianist Marsha Stringer.

Skills and expertise

Lissa is an enthusiastic teacher who is keen to pass on her love of the instrument and its music to her students. Her intention is for her students to experience how rewarding and enjoyable making music is, by encouraging them to practice and to join the music groups on offer through NCMA. Lissa has a particular focus on school age students. Students wishing to sit music exams will work on the ABRSM syllabus. This complements the NCEA music performance requirements.

The lessons are one on one and are therefore tailored to each student, using a variety of techniques and methods which best suit the temperament and age of the student.

What's on offer


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