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Nerdy Cat

A Hixon entrepreneur has launched three books which make music tuition fun for children, through colour-coded chords for piano and cartoon characters Super Duck and Nerdy Cat.

Through her company EVC Music Publications (, Elena Cobb has created the Higgledy Piggledy Jazz series with the help of her sister, illustrator Nathalie Chabelnik-Wood, to help youngsters play the classical guitar, alto sax and piano.

A classically-trained pianist, Elena has written ten pieces with titles like I Ate All The Choc’late, Blues for Little People, You Tell Me Why I Wait For Christmas? and Nerdy Cat’s Twist, with colourful illustrations to explain what each song is about.

The alto saxophone book has been edited by Sophie Freeman, a jazz musician who has supported the likes of Gerry and the Pacemakers, Blondie and the Scissor Sisters, while the classical guitar version has been edited by experts Philip Castledine, James Rippingale and Selina Copley.

She said: “This is a unique method of learning to play an instrument, because it allows children to learn at their own pace and without labouring.

“I want to make practice fun and interactive. The alto sax and piano books also come with their own CD, which means the children can practice themselves.

“This also makes music tuition much more affordable.

“I’ve seen some amazing responses from children when they play the tunes and some very happy parents who see how much fun they are having.”

Originally from Russia, Elena was classically trained as a pianist from the age of six. Earlier in her career, she taught piano to pre-selected children at a specialist music school in Latvia, and played professionally with her sister Nathalie after moving to the UK with her English husband Mark in 1996.

Her books are already available in 12 countries including Japan, Canada, USA and the Netherlands, and via retailers like WHSmith, Waterstones and Amazon.

She is currently working on a second edition of the piano book, and a series of stories featuring Nerdy Cat and Super Duck, called Higgledy Piggledy Tales.

Media enquiries should be directed to Richard Swancott Associates on 01782 472035 or


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