Born in 1982, Annabel grew up in North Aberdeenshire. In 1999, Annabel attended Douglas Academy Music School where she began her studies in composition and continued studies in piano and cello. Annabel was awarded an entrance scholarship to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2005 and later studying music leadership as a postgraduate.
Annabel felt drawn to working as a musician within the areas of community and education, gaining formative experiences through GSMD CONNECT, with projects including work in East London primary and secondary schools as a music workshop leader and as a composer within the Wigmore Hall's community and outreach department. To deepen her knowledge in working with people through music, Annabel continued her postgraduate studies on the music therapy masters course at Queen Margaret University.
From 2009, Annabel gained a range of professional experience as a music therapist, primarily working with children with communication difficulties and in the context of child and family centres and social work provision. Annabel has worked as a Big Noise musician, specialising in musicianship since 2014.