Naheed was born in London and studied at the Purcell School, the University of Sussex and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
After leaving the Guildhall she worked for the London Sinfonietta Education Department for two years before moving to Glasgow to set up the award-winning Education Programme for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in 1993.
In 1997 Naheed became a freelance music practitioner and workshop leader, and her career now combines teaching music to children and offering professional development support to teachers and musicians. Since then, she has devised and led projects for many arts organisations including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as for local education authorities across Scotland. She has also been invited to deliver education work in both a practical and advisory capacity in Ireland, Norway, Croatia and, most recently, in India.
Since 2000 Naheed has specialised in working with young children (from 6 months to 6 years), and in 2003 she was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to study the music education systems in Hungary and Finland. She runs her own Colourstrings Music School in Glasgow and works regularly in both nursery and primary schools teaching music – combining the use of Kodály, Colourstrings and Dalcroze teaching principles.
Naheed spends her working life singing and playing the bassoon, saxophone and whistle. She is married to the musician and composer Andrew Cruickshank and they have two children.