Rhoda Coghill was born in Dublin. She began her musical studies as a pianist, studying with Patricia Read in the Leinster School of Music before continuing with Arthur Schnabel in Berlin. As a student she won many prizes in piano and composition at the Féis Ceol. She became the official accompanist in Radio Éireann in 1939 and remained in the post until 1969.
As a composer, she has written many songs. Her large-scale orchestral work, the rhapsody Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking (1923), was written when she was still a student and is one of the few significant orchestral works written by an Irish composer before World War II.