Principal : Iveta Hlavenkova
Iveta Hlavenkova, violin teacher and Principal of Leeds Violin School
Violin teacher Iveta Hlavenkova learnt to play the violin under some of the most illustrious violin teachers in her homeland of the Czech Republic. These included Petr Mechura who was Iveta's violin teacher during her formative years at Pisek's School of Music, and Jan Drha from the renowned Conservatory at Ceske Budejovice. In addition, Iveta attended the Annual International Courses for Young Musicians between 1990-2003, where her violin teachers were Associate Professor Jindřich Pazdera and Jan Drha.
Iveta Hlavenkova started her career as a violin teacher in the Czech Republic in 2002, combined with studying at Charles University in Prague where she was awarded an MA degree. There followed a period of touring as a performing violinist in the United States of America, before eventually arriving in the UK where she has been a violin teacher in Leeds since 2010. Iveta's philosophy on teaching the violin together with her skill, dedication and experience has ultimately led to her decision to establish the Leeds Violin School. More about Iveta Hlavenkova and her path towards the formation of the Leeds Violin School can be found on the About page.
The high standard of Iveta's music tuition in the Czech Republic, combined with her dedication and passion for the violin, led to her becoming runner-up in the prestigious South Bohemia Violin Competition in 1999, and culminated in winning the fiercely contested 2002 Chamber Music Competition held in Trebon and the 2003 Annual Strings Competition in Pisek.
Imogen Clarke, violin teacher
Imogen Clarke is an experienced violin teacher - as well as working for Leeds Violin School, she is an Approved teacher for the City of York Council and also works with Artforms in Leeds and Fulford Music Academy in York.
Underpinning Imogen's experience as a violin teacher is the course work she undertook for her postgraduate degree, for which she was awarded an MA in Music (Performance) at the University of York. This covered all aspects of instrumental teaching pedagogies, including planning lessons and the appropriate use of material, as well as teaching practice. In her undergraduate course - for which she was awarded a First Class Honours BA degree in Music - she studied community music which focused on music pedagogies and how they can be applied to school education. Her studies gave her experience of Kodaly music pedagogy theories, the principles of which Imogen uses in her instrumental teaching.
Although a native English speaker herself, Imogen has extensive experience of working with students whose first language is other than English. She is also experienced at working with students who have disabilities, encouraging all students to learn the violin to their full potential.
Imogen is an excellent all-round musician, being not only proficient in playing the violin, as evidenced by her University qualifications, but having also achieved ABRSM Grade 8 in viola (Distinction), recorder and music theory, together with Grade 5 in piano and singing. She is an enthusiastic ensemble performer and keen to encourage the pupils of Leeds Violin School to join either the Junior Violin Group or the Leeds Folk Fiddle Group, or one of the local classical orchestras if students prefer.
Blerina Brahimlari, violin teacher
Violin teacher Blerina Brahimlari started playing the violin at the age of 6 at the Professional Music School in Fier in Albania where she studied until she was 18 years old. At the age of 12 she moved to Tirana, the capital of Albania and won the violin competition of Academy of Arts in Tirana. Following graduation, Blerina continued to play violin with the Academy Orchestra of Tirana, giving concerts in Albania, Italy, Greece and Macedonia.
In 1997 Blerina achieved Violin diploma. She started her career as a violin teacher in Albania in 1998. Blerina then decided to move to Greece and taught violin for 15 years, teaching in public and private schools.
Blerina is a passionate teacher with excellent ability to connect, especially with children of any age, having two children of her own. She is very patient and encouraging. Her teaching methods are a combination of multiple approaches and she can lead her students up to professional levels in short period of time, if the right amount of practice is put in and students follow her leadership.
Blerina is an enthusiastic musician and loves teaching, either in groups or especially in one-to-one individual lessons where the best of each student's potential can be reached. Blerina is very thorough, sensitive and cares deeply about her students and their musical future. She makes sure each student will get the best of each lesson and will look forward to the next one! She enjoys teaching adults of all levels as well, especially adult beginners. She is able to explain the technical aspects of playing very easily so anyone can learn, no matter what age and with no previous experience with music.
Among other teaching methods, schools and approaches, Blerina is familiar with Suzuki, ABRSM and Trinity and can tailor the lessons according to your needs and preference. Blerina is also working in Leeds for Templenewsam Primary School as a violin teacher and co-leading the school orchestra.