Centre of Excellence for Violin Teaching

Principal : Iveta Hlavenkova


TESTIMONIALS from Adult Students

Testimonial from Julie Zhu, an adult student whom Iveta Hlavenkova has been teaching for 3 years. Julie started learning the violin as a complete beginner and has achieved a Distinction at each grade, including Grade 5 recently.

"I'm really grateful having you as my teacher. You are a wonderful teacher and I enjoy the lessons very much!  Thank you for everything over the years."

Member of the Leeds Folk Fiddle Group

Imogen can adapt quite easily to the level of her students and to their personality and the way they need to learn. She is clear when she explains about the theory of music, and answers nicely and clearly all the questions I have. 


Jenny Briard, adult learner

I started learning the violin from scratch as an adult in September 2014 with Leeds Violin School. I recently decided to join Leeds Folk Fiddle Group, encouraged by my teacher Iveta, although I just reached ABRSM Grade 1 in summer 2015. Leeds Folk Fiddle Group opened new personal and musical dimensions to me. 


Julia Vincent, adult beginner, reached distinction at Grade 1

Testimonial from Aditya Sivanand, an adult learner who has passed ABRSM Grade 4 violin.

Testimonial from adult student Mike Garner, who has been having violin lessons with Iveta Hlavenkova since 2011.

"When I retired at the age of 64, one of my ambitions was to learn how to play the violin. I was not able to read music at the time.  I enrolled with Iveta for lessons and she was marvellous!  Gradually and skilfully she taught me how to read music and how to practise reading music. Every lesson was full of pointers on how to become a better player.  

Mike Garner, adult student at Leeds Violin School since 2011

"After learning Indian classical violin for 13 years in the past, I wanted to learn western classical violin, which was a totally new field for me. After starting in January 2014, I would say that it has been a brilliant journey with Imogen. She is really good at teaching violin, mainly the techniques that she uses. The best part about learning with Imogen is that she makes you practise until you are perfect with particular pieces or scales. Imogen always starts with the simplest piece and gradually increases the difficulty which I personally found helpful as you get to see two sides of the same coin.

Later, after a few months I was entered for my grade 3 exam, which I passed with a distinction. The coaching that I got prior to the exam was really good. Every lesson was utilised accurately. This shows the high level of teaching standard. Having played in a few concerts at the Leeds Violin School, I have gained a lot of confidence in playing before a large group of audiences. I would personally recommend Leeds Violin School for other students without any doubt!"


Iveta entered me for grade exams and thanks to her patient preparation I have managed to pass grade 1,2 and 3 all at distinction level, something I would never have dreamed of being able to do. Currently I am concentrating on Irish Fiddle music. This genre interests me a lot and has been opened up for me by Iveta’s patient teaching and joining the Leeds Folk Fiddle Group which Iveta runs.  I know for certain that without my lessons I would not have progressed so quickly. Marvellous patient teacher and lovely person."

Testimonial from adult student Agnes Henson, who came to Iveta Hlavenkova for advanced violin lessons after passing Grade 8 with Distinction. Iveta has been teaching Agnes since 2013.

"Iveta is a passionate violinist and teacher who has dedicatedly supported me in improving my technique, but never at the expense of finding true psychological contact with the music. Her approach of developing confidence and experimenting with new styles allows skills to develop as a by-product of exploration, rather than strict start- and end- point learning regimes. I have been incredibly lucky to learn under her and hope to develop under her guidance for many more years to come."

Grade 8 violin student at Leeds Violin School
Testimonial from adult student and two children recommending Leeds Violin School

Testimonial from adult student Katy Manns, who was a complete beginner when Iveta started teaching her about 4 years ago.  Iveta also teaches both Katy's daughters, aged 14 and 9 years old.  All family members have played at many of the concerts organised by Iveta, and the younger daughter is a member of the Junior Violin Group.

"Our family can vouch for Iveta's talent for helping learners of all ages to enjoy progressing from squeaky beginnings to being able to play, perform and achieve exam success. She is an imaginative and committed teacher who is genuinely interested in you as a person and takes care to meet your individual needs.

As an adult taking up the violin I've really appreciated her guidance and support to progress well beyond the level I expected to reach.  Over the years she has carefully balanced being firm and flexible to help my busy teenager to stick with it and she's been great at motivating my youngest daughter to love music. She says she really likes Iveta's lessons because she's kind and she doesn't make it boring, she makes it fun! "

Testimonial from adult student Dr Katharyn Hall, who was recently awarded 147 out of a possible 150 in her recent ABRSM examination, one of the highest marks ever achieved.

"I started learning the violin with Iveta in June this year and can honestly say that out of all the music teachers I have ever had (I learnt the cello and recorder as a child) that Iveta has been my favourite teacher! Iveta is always enthusiastic during my lessons and encourages my learning at a pace that feels comfortable for me – as a result, I always look forward to lessons and feel that I am making progress!

Adult student at Leeds Violin School who received a Distinction in her ABRSM exam

Iveta chooses pieces and exercises to suit my interests (mainly folk music!) and she is able to explain musical theory and technique in a way that is easy to understand and to practice. I would recommend Iveta to other students without hesitation!"


Testimonial from Jill, an adult student since 2013.

"When I started lessons with Iveta I hadn’t had lessons or played in a group for some years.  I wasn’t very confident about my playing anymore.  Iveta has really helped me to make a new start with my violin.  She is professional and thorough but has a relaxed, friendly approach and I always enjoy my lessons.  She helps me identify and work towards the goals I want to achieve (I’m currently working towards an ABRSM Grade 6 exam).  

Iveta has also given me the opportunity to become a member of the Leeds Folk Fiddle Group which she leads.  The opportunity to practice and learn as part of a group and to take part in performances has been a very valuable way to develop my skills further.


I feel I have improved a great deal with Iveta’s support over the last year and feel very positive about my playing now."

Testimonial from 36 year old Tim who is working towards Grade 8 violin.

"I recently returned to studying the violin after a 16 year break during which the instrument rarely came out of its case. Spending most of my professional life in music, but not as a performer, I wanted to get back into playing the violin, which was the instrument that had gotten me into music in the first place.


The pieces and studies that I’ve been through with Iveta have been the right prescription to put me on the path I want to be on. Iveta pushes us to perform in public which is something I thought I’d never do again but has been great fun and something to work towards."