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Clarinet Teacher in Monmouth & Online - Leslie Craven Hons ARCM

Leslie Craven Hons ARCM Clarinet Teacher (Newport)

Leslie Craven Hons ARCM Gold Member

Contact Me
  • Professional Qualification ARCM hons
  • Professional Membership Royal Welsh College of Music School of Music Cardiff University (tutor in both) Royal Society of Musicians
  • References References are available upon request


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Personal Message
My teaching method is comprehensive yet friendly - all ages and standards. I have taught beginners through all stages and who are now several well known professionals who perform in major UK orchestras. (see my website for details).
Which subject(s) do you teach?
I teach the clarinet, Eb clarinet, bass clarinet, reed adjustment, clarinet maintenance and repair and conducting. I give advice on audition preparation and for performance and presentation with attention to nervousness and gaining confidence in performing
Tell me about your qualifications.
I have an ARCM Hons and have given master classes at the Royal College of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire, Trinity Laban plus I teach at the University of Cardiff and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I have also given master classes at the Academy for Performing Arts in Hong Kong and in music departments of Universities in South America, Spain and South Africa.
As a conductor I won the Sir Adrian Boult Scholarship Prize at the Royal College of Music and also the Cape Performing arts prize for conducting during the Arts Festival there.
What kind of experience do you have?
I have been Principal clarinettist with major orchestras including the Philharmonia, RPO, LSO and the BBC Concert Orchestra. I am currently Principal of the Welsh National Opera Orchestra. I have several solo CDs released and that have been nominated for chamber music awards by BBC music magazine.
How much do you charge?
Charges for lessons start at £45 for one hour but I discount subsequent times proportionately, so an hour and a half would cost £60, 2 hours £75. Group lessons of one hour would cost £100 per 4 players (£25 each) I try to keep charges to a minimum.
Where do you teach?
I teach at home in Monmouth in my studio and at the major musical institutions in Cardiff mentioned above
When are you available?
I am available most days during the day and some weekends. Special clarinet weekends can be arranged for individuals or groups either residential or non residential.
Which ages and levels do you teach?
I teach all ages and levels from beginner to professional players.
Which qualifications do you prepare your students for?
I teach all grades from ABRSM and other recognised exam boards to University Masters degree performance and beyond.
Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
Not currently, but I had a CRB clearance when teaching at the Junior dept of RWCMD.
Describe your arrangements for online tutoring.
I teach via e-staccato and have super fast broadband for this facility.
Do you belong to any professional organisations?
Royal Society of Musicians
Where and with whom did you train?
As a clarinettist I studied with Christopher Ball at the Junior dept. of the Royal Academy of Music from age ten (I played by invitation with the London Philharmonic Orchestra aged eleven) I had three master classes with Nadia Boulanger during my main studies at the Royal College of Music where Sidney Fell was my teacher. I also had master classes with Jack Brymer and Bernard Walton. In conducting I studied with Harvey Phillips, Brian Balkwill and Vernon Handley.
Tell me about some of your current students.
I have taught several top professionals - without disclosing names many for the UK's leading young professionals have been my students.
Do you have a personal message for students?
It is more important to enjoy playing and learning about the instrument and the repertoire and all things to do with playing than simply passing exams.
An exam is simply a snapshot of where your playing level is at a certain time and if one is not on form during that time it can give a poor impression of the individual hence I prefer to teach in a more organic way to encompass all disciplines - scales studies, new techniques and performance presentation.
One can only truly enjoy playing if the correct techniques have been taught from the beginning and in my experience this is sadly lacking in the UK. This is caused by financial constraints in schools and the insistence that teachers give lessons in multiple instruments some of which are not their first or even second study subjects.
Due to this, I decided to wrote a book about clarinet teaching and playing, which is recommended reading on the ABRSM diploma course reading list - it is called "Instant Help For Playing and Teaching The Clarinet".
Many of my former students keep in touch with me and I stress that learning a musical instrument is a life time study - we learn every day, even in the latter end of one's musical journey. I urge all students to keep up with advancements in technology and advancements in the development in the Clarinet - I have done this and it enables me to pass on valuable resources to many students. Above all enjoy playing.