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East Boldon Strings

We are incredibly lucky to work with two highly experienced music tutors to deliver music tution of the violin and cello.

The programme runs for ten weeks ach term and involves small group tution in school, as well as an after school club ensemble allowing the children to play together.


Helen Critten (Violin) is project leader of the Foundation Strings Programme at Sage Gateshead.  She teachers in several schools in the region, from beginners through to the Sage’s Centre for Advanced Training.  She trained at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music in London.  Her teachers included Sam Bor, leader of the Scottish National Orchestra and Howard Davis, leader of the Alberni String Quartet.  As a performer, Helen enjoyed posts as sub-principal second violin with Scottish Ballet and as a 1st violinist with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Ele Leckie (Cello) graduated from the Royal College of Music before completing her PGCE at Durham University.  She spent several years in New Zealand, both teaching and performing with the Wellington Sinfonia.  On moving back to the North East, she took up the post of lower strings tutor for Newcastle and Sunderland Music Services.  She currently combines a busy performing career with her teaching at Durham School;  Hawthorne In Harmony project and Sage Gateshead’s Foundation Strings Programme.

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