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Dear Music Teachers,


My name is Kelsey Leahy and I teach private oboe lessons through the Lawson Academy at Converse College. I graduated from Converse in 2015 with a BA in Music after studying with Dr. Kelly Vaneman for 10 years. I began my studies with her while I was a student at Wofford College, graduating in 2010 with a BA in Sociology.


I know teaching oboe in a class setting is difficult, if not impossible, so I am here to help! I have been teaching private lessons through the Lawson Academy since 2014, and I have been making my own reeds since 2012, using Converse’s equipment since the cost to do so myself was prohibitive. I received a community grant through the Chapman Cultural Center to purchase the remaining reed making supplies I need to be an independent oboist, and part of my grant proposal was finding students interested in learning the instrument and providing lessons and reeds for them.


I have been playing oboe since 2002, when the band director at my high school asked if I would switch over from flute as I began my high school career. I responded excitedly, “Sure! What’s an oboe?” and I am grateful to have fallen into the oboe world. I had been taking flute lessons from a jazz saxophonist who tried for a few weeks to teach me oboe, but it is not an instrument that can be taught easily by other instrumentalists. I would not be where I am today without my private oboe instructors, especially because they provided me with hand made reeds to play. For the last four years I have been freelancing with churches, schools, and local musicians who want to add something different to their sound. I have also been honing my improvisational skills over the last four years, and my aim is to play with as many genres and musicians that will have me.


Middle school is a good time for students to start on oboe, but there has been success at Lawson with fifth graders who are very interested in the instrument. If you have any interested students please reach out to me or to the Lawson Academy directly through Janae O’Shields at 864.596.9022 or




Kelsey Leahy

Wofford College 2010

Converse College 2015


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