The Clarinet Summer School 2010 is moving to Penny
Lane- well opposite!
Friday 30th July - Monday 2nd August 2010
Despite waiting until the last minute for a positive outcome, it is
unfortunate that Liverpool Hope University are unable to host The
Clarinet Summer School in 2010 due to their major new developments and
refurbishments. We hope to be able to use their new facilities in the
We are delighted to announce a change of venue for 2010 to The
University of Liverpool’s Derby & Rathbone Halls of Residence, just
opposite Liverpool’s famous Penny Lane. This year we are able to offer
the cheapest course ever!
A refreshing approach is planned for the course and we look forward
to welcoming both new and past students to this beautiful area of
Liverpool for a fascinating way to improve your clarinet playing and
enjoyment of music.
A minimum standard of Grade 7 is advised and students should be able
to play some movements from the repertoire list (listed in the schedule)
for the course to a reasonable standard. As the purpose of the course is
to help you improve, the pieces need not be of performance standard, or,
we would be left with little to do for you!
proposed tutors on this year course include Andrew Roberts (course
Caroline Smith (accompanist), Wolfgang Lohff (instrument specialist)
Peter Glenville, who will conduct the clarinet ensemble.
Caroline Smith will be on hand with her experience as a voice coach,
who as well as being a very experienced accompanist, will help bring the
best out of your performance, working together to discover the vital
role communication plays in music.
Wolfgang Lohff has been an integral part of this course for many
years, and is recognised as one of the foremost wind instrument
specialists. He has worked as a consultant for Buffet and other
instrument manufacturers. He runs a highly successful woodwind repair
business in Denmark with his partner, Birgit Pfeiffer, supplying
instruments to many of the top professional players around the world.
Glenville was a student himself on The Clarinet Summer School in its
very first year. He is now teaching clarinet at Keele University and for
Derbyshire County Council. He returns to The Clarinet Summer School to
conduct the clarinet choir, for which an informal concert is being
planned - details will be announced shortly.
Sessions will cover the most important aspects of learning to play
the clarinet and will help you take your communication of music to a
higher level. Understanding how your instrument can work for you, or
against you, makes an enormous impact on your enjoyment and progress.
Download the draft advanced schedule Word
The Basics - often overlooked!
Do you have air escaping from your mouth when you play? Is your
tonguing too slow?
Many players find that they need some very specific help with their
embouchure and articulation, which will all be covered in the classes
and workshops. You will take away a lot of information to help you in
the future, so don’t forget to bring a notepad or recording device.
Reeds & Mouthpieces
During the course sessions you can find out which mouthpiece choice
is right for you, and most importantly how to balance your reed. To get
you started check out
This simple advice only needs practice before anyone can make the
most of any commercial reeds. It will save you money and you will
discover that sometimes it might not be your fault when things aren’t
The majority of clarinet players still don’t work on their reeds
successfully. You can get a real advantage in your playing by always
having a good reed!
Performance classes will take place in the Hall at the Derby &
Rathbone Halls, which is an excellent space in which to learn to project
your sound. You will have great advice on how achieve the sound you have
always wanted. You maybe surprised as to how that may sound like to you,
a bit like your voice on a recording. Learning from other people’s
perception of your sound is one of the best ways to work out what it is
that you need to do to achieve this, especially in a friendly and
Inspirational and fun advice on the subject of air speed, a subject
few will have come across, will amaze you at how little we really need
to work to produce sound.
Sessions on presentation and relaxed playing will aim to improve your
performance and reduce the nerves that so often affect our enjoyment and
There will be some time for chamber music, why not bring some of your
clarinet music along to try out?
Learning from other performances plays a vital role in our
development as musicians. In previous years, the CD listening session
became a firm favourite with everyone. A chance to hear the many voices
the clarinet and other instruments can have and to help develop your own
Learning to play in tune with others is a vital part of developing
musicianship which can often be overlooked. Advice from the tutors will
help to make you more aware and able to improve this important aspect of
Classes on avoiding injury prove invaluable as it is all too easy to
find it simply too uncomfortable to practise for any length of time,
limiting your progress.
Manufacturers still put the thumbrest too low on their instruments,
so perhaps take advantage of the onsite repair service and have your
instrument adjusted if needed?
Wolfgang Lohff is the best person to give you surprising and
important information on clarinets. He can check your clarinet on a
machine which can tell you how much energy you are wasting. You will be
amazed how much easier it is to play on a clarinet that is airtight.
Wolfgang will also have a range of customised instruments and other
accessories including mouthpieces for you to try and aspire to.
You can also visit The Clarinet Overhaul Service’s workshop so that
you can see just how much is possible with your own instrument.
Derby & Rathbone Halls are situated in the suburbs of south
Liverpool, in beautiful grounds, but close to shops and local transport.
It has easy access from the city centre John Lennon Airport and is 2
miles form the end of the M62 motorway.
is all en-suite rooms on a bed & breakfast basis, although catering
facilities may become available nearer to the course. Being situated
near to two lovely parks, Greenbank and Sefton, and with many
restaurants within a 5 minutes walk of the accommodation buildings,
there is plenty of choice in types and prices. This is one of the few
music courses to offer the luxury of single rooms with private
Greenbank Sports Academy is a 5 minute walk from the residential
block and next to the University’s own canteen. It has an outdoor eating
area and bar serving tea and coffee as well as a good value food. It
will be possible to book meals in advance and you can see their menu
from the link below.
A Tesco Express is just 5 minute walk from the Halls. A regular bus
route runs from the front of the Halls to the town centre and local
shopping district, so you can explore the exciting and vibrant city of
Liverpool, or just do some shopping in Liverpool One centre.
Having listened to the feedback on previous years there will be a
more relaxed timetable to enjoy the surroundings and absorb the things
you have discovered. Longer lunch and tea breaks will give you time to
perhaps sample the many restaurants in the area.
A list of other local restaurants is at the end of the schedule.
The Clarinet Summer School is open to your suggestions and requests
and we always try to meet reasonable request for assistance. If you
would like to see something included on the course do please let us
know. Some 1-2-1 time may be available but will be limited this year.
Ł280 Inclusive of all tuition - B&B accommodation in single
occupancy en suite rooms
Ł190 Non residential rate not inclusive of meals
Ł50 Daily course rate + Ł40 per night accommodation B&B (if
Please can you help us?
Click here to open the advert for The Clarinet Summer School 2010
and if you can print it and put in your school or music department it
would help us to spread the word about the course. Or you can simply
forward the advert via email to any clarinet players you know. Thanks
for looking and supporting The Clarinet Summer School.
Download application form
Past students have enjoyed previous courses, here is what
they have to say...
“Andrew, I have finally have a few minutes since
returning home to send a short email to you regarding the Summer School.
I can't thank you enough for a wonderful week of meeting new people and
focusing in on clarinet specific issues in a way that I have never
“I have taken away a great deal of knowledge and information which has
increased my clarinet-playing skills incredibly. I can hear a
substantial difference in my sound compared to how I played before
attending the course.
“Thanks again for a wonderful experience and I look forward to being
able to attend another Summer School whenever you end up putting one on
Campbellville, Ontario, Canada
“I attended The Clarinet Summer School in 2000.
Then, I had some fundamental embouchure and technical problems. Now I am
training with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The course
speaks for itself- START SAVING.”
Belfast, Northern Ireland
“Many thanks to the organisers of the 2004
Clarinet Summer School, which once again provided us all with a
wonderful week of clarinet-related activities and opportunities!
“I can't emphasise enough how much I have learnt from attending
this course - the tutors do their utmost to enable everyone to achieve
their full potential, and are unfailingly friendly and approachable.
“The 'masterclass' format which was used in at least one
session every day gave us all the chance to play to and listen to
others, and to absorb a great deal of valuable information - even if we
may not have realised it at the time!
The 'one-to-one' sessions, when we were given the opportunity to book
some individual time with the tutors, were always extremely helpful, and
I feel that in this respect the tutors actually go well above and beyond
the call of duty - individual tuition at no extra cost does not
generally feature on any other music courses I've been on!
“One of the week's highlights for me was our clarinet choir's
performance in the foyer of the Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool on the
final evening of the course, which gave a welcome focus to our ensemble
efforts. It's only now when I come to write about it that I realise how
full our days actually were. Although nothing was compulsory, most
people were keen to attend all the sessions available, including a film
and talk about clarinet production (a real eye-opener!), a talk on
clarinet-related health issues, a demonstration of the principles of the
Alexander Technique, a CD listening session comparing different playing
styles and an inspirational tutors' concert.
“I'd recommend this course highly to anyone who has an interest
in the clarinet - I shall certainly be back next year for more!”