Flute Courses, Clarinet Courses and Saxophone Courses for Adult and Student Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone players.


Earls Hall July 2023
It’s really strange – I always really enjoyed making music, but it felt fairly clinical to me, and I  never felt I could connect to what I was playing – it never meant anything to me. Somehow that’s changed since the course. I actually look forward to certain pieces, not because they are challenging, but because I just really enjoy playing them. I guess it took a course as relaxed and friendly as yours to open that door, so thank you for that.

Burford Flute Ensembles June 2023 
Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the Burford course; I left wishing i’d booked the second one too! Lovely music, lovely venue and of course lovely people! And it was a really well balanced groups, each of us having strengths and some weaknesses (especially me!) but it worked as an ensemble.
I look forward to receiving your list of courses in the next few months that I might fit into.   PM June 2023

Staffordshire 54321 April 2023
Thank you both for a wonderful few days. Splendid food and so many laughs but most importantly, great music making and tuition. 
Your attention to preparation for each session, professional execution of the program and personal feedback and support for each of us was marvellous. 
I feel that I have made progress and also that you have helped me improve as a self-directed learner and given me many ideas to help me to become a better musician.  
PS April 2023 

Thank you for the course. Planning and organising it and thinking about the right music for everyone must take a lot of work but it makes it more individual. You’ve given me some more things to work on, will see if I can create a bigger sound and count properly.  MH April 2023

I think I might have come on the course just for your omelettes! Cookery demo next time?  PM April 2023

The Delights of Earl’s Hall 

As a largely self-taught clarinet player I needed a reboot, particularly to tap into the sonority of the instrument and learn some critically overlooked skills in time keeping and key control. Could a short intensive immersion offer a new perspective?  I think the answer is a resounding yes. 

By a stroke of good fortune, I chanced upon FeV.  They run a variety of residential courses for all ages, for adults, mostly in the UK but also in Europe.A double room remained in the splendid old country house (17th c), surrounded by gardens, vegetable patches, lanes and fields for walks, cycling and practice al fresco. For this particular group, five flutes were led and inspired by Julie, while the two clarinets received individual instruction from Nick. The other clarinettist, a very able player, enjoyed advanced instruction, duets and accompaniment. I was delighted at Nick’s forbearance with my unschooled bad habits. Always positive, but not afraid to set out the essential standards, he soon unpicked several dysfunctional adaptations in posture and hand position.Above all, achieving a good breath and fluent release helped to bring out a new sense of emotional connection with play and tonality. There were innumerable practical tips on key usage, some hitherto notionally known from pages of the standard books but never applied to practice, easing chromatic passages and arpeggios. We had alternating 45 minute sessions with Nick during the morning and later in the afternoon, with a performance for all at the end of each morning and evening. There was time to practise in the intervals and to enjoy the countryside.

And if that was not enough to delight the senses, including those of my wife who came along as a non-playing guest, the two maestros doubled, nay, trebled, on cooking.Their creativity, hospitality, palate, attention to individual needs, as well as an astonishing overall efficiency in getting it all done, was a wonder to behold. Their culinary skills were broad and we enjoyed fruit and vegetables from the garden and a new personal favourite for dinner, maiale al latte (slow cooked pork in milk), which Julie learned in Bologna. 

This whole intensive experience, from patient and inspiring instruction, accompaniment and duets, laced with lots of fundamental principles , the stimulation of listening to the performance of others, the company, the food, the beautiful setting, have all left an electrifying impression. I have many pleasant memories to help with focused practice and forward progress and, above all, to make music that comes from within. DC 17.08.22

Dear Julie and Nick. 

I just wanted to thank you very much for looking after my children.

They came back so happy and proud of what they achieved.

I am do impressed with your dedication and love . You not only teach them music but also character and manners .  IB August 2022

I am settling back to normal life after our few days together last week.  Thank you so much for an amazing time.  How lucky are we to be able to play our flutes all day long in such a wonderful setting and have your brilliant teaching and input into our playing.  My playing has perked up no end since I have been home. AS. February 2022

I’m shattered! What a great learning opportunity. Thank you for all your efforts and teaching, done with a smile and without the aid of earplugs! I’ll try to let my musical self out of its protective box.
 CB April 2021

Thank you so much for the course and all you do to make everything so special: your sense of fun, patience, food, laughter, musical expertise and enthusiasm. The whole event with the other lovely students is so therapeutic and life giving.
It makes me realise that music is an essential part of all living as much as food, wine  and conversation. PB April 2021

I am home now after a very slow journey! Thank you so much for the last week, it is beyond words how good it was. The format is a winner!! You have helped me so much for the wedding performance and I appreciate it very much. It was lovely to be working hard at something musical and non covid related! And to be away with you two and the company we had was the icing on the cake! EB March 2021

Just recovering from a week of brain sapping musical activity. I need to do some complex mathematics as light relief!
Thanks for the usual musical input but double thanks for the ‘at home’ hospitality and conviviality. A* cooking and wonderful conversation.
JC Earls Hall July 2020

I’m still trying to sit up straight! Thank you so much for a lovely few days. As ever, the mix of playing, help and encouragement, fun and good food made it such an enjoyable course. Loved the choice of music you gave us………..and expected us to play first time round!   CJ June 2019
Thank you both for yet another super-exciting riveting week. I don’t know how you guys do it!
All tuition was refreshing, individualised, and with just enough stretch to challenge and to give aspiration.
Food, hosting skills, every little comfort catered for. I don’t know how you both do it. Unique and exceptional.   JE June 2019
Thank you both again for another most enjoyable and stimulating course.
Lots of playing, lovely food and the entertaining company of like-minded people – what’s not to like?    MD August 2018
Words cannot express my joy and thanks for a truly memorable vacation!  We planned for 9 months this trip of a lifetime…I couldn’t have learned and experienced a more enriching time.
I want you both to know how I appreciate your willingness to let me be a plus one!  Each day was filled with new sights, sounds, food and conversations!
I know L gathers more than just a music lesson, and yet she is interested in the best education which you both provide. I love that you seem to genuinely care about her and helping develop her skills on the clarinet.  
Thank you for your careful planning from accommodations, to venues, and food!  You cater to everyone’s needs so well. Your culinary skills provided the most anticipation for the evening meals, and the food was outstanding! I know you know if you feed your students well, they will be happy and learn and play better.  But, not everyone can be an excellent musician and chef!
Anyway this mozzarellamama was impressed and happy!
DA. Venice March 2018 

Thank you both for a marvellous 6 days.  Your kindness and patience with everyone is amazing and across the two courses I have learnt such a lot. Even more to aspire to now!  Thank you as always for feeding us so well and for such amazing food; mealtimes are such a treat.
SL The Cotswolds 1 and 2 February 2018

I wanted to thank you both for such a phenomenal time in the Cotswolds -was I really only there for 24 hours. What can I say? Friendship from the whole group and yourselves was unique and beautiful. You are both very skillful in gelling together 6 strangers with one common cause, to make music together. The whole experience was such a challenge, yet felt so safe.  I can’t believe we were all playing solo pieces. I have never done that EVER!  The environment was lovely, and the catering out of this world. How clever you both are, a well oiled process, flair and expertise. Thank you both so very much.
 JE 24 hour “quick fix” The Cotswolds February 2018

I want to thank you for a wonderful day yesterday. I enjoyed it so much, and woke up this morning thinking that the world is a much better place! You both created an atmosphere that made me feel completely at ease, and so able to overcome my usual nerves. I would really like to do a longer course with you at some point, and would be grateful for any advice as to which courses might be suitable.

AR The Cotswolds One Day Taster Course February 2018

Many thanks for these and also a huge thanks for a great course. Playing flute for three whole days was wonderful ! I found it very supportive and encouraging, as well as suitably challenging, and really felt I was making some progress. 

SB  The Cotswolds November 2017

I truly hope that there will be another opportunity to have the incredibly uplifting experience of attending one of your workshops again. I’m aiming for one a year and I’ve already raised the possibility of us both coming to The Lido in March with my partner. I can’t thank you both enough for a remarkable experience. The teaching is exemplary (and I know a bit about teaching adults). The cooking is exquisite (and I know a bit about eating). The company was stimulating (and I know a lot about talking to myself).

SP  The Cotswolds November 2017

Thank you both again for a really good week. It was great in all aspects, tuition, food, location and not least, yours and the other students’ company.

TW  The Cotswolds November 2017

It was an absolute delight to spend the weekend in the lovely, but cold Cotswolds, with yourself and Nick and the other musicians. I gained a lot in terms of confidence and ideas about how to make progress with the saxophone. the opportunity to play-along with others was really valuable experience.
I can see why people come back to your sessions as you are both inspirational tutors and really nice genuine personalities. Did I say amazing hosts, too?

CG The Cotswolds November 2017

Thank you SOOOO much. I enjoyed everything about the course. I had a practice this afternoon and really enjoyed it, whereas I had previously been finding it all quite hard work with little progress. Now I feel that I have taken a huge step forward and really enjoyed playing. I am beginning to understand how to play with style which is quite exciting!

HA  The Tudor Wing, Hoath House November 2017

I must once again thank you both for a music life changing experience. It was just right to take in all you taught and discussed with me about music as well as the saxophones. Problem is I might be a tad irritating around other people now when they can’t keep time or get a good tone.

BB  The Tudor Wing, Hoath House November 2017

“I really enjoyed the course at Stratford Upon Avon, thank you for yours and Nick’s hospitality! The food was excellent.”

LD Stratford upon Avon Course September 2017

I don’t usually do this, but wanted to write and thank you both again for a most enjoyable and stimulating few days. When you’re the ‘new boy’, you’re never sure how its all going to work, but on this occasion, it was a very enjoyable blend of ingredients ( I don’t only mean that from a culinary point of view!). I’ll be back

MD Earls Hall July 2017

Felt quite flat in the taxi on the way to the train station – I just wanted to stay!! Thank you both again for a great weekend, from a music perspective and personally looking after us. I feel like I got lots out of it and revved up to get more improvements in my playing. The diet starts tomorrow! 

JO  Earls Hall Course, July 2017

“Wow, that was an amazing three days and ‘Chanson triste’ today blew (excuse the pun) me totally away, it was so moving.
Both you and Nick are two absolutely amazing people and your professionalism, dedication, commitment and patience (not forgetting your amazing culinary skills) are awesome.
I started the course as a sceptical ex-seasoned Detective does with a degree of scepticism and came away unequivically convinced of how much in such a short time I have progressed in, tone, technique, ability and confidence.”            GB  Earls Hall Course, Suffolk, July 2017

Thank you again for such an amazing experience last week. If it wasn’t for my few recordings (that I listened to on the plane to help ease the pain of heading in the “wrong direction” back to Houston :)… I would have thought it was all a dream.   LS  Burford, June 2017

Hi Julie and Nick,

I cannot thank you enough for the past week. I arrived with trepidation after being semi primed by T and C and really did not know what to expect. I confess that it took me till Wednesday to settle in properly and become comfortable with the set up and fellow musicians- but what a lovely group of people. I feel that I have made some good friends and hope that I shall meet them again on future courses.

The tuition that I received has been invaluable- while reinforcing my current teacher’s advice there has been a lot extra which I shall endeavour to practise- I hope that he notices a difference in my playing at my lesson next week!!!

The setting is idyllic, the food superb, and I shall bring an OS map and binoculars with me next time!

AS  Giggleswick June 2017


NIST, Bangkok, Thailand May 2017

We felt lucky to have an opportunity of two fine musicians come to our school and share their skills and passion for music in a most positive and enjoyable way.
I wish you to continue having a fun experience in Thailand and in your future endeavours and am hoping that NIST will be able to invite you in the future again.  NB  New International School, Bangkok, Thailand

Thank you so much for another wonderful holiday and for all the laughs. I learnt so much and it was wonderful to hang out again. And massive thanks for the one to one Nick and for letting me get away with one octave scales (and turning a blind eye to my many mistakes), and for the flute lesson Julie. It was b***** marvellous.  

TG  Portugal  May 2017

“Thank you for the best ever musical ‘house party’ – the superb group of people, without exception and what a location! An outstanding house, chapel ….. swimming pool, medlar tree…… and that’s before the wonderful food as well. I have just had an amazing week, and hopefully improved my sax playing along the way! ” JG  Portugal May 2017

Thank you so much for a very enjoyable course at Barnsley, and for welcoming me back so warmly for an extra afternoon!  As ever, it was lovely to get so much playing, and trying to put into practice some of the techniques in my own pieces certainly makes a difference. Your ability to pinpoint problem areas, and deal with them, is always a source of pleasure and inspiration. Still playing the Mozart – and G block!    C J   The Cotswolds Course 2  February 2017

Anglo American School Moscow, Russia

Having taught band at the Anglo-American School of Moscow from 2012-2016, I had the pleasure of having Nick and Julie visit the school to work with my students for four consecutive years. At first glance, one may wonder whether or not having them work with young musicians over the span of just two or three days could make a difference in not only the individual musician’s skills but also the band program as a whole. As an initial skeptic myself, I can attest to the fact that these two musicians work nothing less than miracles during their time at the school. On average, Nick and Julie may only be able to have one to three lessons per musician during each visit and yet they are able to quickly assess areas in each child’s performance skills that are in need of repair or adjustment and then they provide quick, clear and understandable remedies that usually take effect almost immediately.

Nick and Julie are not just masters of their instruments but master educators as well. They obviously have a great love for music and the young musicians they work with around the world. If you or your school are contemplating whether or not to invite Nick and Julie or are considering attending a workshop as a performer yourself, you will not regret the decision to do so.


Dan Miller
Music Educator 1989-present.


Jane Williams is a former UK headteacher and now works as an International school inspector. Before leaving Oman she worked with a Music and Arts Institute, using her own music degree and knowledge to expand the provision of music and arts in Muscat.  It was during this period that she arranged to host a “Flutes en Vacances” course at the Institute.

She writes…One of my greatest desires is to ensure that students who take music also have a chance to make music with others of all standards.  It was wonderful to see the flute group doing exactly this when they visited the Institute.  The enthusiasm and happy faces of all ages will always be imprinted on my memory!
Of course this did not happen by accident; the careful planning and arranging of music and groups by Nick and Julie were the driving force of the success of the event. They exuded enthusiasm throughout the course and guided the members through a series of concerts with smooth organisation and confidence.
One of the most pleasurable aspects was to see young teenagers mixing with ease with older members of the group, secure in the knowledge that playing the flute was a “cool activity” and did not mean that you had to be stuffy or serious.  In fact, Julie and her infectious enthusiasm is so charismatic that she could make serving tea at the WI cool! Such organisations as this should be encouraged and praised and I fully endorse the work of Julie and Nick.. J.W. Oman

Since coming back to flute playing after about 30 years of only occasional playing, I discovered Flutes en Vacances. Since then there has been no stopping me. On Julie and Nick’s courses adult amateurs at every level will find that they are challenged and supported to improve whilst having a great deal of fun. The  teaching is stimulating, the food home cooked, delicious and varied and you meet  lovely people.  When not playing you have a good laugh in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Having myself been quite anxious about attending the first time, I now look forward to each course with excitement and would heartily recommend them to everybody who enjoys playing flute, clarinet or saxophone and is interested in improving their level of playing.
H.A (Chelmsford)

May 2013 : Gavin Pettinger, ex Director of Music at Newland House School says….
“Julie and Nick run the most inspiring, fun and worthwhile music courses around. Dozens of our students have attended their courses and have benefited greatly from their expert tuition, buzzy workshops and opportunities to perform at every turn.These are the courses where your child really can expect to make the equivalent of a year’s musical progress in just a few days.All the music is arranged by Nick to suit the level and experience of each player and the concerts are relaxed and fun,enabling instrumentalists to flourish and gain confidence as they progress onto the next level. The courses are held in beautiful venues with superb home cooked food and opportunities for country pursuits and outdoor concerts.Team work, making new friends and the camaraderie of playing in ensembles all come as part of the package – Nick and Julie are the perfect hosts as well as top musicians and educators themselves. 10/10!”

Andorra 2015

Thank you both for making the week in Andorra so enjoyable.
I had a lovely time playing/listening, going on some spectacular walks and eating all that delicious food.
With love, J. H

Thank you very much for running the Andorra course. I am in complete amazement that you both run such an intensive course, look after us and feed us like you do, it’s incredible! It was great food and great company…and great playing too of course!! I haven’t played that much for a long time and was exhausted when I got back. I’m going back to work for a rest now!!  ;-) S.H

Suffolk 2015
Just a note to say a huge thank you for what you have done for ** this last few days.  She got home, the flute came out and she continued playing for a good hour or two! She even tried her sisters oboe!!  She has learnt so much and is really grateful for the opportunity to play with you and learn from you. She would really like to come again next year – I’ll be looking out for the dates!!!! Many thanks for your inspiration and commitment – much appreciated!Kind regards, M.& K.S. (Leicestershire)
Our daughter has had a wonderful time in Suffolk again this year, she has gained so much confidence in her playing and in herself. She is absolutely exhausted and has only just woken up!!!! This has definitely been her favourite course so far and is already looking forward to next year. We want so say a massive thank you to you both for such a brilliant course and everything you have done for her. She is now up and practising her new pieces in preparation for her audition next week. N.K. (Ipswich)
Giggleswick 2015
Dear Nick & Julie. We both want to thank you for the wonderful course in Giggleswick and for making me so welcome, even though I was only a hanger-on. My husband has come on leaps and bounds and his confidence is sky-high now; he can’t wait to book the next course! I would recommend your courses to anyone, the atmosphere and skill of teaching was amazing and it was great to get together with like-minded people. If you’re ever in the area come and see us and we hope to see you again soon. S & A. France. 2015

with Trevor Wye, Treowen, Monmouth UK. 2012 – Thank you for an amazing weekend! I felt inspired and uplifted to be part of a group of people who strive for the real meaning and Art of Flute playing and teaching. Ideas and opinions were shared, discussed and demonstrated and you, dear Julie, and Trevor, cleverly steered us through the pitfalls and technical issues that present themselves throughout our lives of teaching and playing. Thank you for enabling us to have this opportunity of meeting and  listening to the incomparable Trevor Wye and his brilliantly ordered mind and talent.The majestic Treowen House, the grounds, surrounding countryside  and the delicious food and wine were much appreciated by everyone.I have returned home with renewed vigour and ideas for my students…and for my own flute playing!….thanks to you!  Helen C.

– I wanted to tell you what a great time I had at your course in Monmouth, and of course it was a real pleasure to have met you! I think you and Nick did such an amazing job with venue, course activities, energy, and all that delicious food (YUM!!!) Thank you very much for having me, and very much looking forward to the next time we meet!  Adrian F. (Australia)

– Dear Julie and Nick. I just reorganized my notes from the flute course in Monmouth, and there were lots of new ideas! I’ve never been to a course like this, and I don’t think there are any in Taiwan. Thank you again for giving me a chance to attend such a wonderful course. I get many inspiration and passion toward teaching from you. Hope in the future I could also be an experienced and innovative teacher as well as flutist as you are.  JW (Taiwan)

-I am writing to thank you for the wonderful course last weekend with Trevor, Nick and yourself which was brilliantly organised and thoroughly exciting, thought-provoking and enlightening! Your enthusiasm was amazing and sometimes frightening (in a good way!) – you wore me out just watching you:) I love your energy. The course was invaluable to me as a fledgling teacher and I learned so much in just a few days with you and Trevor, who is an absolute darling and a truly wonderful, gifted and generous man. Such a legend! The food was wonderful (too wonderful actually, I put on a few pounds over the three days!) and I’d like to thank you for preparing and cooking food that was made with love and suitable for us all to eat, enjoy and share. Penny M.

– I just wanted to drop you both a quick note to thank you again for a wonderful course this weekend.  We had a great time and learned such a lot from interacting with the two of you and the other experienced teachers. And of course, the food and location were amazing!! Thank you for all the trouble you went to putting the course together, and for inviting us to join you. It was certainly a treat! AM (Spain)

I can say without any doubt that it was a completely unique experience and I must have been on dozens of courses over the last 40 years, starting with a very old one (still running) organised by Jimmy (violin) and June Maddox (oboe) when I was just fifteen, younger even than Orlando. One of the best things was that we were treated the whole time like adults. There is an unfortunate tendency for professional players to go into “teacher mode” making even their adult pupils feel like children, not a pleasant experience to be talked down to. Like most older people I like to be told straight out when something is not right, so I can set about mending it. The food and drink of course made it an even more memorable experience as did the magnificent surroundings !   Peter M.

What is more I am grateful for this magnificent 7 days which I could spent with you and with wonderful professors who gave me so many advices and tips. Thank you for care at me and all good things which you gave me. I learn from you a lot and I never forgot this. I hope we will meet each other again. :)  Joanna B. (Poland)

Adult Course, Home Farm Witney, Oxfordshire 2012

Thanks for a wonderful course – the memories will stay with me forever. M.K

Dear Julie and Nick, I just wanted to thank you for the excellent course last weekend.  I was very apprehensive when I booked it;  I was unsure about whether it would be worth such a long drive on a Friday night after work, but  it surpassed any expectations I had for it.  It was so inspiring to get advice from someone who is a flute, rather than a clarinet, specialist.  It is incredible that small pieces of information can make such a difference to the tone of playing – I promise I will try to implement all the advice given.  You managed to strike just the right balance between being challenging with what was expected whilst still making the tasks achievable and fun.  It was also great to get the chance to play with other people. Away from the music: the warm welcome I was given as soon as I arrived certainly put me at ease immediately.  The food was wonderfully prepared and the company relaxed and interesting.  I would certainly love to come on one of your courses again sometime.  If you are arranging one at the right standard for me, that falls in a school holiday, then please let me know. I hope the rest of your week with the kids went well. All the best to both of you, Anne C. (Cumbria)
I feel much more confident and inspired since I came back from the course. Eva T. (Italy)
Thank you for a wonderful course with such a lovely group and wonderful playing (and food). I had a very nice time and I really felt that I was amongst very good friends. Thanks for everything. DT

AAS Moscow 2010
THANK YOU so much. I wanted to send you some of the reflections from the students. There were tons to pick from all with similar positive feedback. I’ve attached a page of three random ones for you to see – read them on one of those days where you need to be reminded why you are doing what it is you are doing !! The level of motivation has risen in each and every group – perfect for this time of year. It helped me as well! Christy Wanamaker. Head of Music, Anglo American School, Moscow. Russia

Thank you for such an excellent course.The combination of individual tuition, the opportunity to play with and to colleagues, superb food and enjoyable company makes your courses so rewarding. E.T. February 2016

Just wanted to thank you for a great course last weekend. With the number of new pieces we got through and the overall level of ability in the group, it felt quite intensive (in a good way!) and I am sure I will have learned a lot. Hope to see you again in the future. D.P Oxford 2016

What a wonderful three days of learning. I must congratulate you both on your professionalism, dedication & patience, not forgetting your culinary skills. A total immersion in music, the group was great so friendly & supportive I felt very comfortable & at ease despite the solo performances, which were very testing. Many thanks again, from a very full & happy student! F.K. November 2015

Once again we had a fantastic time and you re-kindled the spirit for Andrew, never thought he would be playing duets and quartets!! S.C. June 2016