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Private instrumental tuition
Private tuition in improvisation, harmony & arranging
Lessons via Zoom, Skype or Facetime
Improvisation workshops/masterclasses
Direction of youth/college big bands & ensembles
Enquiries email:

Andy Schofield has been teaching music for almost 30 years, as an instrumental woodwind teacher, tutor for improvisation, harmony, theory and arranging, and director of ensembles in schools and colleges in the UK and Europe, including University of Salford, Leeds College of Music, Berlin British School and Prague British School. 


Andy was a course director of The Music Place Jazz Summer School (2005-9), ran courses for the British Council in Bulgaria (1992-3), and was a tutor at the Berlin International Music Project (2011-13), as well as being a co-director of the Music For Life Youth Big Band (2002-9), and a judge for Music For Youth (1998-9) and COBIS International Schools Music Festival (2015).


He is currently a tutor for the International School of Music and Fine Arts in Prague, among other commitments.

Recent education projects have included:


Special commission to compose/arrange music for Music For Life Youth Big Band (2014). Other omposers in the scheme include Mike Gibbs, Stan Sulzmann and Gwilym Simcock

"Suite For JT" original project with students of HAMU, Prague


Improvisation masterclasses at Leeds College of Music, UK (2015-16)

Improvisation masterclass at Czech Jazz Workshop  (Summer 2017)

Saxophone/ensemble tutor at Frydlant Jazz Summer School, CZ, 2020-21

Some Thoughts On Improvising...
  • How do you enter into the music?

  • Why are you playing?

  • Is the music you play like a conversation, or is everyone talking at once?

  • Have you got something to play, or are you just playing to fill space?

  • Record yourself and listen – if you could do a second take, how much of the first would you keep?

  • When you listen to recordings of yourself, do you hear any bad habits or repetitions of stock phrases?

  • Are you really improvising, or just playing patterns you have practised? 

Improvising Together

Imagine a mountain lake, totally still and calm - undisturbed. If anything disturbs the water, it will send a ripple through the lake.


When you enter into the music, think of this image. Everything you play, everything anyone plays, will send ripples through the music.


Try stripping the rhythm section back to basic elements: ¼ notes on the ride cymbal, 2 & 4 on the hi-hat, the bass just walks in 4 – nothing, literally nothing, extra (perhaps use D Dorian in 4/4 swing, as in “So What”, as a context). Lock the bass/drums groove together. Create the stillness of the mountain lake.


Let the piano enter with a chord, but think about how you are disturbing the water, what ripples you are causing; try not to make a splash.


Bring in a saxophone or trumpet. Only play when you are ready, again thinking about how you are disturbing the surface of the water.


See what happens; how the ripples spread through the music. Is there more space, more air, in the music? Does it feel like a conversation where people are listening, and everyone is contributing?

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