Now in its third year we’re delighted to be welcoming back the Halsway Manor Melodeon Workshop Weekend. This years extraordinary dream team of tutors are Andy Cutting, Anne Niepold (Belgium) to lead the DG Melodeon weekend and Mel Biggs (Moirai) joining the team for this year’s course.
The programme will include beginners, intermediate and advanced workshops with each tutor, plus some optional workshops, time to socialise and take part in informal sessions, including ‘slow and steady’ sessions with Mel, and an informal tutor’s concert on the Saturday evening.
Please note that music will not be available in advance for this course.
“Just got back from the first Halsway DG melodeon workshop and had the time of my life! The whole place is gorgeous and you are very well looked after with a constant and steady supply of excellent food, tea and coffee! The tutors were incredible and it was such an amazing opportunity to play alongside and learn from who I consider to be some of the greatest box players around. Loved every minute of it and would definitely recommend this wonderful place to anyone. They catered for all abilities and the material was very diverse. I came away feeling completely exhausted but happy, and with the tools in place to become a much better player. Thank you to everyone who made my weekend special!” Eliza, 2017 Participant
Who’s it For?
Players of the D/G melodeon (diatonic button accordion), of Level 2 and above.
We’re sorry, but we can’t accommodate complete beginners on this course; you’ll need a grasp of the basics, but beyond that we try and include everybody! There will be workshops for beginners (we’re defining ‘beginners’ as people familiar with the basics of the instrument but still getting to grips with things like right and left hand co-ordination and row crossing, so if this is you, come and join us!), with plenty on offer to stretch the ability and imagination of intermediates and advanced players.
Music is not sent out in advance for this course. Much of the teaching will be by ear. Anne will provide scores for you to take away, and all tutors are happy for you to make recordings.
Andy Cutting needs little introduction – hailed as one of the country’s most beloved folk musicians and three-time winner of BBC Folk Musician of the Year, Andy is an emotive and engaging performer, and a warm and witty tutor.
A soulful and technically outstanding melodeon practitioner with an ear for a fine tune, as well as a thorough grounding in the English tradition, Andy’s influences extend way beyond these isles, particularly to the music of Central France and to the storming Quebecois tradition. He currently performs with Leveret, with Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr, plus Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry.
“Hearing Andy Cutting play is like going through the wardrobe and finding Narnia. His music is glorious, joyful, moving, subtle, emotionally charged, a totally spell-binding experience that is never long enough.” June Tabor
Anne Niepold (Belgium) is an extraordinary accordionist and composer. A passionate tutor with almost 20 years experience. Anne holds a masters degree in composition and arrangement from the prestigious Brussels Royal Conservatoire and has taught courses for all levels of ability across Belgium, and in France and Germany. As a performer she is a true force of nature – brash, adventurous and phenomenally skilled, she takes the humble accordion in startling directions. Beside her solo projects, she performs with numerous arts companies at home and abroad, and has numerous recordings to her name.
Mel Biggs is a leading light in the world of melodeon teaching, known for her perceptive, patient and mindful manner in teaching groups and individuals, both on and offline. Having been teaching since 2009, Mel has an ever expanding toolkit of techniques at her disposal which she adapts to every new teaching scenario; expect a bespoke blend of learning-by-ear, call and response playing, analogies, visualisations and pattern recognition, tune deconstruction and notation in moderation. Mel is a consummate performer, vocalist and accompanist and can be seen on stage as one third of Anglo-European trio Moirai and playing for the vibrant Harlequin MorrisBook now