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Melodeon Study Week: Benjamin Macke, Lucas Thébaut

Monday 12 Oct 12pm — Friday 16 Oct 12pm, 2020

To make a booking enquiry please complete the form below. We will contact you to confirm availability and complete your booking.

Course Enquiry

  • Halsway Manor will not share your details with any third parties.


Full board per person (tuition, activities, tutor's gig, all meals & accommodation):

  • £380– single ensuite room
  • £350– sharing an ensuite room
  • £350– single non-ensuite room
  • £315– sharing non-ensuite room

Camping per person (tuition, activities, tutor's gig, all meals):

  • £240

Non Resident (tuition, activities, tutor's gig, all meals except breakfast):

  • £225

COVID-19 Note: At present it looks as though we will be able to run this course as originally planned; student numbers are already restricted to 20 for this course and at present there are no travel restrictions that would affect the tutors. Click here for Halsway’s COVID-19 Guidance for your visit.

We are delighted to welcome two of Europe’s most exciting exponents of the diatonic button accordion to teach this extended course at Halsway Manor for advanced, and advanced-intermediate level players. Benjamin Macke (Belgium) and Lucas Thébaut (France) are consummate performers and teachers, and this week offers a rare opportunity to study with them in the UK.

This will be an intensive week of skills-based learning focusing on your development as a musician, discovering new ways to interpret and play, and to make the music your own. We’ve deliberately chosen two musicians with a lot in common, but also with quite different backgrounds and repertoire so you’ll benefit from contrasting approaches in their playing and teaching. You need to be open to trying new things, and to be prepared to work hard – it will be intensive but also an enjoyable and rewarding week, with time to relax in the evenings and enjoy informal sessions.

The group – limited to approximately 20 students – will be split in two by the tutors at the start of the course; you’ll spend roughly the same amount of time with each tutor. This will be done according to ability level; if you are coming with friends this may mean you will be working in different groups, but there’s plenty of informal time to meet, chat and play with others.

Arrival is from noon on Monday, with lunch at 1pm, and we begin playing at 3pm!

Who’s it For?

  • This course is for advanced and advanced-intermediate level players of the DG melodeon (If you also have a box  in GC, bring it as well).
  • Please read the Halsway Melodeon Levels description carefully before you make a booking, this course is for levels 4 and 5.
  • If you are a motivated level 3.5 player and would like to come please give us a call. There will be two groups based on ability and you may be suited to the intermediate group.
  • If you have any doubts please email us for advice, thank you.

Click here for Halsway Melodeon Levels

The Tutors

Lucas Thébaut is a diatonic accordion player from Poitou (France). His musical studies began at University but continue in live settings to this day as he continues to experiment to improve phrasing and groove in search of the specific chemistry of each dance; to play like a dancer, to dance like a musician.

His busy programme of performance includes solo bal, Duos Turbobal (with Cecile Birot-Delrue), Duo Huiban- Thébaut, Duo Thébaut (with his father Robert), trio Ballsy Swing and new quartet Petit Piment.

After 15 years of thinking and tinkering, of sharing experiences and joy all over the world, still the path ahead lies anew, full of possibilities – and the journey continues. An accomplished and experienced teacher, rest assured that he will never miss an opportunity to share a tune, a dance … or a drink with you!

Check out the website – https://lucasthebaut.jimdofree.com/ – for many sound links and videos of Lucas in performance with various duos / trios. Here are a couple of videos not on the website yet, of latest project Petit Piment.

Benjamin Macke (Belgium, France) is a dynamic and talented musician, who currently performs as one third of bal-folk trio Shillelagh with Gabriel Lenoir (fiddle) and Aurélien Tanghe (guitar), and as one half of Duo Macke-Bornauw with Birgit Bornauw (Flemish bagpipe and baroque bagpipes). With a background in classical music and jazz, his music embraced traditional music and ‘bal-folk’ of Flanders and further afield, together with explorations of Baroque period classical music. He also works creating ‘cine concerts’ combining live music performance and 16mm film, from American comedies, cartoons from Eastern Europe, westerns, children’s stories… both as a solo performer and on an orchestral scale!

Teaching is an important part of his work. He taught accordion and ensemble playing at Cric-Crac Compagnie, the Muziekacademie of Gooik and Ghent. He also gives a lot of workshops all over Europe in accordion, ensemble playing, improvisation on silent films…

Benjamin Macke is also known for his work around the footbass, a funny accordion that is played with the feet and produces very low sounds. He works on the revival of this obsolete instrument in close collaboration with his factor Jean-Marie Paque.