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Melodeons and More 2015


Melodeon maintenance days


Melodeon makers courses


Melodeons and More  - photos of past events


Melodeon evening classes in Suffolk

Melodeons & More







This event started in March 2000, with 40 people attending a master class by Tony Hall during the day and a ceilidh with Old Hat in the evening.


It has since expanded to include different levels and subjects, and from 2004 has also provided classes for concertina players.


The event also provides a unique chance to browse amongst trade stalls and try out new instruments, buy books and accessories etc.


In the evening the Squeezebox Special concert has now become a very popular event in its own right.




Melodeons and More 2015


Saturday 21st March 2015


Our brilliant and talented tutors for Melodeons and More 2015 are:


John Kirkpatrick: maestro of all manner of squeezboxes leading mixed instrument workshops looking at some fantastic tunes with great chords and     arrangements.


Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham: looking at breathing new life into some Yorkshire tunes, for all types of concertinas.


Mel Biggs: great young musician and tutor looking at right hand techniques and tunes in B minor.


Gavin Atkin: inventive approaches to accompanying songs and exploring the "funny notes" available on many melodeons.


Paul Scourfield: returning tutor looks at three-time tunes, especially the bass end rhythms and also introduces absolute beginners to the wonderful world of the anglo concertina.


Steve Dumpleton: popular M&M tutor introduces you to some local tunes and also welcomes absolute beginners to the joys of the melodeon.


Terry Mann: returning tutor from last year, who this year focuses on supporting inexperienced players through some of the basics.


Booking opens on Friday 9th January for Friends of EATMT, who have a priority booking period until Friday 243rd January. Booking opens for non-members on Monday 26th January.


The Squeezebox Special concert will feature John Kirkpatrick, Keith Kendrick and Sylvia Needham, Mel Biggs and Gavin & Julie Atkin.

Julie was scheduled to appear in 2012, but unfortunately lost her voice just before the concert, so we're glad to have her back this year!




2015 Workshops


2015 Tutors

Booking & Payment Details

Teaching styles



Music Market

Squeezebox Special Concert

Location and facilities

Booking Form


Downloadable PDF of leaflet

Downloadable PDF of booking form




2015 Workshops




Please look for the appropriate number next to each class.

Level 1 - Absolute beginners: you’ve probably never tried the instrument in question before and teaching will literally start with “which way is up”. For these classes only, instruments are provided (you can bring your own, but it needs to be a C melodeon / C&G anglo concertina).

Level 2 - Inexperienced: you can play a few tunes but not very confidently. Last year we have reinstated a full day workshop option at this level which proved highly popular, as did this year's tutor Terry Mann. This workshop will take things at a slower pace than the higher levels.

Level 3 - Intermediate: you’ve been playing for a while and have a reasonable grasp of basic techniques and are ready for some new ideas and challenges .

Level 4 - You’re quite an experienced player, wishing to explore some of the trickier aspects of the music and get some new ideas and inspiration.

Teaching styles Workshops vary in style, but all classes include demonstration and some participation, and are largely taught by ear in the class itself. Written music is provided by some tutors, where appropriate, and we send out recordings and notes about three weeks in advance (no advance resources are need for classes 7 or 14).





1. (Level 2) “Beyond the Ins and Outs, Part 1”: Terry Mann (D/G melodeon) (bookable only with class 8)
English melodeon playing from basics upwards. A nice easy-paced approach to getting on with the melodeon after that difficult first step.

2. (Level 3/4) “Exploring the Funny Notes”: Gavin Atkin (D/G melodeon* or 2½ row or 3 row A /D/G)
Explore some of the least-used buttons on the melodeon (including the accidentals) through some well known popular songs.

* You will need a box with accidentals as follows: F (push) and Eb (pull), and G# (push) and Bb (pull).

If you want to find out more about the notes on your melodeon, visit the keyboard layouts section of the melodeon.net website.


3. (Level 3/4) “The Sound of Silence”: Mel Biggs (D/G melodeon)
Emphasising the silences in the music: right hand rhythm and making your fingers lighter on the buttons.

4. (Level 3/4) “Yorkshire Gems”: Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham (any system concertina)

Find out how to breathe new life into some tunes from a mystery manuscript found in Sheffield. Tuition for Anglo, English or McCann duet players.

See also Class 11 below. The two workshops are independent of each other: come to both if you are level 2, or just choose one if you want to mix and match.

5. (Level 3/4) “Eastern Delights”: Steve Dumpleton
(D/G melodeon)
Great melodeon tunes from some of the traditional players of Norfolk and Suffolk. Melody, rhythm, styles and fun!

6. (Level 3/4) “A Taste of the Full English”: John Kirkpatrick (melodeon or any system concertina)
The Full English digital archive contains over 44,000 musical items including some little-known dance tunes. John has worked

extensively with the project and has cherry-picked a few top tunes for you.

7. (Level 1) Absolute Beginners Anglo-concertina: Paul Scourfield (C/G anglo-concertina - provided)

Which way is up? How does it work? What does this button do? Is this the instrument I want to play? Now is your chance to find out!

You can book this together with Class 14 or an Absolute Beginners' Observers pass which lets you visit any afternoon class without actually taking part.




8. (Level 2) “Beyond the Ins and Outs, Part 2”: Terry Mann (D/G melodeon) (bookable only with class 1)
Still at a steady pace - see class no. 1 above.

9. (Level 3/4) “Singing with the Box”: Gavin Atkin (D/G melodeon)
Looking at effective accompaniments for traditional and old-fashioned songs that aren’t too challenging.

10. (Level 3/4) “To Bm or not to Bm”: Mel Biggs (D/G melodeon)
B minor is not such a common key on the D/G melodeon, but has a lovely rich and fruity sound: come and get your fingers working on a different scale!

11. (Level 3/4)

“A Trip to Shropshire”: John Kirkpatrick (melodeon or any system concertina)
John has lived in Shropshire for 40 years and in this workshop he will teach a few of the many wonderful tunes found in manuscripts from his adopted county.

12. (Level 3/4) “Three-time Tunes”: Paul Scourfield (D/G melodeon)
Exploring tunes in three time including 3/2 hornpipes, slip-jigs and waltzes, including how to play the bass end for these more unusual rhythms.

13. (Level 2/3/4) “More Yorkshire Gems”: Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham (any system concertina)
More tunes from the Sheffield manuscript (see class 4 above).

The two workshops are independent of each other: come to both if you are level 2, or just choose one if you want to mix and match.

14. (Level 1) Absolute Beginners Melodeon: Steve Dumpleton (C melodeon - provided)

Which way is up? What does this button do? How does it work? Is this the instrument I want to play? Now is your chance to find out!

You can book this together with Class 7 or an Absolute Beginners' Observers pass which lets you visit any morning class without actually taking part.


Don't forget you can complete a fantastic day by coming to the Squeezebox Special concert in the evening - further details below.


2015 Tutors



John Kirkpatrick



6. "A Taste of the Full English"

13. "A Trip to Shropshire"

John Kirkpatrick was born in west London in 1947. A deep love of music was instilled from birth, and family gatherings always included a hearty sing-song. In 1959 he joined the Hammersmith Morris Men, in their second week of existence, and took up the melodeon, button accordion and anglo concertina.

John has become one of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, performing solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands, and has established an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso and session musician, as well as a leading interpreter of English folk music.

He has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.

He rejoined The Albion Band for The National Theatre productions of "Lark Rise" and "Candleford", and from 1980 has regularly worked on shows at The Victoria Theatre (later The New Victoria Theatre) in North Staffordshire, The Orchard Theatre Touring Company based in Devon, and elsewhere. As songwriter, composer, choreographer, and musical director, he has contributed to over sixty plays in the theatre and on radio. And as featured artiste, band member, or session player, his music can be heard on over 200 different commercial recordings.

John has lived in Shropshire since 1973 and still dances with the Morris team he founded in 1975, The Shropshire Bedlams.

See John's website for more information.


Keith Kendrick &

Sylvia Needham


4. "Yorkshire Gems"

11. "More Yorkshire Gems"

Between them, Keith and Sylvia play all three systems of concertina: Anglo, English and Duet (McCann system).

Keith’s musical career has spanned nearly four decades and includes performing with The Druids, Rams Bottom and Muckram Wakes, all based in his native Derbyshire. Keith’s love of nautical and maritime songs has been showcased through a duo formed during a brief spell living in Kent, The Anchor Men and also the trio Three Sheets to the Wind and he has worked with many other well-known performers, both in the UK and abroad.

Keith and Sylvia play lively dance music and sing mainly English traditional songs in harmony, with strong and uncannily compatible voices. Their wide ranging repertoire includes ballads, shanties and Music Hall numbers. They also play for the Winster Morris Dancers.

See Keith & Sylvia's website for more information.



Mel Biggs


3. "The Sound of Silence"

10. "To Bm or not to Bm"


Mel is a young musician with quite a few years playing and teaching already under her belt, and has swiftly gained acclaim for her wonderful musicianship: Simon Care of the Albion Band has described her playing as “phenomenal”!

In 2013 Mel became the lead melodeon player with long-standing ceilidh band All Blacked Up, and in the last year has formed a new band, Moirai, with Jo Freya of (Blowzabella and Old Swan Band etc).

Since 2009, Mel has been growing her reputation as a melodeon tutor and is now widely recognised in the UK and internationally across the internet via Skype!

Mel’s playing style has evolved in late night sessions shared between an intimate group of musicians until the wee small hours, and that is where she believes the real ‘honey pot’ of the living folk tradition lies.

"Mel is not only a fine box player but her teaching is clear, well paced and fun. She has a variety of great techniques to help you improve as a player whether you're a beginner or a more advanced musician." 
Andy Cutting (Blowzabella, Leveret, Topette, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr etc.)

"Melanie's playing is fluid yet rhythmical, light and punchy. She has the flexibility of style that shows what this instrument is truly capable of both melodically and stylistically. There's no doubt that she could teach other players a good deal worth learning." Jo Freya (Blowzabella, Token Women, Old Swan Band etc. etc.)

See Mel's website for more information.



Paul Scourfield


 7. Absolute Beginners Anglo-concertina

12. "Three-time Tunes"


Paul is a stylish melodeon player and singer, performing material mainly from the English tradition. In common with many of the new generation of folk performers, Paul was bought up surrounded by the folk music of his parents. Inspired to take up the melodeon after going to see John Kirkpatrick at the local folk club, Paul has since spent a year being mentored by John.

Paul is a respected dance musician, playing with innovative ceilidh band Chalktown, formed by ex-members of the legendary “Gas Mk 5” as well as working as solo performer in a duo with Jon Loomes and has appeared at many major festivals including Sidmouth, Whitby, Warwick, and Towersey, as well as folk clubs around the country. 

He is also a talented workshop leader, whose workshops at the 2011 Melodeons and More went down very well indeed.

"A wizard of the melodeon, a unique, innovative and intuitive style." - Maidenhead Folk Club


See Paul's website for more information.





Gavin Atkin


2. "Exploring the Funny Notes"

9. "Singing with the Box"


Gavin is a great enthusiast for traditional and old fashioned music and plays a wide range of instruments, including (but not restricted to) Jeffries duet concertina, fiddle and melodeon.

Throughout a long musical career, he has played and sung with Melons, Chris Pitt and Gavin Atkin, Can of Worms (with Dave Roberts and Dave Townsend), The Hackney Martians (with Trevor Bennett, Andrew Lamb, Ralph Jordan and Chris Pitt), and still plays with the electric English ceilidh band Florida and the rather more traditional-styled tunes and songs outfit The Tonic (with Julie Atkin and Ollie and Malcolm Woods). For the past few years, he has run popular music and song workshops and sessions near his home in Kent.  

Gavin was last with us, running concertina workshops, in 2010, when his wife, Julie Atkin, was due to sing in the concert but due to a throat infection was unable to appear - we're pleased to welcome her back to the 2015 Squeezebox Special concert. Julie, had a classical singer's training in her youth, moved on to singing in amateur dramatic productions of musicals, before domestic life intervened and brought performing to a halt: that is, until she met Gavin and began singing mainly old fashioned songs accompanied by his squeezeboxes!

More information about Gavin and Julie's Kent-based workshops can be found here.






Terry Mann


1 & 8. "Beyond the Ins & Outs"

Terry’s taught here for the first time last year and his workshops went down really

well, so we’ve asked him back to apply his teaching and musical skills to the

not-quite-beginners class.


Terry is a multi-instrumentalist and instrument maker, now based just across the

Cambridgeshire border, who has played with, amongst others, funky ceilidh band

Gas Mark V and Blowzabella.

You can find out more about Terry's wider musical life on his blogspot












Steve Dumpleton


5. "Eastern Delights"

14. Absolute Beginners Melodeon



Steve is one of our most regular and popular tutors with a very clear style of teaching and a wide-ranging musical knowledge. He worked on transcriptions for our book of East Anglian music “Before the Night Was Out” a few years ago and has a great local style, despite living in Sheffield!

Steve has been playing the melodeon and anglo concertina for over 30 years and is an experienced teacher of both instruments. He specialises in playing for dancing, performing with Sheffield womens' dance team 'Lizzie Dripping', Fenland-based 'Ouse Washes Molly Dancers' and local celidh bands.

Steve's style of playing is firmly rooted in the English dance tradition, particularly from East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Northumberland. A few years living near Carmarthen also developed his love of traditional Welsh music. He has led workshops at Melodeons at Witney, Sheffield and Whitby Folk Festivals and also brings the experience and discipline of over 40 years as an orchestral clarinettist into fusion with folk traditions, coupling rhythmic vitality with melodic phrasing.













Booking & Payment Details


Please note, booking does not actually open until Friday 9th January, but see below for details.


(1) Post us your booking form and a cheque payable to EATMT.

(2) Email your booking form and pay through your internet bank account: give us a ring or email to facilitate this.

(3) Post your booking from and pay by credit or debit card: fill in the card payment form as well as the booking form. A handling fee of £2 per booking is payable on all card transactions.

(4) Email your booking form and pay by credit or debit card: give us a ring or email to make a payment by card. A handling fee of £2 per booking is payable on all card transactions.


There is a priority booking period for Friends of EATMT from Friday 9th January to Friday 23rd January, but you can send your application form off before then. They will be dealt with in date order. Booking opens to the general public on Monday 26th January, and again, bookings will be dealt with in date order. Please note that our office is not staffed fulltime, so if you ring us, you may well get through to the answerphone - please leave a message for us. (The office is closed from Friday December 21st until Thursday 8th January).


Confirmations will be emailed to you unless you send an S.A.E. Workshop CDs and concert tickets are posted in late February.

Please select one morning and one afternoon workshop and indicate your 1st and 2nd choice for each period. Please note "Beyond the Ins & Outs" Parts One & Two (workshops 1 & 8) may only be booked together.


The latest availability is posted on this page in the "Workshop Details" section, so it's a really good idea to check here before making your selection. The booking form is also updated to reflect availability, so if you print it off in advance after 9th January, make sure you check availability AGAIN before you actually fill it in and send it off!


After you have booked, we will email you a confirmation, and towards the end of February you will receive some learning resources (recordings and notes), giving you at least three weeks to familiarise yourself with the material to be used in the class itself.


Click here to go to the latest printable booking form.

Teaching styles


Workshops vary in style, but all classes include demonstration and participation, and are largely taught by ear in the class itself. Written music is provided by some tutors, where
appropriate, and we send out recordings and notes about a month in advance. (No advance resources are needed for workshops 7 or 14).



Most workshops are instrument-specific, but Classes 6 & 13 are open to players of concertinas and melodeons. These workshops focus on musical matters rather than specific instrumental techniques.



The day runs from 9.45 to 5.30. Workshops run 10.30-12.15 and 2.15-4.00, with an informal workshop showcase from 4.30-5.30. Over the lunch break you can take a stroll, have a dance, call or a play at the “scratch” ceilidh, play in a session or browse the stalls. The evening concert runs from 8pm -11pm.


Music Market


There will be a chance to browse specialist stalls at the Music Market, which is open until 4.30. If you’re not attending workshops but would like to look at the stalls, you are welcome from 10.45 onwards. Stalls already confirmed include: Wesson Accordions: melodeon builders; Veteran: CDs, DVDs and books; Hedingham Fair: t-shirts, cards, books, gifts; Black Diamond Accordions: melodeon and piano accordion sales; Hobgoblin: folk music specialists; Pete Grassby and Mike Acott Concertinas: instrument sales, restoration and repairs.


Squeezebox Special Concert


This year’s Squeezebox Special concert features John Kirkpatrick, Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham, Mel Biggs and Gavin & Julie Atkin.


Come along and spend an entertaining evening listening to some superb English traditional music. A lovely relaxing and inspiring end to a day if you’ve been concentrating in the workshops, or just an enjoyable evening out if you’re not a player yourself. The concert includes lively instrumental music and three of the four acts also include songs, so no chance of getting bored!

Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm kick-off. There’s a real ale bar all evening and a CD stall open before the concert and in the interval. Tickets can be bought in combination with a day workshop for the best rates, but tickets are also available separately. Prices have not gone up since last year: they’re still £13.50 or £12.50 for Friends of EATMT / OAPs / students / unemployed, so why not bring your friends and family?


Location and facilities


The event is once again held in the village of Mendlesham, five miles from Stowmarket, where there is a rail station and bus links. The event takes place in the Community Centre, school and  the United Reform Church, just across the road from the main venue. The post code for the Community Centre is IP14 5RT.


The Community Centre is fully equipped for wheelchair users. and the United Reform Church is accessible to wheelchair users but has no other facilities. Mendlesham has many historic buildings and is known for its unique armoury, housed in the church. The village has a pub (The King's Head), a fish & chip shop and a shop with cash facilities.


If you need somewhere to stay locally, you can take a look at the accommodation list below or contact Mid Suffolk Tourist Information: ring 01449 676800 or email tic@midsuffolk.gov.uk


Refreshments are provided during the day, and lunch may be booked in advance (see booking form). There will be a real ale bar open over lunchtime and during the evening concert. Details about early evening meals for workshop attendees who are staying on for the concert will be sent to you well before the event.



Downloadable PDF of leaflet


Downloadable PDF of booking form


Click here for the latest printable booking form

Click here for details of accommodation in the vicinity




Melodeon Maintenance Days


We are proud to lead the way in melodeon skills yet again, by hosting the first ever workshop days for melodeon players to learn about maintaining their instruments. The first such event was held in 2009.


The latest one was on Sunday 23rd March 2014. We usually run these every two / three years, so there will not be one in 2015.


During the day, there was a mixture of demonstration and practical work, with the aim of help participants to identify and evaluate problems and learn some of the recommended methods for maintenance and repairs, including tuning.


The day was led by Rees Wesson and Martin White. Concertina players were also accommodated, much of the content being applicable to both types of instrument.

Click here for full details.



Melodeon makers workshops


Since 2007, we have been proud to be able to offer a unique opportunity in the UK - a week's workshop where a small number of participants each make their own high-quality one row melodeon, under the expert tutelage of French instrument-maker and musician, Emmanuel Pariselle. After the first course, we have run them intermittently, in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014. At present there are no definite plans for another. Emmanuel has also run workshops building two-and-a-half row melodeons in other parts of the UK and abroad.


Click here for further details.



Melodeons and More  - photos of past events


EATMT resident photographer John Halliday has posted a set of photos on Facebook, which anyone can access by clicking here. Videos of several of the workshops playing for the afternoon showcase have been posted by one of the course participants on Youtube - follow this link and you will find several examples (not always labelled very accurately!)

To see photos from previous events on Facebook, you can click on the following links: Photos from the 2012 event   Photographs of Melodeons and More 2009   Melodeons and More 2007


Melodeon evening classes


We run regular evening classes in Stowmarket, in the centre of Suffolk - at present they run on Tuesday evenings and we are catering for beginners and two levels of improvers. Click here for details of the current courses.



Home      News      Diary of events    About EATMT     Friends of EATMT     

What are the musical traditions of East Anglia?

Traditional Music Day     Melodeons & More      Workshops, classes & schools      Community Projects       

          Profiles of traditional musicians        Research         Jig Dolls        Dulcimers     Stepdancing

Resources      Shop        Links      Press Room     Contact Us