East Anglian Traditional Music Trust



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Melodeons and More


This event started in March 2000, with forty people attending a master class by Tony Hall and a ceilidh with Old Hat. 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 chance to browse 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 2017


Melodeon making


Melodeon maintenance days


Melodeon evening classes








This year's Melodeons and More: 25th March 2017

What a treat in store for melodeon and concertina players, with a fabulous line up of tutors: Saul Rose (Faustus, Wayward Band, Whapweasel, War Horse); Nick Cooke (Mawkin, Sweet Liberties, Kate Rusby Band); Jeannie Harris; Sandra Kerr; Rees Wesson; Katie Howson; Steve Dumpleton; Andrew Collins & Ron Ross. Full details about the workshops on offer, the tutors and the programme for the day may be found below.


2017 Workshops


2017 Tutors

      Booking & Payment Details

Teaching styles



Music Market

Squeezebox Special Concert

Location and facilities

Booking Form



Downloadable PDF of leaflet 








2017 Workshops




1. (Level 2) 'Building on the Basics' Part 1: Steve Dumpleton (D/G melodeon) (bookable only with class 8)
A whole day melodeon workshop for inexperienced players, including a tune or two from East Anglia. Working at a steady pace, we will use some accessible tunes to consolidate and build upon basic techniques and to explore the potential of the instrument. Not suitable for absolute beginners. Continues in Class 8 in the afternoon. (FULL)

2. (Level 2/3) 'Phrase You': Nick Cooke (D/G melodeon)
A look at phrasing and accenting music to help dancers - using some lovely English tunes from the Cotswold morris traditions.


3. (Level 2/3) 'Beautiful Tunes': Saul Rose (D/G melodeon) (FULL)
Saul shares some tips in this slow and steady class looking at some simply gorgeous tunes!

4. (Level 3/4) 'Unaccidentally on Purpose': Rees Wesson (D/G melodeon)

Crazy tunes without accidentals – ‘because I haven't got any!’ as Rees says. Arpeggios, modulations and the odd jazz chord.

5. (Level 3/4) 'Take A Simple Tune': Jeannie Harris
(D one row or D/G melodeon)
Exploring the potential of some straightforward tunes, using one-row techniques. Looking at embellishment, rhythms and harmonies.

6. (Level 2/3/4) 'Playing with Feeling': Sandra Kerr  (any system concertina)

Exploring how to put some expression into your music - not just rushing through the notes! (4 spaces left)

7. (Level 1) Absolute Beginners Melodeon: Ron Ross (C melodeon - 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! (FULL)

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) 'Building on the Basics', Part 2: Steve Dumpleton (D/G melodeon) (bookable only with class 1)
A continuation of class 1 above. (FULL)

9. (Level 2/3/4) 'Roll Back the Carpet': Katie Howson (D/G melodeon or any system concertina)
How to make tunes danceable, using some great tunes suitable for ceilidh dancing. (3 spaces left)

10. (Level 2/3) 'One Row Bounce': Rees Wesson (D one-row or D/G melodeon)
One-row techniques and some good ole’ East Anglian tunes.

11. (Level 3/4) 'It's Not All About that Bass!' Nick Cooke (D/G melodeon)
You have chords on both ends of your instrument! Exploring chords on the melody keyboard. (2 spaces left)

12. (Level 3/4) 'Odd Keys': Saul Rose (D/G melodeon)
Playing in odd keys: looking at scales and melodies away from the 'home' key.

13. (Level 3/4) 'Early Scottish Ragtime'': Sandra Kerr  (any system concertina)
Looking at syncopation in some wonderful traditional tunes.

N.B. This class was previously described as suitable for D/G melodeon, but some of the tunes are in A and C. It is still open to melodeon players if you can play in these keys.

14. (Level 1) Absolute Beginners Anglo Concertina: Andrew Collins (C/G anglo-concertina - 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! (FULL)

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.




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. 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.


This information is also available as a downloadable PDF, should you wish to print it off and share it around.


2017 Tutors

Saul Rose

3. Beautiful Tunes

12. Odd Keys

Thanks to a morris dancing background, Saul has been playing the melodeon since the age of ten. He has been a professional musician on and off since his teens and in 1991 he won the BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award. From there he started a long musical association with Eliza Carthy, founding the Kings of Calicutt with her, working in Waterson:Carthy and now the Wayward Band.

He also plays with mega dance bands Whapweasel and Random and has worked with Jim Moray, Ruth Notman and is currently in a duo with Jamie Delarre. He is one of the few melodeon players to have taken the part of the Song Man in the west end production of 'War Horse'.

Saul is a consummate traditional musician and always a popular tutor at Melodeons and More, and was last here in 2013.

See his website with Jamie Delarre for more information.


Nick Cooke

2. Phrase You!

11. It's Not All About that Bass

Nick is a stunning melodeon player, again, learning as a child with a folk music background, and playing for local ceilidhs in Somerset by the age of thirteen.

He studied music production at Leeds College of Music and has worked as a mastering engineer (in fact he mastered the PolkaWorks CD - see Jeannie & Katie below!).

These days, as well as continuing to play for dancing, Nick has become the melodeon accompanist of choice for many big names including Kate Rusby, Jim Moray and Jackie Oates. He currently plays in Mawkin, a band well known to many in the east, as most of its members originate from Essex!

A first visit to Melodeons and More for Nick, we're sure you'll enjoy his classes and concert performance.

Sandra Kerr

6. Playing with Feeling

13. Early Scottish Ragtime

Sandra was born in London but has made the North East her home for many years now. In the 1960s she worked with Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger and she has continued to perform and teach much material promoting workers and women's rights throughout her life. She is principal voice tutor for the Folk and Traditional Music degree course at the University of Newcastle and leads choirs both in her locality and at many festivals up and down the country. She wrote the music for Bagpuss and was the voice of the rag doll, should you be interested! Earlier this year she was awarded the Gold Badge from the English Folk Dance and Song Society in recognition of her enormous contributions to folk music.

She is a fine English concertina player and has tutored at Melodeons and More a couple of times in the past. This year her concertina playing was featured on the CD 'Early Scottish Ragtime' curated by Vic Gammon.

Find out more on Sandra's website


Rees Wesson

4. Unaccidentally on Purpose

10. One Row Bounce

Rees is a melodeon maestro, maker, trader and teacher who learned to play while working on the night-shift in a cheese factory. After cutting his teeth on the South Wales folk scene, he joined reggae-folk pioneers, Edward II.

In 1989 he formed the Zydeco band Joe Le Taxi, who are still gigging regularly. 2017 sees the formation of a new band, The Maygrum, his most 'sonically exciting' adventure yet.

Rees' zany humour and sheer versatility on the squeezebox has made him one of our most popular tutors and we're pleased to have him back after a break of a few years.

Rees has a website all about melodeons ...!

Jeannie Harris

5. Take a Simple Tune

Jeannie specialises in the one-row melodeon and brings a very distinctive style to the instrument. She lived in east Suffolk for some years and came under the influence of Oscar Woods, whilst working with the legendary Magic Lantern, singing, playing and learning the skills of puppetry and escapology!

In the nineties, she formed a duo with Katie Howson, exploring the idea of two one-rows together, and they continue their partnership with the festival ceilidh band PolkaWorks. She also works occasionally with her sister Sue Harris and they have recently founded a unique week of music, singing, dancing and creativity at Halsway Manor in Somerset.

Have a look at the PolkaWorks Facebook page or website




Katie Howson

9. Roll Back the Carpet

Katie is director of the Melodeons and More days and of the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust, with a lifetime's immersion in the traditional music of England and East Anglia in particular.

She has taught at Melodeons at Witney, Folkworks summer schools, Trek-er-es-Uut in the Netherlands and 'Buttonboxes and Moothies' in Aberdeen.

She currently plays with PolkaWorks (with Jeannie, above) and the Valiant Dance Band and moonlights in the Michael Sheehy Band playing music from Sliabh Luachra in the southwest of Ireland. Together with husband John and dulcimer player Reg Reader she formed and led the Old Hat Concert Party and influential bands Old Hat Dance Band and Katie's Quartet.

Valiant Dance Band



Steve Dumpleton

1. & 8. Building on the Basics

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 ceilidh bands.







Ron Ross

7. Absolute Beginners Melodeon

Ron is a melodeon and concertina player with a lifetime's experience of playing for dancing around Suffolk and Norfolk. His repertoire includes cotswold and north-west morris, clogdancing and ceilidh, and he has taught and led various groups in the area.

Ron has tutored at Melodeons and More before, and is also the regular tutor for the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust's beginners' evening classes in Stowmarket.






Andrew Collins

14. Absolute Beginners Anglo Concertina

Andrew is an anglo concertina player from south Norfolk.

He started playing at a beginners' class run by EATMT and can still remember what it was like to be a beginner!

He is a member of SqueezEast, an informal concertina group based in Norfolk and has taught beginners for West Country Concertina Players. He also plays for Old School Rapper.

Have a look at SqueezEast or West Country Concertina Players websites by clicking here.




 Booking & Payment Details


Booking opens on Tuesday 13th December 2016  - this is a priority period for Friends of EATMT until Tuesday 10th January.


Please select one morning and one afternoon workshop and indicate your 1st and 2nd choice for each period.

Please note that you may book only one of Saul Rose's classes (3 or 12).

Please note 'Building on the Basics' (workshops 1 & 8) may only be booked together.


If you wish to join the Friends at the same time, to secure your first choice of classes and benefit from an extra discount, you can join at the same time. A slight restructuring of our ticket prices means that Friends now get an even better (cheaper!) deal, and there is a better (cheaper!) price for under-21s.


Friends' bookings made in this period qualify for an extra discount - from 11th January there is an increase in Friends' ticket prices.


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


Our office is not staffed full-time, so if you ring us, you may well get through to the answerphone - you are welcome to leave a message for us and we promise to get back to you as soon as we are able. Please note we are closed from 22nd December to 4th January.


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, make sure you check availability AGAIN before you actually fill it in and send it off!


To make your booking, you need to print off a booking form (link below) and then follow these steps:


(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.


Click here for a 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.



Most workshops are instrument-specific, but Classes 6 & 13 are open to players of concertinas and melodeons and other instruments too - players of low-pitched or bass instruments are particularly welcome to join this class. 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 4.00. If you’re not attending workshops but would like to look at the stalls, you are welcome from 10.45 onwards. Stalls 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


The 2017 Squeezebox Special concert features Saul Rose, Nick Cooke, Sandra Kerr and The Four Stops (Rees Wesson, Katie Howson, Jeannie Harris and Steve Dumpleton).


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.


If you are staying on after the workshops, a local pub, the White Horse in Stoke Ash, is offering a special meal. To join this meal, you need to book through EATMT - follow this link for the menu and details. Meals need to be ordered by Friday 17th March.

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 remain the same as in the last couple of years: they’re still £13.50 or £12.50 for Friends of EATMT. Why not bring your friends and family for an evening of excellent music?


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 and  adjoining school, all under the one roof. The post code for the Community Centre is IP14 5RT.


The Community Centre is fully equipped for heelchair users. and parking can be reserved for Blue Badge holders right outside. 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.


Click here for a downloadable PDF to print off and share


Click here for a printable booking form

Click here for details of accommodation in the vicinity

Click here for a group menu for the White Horse evening meal


Melodeon making


In early 2007 we were proud to offer a unique opportunity in the UK - a week's workshop where a small number of participants each made their own high-quality one row melodeon, under the expert tutelage of French instrument-maker and musician, Emmanuel Pariselle. The instrument design was based on an early twentieth century model of instrument that was hugely popular in East Anglia amongst traditional musicians - which is why the East Anglian Traditional Music Trust was keen to provide these courses. We also felt it important to encourage the ever-growing local population of players to know more about how their instruments work, and to give them the opportunity to work alongside some of the best makers in Europe. After the first Melodeon Makers in 2007, we  ran them in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014.


At present we have no further plans for another in East Anglia. Emmanuel has also run workshops building two-and-a-half row melodeons in other parts of the UK and abroad. From 2016, Halsway Manor have taken on the hosting or Emmanuel's UK workshops and are happy to discuss the possibility of a one-row building week. Halsway is a residential centre for the folk arts in Somerset, and a great place to spend a week, although of course, not quite as lovely as Suffolk! If you're interested in these courses, contact Halsway Manor directly.


Click here to read about EATMT's one-row making courses.


Melodeon maintenance days


We are proud to have led 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 and since then we have held them every two or three years; the most recent being in March 2016. 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 with help from Steve Dumpleton. Concertina players were also be accommodated, much of the content being applicable to both types of instrument.

Click here to read more.


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 improvers. Click here for details of the current courses.


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