The Barn at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton
Melodeon Playgroup started in 2012, with the realisation that there was a lack of workshops available for players who were at the very beginning of their experience with the melodeon, or who perhaps lacked the confidence or experience to join established music sessions.
Since then the event has become very popular, with those first beginners returning as improvers, and this has continued with the Improvers now being Advanced players!! The Playgroup has expanded in line with demand and from 2024 will offer workshops for four levels of players: Absolute Beginners, Beginners, Improvers and Advanced.
Our Absolute Beginners tutor - Helena - was a nervous newbie at our very first Playgroup, and has penned a wonderful history of how the event was first conceived, and how it has developed into the form it takes today. Please click here to read her history, and we are certain it will give confidence to even the most aprehensive beginner that they can join us and can learn to play in the safe and friendly environment that is the Melodeon Playgroup.
Absolute Beginners – this is for the newest of the new players – those who have never picked up a box, or maybe you’ve tinkered around a bit but can’t get through your first tune reliably yet? Or maybe you are really just too nervous to join the beginners class just yet. Absolute beginners will give you a gentle introduction to the wonders of the Squeezebox. Loan melodeons available by prior arrangement
Beginners – this class represents the origins of Playgroup and is the reason the Playgroup initially started. You’re ready for this class if you can play a few simple tunes, or have limited or no experience of playing tunes with others. You will probably have some limited experience of playing basses. Not yet really exploring row crossing.
Improvers – this class was started for playgroupers who kept wanting to come back but were now more competent players. Suitable for previous attendees to the beginner class, or those at a similar level, you will probably have been playing for a year or so, be pretty confident using basic oom-pah basses, and you’ll probably have begun to explore the use of row crossing and be able to play a number of tunes independently and want to explore playing styles, harmony, ornamentation and want to begin to do something different with tunes.
Advanced - Aimed at musicians who can play with confidence with pace, time and rhythm, understand the layout and notes of their instrument, and wish to explore more possibilities such as phrasing, harmony, ornamentations, techniques etc.
The Playgroup takes place in February each year, and is based at the Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Evesham, Worcestershire.
The formal workshop sessions take place on the Saturday, however the weekend starts with separate sessions in the Pub and the Barn on the Friday and Saturday evenings to allow for the less confident players to go at a slower pace in the Barn, away from the more experienced players who tend to race away at speed!
2nd - 4th February 2024
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Melodeon Playgroup is for players of the D/G melodeon. Players of melodeons in other keys are welcome to join us but must understand that the workshops will be based on the D/G box and tunes will generally be in the keys of D, G and Em.
Melodeon Playgroup is a Community Interest Company, and is a non-profit making event, organised entirely by volunteers. The organisers reserve the right to make changes to the programme in case of unforeseen circumstances.
(c) logo design by Helena Painting.
Booking Open: 2nd-4th February 2024
Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne taking the Improvers' Workshop in 2021