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Absolute Beginners will pay a fixed fee of £15 and Beginners £20. Improvers and Advanced will be asked to pay a fixed fee of £40. This allows us to improve your learning experience by limiting the class size while being able to pay our professional tutors Ian Dedic and Paul Young, a realistic fee for teaching.


As we are a non-profit making organisation, if you do sign up we ask that if you cannot attend for any reason you let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer your place to someone else and you will receive a refund provided we can find another player to take your place. We operate on a goodwill basis and we are sure that you will too.


Please do book your place quickly if you want to attend as workshop numbers are limited.


We are sure you will agree that these prices represent excellent value for money – a full day of workshops plus evening sessions.


Please refer to the outline playing levels below when signing up for your class:


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 who have progressed, you will probably have been playing for a couple of years 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.


Absolute Beginners: The ever patient Helena, from Squeezeboxes From Scratch fame, will take you through the basic of this wonderful instrument and progress to being able to play a simple tune.


Beginners Workshop with Lester: A selection of simple tunes to work with to enhance your playing skills and techniques


Improvers Workshop with Ian: How to get away from "oom-pah" in general by treating the bass end as effectively a separate instrument, using bass runs and cross-chords (and drones sometimes) -- and on the right hand, how to punch-in extra notes and chords for emphasis, as well as things like playing harmonies and in parallel octaves.


Advanced Workshop with Ian: as per the Improvers (above) but at a more advanced level.

Improvers Workshop with Paul: Some French tunes to introduce an all row-crossing approach together with scales and general approach. Left hand and ornamentation dependant on progress.

Advanced Workshop with Paul: Waltzes and other slow tunes to look at cross-rowing and some 3/2 hornpipes for block chord accompaniment

You are strongly advised to wait for email confirmation of your place before booking accommodation

TO BOOK - Please email the information requested below to

  • Name

  • Contact Telephone Number

  • Playing Level (Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Improver or Advanced)

  • Do you require a loan box

Melodeon Playgroup

2nd-4th February 2024

The Fleece2
melodeon logo 2


Generously sponsored by Acorn Instruments.

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