The melodeon (or diatonic button accordion) is an instrument that has become particularly popular in the folk music of Britain, Ireland, parts of Europe and America. It differs from the piano accordion in that it is smaller and lighter, has buttons rather than keys and the notes change when the bellows are pushed and pulled. The rhythmic effects of this push-pull action are especially well suited to the lively rhythms of dance music from various traditions; although it can also be played in the smoother cross-rowed style, which is particularly suitable for song accompaniment. These classes will focus mainly on music from the British Isles, but will also cover traditional playing styles from other parts of Europe.
Melodeon Level 1-2 (Beginners - progressive)
Autumn term: Level 1-2
Spring term: Level 2 only
This course starts from absolute beginner level in the autumn term and progresses throughout the year. We will begin with the basics, learning the layout of the buttons on both hands and exploring simple tunes. The classes will cover both one-row and cross-row styles and we will be working on right hand melodies from the start. Music will be taught by ear with music notation and mp3s available after the sessions.
Melodeon Level 3-4 (Improvers / Intermediate)
This course is for players who can already play both hands together with reasonable fluency. The course will focus on learning by ear and start to explore more challenging keys, techniques and left hand rhythms as the year progresses. The classes will cover both one-row and cross-row styles. Music will be taught by ear with music notation and mp3s available after the sessions.
The classes are progressive and will cater for absolute beginners at the start of the autumn term but will also cater for students who already have some knowledge of the instrument. From the spring term onwards it will be expected that students have already learnt the basics of the melodeon, have some knowledge of playing in different keys and using the left hand of the melodeon. Students need to own or hire a melodeon in D/G with at least two rows.
This course is for people who have already learnt the basics of the melodeon, have some knowledge of playing in different keys and are happy playing both sides of the melodeon together. Students need to own or hire a melodeon in D/G with at least 2 rows.
Melodeon classes are taught by Hazel Askew.
Hazel Askew is a London based singer, musician and workshop leader. She has worked as a performer on the folk scene for many years, most notably with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated vocal trio Lady Maisery and traditional English folk duo The Askew Sisters, with whom she won Best Female Singer at the 2011 Spiral Earth Awards. Hazel grew up with the folk scene, participating in many youth folk education programmes and now frequently works as a folk educator and workshop leader. She frequently leads projects for EFDSS on adult, youth and schools projects, most recently delivering three of the London based The Full English Education projects. She has also led workshops and courses for organisations including Barbican Creative Learning, Folkworks, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Dartington Summer School, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and various festivals around the country.
Click here to book Melodeon 3-4
Click here to read the terms and conditions for classes and courses run by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).
Click here for more information on individual class times, dates and further info.
Six leading lights of the British folk scene join forces to celebrate the season: Jade Ward, Debbie Hanna, Ben Savage, Hannah Sanders, Cliff Ward and Stu Hanna.