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Discussions => News and Events => Topic started by: Julian S on June 07, 2019, 12:20:20 PM

Title: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 07, 2019, 12:20:20 PM
Just wondered who else is going to be at one (or both!) of the upcoming workshop weekends at Halsway, which promise to be fantastic. I'm sure there'll be a few familiar faces, but I'm terrible at remembering names so apologies in advance for when I inevitably fail..!

Julian

Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 07, 2019, 12:34:18 PM
...don't forget me!
I'll be at the Halsway DG Weekend.
Look forward to catching up face to face again.
cheers
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Dave Praties on June 07, 2019, 01:05:30 PM
Just got a cancellation for the D/G weekend, so will be there.
Was going to do the Leveret weekend this year instead, but chickened out!
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 07, 2019, 01:31:22 PM
...don't forget me!
I'll be at the Halsway DG Weekend.
Look forward to catching up face to face again.
cheers
Q

Don't worry - won't forget Q ! Now how does Shopshire Militia Hornpipe go...?

J
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 07, 2019, 01:39:12 PM
Oh don't.... still waiting for divine inspiration.
P'raps practice might help  >:E
Q
being lazy....
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: baz parkes on June 08, 2019, 11:35:32 AM
...don't forget me!
I'll be at the Halsway DG Weekend.
Look forward to catching up face to face again.
cheers
Q

Don't worry - won't forget Q ! Now how does Shopshire Militia Hornpipe go...?

J

It's either the slow one, the fast one, the minor one or the one that goes... :|glug
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Worldsend on June 10, 2019, 09:33:08 PM
I will be there

First time for me.....help
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 10, 2019, 09:56:39 PM
Oh great, look forward to meeting you!
Cheers
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Nick Ray on June 11, 2019, 08:52:54 AM
I'll be at the Leveret weekend.
I've really benefited from the Melodeon weekends at Halsway over the last two years but I want to learn to play with other musicians so it had to be the Leveret weekend. And you don't need to read music..... phew..  ::)
It'd be great to meet up with other Melnetters.
 
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Helena Handcart on June 11, 2019, 09:57:25 AM
Just the Leveret weekend for us this year.  I must admit I'm finding melodeon-only weekends less and less enjoyable these days.

Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 11, 2019, 10:07:10 AM
Ah well... sorry to be missing you both at the DG Weekend.
No doubt we'll bump into one another at a festival.
Cheers.
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Helena Handcart on June 11, 2019, 10:44:18 AM
No doubt we'll bump into one another at a festival.

Sidmouth Blackmore Gardens usually  (:)
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 11, 2019, 07:26:06 PM
yes, though I won't be on the bar this year, life's sort of getting in the way...…
If not, Warwick or Shrewsbury??
q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 11, 2019, 11:02:04 PM
Oh dear. Just described myself as an 'advanced' player for the melodeon weekend.
 Is it too late to get practicing ? ::)

J
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 11, 2019, 11:09:34 PM
:D
I felt very overfaced describing myself as intermediate last, but it didn't matter. Nobody is going to check up.
Enjoy the weekend. I would love to  go, but mywife  has a significant birthday
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: playandteach on June 12, 2019, 12:15:52 AM
Oh dear. Just described myself as an 'advanced' player for the melodeon weekend.
 Is it too late to get practicing ? ::)
J
I've seen and heard you play. Definitely advanced. Fortunately at Wensleydale, the Intermediate and Advanced were the same groups. Enjoy the weekend.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Theo on June 12, 2019, 09:23:57 AM
I’ve been involved as an an admin at many music events over the years and it’s very common to find that good players underestimate their ability, and that less good players often overestimate theirs!  If in doubt contact the event organiser for guidance. 
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 12, 2019, 09:38:55 AM
Thanks for the comments ! Playing the Keel Row a dozen times in a cold damp derelict Iron Works wasn't good for my morale yesterday evening. (At least I didn't allow the drips from the holes in the roof to land on the bellows...)

I reckon small steps in progress just get harder with advancing years (and frustration increases). Should have really applied myself years ago - but it's never too late. And workshop weekends always help.

J
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Lester on June 12, 2019, 09:39:16 AM
I’ve been involved as an an admin at many music events over the years and it’s very common to find that good players underestimate their ability, and that less good players often overestimate theirs!  If in doubt contact the event organiser for guidance.


https://halswaymanor.org.uk/halsway-melodeon-playing-levels/ (https://halswaymanor.org.uk/halsway-melodeon-playing-levels/)
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Helena Handcart on June 12, 2019, 10:08:12 AM
I’ve been involved as an an admin at many music events over the years and it’s very common to find that good players underestimate their ability, and that less good players often overestimate theirs!  If in doubt contact the event organiser for guidance.


https://halswaymanor.org.uk/halsway-melodeon-playing-levels/ (https://halswaymanor.org.uk/halsway-melodeon-playing-levels/)

Yes, in this case it's perhaps best not to look.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Lester on June 12, 2019, 10:52:19 AM
I’ve been involved as an an admin at many music events over the years and it’s very common to find that good players underestimate their ability, and that less good players often overestimate theirs!  If in doubt contact the event organiser for guidance.


https://halswaymanor.org.uk/halsway-melodeon-playing-levels/ (https://halswaymanor.org.uk/halsway-melodeon-playing-levels/)

Yes, in this case it's perhaps best not to look.


 (:)
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Steve_freereeder on June 12, 2019, 02:25:54 PM
Oh dear. Just described myself as an 'advanced' player for the melodeon weekend.
 Is it too late to get practicing ? ::)
J
I've seen and heard you play. Definitely advanced. Fortunately at Wensleydale, the Intermediate and Advanced were the same groups. Enjoy the weekend.
Yes - what P&T said. I've heard you play several times now and not just in workshops. Julian - you're an advanced player. Believe in yourself! 
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 12, 2019, 02:41:11 PM
There you go Julian, I'm not the only one of that opinion!
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: heartshaped1 on June 12, 2019, 02:50:06 PM
There you go Julian, I'm not the only one of that opinion!
Q

Thirded or fourthed, wherever we’re at now!
Having sat next to you Julian at both Andy Cutting’s workshop in Holmfirth and while we both tried to keep up with Toon’s ‘let’s all play in 7/8 now but in b minor’ at Wensleydale I would say definitely advanced! Enjoy!!!!
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 12, 2019, 03:39:05 PM
Ok ok...how many beers do I owe now ? (:) :|glug
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 12, 2019, 04:25:17 PM
Damn you've seen through my subterfuge   ;D
No, all honestly meant, and looking forward to sharing a pint in a couple of weeks time!
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 23, 2019, 09:33:00 PM
And the Halsway Melodeon weekend was really excellent.
Great tuition from Mel Biggs, Andy Cutting and Anne Niepold - lots of things to digest technique wise. (The benefits of using different fingers for repeat notes being just one thing to focus on personally - not to forget cross chords on left hand and really practising those right hand chords )
Then there were the incredible performances in the concert...lovely playing from the tutors.
It was also great to catch up with friends and be tempted by the Acorn stall, yet again !

And for me a few days to recover before Leveret weekend...

Julian
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 23, 2019, 09:40:26 PM
I totally agree, an excellent weekend!
...and lovely company too.
Just great all round  (:)
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: playandteach on June 23, 2019, 10:14:54 PM
And the Halsway Melodeon weekend was really excellent.
Great tuition from Mel Biggs, Andy Cutting and Anne Niepold - lots of things to digest technique wise. (The benefits of using different fingers for repeat notes being just one thing to focus on personally - not to forget cross chords on left hand and really practising those right hand chords )
Julian
Glad to hear that you've been enjoying yourself Julian. I wish I could get out more.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 23, 2019, 11:14:17 PM

Glad to hear that you've been enjoying yourself Julian. I wish I could get out more.

What P&T says. Wish I could of gone. They insist on holding this event on my wife's birthday.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 24, 2019, 07:48:24 AM
Greg, next year it's on the first weekend in July.
See you there!
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 24, 2019, 08:46:53 AM
They've seen sense at last.

I shall plan for it.

Last year I did the Leveret weekend which was brilliant, but a bit lonely  (:)

Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: MelonBox on June 24, 2019, 09:53:00 AM
Brain = mush.

Well, wasn't that just marvelous?!

Dates for next year are 3-5th July with myself, Anne, Andy and Hazel.

I've prepared a playlist of my YouTube videos of tunes/accompaniments as promised to help with your ongoing learning (and to help piece your brains back together!):
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQWRRYxpOfwhLqqHX5GN3H60-H7evOhAZ
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 24, 2019, 10:12:55 AM
Yep utter mush here too..... but wasn't it great?
thanks again
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: pete /acorn on June 24, 2019, 01:35:02 PM
Great weekend,good to meet previous and new customers
Not rushing about much today,totally shattered,drove all the way home last night,280 miles,got home midnight
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Dave Praties on June 24, 2019, 02:44:22 PM
As above - fantastic weekend, and such talented and lovely tutors. Also, how great to have Acorn, probably the most expensive toy-shop in the country! good to talk to you Pete, my bank cards are still itching! Soon perhaps. Cheers all, Dave
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 24, 2019, 04:23:27 PM
Glad you got back safely Pete ( and all those with long journeys home).
Lovely to chat, and your Toy Shop was great! It is a rare treat to see such a lovely set of instruments all in one place and having the time to go back and try various models in such a relaxed environment.
It gives much food for thought  ::)
cheers
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Howard Jones on June 25, 2019, 07:09:11 PM
Due to diary clashes I haven't been able to attend either of these. I'd particularly like to attend a Leveret workshop, maybe next year.

Whilst I know it should be regarded only as a broad guide and perhaps not taken too literally, I am a little surprised that Halsway Manor's "playing levels" emphasises sight-reading at "Advanced Intermediates" and "Advanced Professional" levels, and even "Lower Intermediates" are expected to read music.  It also suggests that at the two highest levels you should 'probably' be playing 2+ rows and 12 or 18 basses.  I can think of a number of highly-regarded players who wouldn't meet these criteria, especially the second, including some professionals.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 25, 2019, 08:04:13 PM
I admit I found the implication that as you progress a 2 row 8 bass isn't good enough somewhat odd.
Saying that, the Advanced group had about 3 2.5 row/12 basses and 4 2 row 8 bass players. You didn't need anything more than a 2 row 8 bass for the tuition.
The tunes we tackled  were all 'by ear' though one tutor had some dots to remind us later. Sight reading was not necessary.
I think the tutors found it easier to split the groups and as the broad playing levels went out before hand to all participants, the tutors then had an idea of numbers in each group. That helped them put the largest group in the largest room etc. and work out before hand the logistics of the mass of people walking through the door.

This was the third DG weekend and I attended this one and the second one was my first time. They are relatively new weekends and I've seen improvements in organisation between the second and third weekend. They are working to improve it year on year for the people attending them.
As ever the accommodation and hospitality is superb, my wife coming along as a non-participant simply to enjoy a weekend away in gorgeous surroundings and being waited on hand and foot. In fact we've just booked for next year!
They really are brilliant weekends, I've learnt a lot and also met a lot of very nice people along the way.
…..but of course they're nice people, they play melodeons  (:)
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on June 25, 2019, 11:46:03 PM
I am a little surprised that Halsway Manor's "playing levels" emphasises sight-reading at "Advanced Intermediates" and "Advanced Professional" levels, and even "Lower Intermediates" are expected to read music.  It also suggests that at the two highest levels you should 'probably' be playing 2+ rows and 12 or 18 basses.

I find pinches of salt are in order, so far as Halsway's definitions of levels are concerned.
Going on my experience of last years Leveret weekend, the ability to pick up tunes, reasonably quickly, was a a lot more appropriate and useful, at any level, than any amount of dot reading. 2row v. 2+ rows was irrelevant. Ear playing, on two rows, was pretty much what it was all about, so far as diatonic accordion playing went (don't call it a melodeon when Andy's around).

If you plan to do a weekend next year and your ear playing could do with more work, start putting the work in now. I certainly felt the lack, even though my dot reading is ok.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 26, 2019, 07:19:56 AM
Yes, totally agree with Greg.
Developing a 'quick ear' is an advantage, and that improves with practice.
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Steve_freereeder on June 26, 2019, 07:23:40 AM
Whilst I know it should be regarded only as a broad guide and perhaps not taken too literally, I am a little surprised that Halsway Manor's "playing levels" emphasises sight-reading at "Advanced Intermediates" and "Advanced Professional" levels, and even "Lower Intermediates" are expected to read music.  It also suggests that at the two highest levels you should 'probably' be playing 2+ rows and 12 or 18 basses.  I can think of a number of highly-regarded players who wouldn't meet these criteria, especially the second, including some professionals.

Others have questioned them too. Having been asked to review them for use in other workshops, I have concluded that the Halsway Manor ability levels are over-detailed and too prescriptive.

Melodeons in Wensleydale, EATMT, and others that I am involved with now use (with his permission) a version of Dave Townsend's Melodeons at Witney ability levels which seem to be just about right. Here's our version, applicable to both melodeons and concertinas. It seems to work very well.

Basic Level (B)
Musicians who can play a few tunes, know their way around the main notes of the instrument, and have some knowledge of note-names, written music and/or chord-symbols. On melodeon, they will have begun to use the left-hand bass and chord buttons.

Intermediate Level (I)
Musicians who can play in the usual keys of the instrument, have knowledge of where to find all the notes, a fair idea of rhythm, and can follow at a reasonable pace. They will have started to learn to control the sounds (i.e. loudness and attack), to consider musical style, and perhaps to experiment with harmony and ornamentation.

Higher Level (H)
Musicians who can play with a degree of fluency, understand the layout of the instrument, can find notes as required, and keep a fair rhythm and pace. They will be exploring various aspects of their music such as style, phrasing, dynamics, accents, rhythms, harmony, ornamentation and technique.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 26, 2019, 07:31:20 AM
That makes a lit of sense Steve.
Q
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Julian S on June 26, 2019, 07:55:13 AM
I certainly think that being able both to sight read and learn by ear is great (but would say that the latter is the more important skill to develop). Just my opinion of course ! I've never done any teaching of melodeon - definitely don't have sufficient patience, but if I ever contemplated this I'd be looking at techniques to help others develop this key skill. There are probably threads elsewhere on this  >:E

I've already commented on skill level - I do think the Halsway levels are misleading. Last weekend I reckon that my skill levels dropped to low intermediate by Saturday evening (and below that the next morning) due to a combination of lack of sleep, the sheer exhaustion from concentrated learning, emotional drain and stress from a recent family bereavement (our cat companion of twenty years)...and just a few drinks.
And of course the teaching approach of different tutors can suit some more than others. Within those levels, some might have more experience with improvisation, cross rowing, the use of the whole keyboard, chord combinations....and so on. Over a weekend there is never enough time to absorb and process learning, practise new tunes or techniques - I've certainly taken a lot on board to work on for years.
And I've only got a session tonight, practice today for stressful gig tomorrow, and back to Halsway for Leveret weekend on Friday. Back to beginner skill level by then I reckon.

Until next year (but maybe reunion at Shrewsbury festival or elsewhere...)

Julian
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Helena Handcart on June 26, 2019, 08:28:04 AM
Whilst I know it should be regarded only as a broad guide and perhaps not taken too literally, I am a little surprised that Halsway Manor's "playing levels" emphasises sight-reading at "Advanced Intermediates" and "Advanced Professional" levels, and even "Lower Intermediates" are expected to read music.  It also suggests that at the two highest levels you should 'probably' be playing 2+ rows and 12 or 18 basses.  I can think of a number of highly-regarded players who wouldn't meet these criteria, especially the second, including some professionals.

I agree - and actually felt strongly enough about this to contact Halsway about it some months ago. Aside from the stuff about reading music the fact that it appears to fall into the trap of more buttons = better is disappointing and their definitions would bar at least one or two of their own tutors from being classed as 'advanced' or 'professional' players.

While it is pleasing that Halsway embrace such a variety of musical traditions, their recommended playing levels for melodeon appear to favour European styles of playing, overlooking our wonderful home-grown styles, including the fabulous one-row traditions that exist.

It rather saddens me that this is the case for a folk arts centre in England. Ho hum.
Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on June 26, 2019, 09:18:38 AM
I replied, as requested, giving my level and made the point that I 'only' play a 2 row 8 bass and aspire to nothing more.
More buttons does not mean better.

As this thread has had a lot of recent feedback, I'm sure (know) these comments will be picked up by the people concerned and fed back.

As to actual ability levels, mine too dropped dramatically as the weekend evolved. By sunday I was struggling simply because I was very tired and my brain had been mislaid somewhere....which accounted for the lack of brain to fingers connection in the last workshop!
.... but that is *exactly* what should happen!
It means I've accumulated a lot of information and advice to take away and absorb slowly over time to make me a better player.
The ability levels are a minor quibble that had no obvious affect at the weekend. It was just a stunningly good weekend that will give me food for thought for a long time!

...and talking of food, that was excellent too!
What more do you want?
Q


Title: Re: Halsway Melodeon/Leveret weekend
Post by: Howard Jones on June 26, 2019, 10:29:30 AM
I agree with Helena that the emphasis on reading music does seem inappropriate for folk, and the implication that 'more' means 'better' seems to disregard our own native styles. 

I think I am confident enough in my own playing not to be deterred by Halsway's descriptions (although I might want to check whether an individual course would be largely working from music, or was specifically aimed at exploring the larger instruments), but some players might be. 
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