Squeezer Weekends

John Kirkpatrick leads a series of weekend workshops for players of the three-row button accordion and the Anglo Concertina. These are based in Bishop's Castle, Shropshire and extend over a whole weekend from Friday lunchtime to Sunday afternoon.

Anglo Concertina Workshop

Chords and Keys on the Anglo

Friday 8th to Sunday 10th April 2022

Sorry this weekend has been cancelled, but see other dates in October below.

British Button Box Workshop

Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September 2022

John Kirkpatrick leads a series of workshops for players of the three-row button accordion - the quirky instrument that was taken round the world in the first class hands of Jimmy Shand. The right hand gives you three melodeon (push-pull) rows in B, C, and C#, and the left hand side gives you full accordion basses in the conventional "Stradella" layout, with bass notes and chords that are the same in either direction.

John will be starting out from his very firm base in Traditional English Folk Music, so the repertoire will be quite different from the Scottish Country Dance Style made famous by Jimmy Shand and his many followers. This weekend is also very instrument specific, and will not be suitable for players of the two-row Irish style of accordion, nor the G/D melodeon, nor the piano accordion.

As well as covering the expected fields of Morris Tunes, Country Dance Tunes, and Folk Songs, John will also be looking at the complexities of playing in all the keys available on this gloriously compact instrument, and exploring swathes of repertoire that may not be immediately associated with the poor old push-pull squeeze-box! Whether you've been playing five minutes or fifty years, this is a great opportunity to come and learn at the feet of one of England's most dedicated and respected musicians.

Cost of tuition: £200.00

or to find out more, or reserve a place, contact John.

Anglo Concertina Workshop

More Chords and Keys on the Anglo

Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2022

John Kirkpatrick leads a series of workshops for players of the Anglo Concertina. This is the push-pull version of the instrument, so will not be suitable for players of the English or Duet models. You’ll need an Anglo with not less than thirty buttons, preferably in the commonest key combinations of C/G or G/D. Other keys are available - we’ll do our best! John’s approach is based on Traditional English Folk Music, and he will not be covering the Irish style on this weekend.

This a series of sessions aimed at players who have already started exploring the harmonic style of adding left hand chords under a right hand melody. Join John in seeing how far off the well trodden paths of the two home keys we can go! Dance Tunes and Song accompaniments will be explored in the traditional style, and whatever else is needed to bring the music alive.

Cost of tuition: £200.00

or to find out more, or reserve a place, contact John.

The venue

The Church Barn, Church Lane, Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire, SY9 5AF

The Church Barn is a beautifully restored listed building with all modern facilities, including wheelchair access. It’s at the bottom of the town. Stand in the lych gate of the church, facing up the hill with the church behind you, turn left, take the first turning on the left, opposite The Six Bells Inn, and it’s the first building on the left. The car park is just beyond, also on the left.


12.00 noonGather for lunchtime - access to the Church Barn
1.00pmLunch provided
2.00pm – 6.00pmFirst session
6.00pmExplore the eateries of Bishop’s Castle for a ravishing meal
7.30pmPrivate tune session for course members, or public folk club, depending on Covid regulations at the time.
10.00am – 1.00pmSecond session
1.00pmLunch provided
2.00pm – 6.00pmThird session
7.00pmCommunal meal - either in a local pub or possibly in The Church Barn
10.00am – 1.00pmFourth session
1.00pmLunch provided
2.00pm – 4.00pmFinal session

The fee includes lunches and tea/coffee/cakes throughout the day.

You will need to arrange and pay for your own bed, breakfast, and evening meals.

There is limited parking space for camper vans at the Church Barn. Please check with John if you would like to bring one.

For accommodation in Bishop’s Castle – hotels, B&B, self-catering, glamping or camping – look at ‘Where to Stay’ here: www.bishopscastle.co.uk