Are you thinking about starting to play the Anglo Concertina?

You may have already decided to play the Anglo Concertina or you are still deciding which type of concertina you want to play (Anglo, English Concertina or Duets etc). I want to share with you how I started to play the Anglo Concertina, as an adult learner, based in the UK.

When I met my Anglo

I went to a traditional Irish music festival back in 2019 (Fleadh Cheoil nah √Čireann). I am a harpist by musical background, but as soon as I saw young people effortlessly playing the Anglo Concertina (Irish Concertina) at the festival - I knew that I wanted to learn how to play one. Compared with a harp, an Anglo is so portable! On a musical impulse, I went and bought an Anglo Concertina straight away from an Irish store. I bought a mid-range, 30 button concertina, in the key C/G. 

My first beginner course

With my new concertina in hand, I then searched for UK based courses, and this is when I first came across the West Country Concertina Players (WCCP). With luck, my search was just before the WCCP, annual, autumn weekend for beginners and improvers, which is colloquially known as the Quantock Lodge Weekend.

As a new face to both the WCCP and at Quantock Lodge, I was made to feel very welcome. I was placed in a nice, small, friendly tutor group with other Anglo learners. I learned a lot during this weekend, and it is amazing how hard your brain works over the length of a weekend course! For the Anglo, there is a different note on the push or the pull (i.e., it is bisonoric) - this takes some practice, but it is a fun instrument to play. The Quantock Lodge weekend is a great weekend for absolute beginners to learn the concertina, plus it is social and a lot of fun. Everyone in the club started as a beginner and there is no pressure to be more advanced than you currently are!

Since my first Quantock Lodge weekend, I joined the WCCP as a member and I have since completed some online Irish concertina courses and some sessions held on Zoom. I also joined the organising committee for the Quantock Lodge weekend, as it is an enjoyable weekend - focussed on beginners and improvers.

How can I learn to play the Concertina (Anglo) with the WCCP?

The WCCP welcomes absolute beginners for all of the concertina systems. If you are local to Somerset, you may be able to attend the Ruishton Play Days (near Taunton). Or you are welcome to come to the Annual Quantock Lodge weekend for beginners and improvers. The next Quantock Lodge Weekend will take place on 30 September 22, with bookings open to non-members on 1 August 22. If you missed the date for booking on to the 2022 event, please plan ahead to join us for a future autumn weekend! Please contact the WCCP to find out more at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Alison Walsh, Anglo Concertina Learner

21 July 2022