Free taster lessons for would-be accordionists

East Antrim Accordion School has reopened after the summer break with an offer of free lessons for school children.

Since opening in 1989, the school - under the direction of Clyde Johnston - has gone from strength to strength with pupils enjoying considerable success in competition at both local and national level. The students are also very much in demand on the concert front and are enjoying a growing reputation for excellence, performing at various housing folds in the area in addition to individual engagements.

Last year at the UK Championships, Jenny Beattie from Straid was crowned UK 16 and Under Polka Champion with Jonathan Wilson from Larne gaining second place in the Elementary Solo and the 13 and Under Musette Solo as well as third place in the 12 and Under Polka and earlier this year Carrickfergus girl Emma Dunlop also gained three prizes at the UK Championships, gaining second place in the Higher Preparatory Solo and the 12 and under Polka as well as third prize in the Musette.

The school is open to all ages and students are taught individually. As a taster for school children, the first six lessons are free with no obligation to continue. Pupils are taught to read music and play both the treble and bass keyboards of this very popular instrument. They can also be prepared for examinations, as set by the British College of Accordionists, compete in various music festivals or simply play for fun.

As well as having Larne recognised as an official British College of Accordionists examining centre, Clyde is the college’s Northern Ireland representative and been made a member of the Teachers Advisory Council.

Anyone interested in learning to play the accordion should contact Clyde at (028) 2827 2258. For those who do not have an accordion the School has a number of instruments that can be borrowed.