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Is it important to have an accordion (PA) teacher who also plays the piano?

henrikhank

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Is it important to have an accordion (PA) teacher who also plays the piano?
In accordion method books you can find exercices in thirds eg scales in thirds. It doesn't seem like something one needs to practice on the accordion if one is a pianist.
It seems kinda stupid to do it on the accordion when you can do it on the piano.
I understand that the only things you need to practice on the accordion are the accordion specific exercices.

What do you think?
 

Eddy Yates

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Henrik,
My "learning" has been by watching videos and listening to advise on this forum. I've discovered that the fingering I use on the accordion is pretty different than what I use for the piano, but one cool benefit is that playing the accordion has led me to discover different fingerings for piano pieces, like the "Archduke" Trio by Beethoven that I'm preparing (hopefully) for a Spring concert.....if venues open up and the United States gets its s*7t together.
I don't mind exercises and they're helpful to get me in shape for a concert after a layoff, but I've always found that my daily practice time is best spent on actual pieces rather than doing exercises. I simply make an exercise out of the difficult sections. I'd just rather know a lot of "real" music than a thousand Hanon exercises.
I do imagine that a good teacher who can spot weaknesses, i.e. piano habits that don't work well on the accordion, would be a good person to have on your side!
 

henrikhank

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Henrik,
My "learning" has been by watching videos and listening to advise on this forum. I've discovered that the fingering I use on the accordion is pretty different than what I use for the piano, but one cool benefit is that playing the accordion has led me to discover different fingerings for piano pieces, like the "Archduke" Trio by Beethoven that I'm preparing (hopefully) for a Spring concert.....if venues open up and the United States gets its s*7t together.
I don't mind exercises and they're helpful to get me in shape for a concert after a layoff, but I've always found that my daily practice time is best spent on actual pieces rather than doing exercises. I simply make an exercise out of the difficult sections. I'd just rather know a lot of "real" music than a thousand Hanon exercises.
I do imagine that a good teacher who can spot weaknesses, i.e. piano habits that don't work well on the accordion, would be a good person to have on your side!
different fingerings? please give me an example. I have never experienced this at all.
 
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pentaprism

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Hello Henrik,

I'm not sure I understand why you keep associating piano accordion with piano.

Yes, they have similar names and similar input form (at least for half of the PA).

Other than that, at least for me as a learner, they are two totally different animals. When I started learning PA (later switched to CBA), I also started learning piano (still learning as of now). And I didn't feel they helped each other a single bit, except for the sight-reading skill and the general understanding/appreciating of music, which is also true with learning any musical instrument.
 

henrikhank

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Hello Henrik,

I'm not sure I understand why you keep associating piano accordion with piano.

Yes, they have similar names and similar input form (at least for half of the PA).

Other than that, at least for me as a learner, they are two totally different animals. When I started learning PA (later switched to CBA), I also started learning piano (still learning as of now). And I didn't feel they helped each other a single bit, except for the sight-reading skill and the general understanding/appreciating of music, which is also true with learning any musical instrument.
didn't help? they are very similar (but also different). You could not find the similarities? I talked with a pianist and accordionist who could easily see the similarities. He told me to practice many of the technichal exercices on the piano.
the problem for you is that you have to practice two different systems. It is much harder to learn the CBA as it does not have the normal piano keyboard. So in my opinion you just complicate stuff for yourself.
 

TomBR

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I would expect any half-decent teacher to adapt their teaching to the student and the skills the student has, so the teaching of a student who has piano skills would be different from that of a student who does not - whether or not the teacher plays the piano (or organ)
 
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Henrik,

I think your question can be answered by professional piano accordion teachers. Those persons are qualified and experienced enough to give you the best advice.

You'll find out that pianos and piano accordions are completely different music instruments.


An church organ, reed organ or harpsichord share the same piano layout, but are totally different music instruments.
 

Tom

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No. I think it is important to have an accordion teacher who is a good accordion teacher. That alone is a challenge. Whether he or she plays piano would be an added bonus but is not necessary.
 

Eddy Yates

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different fingerings? please give me an example. I have never experienced this at all.
Here's a quote from the following website which you may find helpful:

"Because of the difference of angle and the lack of help from gravity to keep your hand returning to the accordion keyboard the Czerny piano exercises and techniques do not always work on accordion.

However I found one which might be helpful and that was to roll over the hand in the direction the notes are heading when you cross the thumb or fingers over. So doing a finger crossing with the note going "down" in pitch you would swivel your wrist anti clockwise. I think this will send the hand back towards the keyboard."

 

Neoscan

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'Is it important to have an accordion (PA) teacher who also plays the piano?' - why would it be important? I really don't understand what you mean. The way the keys on a piano work are completely different to the ones on a piano accordion. If you've learnt some exercises on the piano and feel you don't need to practice them much on the accordion, then fine, don't. There are so many examples of piano players who jump onto an accordion and think, as the notes are the similar, that's the two are interchangeable.
 

JerryPH

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Piano and accordion are so remotely similar, that short of note location of the right hand, EVERYTHING else is different. Just because you can ride a bike, does not mean you can race a motorcycle through the mountains.. yet you sit on both and both have 2 wheels and handlebars. ;)

Its not the similarities that matter, it's the differences that define the challenges! :)
 

Zevy

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"Because of the difference of angle and the lack of help from gravity to keep your hand returning to the accordion keyboard the Czerny piano exercises and techniques do not always work on accordion.
I agree with that 100%. I studied "Little Czerny", which is a collection of three books of exercises for the accordion adapted by my teacher from the famous Czerny piano exercises. I really feel that the first exercise should not have been included, as it actually caused me pain. It lays well on the piano but not on the accordion.
There is a great book that discusses this very issue. It's by Bob Smith and it's called "Fingering for the Accordion". He was kind enough to thank me for some input I offered years ago. I recommend it highly.
 

Pipemajor

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Piano and accordion are so remotely similar, that short of note location of the right hand, EVERYTHING else is different. Just because you can ride a bike, does not mean you can race a motorcycle through the mountains.. yet you sit on both and both have 2 wheels and handlebars. ;)

Its not the similarities that matter, it's the differences that define the challenges! :)
But you can tootle around on a moped with an automatic gearbox with no problems.
If you know the piano keyboard, you can get a tune on anything that has a piano style keyboard in 5 minutes so it must be a big help.
It's the same with woodwind or brass instruments, once you know one it's not much of a transition the the others :unsure:
 

pentaprism

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So I guess the answers to the questions in the initial post are:

>> Is it important to have an accordion (PA) teacher who also plays the piano?

No. It may help one to learn to play PA if (s)he already plays piano. But whether the accordion teacher plays piano is irrelevant.

>> In accordion method books you can find exercices in thirds eg scales in thirds. It doesn't seem like something one needs to practice on the accordion if one is a pianist.

One still needs to practice on the accordion if (s)he wants to play accordion. If one wants to play piano, practice on the piano.

>> It seems kinda stupid to do it on the accordion when you can do it on the piano.

No, it's not stupid to do it on the accordion. It is stupid NOT to do it on the accordion.

>> I understand that the only things you need to practice on the accordion are the accordion specific exercices.

Yes. But the "exercices in thirds eg scales in thirds" mentioned above are actually "accordion specific exercices."

If I had to draw an analogy between piano and piano accordion, I'd compare them to football in the US and football in France. Playing one may help you to learn the other because you already have the stamina and the appreciation for spirit in sport. But despite the same name, they are two different sports, thus each has its own techniques. Whether your coach also plays/coaches the other sport is irrelevant.
 
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JerryPH

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But you can tootle around on a moped with an automatic gearbox with no problems.
If you know the piano keyboard, you can get a tune on anything that has a piano style keyboard in 5 minutes so it must be a big help.
It's the same with woodwind or brass instruments, once you know one it's not much of a transition the the others :unsure:
Sure you can get a one handed tune out on an accordion if you play Piano, but it only gets you about the same distance in the same time if you played tuba.. meaning yes you can, just not very far.

I saw this first hand over the course of a year... back in the days when I was in an orchestra, we had one very talented accordionist who ended up going to Concordia University to study piano with the goal of improving his accordion skills because Concordia did not recognize the accordion as a legit instrument. Yeah, his knowledge really blossomed, his understanding of theory went through the roof... as his technique went down the toilet. He no longer played accordion... he pounded on it like a piano, he ripped on it to the point he physically damaged it and after 8 months, his head was full of things that worked superbly on a piano but were an absolute fail on an accordion. Why? Past a very definite point, technique and playng methodology is NOT transferable from piano to accordion.

So while you can get from 0 to 1 in this method, and it *is* an advancement, overall, its a very poor way because to get from 1 to 2... isn't quite doable... much less moving up to any more serious standard. :)
 

pentaprism

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....his knowledge really blossomed, his understanding of theory went through the roof... as his technique went down the toilet. He no longer played accordion... he pounded on it like a piano...
Using my analogy of US football and French football above, Jerry, imagine a (former US football) player tackling a member of the other team during a French football ("soccer") match.... :)
 

John M

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My 2 Cents. The biggest difference between a piano and an accordion is when you press a note on the piano it dies out. When you play a note on the accordion it will sustain as long as you want (as long as you keep pumping the bellows). I believe, if you are accustomed to playing an organ, the switch from organ to accordion is much easier than from piano to accordion. This is because, if you press a note on an organ, it will sound as long as you hold the key. The "key touch" on an organ and accordion are more similar than a piano and accordion.

John M.
 

pentaprism

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So, time to change "piano" to "organ " in the title of this thread "?🙂
Yes.

Then I'll change my analogy from "football in the US and football in France" to "football in the US and football in Italy." ;)
 

JerryPH

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Using my analogy of US football and French football above, Jerry, imagine a (former US football) player tackling a member of the other team during a French football ("soccer") match.... :)
That's about as close to a real life analogy as you can get!
 

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