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Trials and Tribulations of learning to play the accordion

Chickers

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A comical story of learning the accordion.
Basically, I had little to no-experience in playing any musical instrument, but a few years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn to play the accordion.
I am a senior adult that loves music, and dance, of all sorts, so after a friend of mine who is quite a musician allowed me to try on his accordion. I was hooked. Wow, it was like an awakening--so I thought. The accordion felt natural, sounded great, and was a instrument of beauty.
After searching various places for used accordions, I located a very attractive Ferrari 41/120 accordion. Priced right for a beginner,so I was set.
I soon discovered that playing a musical instrument of any type is a dedication, and requires practice, practice, practice.
I tried self-teaching for a while, and found that as I began to learn, I realized there was soo much more that I did not know.
I live on Northeast Ohio, home to many good musicians, polka bands, rock bands, classical orchestras, on and on.
I would think that accordion teachers would be easy to find. Well, it turns out that these fine musicians are not teachers, and don't want to be teachers.
After months of searching I finally located a teacher that seemed quite accomplished, personable, and wanted to teach accordion. By my second lesson
I found that he was teaching so far over my head, and at a skill level I was far below, I determined this wasn't going to work for me.
I also was able to find several accordion teachers that were not interested in teaching adults---especially a senior adult.
Thinking I knew a way to get around this, and since there were many piano teachers of all sorts in my area, I thought I could take piano lessons, and transfer
many of those skills to the accordion.
With that goal in mind, I purchased a used Casio keyboard. A nice 42 key unit. Gee that was really limited, and way too small, and most people I talked with
suggested I needed a full 88 key instrument to learn on.
I was able to find and purchase a nice used 88 key Yamaha keyboard, and proceeded to make arrangements to start piano lessons.
Whoa !! I was asked if the Yamaha had weighted keys / What the heck are weighted keys ? That keyboard I bought did not have weighted keys.
So back to the market for a nice keyboard, a full 88 key unit with weighted keys. I purchased a New Yamaha P-125 with all the features I needed.
I was now ready to begin my lessons.
Within a couple weeks of buying the new Yamaha keyboard I got a tip of a good accordion teacher.
Lo and behold, and friend gave me a number of a good local accordion teacher, so now I'm back to my original goal.
One heck of a quest to learn to play the accordion.
At this point, because of COVID-9 my lessons have been suspended, and for a period before that, I had several distractions (perceived distractions as they
may have been) I am back to self teaching.
It's been fun, it's been frustrating, it's been aggravating, but I'm still at it, and love it
CHICKERS
 

Dingo40

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Chickers,
A great story, which only confirms the old adage: it's all about the journey, not the destination!
:)(y)
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Chickers,

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. It is always reassuring to know that others face the same (or similar) complications and tribulations when learning to play an instrument.

Anyway, I will mark you 10 out of 10 for perseverance, but rather less for focus.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Chrisrayner

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I didn't know Ferrari builds accordions!

It’s an Italian surname. It means blacksmith. In English Smith is a very common name, with similar meaning. I’m not sure how common Ferrari is in Italy, but if smiths were as common and as fecund in Italy as in England then there’ll be lots of them.
 

Montanagirl

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OP why don't you try Skype lessons with Liberty Bellows? Have you tried their online tutorials?

But I too would like in person lessons, but not if I'm the teacher's only student.
 

donn

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Hope you like that Yamaha keyboard. It's ironic that you were dragged off in that direction, because of course that's just exactly the piano skill you don't need for an accordion.

I've run across youtube videos that teach how to play a tune. Usually on melodeon, because that seems to always go with the tunes I'm looking for, but I'm sure this happens with piano accordion as well. The pace is usually quite easy, and of course you can back up and review anything.
 

Chickers

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OP why don't you try Skype lessons with Liberty Bellows? Have you tried their online tutorials?

But I too would like in person lessons, but not if I'm the teacher's only student.
Thanks for the suggestion of Skype Lessons. I am considering those.
I usually find it quite difficult for me to learn complex moves and actions < like dance for example, by video.
But certainly Skype is interactive, so it might be good.
Are you using the Liberty Bellows lesson program ?
They seem like a nice group.
God playing.
Chickers
 

Alans

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Chickers I was really against Skype lessons as my entire adult life I learned-a variety of other instruments-one on one.but even though I live in a huge metropolitan city I couldn’t find a teacher. So I moved to Skype about a year before covid and it’s fine-great. The only downside is that it is difficult for my teacher to see both sides of the accordion when I play. But otherwise it’s great,I’m very happy.as for the left or right hand,she just asks me to reposition myself in front of the camera when an area needs attention.
 

Eddy Yates

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Skype gives you the ability to switch between cameras. For example, you could have your laptop camera showing one side. You can buy an inexpensive webcam, plug it into a USB port, and switch sides during the lesson. You can also enable a split/screen session to show both sides at once.
 

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