I have had six lessons on the accordion. Coming back to playing an instrument after decades and decades of not….well let’s just say, except for knowing which way was up on the accordion, there was little else I remembered. Here are some lessons I have learned/insights I’ve gained/questions that have arisen for me in these early days of accordion playing. I am sure you come at it differently as an older adult compared to taking lessons as a child or teenager.
- Question: Who, in their right mind, would design an instrument where you pushed buttons with your left hand and played ivories with your right hand. It’s like the proverbial rubbing your stomach in a circular motion with one hand and patting your head with the other. To top it off you can’t see what you’re doing with either hand.
- It’s an adjustment, when you are a point in life where you might be considered fairly competent at a thing or two, to put yourself in a spot where you are inept at almost everything.
- You have to leave your pride behind…or perhaps it is more about being at a stage when you don’t give a damn when you open Book 1 of the Palmer Hughes Accordion Course and read: Dear Parent, YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE PROUD! Giving your child music training shows foresight and appreciation of a fine art.
- Be ready for some teasing. Our daughter was over a couple of nights ago and I played for her for the first time. After I made it through the “The Can Can”, she said “they’d be kicking pretty slow”.
Nonetheless it’s a lot of fun and I have a teacher who makes it fun and is not tied to book learning. He’s good with “off roading”, which sounds very bohemian. Maybe I was playing a Bohemian Can Can.
I’m all ears for stories about learning an instrument. Inspirational stories that say you need to play a song 200 times before you get the hang of it would make me feel better. I’m up to 30 times with one song there is no smooth playing in sight.