I should really be writing about grad school and how surprisingly insane, impossible, wonderful, and rewarding it is. But really, I have another obsession that I’ve neglected to write about for too long: my accordion.
I have wanted to play the accordion for years. I used to play the piano and clarinet and enjoyed both, to a degree, but never got good enough on the piano to play confidently and found the clarinet incredibly boring to play without a band. The accordion is perfect. It stands on its own as an instrument. It is portable. Learning the accordion is a natural undertaking for someone who has piano experience . Also, I just really love how it sounds.
I found a listing for an old accordion on Craigslist a couple of months ago and it hit me that instead of just talking about how I want to play the accordion some day, I should just DO IT. Except accordions aren’t cheap. So I shelved that plan, until one day, in the midst of a Skype chat, my little bro told me he’d buy me an accordion for my birthday. So I contacted the seller. An hour before I was supposed to meet her to purchase it, she e-mailed me and told me she wasn’t going to sell it, after all. That was enough to convince me that I REALLY wanted to buy an accordion. I eventually found one in Harrisburg. We picked it up on our way to Ocean City at the end of July and I started trying to learn how to play in earnest when we got back from vacation in the beginning of August.
My Iorio accordion is made in Italy. I have no idea how old it is. It is actually quite ugly with its dual-tone chrome-and-gold details. When I bought it, it was missing the lowest Bb key (and the Ab key has since fallen off). It is a lot bigger than I had originally wanted. But it plays beautifully and I love it.
Grad school busyness has prevented me from playing as much as I would like, but I try hard to pick up the accordion to practice daily. The woman who sold me the accordion gave me a stack of books which ranged from Level 2 – 8 so I dove right into Level 2 (and have probably driven all my neighbors crazy with the seemingly endless repetition of very basic songs). I have since completed both Level 2 books and am making my way through Level 3.
There is something immensely satisfying about learning how to make music, even if I sound like a third grader.
(This obviously needs lots of practice! I also just got my hands on the original/not simplified sheet music which means lots and LOTS more practice.)