New tricks

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.)


3 thoughts on “New tricks

  1. This is inspiring! Just today I thought that I would like to teach myself the harmonium…I love that I just happened to browse your blog this evening. I feel confirmed in my hope!

    1. That is so great! In my (admittedly brief) experience, the hardest part was just to get started. Keep me updated, please!

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