A NEW UP AND COMING ACCORDIONIST-MY SON....
I wanted to tell you that the accordion is alive and well in my home, thanks to my 9-year-old son.
It started in December 2004, when he announced that he wanted to take music lessons. I asked him what he would like to play and he answered very deliberately, "You know, I'd really like to learn how to play the accordion". Now, I always had a secret fondness for accordions from the time I was a child and have a couple of accordion playing figurines, so imagine my surprise with this announcement!
My father purchased a 120-bass Rivoli accordion from the 1950s, complete with case, at an auction for $27.50 for my son, so we had the instrument. Now to find a place that gave lessons.
I knew this was not going to be an easy task as this is not the accordion heyday of the '50s and 60s, but thanks to the Internet, I found a music school 20 minutes from my home that offered accordion lessons.
My son began lessons January 8, 2005 at the DeRossi Music School in New Bedford, MA and it has been an absolutely positive experience in every way. He has not missed one lesson and practices faithfully daily. Our accordion did need some minor repair work which the school was able to take care of for $60.00, so for $87.50, we now have a high quality instrument. He loves his accordion and is already working on Books 2A and 2B of the Palmer-Hughes Prep Accordion Course. He is right now using a 12-bass as the 120-bass is a little too big for him; but he is gradually being weaned into the 120 bass.
Today my son met a fellow 9 year old accordionist at his music lesson and he was all excited about that. So maybe the accordion is on the upswing again, slowly but surely!
I also want to note that we have a large Portuguese population out here in Southeastern Massachusetts and the accordion is an integral part of the Portuguese bands, so there always has been some level of interest.
Anyway, I wanted to write and tell you this as perhaps the fate of the accordion is not as desolate as one may be inclined to think. We get some strange looks when we tell folks my son takes accordion lessons as people seem to think the accordion is a lost art, but I am happy to report that we have also received comments like "How cool!" And my son will proudly tell you, "I am an accordionist!"
PS-If you have RFD TV on your cable or satellite system, you can catch "Big Joe's Polka Party" on Saturday nights from 10-11 PM. Plenty of accordions to see and hear, and you can also experience how well they assimilate with other instruments!