Don’t overlook the magic of a squeezebox: a tale from the owner of four accordions.


For convoluted reasons, I ended up with four accordions, one of which I play occasionally.

The other three have been stored in various closets until four days ago when I listed the smallest two on the Pemberton Buy and Sell.

What a flurry of response to two small instruments!

People were alerting their friends to the post and queuing up to be next in a matter of minutes.

When I met the first responder, he was grinning from ear to ear and my heart was full to think that these instruments will make music again.

A few years back, I recruited one other accordion and took all five of them to school for a day wherein we shared our teaching skills with other staff and some became students in order to experience new teaching methods. Smiles lit up the faces of my four students as they shouldered the instruments and attempted their first notes.

Eventually, we succeeded in cranking out a somewhat recognizable song in unison; here is the rubric and lesson plan that I used:

Accordian Crimes

Teacher: Connie
It is expected that students will:
-locate the buttons for C, F and G on the left of the accordion and locate the chords of C F and G on the right
-coordinate the left and right hand in order to play the opening to In The Mood

Activity description:
Students will be shown where the chords are then practice a sequence of the chords until they can play left and right together.

Skill Level: Beginner

Criterion Referenced Evaluation
Performance Element

Cacaphonous:  Left hand often hits the wrong buttons causing instructor to consider a case of Alien Hand Syndrome.  Right hand hits several incorrect keys.  Rhythm impeded by coordination of left and right, reminiscent of Steve Martin in The Jerk.

Still Annoying but cheerful: Left and right usually hit the correct key.  Occasional pauses to coordinate left and right.  Instructor gets the sense that student wants to bust it out but lacks the skill.

Off to Kimberly for the Accordion Festival:  Left and right hand blend smoothly together and the rhythm of the song emerges clearly.  Lawrence Welk show here we come!

As Christmas approaches, I am inspired to pull out one of my remaining squeeze boxes to shine up my skills on some carols. Hopefully, my two accordions will warm up their new homes with some old fashioned tunes as well.

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