The Benefits of Learning the Accordion
I still consider myself a student of the accordion. The opinions shared on this blog are those which I have gained through experience of teaching the accordion. Teaching to a wide array of students for over 20 years has given me some insight. The thoughts shared here will hopefully give parents, would be adult learners, aspiring students some knowledge as to what to expect.
I have been lucky enough to teach students who have started with me from a young age. The situation of entering into a music teacher’s room can be daunting and nerve wracking. The student is entering into a life long venture. The teacher is explaining the continuous learning this craft can take you on.
The beginning can be very difficult and challenging for any student, no matter how good the tuition is, or the tutor for that matter. Having said this, if a person can stay the course, get some tunes under their belt (to an intermediate level) – said student will have gained a fulfilling skill.
Once this initial stage is acquired, the confidence one receives is hugely rewarding and visible. I have witnessed young people turning from a shy nature, to a confident person. Showing off their skill of entering into the world of traditional Irish music. Everyone has the ability of learning the accordion, once they persevere.
An increase in confidence alone is worth pursuing this life long hobby. Caitlin Nic Gabhann writes a great blog for McNeela music here, explaining a lot about the music journey:
When the confidence has increased, then one would like to show off their new skills. There is no better place to do this, than a traditional music session. Traditional Irish Music is certainly a niche genre but the community in which it thrives, is a special community scattered all over the world. I was lucky enough to receive lessons at a young age, and through the music I have made life long friends. The setting of meeting my friends is centred around “playing a tune”.
The work people do online is amazing to cater for this community. http://thesession.org is a fantastic resource where discussions are held and people help each other out with questions and knowledge bites. http://Facebook.com is full of groups from traditional Irish button accordion to traditional Irish music. The social net casts wide.
Strong Musical Concepts
The accordion teaches a musician a certain amount of musical theory. From playing music on the accordion, you learn about your instrument. The BC accordion plays the B and C major scales. From this your understanding that the inside row (C) plays the white keys on a piano and the outside row (B) plays the black keys of the piano. This lends itself to a musician learning that the pattern of notes depend on the key – G major, C major, D major, E minor etc.
Rhythm is a hugely important skills to acquire on the box. This is developed naturally through the bellows hand. Also once an understanding of rhythm is developed, your understanding of dancing increases.
A strong harmony understanding is needed. The accordion has a bass hand which is there to accompany your melody playing. To do this successfully one needs to understand harmony, which stems from the keys you have learned through scales, which is said earlier in this blog.
Have a look at what I am talking about:
Would love to hear your thoughts.