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Friday, June 24, 2011

Making Music

by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
I learned to play the accordion when I was eight years old. I was really interested in the piano, but that was financially out of the question. When my parents found a used accordion they could afford, they convinced me to learn that instead. So I took a couple year's worth of lessons, learned to read music - both bass and treble clef, and eventually learned how to play an instrument where you can't see what your hands are doing.

After a couple of years though, I got interested in other things, and stopped taking lessons. I grew up, and eventually moved out on my own. For a few years, that accordion sat in my parents' house, but I never would let them get rid of it. Eventually, when I'd matured enough to be a bit more stable in my living arrangements, I took it back. It's since made every move with me.

Even though I didn't play it for months, even years, at a time, I never did think about selling it. Every once in a while, I'd pick it up - just to see if I still remembered anything, and to make sure it was still playable. And now, recently, I've started playing it regularly again. I found an old guy nearby that did accordion repair, and had him fix a broken strap bracket and one stuck reed. He blew the dust out of the inside, and said my accordion is still in fine shape - I'd obviously taken good care of it over the years.

Having learned to play so young, the muscle memory came back quicker than the mental exercise of reading music. But that's coming back to me too. As a kid I had to play polkas, waltzes, and marches, but recently got myself some zydeco and movie soundtrack sheet music. I've even started to think about memorizing a handful of tunes and trying my hand at busking downtown.

So I'm just wondering: how many of you out there play a musical instrument?

12 comments:

mollymakesdo said...

My mother started giving me piano lessons at age 4! I'm an on again off again kind of player too, but it's so nice to have something - and once you learn to read bass and treble you can read the music for an instrument you want to learn from elementary through high school I learned the basics of 5 more instruments and I'm no virtuoso. I can't wait to start teaching my son in a few years!

Sunny J said...

I play the harmonica, not well. It's portabiliy appeals to me, even though I only play at home. Plus I love the blues.

(also, don't feed the trolls, including their blog's page views)

Erin said...

I inherited an accordion that was bought for my brother. He left it behind when he went on to play piano, so I took it, the 8 books of 'Sedlon Accordion method' and taught myself. It has travelled everywhere with me. When I was a 20yr old, working as a houseparent for kids with disabilities, I used to play it a lot, and they loved it, as it's such a visual instrument. Later when nursing in a nursing home, I would bring it to work on a sunny day, we would bring the patients outside to a lawned area, and I played all their old favourites. I am now 53yrs old, I can still play it, and my next plan is to go busking in Rundle Mall, the main shopping thoroughfare in the city of Adelaide. :)

Marie @ Awakeatheart said...

I have a flute I learned in grade school, it's still upstairs in my closet. I'm pretty sure I could still play if I tried, though I haven't picked it up in maybe 10 years. I learned piano in high school, my parents bought me a little used studio piano. I got a degree in music in college, but afterwards got a job in corporate america. I carted the piano around for years and made room for it, then I finally had to let it go because I simply had no place to put it and it just gathered dust. I gave it to friends who had a small son, with the promise that if they ever wanted to get rid of it they'd give me the chance to take it back. Every once in a while I still miss that piano and wish I had the time and space for it lately my fingers have been itching to play the moonlight sonata, even though I'm quite sure it would sound terrible since I haven't played in so long.

Dea-chan said...

Haha I love that spam comment over there.

Anyways, I play MANY instruments! I was a music ed. major, so I learned beyond the woodwinds that I already knew.

In order of proficiency:
oboe
clarinet
piano
voice
sax
flute
trombone
bassoon
trumpet

There's also random stuff like harmonica and recorder, but I don't usually count those.

Although I've recently started a band! We call ourselves the most hipster band possible, with more instruments than the decemberists. :-P I'm mainly playing oboe, with some clarinet, we've got bass, guitar, fiddle, voice, and we could add a second oboe and mandolin as well. Making music is so much fun!

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

I used to play the clarinet in grade school/junior high. Then I stopped and I'm not exactly sure why. I also play a little bit of guitar, too :) :) Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

Sadge said...

The deranged rant has been deleted. Being just a contributor to a co-operative blog, I was surprised to see I had the little trashcan option for my post - our administrators must have changed our settings.

Thanks for the on-topic comments - I love hearing from our readers! I'd especially love to hear about any adventures in busking! It might be another year yet, but it's on my list of things to try.

Sandy said...

I think you should definitely try busking. When I was growing up, my folks explained it very simply. If people don't tip street performers, they could go away, and then we would lose that bit of beauty forever. In Omaha's Old Market district, we tend to get a lot of street musicians and it really is a lot of fun. I don't play any instruments myself, but I do enjoy listening to others.

Annodear said...

Six years of clarinet in school band ~ and usually in first or second chair :-)

Annodear said...

Reading comments.... now I want to hear about the rant! :-D Somebody got something against accordions??

Sadge said...

No, Annodear. It was someone with a totally off-topic rant against American women.

Annodear said...

Geez! Only on-topic rants, please. People just got no manners these days.