Sunday, July 17, 2011

Studio Sunday/Accordion School

Maybe the reason that the accordion is my favorite book form is the family history of accordion playing. Here is a photo of John Roman's Accordion School Class of 1938 in Linden, NJ. My father is in the back row, the eighth in from the left. Here is something I wrote to accompany a photograph at a memorial display I exhibited at the Newburyport Public Library in 2000.

My father wanted desperately to play the accordion, and to play it well. He worked hard, delivering newspapers first and then working for a peddler, to earn the money to take lessons and buy an instrument. Every week he took the bus to Linden with his accordion for a lesson at John Roman’s Accordion School. He got the first part of his dream, but the second eluded him, and eventually he stopped taking lessons. I still have his accordion with Alfred in sparkling letters. In later years, he would sometimes play for his own pleasure.

I was required to follow the tradition but it didn't go as smoothly. My ability to memorize encouraged my teacher (also in Linden and one of my father's classmates) which led to the requirement of more and more practice. When the expectation grew to an hour and a half a day and my mother got fed up with fighting with me to sit down with the accordion, lessons ended, although not without tears.

I take out my accordion very rarely now (maybe once every ten years) and spend my time with the book version of the instrument.

1 comment:

Nicky said...

What a sad result as you did seem to enjoy playing but were pushed too hard - so many musical ambition's end this way. I too expect my kids to practice every day!

Great to enjoy the books though!