Best. Vacation. Ever.

And one summer…at accordion camp…. :)

So through the wonders of social media, I was able to snag an invite to a kick-ass, week-long private party that I shall forever more refer to as accordion camp. I’ll never fully understand how I wrangled this much sought after invite, but I will be endlessly grateful to the accordion gods (and my new BFF James) for making it so.

Picture this: a small vacation home on Cape Cod filled with friendly, funny, and fun musical folk. Add to that a solid week (morning, noon, and night) of hearing the strains of accordion (and occasionally trumpet and flute) music so beautiful that it nearly made me weep. Seriously—I heard jigs or waltzes while I was brushing my teeth or drinking my coffee.

But it wasn’t just the music…it was the people who made it. It felt less like a random collection of folks who loosely knew each other, than it did a group of dear friends who had liked and known each other for a very long time.

Crazy good it was.

But so were the skill levels of most of the folks there. If you’re me, the problem with playing (or trying to play) with folks that good is that you’re inclined to throw your accordion in the depths of your closet and never retrieve it again. I mean, why bother? The other alternative is to learn from the generous and talented souls you have recently become acquainted with and work your ass off to become a better player. I chose the latter.

I came late to this rodeo. I’m almost 52, and I didn’t pick up an accordion until I was 46. But I love it more than I can say, and much as I would sometimes like to, I can’t put it down—not for any length of time anyway. I plan to take full advantage of the talents of my fabulous new friends. I’ll do what they say, I’ll listen to who they tell me to, and I’ll practice every day. And I’m pretty sure I’ll get better. It’s just like tennis or or golf or softball or any sport for that matter. If you force yourself to play with someone far better than yourself, it will smart for a while and you’ll miss the ball and feel like a doofus, but eventually you’ll get better. Truly, you will.

This video montage gives you a tiny taste of the quality folks I hung out with all week. These are the people I learned from. I adore them.

My very talented accordion husband, Barry (not to be confused with my actual husband, Joe) also came to the party with me. He was so inspired by the magic that he composed a theme song within 48 hours after he arrived home.

In summary—just make a point to play with other people. You don’t have to get invited to a kick-ass private party on the Cape to play with other people, although I’m ridiculously delighted that I did— Thanks again, accordion gods (and James!). Just call up some musical friends and invite them over to your house.

Have fun making music with others, and keep getting better. We’ll do it together.

Accordions rule.

10 thoughts on “Best. Vacation. Ever.

  1. I’ll do that, Janet! It was lovely meeting you and Lou as well. Hanging out with you and hearing you both play was a wonderful treat!

  2. Hi….I’m one of your accordion friends on FB and have the exact same thoughts as you after attending the Cape fest last year. I was told that it had it all over going to one of the other accordion festivals or conventions because you get to actually hang out on a personal level with all the greats (and hopefully some of their magic rubs off). I couldn’t return this year because I’ve been busy gigging (I thought by playing accordion, I wouldn’t have much of this type of inconvenience but it seems that there are converts everywhere these days) I hope to attend again next year and perhaps I can meet you and Barry in person…

  3. Thanks, Pita. The OTHER folks are the talented ones, but I was counting on absorbing some of it by osmosis. I also made sure that all of them played my accordion so it would be loaded up with good juju. :) But I’m newly inspired to practice!

  4. This was such a great post, Karen. I’m blown away by the talent you were surrounded by at such a beautiful setting. Glad you had so much fun!

  5. So wonderful to see a glimpse of KarenWorld! After all the stories it is great to see the real thing. So glad you had such a fun getaway with your Bellows Buddies!

  6. You and Barry were delightful and added to the success to this year’s Cape Accordion. Thanks to both of you for the nice docummentation.
    I hope you return next year.
    BTW.. I love this BLOG.

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