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.