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Strategies for Effective Training

Enjoying music

Above all, enjoy what you do!

  • Understand the relationship of physical and emotional demands of training
  • Be sensitive to the differing needs of students throughout the learning process
  • Implement motivational strategies that give students confidence in their skills and learning abilities
  • Teach Guidelines for Musicians, by teaching the basics of musicianship, for example: how to advertise, how to dress for the gig, successful gig marketing and presentation, preparing for gigs, keeping a logbook of performances, learning to play for a specific audience, writing courtesy thank-you notes, playing for free-fun-or money, confirming performance dates, bringing appropriate equipment (chair, amps, music stand, music, etc), how to play for a vocalist, how to play with other performers, rules for playing in an orchestra, making a playlist, understanding financial and legal issues regarding the music business, among other ideas.
  • Use internet training and other technologies for music training
  • Promote the versatility of the accordion and eliminate stereotypes of the past that cast the accordion as a “polka instrument” alone.
  • Start with a 48 bass accordion instead of a 12 bass for more flexibility in learning different music styles and technical levels
  • Consider the digital accordion with all its orchestrations as a possible consideration for students with more advanced training
  • Promote listening labs- by offering field trip to orchestra performances that play music related to the music students are learning
  • Teach a variety of music styles and genres, including classical, jazz and modern music selections and include teaching from lead sheets as students progress
  • Select music appropriate for the learner and consider Palmer-Hughes Accordion Course as well as other technical methods for the accordion
  • Focus on listening skills, timing skills, bellows controls, and keyboard attack.
  • Teach expression when playing music, not just playing music
  • Check student progress regularly and provide checklist for practice with established goals
  • Train for solo, ensemble, and orchestra involvement.
  • Train for playing with other musicians and musical instruments
  • Show connections between all keyboard skills and the accordion
  • Train for performance and provide strategies to be a successful performer
  • Improve memorization skills, playing with and without music
  • Above all, enjoy what you are doing and the audience will respond

Youth Piano Accordion

Accordion Renaissance Instrument Repair Workshop

A four-hour hands-on accordion repair workshop hosted by Accordion Renaissance in Williamsburg, Va. The workshop was taught by Dale Wise (60+ years experience) and Pat Racioppa (15 years experience).

The following topics were discussed and demonstrated during the morning session (2 hours):

Essential repair tools
What to look for, listen for when inspecting
Care and cleaning of instrument
Spot tuning reeds
Inspecting reed blocks
Waxing tips
How to straighten/replace leathers
What to check when traveling
On the job repair tips

The two-hour afternoon session consisted of repairing five instruments brought by the attendees. An excellent question and answer period closed out the workshop.

Accordion Renaissance will solicit other instrument repair organizations to create “best repair practices” and instructors with the goal of organizing and supporting future workshops.