When I came across this article about the increasing level in popularity of accordions, I shuddered. Memories flooded my mind from days ago and I’m glad I escaped–accordion lessons!
You see, when I was 12 years old, my dad had a dream for me to play an instrument. Now he had a guitar downstairs in our basement (but I never heard him play) and his dream was for himself to learn how to play the organ (which he never did). But this didn’t stop him from trying to live his life through his son.
So it was a fateful afternoon when I heard the call for me to come out of my bedroom and meet the stranger in the living room. I didn’t know what was set up for me but I quickly scanned the room and saw a large case by the sofa. Therefore, I went and sat as far away as a I could from the man and his case. That was difficult in our small living room.
My dad was about as excited as I had ever seen him and I knew something was up. I was introduced to this fellow and he proceeded to ask me some questions about my interest in music. I truthfully said I had no interest. It didn’t stop him from moving on ahead in his presentation. My mom and dad looked on with anticipation. I knew I was in trouble.
Sure enough, this guy snaps open this large case and what was inside? An accordion! My dad was happy and I quickly figured out that I was the victim for whom this thing was intended. The man takes the accordion out and begins to demonstrate how it works.
Then he made his mistake. He asked me to strap that contraption on my body.
Well, you could say things went downhill from there as I was shown how to play the accordion and as I was trying to figure out how one plays keys, pushes buttons, and make the thing move like a bat (you know, moving your arms in and out to get air inside the device) frustration set in. Nothing I did was right and certainly the sound coming out of the accordion was awful.
Finally the man asked me how I liked playing the accordion and I answered as truthfully as I could. I told my parents and the man that I didn’t like trying to make the thing sound right and that I never would.
I could see the disappointment in my dad’s face but I had no interest in having an accordion nor in taking lessons with it. Playing musical instruments has never interested me and I was not going to attempt to play that big squeeze box.
Once it became obvious that I wasn’t going to budge from my negative attitude, I was dismissed by my dad back to my bedroom and shortly thereafter the man and his case left. To my father’s credit, the subject never came up again. I guess he knew German stubbornness when he saw it.
I still feel good about my decision and I hope to never have one of those things on me again!