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FOR ALL INFORMATION AND BROCHURES FOR THE NW FESTIVAL IN BLACKPOOL31

O1253 778764

 01253  822046

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Gina      Mail Box

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION, OR AN OPINION

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AS SIMPLE AS A QUESTION MAY SEEM, THERE ARE NO SIMPLE QUESTIONS IF YOU DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWER.

PLEASE ASK

ADVICE, TECHNIQUE, INSTRUMENT SPECIFICATION OR ANY OTHER SUBJECT, IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT IN THE POSTBAG, LET ME HAVE THE INFO, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Dear Gina, I practice my accordion a lot but I find it difficult to cope with fast playing, is there a way I can improve this.

Laura Best, Sollihull.

Dear Laura, There are no easy answers to this question without observing you in action.

The regular practice of scales and exercises, combined with a good sitting position, and instrument position, will allow you to play faster. Always keep the hand square to the keyboard, whether playing at the top or bottom of the instrument. Always have a straight wrist action, never bend the wrist and almost stop the blood flow, think about the piano requirement which is a straight lower arm and wrist, and slightly bending the fingers, this allows the thumbs and little finger to be in play, hence a faster action and fluency.

Hope these points may assist you.

Dear Gina, I always fail miserably on my sight reading in the examinations, how can I best improve this.

Reading lots of different music, experiencing different editorial, and sitting with the music without an instrument on, is often beneficial, it  makes it easier to work out the music without the need to play as well as read.  A plan of the keyboard and bass will assist in working out possibilities of fingering.  Good Aural work ie Solfeggio, is an essential way to learn to hear the music and work out the timing in your head before putting it into practice. This also helps to speed read, only eventually needing to look for the difficult areas in a piece.  Remember in an examination, accuracy, style, tempi, dynamics, articulation are all taken into consideration, and  a notationally sound performance will not always receive the top available marks.  So keep in mind that besides the notes, you should check the suggestion of style from the title, the time signature, and suggested mode of performance ie Allegro, Lento, in a Marching Style, Slowly with Feeling. Also dynamic markings that may help you put over a stylistic performance.

Dear Gina, My 5 year old has been given an 80 bass accordion, do you think this is suitable for him? Mr O'Conner

Dear Mr. O’Connor, He is just a little boy, his height from his waist to his chin will tell you that an 80 bass instrument is much too large for him. A light 48 bass would be much more preferable. This child has got to feel that picking up the accordion is no big deal, and that practice will not be made difficult, due to the weight. By all means put the 80 bass away until later, although it would be better if later this was a 72 or 96 bass which includes the diminished row. When choosing a 48 bass, please not an old wheezy one.

Dear Gina, I have played the piano for many years, and I can read music quite well, how long realistically would it take to learn the accordion. Pauline Wells, Cumbria.

Dear Pauline, Oh you are in a very fortunate situation, you read music already. There is the question of technique, and the left hand to have to learn, which encompasses the use of the bellows. Depending on the style of music you are intending to learn and good practice times, in 6 months you will feel in control, 18 months should see some form of proficiency. It is a difficult question without knowing the precise background, but certainly you will have cut short the learning process by means of reading music, and playing a piano.

Dear Gina, I am getting really fed up with competitions and examinations, I really do like the Accordion, but if this is all there is, then I  really am considering giving it up.  I am 15 years old, and I have played since I was 8 years. I have never had time to go out with friends, and I feel it is time to do something different. What would you suggest? Because of my teacher and family, I want to remain anonymous, but I am in a dilemma. 

Dear Anonymous, I must make it quite clear that I think that your age has a lot to do with it, in my experience of teaching, it is an age of change, interests, friends etc: all contribute to a feeling of 'well why should I practice when all my friends are out having a good time' if this is not the case, then maybe someone out there is having this problem. and they maybe able to relate to this statement.

Competitions and examinations are a way to prove to yourself, not necessarily to others how far you are reaching musically, in Competition it is not essential come in first place, but to have those very helpful comment sheets that Adjudicators write out for your personal betterment.

Examinations are essential if you are to want to become a teacher, or look back on your learning with great satisfaction when you are older.  t. Examinations themselves, because of the  marking system helps to further your musical education, and hopefully inspire you to carry on.

Taking time out is difficult, the need for continuity and constant commitment to practice is essential to maintain the standard.  But perhaps a change of repertoire, some easy listening music, a more commercial side to your music will give you a relaxed feeling, and indeed indicate that you have achieved a lot in your dedication to the instrument. Be experimental stylistically. Then turn your attention to the serious music in smaller doses for the time being, but do not give up the more demanding repertoire, as this is the way forward musically.

How often have people said to you, I wish I had kept music up when I was young, they have lived to regret it, surely you do not want to do that.

Never put the Accordion out of sight, out of sight out of mind, and it really is true.  Please continue to play, your young age is very important to the future of the Accordion, be an ambassador for the instrument, it needs you. 

I will finalize with the subject of friends, because I felt from your letter this seemed to be an issue. Often friends that have no special interests are the worst kind of friends, they have no conception of the dedication one needs to achieve something special in life, because they have never had to do it.  You have many years ahead of you, friends will be there for you on your terms, if they are true friends. Please keep up the Accordion and continue to be one of the special people.

Dear Gina accordions.btinternet.com 

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