By Megan Emberton
It was destiny. I was a weary piano student, disenchanted with life at a music school, home for an entire summer because I had felt far too wretched to land myself a spot at any summer festivals. And then we met. The accordion was waiting for me, behind the jewelry counter at a local junk shop. It was very 1960s, gold accents, ridiculous, smelled like mildew, and it was the answer to all of my problems. I hemmed and hawed for a couple of hours, then blew three hundred bucks on an instrument I couldn’t really play. My visiting aunt chipped in because when I strapped that box on my shoulders, my gloomy face lit up for the first time all summer. We were made for each other, the accordion and me.
My instrument and I were relegated to playing outside for the first few weeks. With every push and pull, the bellows would billow a musty plume of dust. My mother said that sunlight exposure is key for getting rid of mold and mildew — oh, and accordions are loud instruments whether or not you can play them properly. I spent a lot of time sitting on a stool in the driveway, getting used to playing a keyboard sideways and negotiating the mysteries of the 120 bass buttons my left hand had to contend with. I am still not sure what the neighbors thought. [Read more…]