.....I have always loved music or anything to do with music.
Early in life I was a Christmas Angel in our church Christmas Program.
I was 6 1/2 years old when I got my angel wings. In spite of my best efforts to be a good angel,
my wings were a little crooked and my hands were not at all centered over my head.
When I look at this photo, it makes me think of the song in the early 70's
I did have an angelic smile; however, it is hard to be a good angel when you are wearing
atrocious socks. My stint as an angel was short.
When I was in the 4th grade, we moved to Cary, a small city just outside of Raleigh.
My family loved watching The Lawrence Welk Show on TV every week. So much music
so many beautiful voices and instruments. I especially loved to watch
Myron Floren, play the Polka on the accordion. I loved how the music sounded.
I begged and I pleaded to take accordion lessons. My parents told me I was too small to
be able to handle that large instruments....then lo and behold they did a little research and found out
children my age played what was called a Junior Accordion. A little more research and they found a place to buy the perfect accordion for me. It was very much like this one below.
It came in a beautiful case just the right size for me to manage.
They found an accordion teacher, Mr. Ruggiero, not to far from our house too.
My lessons began in the fall I was thrilled. There were about 4 other students
in the class. I practiced a lot too. Turns out I had an ear for music and caught on fairly quickly.
My little fingers were racing up and down that vertical keyboard.
The only problem I had was all during my lesson my teacher opened his mail.
He did not seem to be paying attention. Sometimes I would watch him and YIKES
I'd loose my place and miss a note and boy did he pay attention then.
We had our first recital in the Spring.
There were no lessons over the summer but we did have things to practice to keep our fingers nimble.
I was very good about practicing in spite of the fact that all my friends were coming to the door asking me to come out to play. I got so bored doing the required practicing.
I loved "Lady of Spain" that I heard on the Lawrence Welk show almost every week. I decided to try to play it by ear w/o sheet music. Much to everyone's amazement I was successful at picking out the notes my ear. Needless to say I was very excited and could hardly
wait to show my teacher. When he asked us to show him what we had been practicing over the summer I did, then I said I had a surprise. I played "Lady of Spain" completely w/o any music.
I was beaming with proud when I finished only to look up and see Mr. Ruggiero frowning.
He scolded me right then and there and told me never to pick out a song by ear. I forgot all his reasons but one being I needed to learn to read all music before I ever ever did that again.
I was very embarrassed and discouraged. Neither of my parents played music so they pretty much had to go along with what the teacher told them. I continued my lessons for another year
but basically my enthusiasm had been squashed. I no longer enjoyed it and wanted to stop taking lessons. I had a ~$250.00 accordion (back then you could not rent instruments you had to buy them).
Needless to say anytime Lawrence Welk show came on TV I went to my room to read...
it was a very sore subject in the house for some time. Maybe I should not have played w/o sheet music but I still to this day feel like the teacher could have handled it differently.
To this day when I tell folks I used to play accordion most have a most quizzical look on their face as if to say WHY the accordion? I say Why Not.
Many years ago I took dulcimer lessons which I enjoyed. I was working and practicing was hard.
I think the guitar would be fun to learn but I have not acted on that yet.
My husband's Uncle learned to play guitar after he retired and my brother in law
took piano lessons in his mid 40's and had recitals with children. He is retired now too
and still loves playing for his own pleasure.
I'm retired I have time I guess I just need to want to do it!!
To this day I love music especially instrumentals. I wish I had continued the accordion. Maybe someone reading this with more musical experience than I had can enlighten me on why my teacher was not just a wee bit more encouraging or perhaps someone had a similar experience when trying to learn something new.