It’s 11:00 AM Saturday morning. The air is very chilly by the stone wall below the Vodocet at Vyton. I’m now into the trio of Tony Murena’s “Indifference” and coins have been dropping into my case at a steady rate. My fingers feel pretty sluggish from the cold, but I’m getting through the difficult parts without too much trouble and people are obviously enjoying it.
You might ask, why in the world is a 62 year old American from South Carolina playing accordion along the Vlatava for tips? I’m sure I could write a book about my 9 years flying as an aircrew member during the Cold War, the 30 years with an energy company working as an instrument technician and trainer and finally all those years practicing and performing as a jazz pianist after work and on weekends. That hard work has given me the freedom to live here and still keep (for now) my home and life in the US. Well, I wanted to do something completely different with the last chapter of my life.
Why Prague and the Czech Republic? Certainly this is a city that has all the things I enjoy in life. Learning the beautiful Czech language and spending time here with people from the ČR and around the world may be the best part.
But music is the foundation of what I’m doing. Needless to say, the accordion is an instrument that gives me the freedom to play the music I like; when, where, and for whom. I can play the right hand like a violin and orchestrate the rhythm and harmony with the left. I can improvise on anything and make my own arrangements. Even compose my own pieces. Of course this would be impossible without all those years playing and studying jazz piano along with Anzaghi’s Accordion Method and countless hours practicing. Sorry neighbors!
Something is still missing, though. It would be great to share all this with others and maybe have a small cafe or nice place to play in now and then. Perhaps by posting this on playaccordion.net, we may see this happen.
Enough of this. There is a small child, possibly a year or two old staring at me intently. He’s got on a pink and white hat with cat ears and is probably hearing accordion for the first time. “Certainly this is great”, he’s thinking, “but where should I throw this coin in my hand, and when can I feed the swans, and eat some more of that ice cream and….”
indiferrénce from Mike
If you would like to have accordion lessons, I specialize in teaching accordion and English. So you can improve both at once! If your English is still very limited, I do speak some Czech, so this is not a problem. You can reach me at 420-776-003-480 or at email@example.com. The lessons are at my apartment in Prague.
I have developed my playing and technique based on the L.O. Anzaghi’s Complete method – theoretical-practical progressive for accordion. This method can take you from absolute beginner to almost virtuoso depending on your time and effort. In my own playing, I prefer French musette, Italian, Irish, and Classical-gypsy styles. So if you share an interest in these types of music, I can certainly help you with your playing. Also, by following this approach, you can play almost anything YOU want and certainly you would be playing simple music within a few weeks.
article, recording | Mike Wolk
published on 24/11/2015