2019 Festival Workshops

Duet Workshop - Dan and Kim Christian

Lifetime duet partners Dan and Kim Christian will take you through all the techniques of playing together in harmony; all the combinations of style and versatility that can be played with 2 accordions; and most importantly will share with you some of Dan’s fantastic duet arrangements which will be available for purchase at the convention. Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity to hear and see some wonderful duet arrangements!

The Art of Musical Improvisation - Augustinas Rakauskas


The majority of classical musicians learn most pieces from written sheet music. Nevertheless, we know a lot of jazz musicians that are able to create various melodies themselves by following the harmonic chord line and become instant composers “on the spot”. This phenomenon we call “musical improvisation”. Is everyone able to improvise? What are the secrets of improvising? How can we reveal our own personalities through the improvisation? We will talk about that and experiment with that during the upcoming workshop.

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Improve Your Playing Technique - Augustinas Rakauskas

There are lots of approaches to improve your accordion technique. In this workshop we will discuss the role of both left and right hands, chord technique, the development of velocity, control of the bellows and more in order to improve your playing skills and discover your individual relationship with the instrument. I will present certain series of exercises that I have studied myself as well as the exercises of Maestro F. Deschamps that helped me a lot while building my own technique and I will be happy to share my suggestions in practice during this workshop.

Arranging for Accordion and String Ensemble -

John & Madalynn Neu


An informal discussion of experiences with an accordion and string ensemble including:
The challenges and rewards of working with a group of accordions and strings; How they work on arrangements and transcriptions that work well with the combination of instruments; Surprises that both the strings and the accordionists found about working in this ensemble; How one could go about forming your own group like this; What enticed us to work together; How to create performance opportunities for a group like this.


Playing Brazilian Music on the Accordion -

Jamie Maschler & Gabe Rodrigues


The accordion has been celebrated in Brazilian music culture since the early 20th century in styles genres such as Chorinho, Samba, and Forró. Join Brazilian music specialists Jamie Maschler (Seattle, WA) and Gabriel Hall-Rodrigues (Seattle, WA) as they demonstrate, instruct and discuss several Brazilian grooves, articulation and how to incorporate the accordion into common Brazilian genres. This is a hands on workshop and participants are strongly encouraged to bring their instrument. 

Teaching Group Accordion Lessons -

Mary Ann Covone & Gail Campanella


Mary Ann and Gail will share their recent experience teaching group accordion lessons.  

Accordion Repair Workship and Repair “Station” Throughout the Festival—Dan Tulenko


Dan will speak on accordion repair during his workshop.  Dan will also be available on afternoons and evenings for simple repairs.   Dan will be doing the repairs on an “honors/tips” system, so please be generous if he is able to help you out with that last minute repair that you need.  We are extremely luck and grateful to have him available to all of us for the last minute unexpected issues.