Dale Wise’s Accordions for Kids

Dale Wise with a studentLast month, the Washington Post Magazine had a glowing feature on Virginia accordion teacher Dale Wise. Three years ago, Wise started Accordions for Kids, a program designed to introduce a younger generation to the accordion.

Accordions for Kids is essentially a no-risk trial program for eight to twelve-year-old accordion students. Each student is loaned a 12-bass accordion and study materials (music stand, sheet music, etc.) and receives 10 weeks of lessons with a teacher free of charge. At the end of the program, the student performs in a recital and then decides (along with with his/her parents, of course) whether to continue. Children usually love it — and are oblivious to any stigma associated with accordion playing — but parents often need convincing:

“There’s some selling that has to be done… But this accordion thing is going to happen, one way or the other. How big it becomes is just a matter of how much energy we got.”

Accordions for Kids has been so successful that Wise has recruited teachers nationwide to participate. I absolutely love the idea and hope it continues to spread. Maybe one day we’ll have a nation of “accordion moms,” loading minivans full of accordions and shuttling them to lessons and recitals…


  1. wow! what a great program. i wonder if it will expand to more states? i’d like to see it here in California…

  2. Hello Dale. I met you in Mesa and talked to you about your Accordions for Kids program. Please let me know what I need to do to get a copy of your teaching CD.

    Thanks so much, and hope to see you in Medford in May!

  3. Susan, you can reach Dale via his site: accordionplus.com.