Kids Enjoy Playing Accordion. Film at 11.

There’s an interesting AP story today about high school students in Wishek, North Dakota who are learning to play the accordion and — gasp! — actually enjoying it. Located just down the road from Lawrence Welk’s hometown (Strasburg), Wishek is a town steeped in German traditions, where many older residents still speak German. For 15-year-old Christy Schaffer, playing the accordion is a great way connect with her heritage, and assert her individuality:

“When I was younger, I thought it was something different to do… My grandpa did it. And I thought it would be interesting to play something different, that no other kid was playing.”

Janet Wolff, the music teacher at Wishek High, has done a fantastic job of getting kids excited about playing the accordion. That’s exactly what the accordion needs: more representation in schools.

Does anyone know of other accordion programs like this at the elementary or high school level? If so, leave a comment here and let us know. We want to get the word out!


  1. oh this is an fantastic idea accordion learnt in shools…!

    Here in France i know people who show (but not learn) accordion in shools, (in elementary shool (for 6-10years old kids) or little shool (for 3-5 years old kids), and even for babies in “cr?ches” (sorry I din’t know the name for that in english, just the name in French : “cr?ches” is somewhere for babies during the day while all mummies are at work)

    Sylvie Jamet
    Accordion and music blog :

  2. That’s very cool, Sylvie. I wish they had more of that sort of thing in American schools. Unfortunately, whenever they make budget cuts here, it seems like music/art programs are always the first to go…

  3. difficult times…