Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) how to play the accordion and understand music more generally. Though nothing truly beats dedicated in-person accordion lessons, there are plenty of excellent alternatives online.
Note that by “resources,” I'm not only referring to video tutoring and full-length courses (though these are arguably the best options). I'm also considering masterclasses, applications, videos and articles, and other online resources for learning how to play the accordion.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these resources based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Reputation of the accordion learning resource
- Quality of education in technique, theory, and learning real songs
- Organization and depth of learning
- Adaptability of teaching to individual students (one-on-one lessons are best here)
- The resource must be currently available
With all that being said, let's list out the learning resources.
The top 11 best online resources to learn how to play the accordion are:
- Accordion Life Academy
- Accordion Online Academy
- Liberty Bellows
- Accordion Love
- Online Academy Of Irish Music
- Play With A Pro
- Gypsy Accordion
- My Music Teachers Online
In this article, we'll go through each of the above-mentioned resources to get a stronger idea of what makes them great for learning the accordion. Whether you're a complete beginner or a successful professional, there is always something to learn! I'll include links to check out each of the options for yourself to learn more about accordions. We'll also consider a few “honourable mentions” worth considering.
Accordion Life Academy
Patricia Bartell founded Accordion Life to create a place where accordion players and lovers from around the world can connect and share their love for the instrument, learn, buy from a curated catalogue, and gain access to a plethora of music sheet articles.
The musical education of Patricia Bartell includes a B.A. in Music Education & Accordion Performance from Whitworth University in Washington. She is also a certified piano and accordion instructor. She is not only a music scholar; she is also a performing artist playing Argentinian Tango with Tango Volcado, an Argentinian Tango Quartet. Therefore, her stage experience can be seen all over her classes since she can give you all kinds of real-life proven tips and advice.
Furthermore, the site offers a plethora of faculty members from all continents on Earth, including the 6-time world champion Grayson Masefield and the world champion Frédéric Deschamps, among others.
Finally, you can find free resources from Patricia Bartell on the website to gather an idea of what the rest of the material might look like. There are no excuses not to check her site.
Accordion Online Academy
Bratislav Manasijevic created the Accordion Online Academy along with a handpicked team of notable accordion players and teachers that can cover vast sonic ground, giving students tips about specific playing styles.
The level of expertise of each of the faculties, in addition to their diverse origins and playing styles, makes the Accordion Online Academy the perfect resource for those who want to learn some other flavours to add to their classic formation. It's also great f those who want to become proficient in styles such as Balkan music, tango, popular Brazilian music, classical music, and popular music, among many others.
The idea of the platform isn't to provide lessons in the form of videos but to offer a bridge between talented teachers and avid students. Moreover, the site owner, Bratislav Manasijevic is an accordion instructor with over 20 years of experience teaching private lessons. Furthermore, after two decades of teaching online, he created a resource that could help other teachers connect with students. It is safe to say that he created the kind of platform he wished existed when he started teaching.
So, if you're looking for variety in terms of styles from many talented teachers in a single accordion-loving hub, then you have to check out the Accordion Online Academy.
Mike “Bellows” Bulboff opened Liberty Bellows in Philadelphia, PA, in 2009. The store is the dream of any accordion player because Mike not only teaches and sells but also refurbishes and repairs old and classic models. Therefore, his shop is one of those places you can go hunting for a lost pearl.
Moreover, his knowledge of the instrument comes from a multifaceted approach as a teacher, player, collector, seller, and repairman. Therefore, he can not only explain the instrument and its wonders from the outside but also show why the physics phenomena happen, making classes more interesting and profound.
Speaking of lessons, you can access a cataract of free information on the store's YouTube channel but can also join Mike for online lessons (through Skype) or in-store during the opening hours.
So, if you reside near or in Philadelphia or want to take advantage of Skype lessons with one of the most knowledgeable teachers on the market, checking Liberty Bellows site is a must.
Ronen Segall founded Accordion Love, and right now, the platform counts 10,000 students from 200 different countries. The lessons are divided into two levels and different playing styles ranging from classic music to Christmas songs, French songs to tango, and TV, movie, and videogame classics, among many others.
But Ronen's idea is not only for his students to learn through songs; he also offers several other resources like improvisation improvement lessons. Moreover, he also offers some videos to help you build a more robust musical foundation taking care of the basic movements of each hand for the different styles.
Also, the platform offers users a song database to find the tune they want. Furthermore, if you can't find it, you can send Mike a request, and he can teach you how to play it. Finally, each song includes printable sheet music besides the note-by-note video explanation.
Finally, there's a first free video that can work as a preview for the rest of the material and a 3-day free trial available. There are no excuses not to visit Accordion Love today.
Online Academy Of Irish Music
OAIM was founded by Kirsten Allstaff and Matthew Curley in 2010. Currently, the headquarters are in Doolin, Ireland.
The Academy of Irish Music is more than just a music school; it is a hub for all things related to keeping the Irish tradition alive. Indeed, the school teaches how to play all of the 14 classic Irish instruments and how to learn classic Irish tunes.
So, once you choose the accordion as your instrument, you can learn the basics with Alan Kelly and Marie McTeague, while Mirella Murray can teach the intermediate students. Every course is divided into 13 to 18 video lessons, and the platform allows you to pause, repeat, and watch the videos as many times as you like.
So, if you are a self-motivated student looking for a self-paced course with faculty handpicked from some of the world's best players in the Irish tradition, you have to check the OAIM. Plus, the platform offers a 14-day free trial that you can cancel anytime.
The Microsoft Corporation established TakeLessons in 2006 as a resource to link the best teachers with the most eager students.
Microsoft used all of its cloud-based power and expertise to create one of the biggest and best-crafted marketplaces for music students and teachers in the world today. Moreover, the platform and all interactions within it are backed up by one of the biggest companies in the world and one of the biggest software manufacturers on the planet, so you are guaranteed to have a great user interface.
Beyond the structural benefit of being powered by Microsoft, the offer of professionals teaching on this platform is uncanny. Therefore, you'll surely find a teacher that can suit your schedule, musical taste, and budget. Moreover, since the platform uses a rating system for each teacher with written reviews, you'll very likely have an idea of what to expect even before having the first lesson with your professor.
With such a variety of styles available, you will surely find someone that suits your needs perfectly, so there are no excuses not to check the TakeLessons site.
Play With A Pro
Adam Simonsen founded Play With a Pro. Like what TakeLessons offers, it is a bridge between handpicked musical professionals (proficient, expert, and virtuoso at their instrument) and lucky students around the planet.
This idea is shared by 10,000 students and helps an always-growing list of qualified teachers find students that need their services. Moreover, since the offer is so broad, you will surely find the style, budget, and schedule that suit your needs.
Perhaps, the biggest difference between Play With A Pro and the rest of the similar sites on the market is that this page filters teachers and provides only world-class professionals to teach their avid students.
Therefore, if you are looking for someone to polish your skills with and become a professional on the accordion, this site is a must-check before you pick.
Lessonface was founded by Claire Cunningham and Ashford Tucker in 2013. Currently, headquarters are in Aiken, South Carolina.
After 15,000 5-star reviews, it is safe to say that LessonFace has changed the life of many people with music in the past ten years. It was the desire of the site founders when they started to help avid students find the perfect teacher for their needs.
Moreover, the site's review-based rating system allows students to give back to teachers and help fellow students choose the best teachers. Speaking of which, LessonFace offers one-on-one as well as group lessons, so you can find the best option for your profile and even get started with friends and enjoy that extra push mutual responsibility always generates.
Finally, LessonFace offers a 100% money-back warranty for every class. Therefore, if you aren't fully satisfied with the teacher, the lesson, or both, you can ask for a 100% reimbursement of your money.
Apprentus is a platform co-founded by Gaëtan Deremince and Janne Harju in Finland. Their aim was to create a platform that could work as a hub for learners and teachers to connect around the world. They succeeded categorically at their goal, and nowadays, the platform offers over 12 thousand music teachers who teach various instruments from every corner of the planet.
Typing “accordion” inside the search textbox gives you over 35 results. This translates into a plethora of approaches, prices, and schedules to choose from. Moreover, finding so many accordion teachers on one platform is very hard.
The platform uses a review system that ensures students can leave the feedback they feel their instructors deserve. Thus, just by looking at a teacher's reviews and stars, you can decide clearly who your next teacher should be.
Furthermore, if you enter your country and e-mail, they will send you the contacts of nearby teachers so you can have classes in a physical place instead of online.
Finally, many filters will allow you to narrow down your preferences and spend the smallest time possible trying to find the ideal teacher for your needs.
So, if you are looking for a platform that can offer classes from a plethora of teachers in every style possible, you should check Apprentus out.
Gypsy Accordion was founded by Assi Rose, a master accordion player. She started playing at age 12 and travelled around the world for 15 years to expand his knowledge of the instrument and study with the greatest masters around the world. After returning from his last trip, he realized he had a lot to share with fellow accordion players in the world, so he founded the Gypsy Accordion site in 2007.
Although Assi's forte is Gypsy accordion playing and improvisation, you can also learn how to play swing, Latin, Klezmer, Irish, and many more styles. Furthermore, the platform offers specific lessons on synchronization for both hands, tempo, and scales.
Also, you'll have a plethora of musical resources at your disposal, including lessons on note reading to improve your reading skills and HD lessons based on songs you can learn to improve your playing while having fun.
So, if you are interested in learning specifically Gyspy Accordion, you won't find another resource as complete or another teacher as passionate and knowledgeable as Assi. Therefore, for Gypsy or any other playing style, checking his site is a must.
My Music Teachers Online
Canada is one of the biggest countries in the world, and the distances are enormous. Therefore, the offer for people who want to learn how to play the accordion away from big urban concentrations is very scarce, if any.
Aware of this fact, My Music Teachers Online was founded to act as a bridge allowing students to overcome distance difficulties on Canadian soil and learn how to play the accordion with professionals regardless of where they are in the country. Moreover, all you need to get started is a device that can support either Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, and enroll to pick a teacher that suits your needs and budget.
Currently, the platform offers 5 teachers to choose from that come from diverse musical backgrounds and can teach you different approaches to learning the instrument. Furthermore, once you enroll in the platform, you have access to all the teachers for every instrument and skill on the platform.