Happy girl wrote:Of course, it has been said many times on this forum not to look at the keyboard, but, to my knowledge it has never been explained why this is so, & to propose the alternative of visualisation.
The very shape of the accordion makes it either very difficult or impossible to twist your head forward and down enough to watch the keyboard for anything more than a few seconds, or you risk an eventual kink in the neck. Yes, we **all** look at the keyboard from time to time, that is not against the rules, but there are times to not watch the keyboard, and that is once you begin playing.
To look at the keyboard before you start to set your finger location or to check the accordion registers is fine. After that moment, your eyes should be looking at the music or the people in front of you, or closed or whatever... anywhere else but looking down at the keys that is a comfortable position. Think of the accordion as a "touchy-feelie" instrument. Here is something I challenge you to play with... instead of looking down, turn your head side to side, eyes closed and listen to the music, listen for the tonal and spatial changes. At first it is going to cause you to do a mistake here and there, but that passes fast. Concentrate on the music, not where you hands and fingers are. In time, they will know where to go all by themselves. This is called muscle memory.
Happy girl wrote:It is not everyone’s forte’ to know instinctively the reasons behind these ‘rules’ & for me, it is a new way of thinking. I am guilty of eternally scanning the keyboard to check if I am in the right place.
There is very little that is instinctive about this entire process, so no need to feel bad or guilty. This is all one huge learning process for all of us, not just for you.
Now that you are aware of it, this is just a bad habit to get over, and you do that by being conscious about it and doing your best to be aware of it and trying your best to not do it again. Effort and (this should be the forum's new signature... lol) "grim determination" will help make this a habit that for you falls off soon and you can move on to other challenges. Like all things, the moment you put on the accordion, you are practicing. That includes practicing to not look at the keyboard and once this is not an issue, you should even be able to change accordion registers without looking.
As a kid I recall exactly how I felt when my teacher told me this, and I said it was very hard to do... up until the moment that my teacher told me to consider that the register button was just another key to "play" and all I had to do was to remember what "key" was where. It just became another thing to practice and learn... and I did.
Happy girl wrote:I will now train myself to exercise my ears & employ visualisation. I feel more confident already.
Go for it!