The Free-Reed Review
Critiques of Compact Discs, Books and Music Scores

Book Review: Joe Morelli
Target: Focus


Quality Practice
Patience, Memory & Imagination
Seven Basic Principles
Pupil-Teacher Relationship
Positioning the Instrument
Focus: Low-Pitched End of Keyboard
Focus: Bellows
Focus: Right Extremity
The Stradella Bass System
Speed Bumps? Target: A Level Playing Field
Focus: Intervals
Building Strength In The Fingers
Sight Playing
Exploring The Underside Of Your Creative Potential
In Gear: Finding Neutral
Who's That Knocking On My Door?
Aiming For Targets On The Journey To No Goal
The Creative Mind - Floating Free In A Sea Of Uncertainty
Becoming The Experience
Opening The Floodgates
A Sense Of Adventure

total pages: 66
no photos or drawings
released: 1997

Publisher: Joe Morelli
Order from: Petosa Accordions
313 NE 45th St
Seattle, WA 98 105


phone: 206-632-2700

Review by Henry Doktorski:

Joe Morelli (b. 1929) has written an important book, which shares his many decades of performing and teaching accordion. Target: Focus not only deals with practical matters of accordion playing, such as wrist and hand position, balance of the instrument, leg position, backstraps, etc. but also less-measurable factors involved in playing an instrument such as consciousness, self-consciousness and un-consciousness.

This, to me, is the spark that makes this book unique; at times, I thought I was reading The Zen of Accordion Playing. Mr. Morelli related from his own experience about how the self must be shed for a performance to come alive and how the student must give up attempting to reach a goal; for the goal is in the journey. Of course, Morelli admits, we all practice to reach a goal - a performance as perfect as we are able to do -- but he reminds us that working too hard to achieve a goal interferes in the attainment of that goal. Like the yogi practicing karma yoga, the enlightened accordionist practices without attachment and only then truly enjoys the result: true harmony and inspiration.

Although this book is geared to the piano accordionist (some chapters focus exclusively on aspects of the piano keyboard), I think all accordionists, nay, all musicians, can benefit from Mr. Morelli's insights.

Sometimes the book drags a little, as it sometimes gets technical, but it is worth wading through it (it took my one hour to read). I learned from it, and I think you will too. Anthony Galla-Rini (b. 1905), the world-famous concert accordionist, wrote in the foreword, "I say that this book should be in the hands of not only every teacher of the instrument, but also accordionists in general, let alone the beginners."

I concur.

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