Nova Karina Devonie

Electric Bass, Piano Accordion, Ukulele

Nova has been playing piano accordion since the age of eleven and teaching the instrument since the late 1980’s. Focusing on tunes and technique, with a bit of theory thrown in, she aims for fun and ease while moving at a comfortable pace for the student.

Nova utilizes both reading written music and playing by ear, and especially enjoys helping beginners develop good habits and intermediate players broaden their skills. Nova draws from her years of experience listening to and playing with top-notch musicians in a variety of styles.

Nova toured as a member of the cowgirl supergroup Ranch Romance in the early 1990’s and now performs regularly in several Seattle bands, including Miles & Karina and The Buckaroosters. Nova has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Coast Music Camp, and the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival.


Specialties: Country, Folk

Levels: Beginning, Intermediate

Ages: Adult

Rates: $55 for 30 min, $65 for 45 min, $75 for one hour

Availability: Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Online/In-Person: Online only


Versatility and an unlikely demand for accordion started Nova Karina Devonie’s musical career

Nova's career as a multi-instrumentalist musician began when a group of friends asked her to go busking with them because she had an accordion and had taken lessons. It has led to an accomplished career as a musician, film score composer, and collaborator with many artists and bands.

When were you first introduced to accordion and what got you “hooked”?

I was first introduced to the accordion at a young age when my oldest brother played. When he quit accordion to take up the popular electric guitar, my parents asked me if I’d like to learn accordion, since there was one in the house. I took lessons at the Bob Dressler Studios in Surrey BC when I was eleven, but quit a year later when my family moved to a new house. At that same time, the local accordion studio closed, and the only other place that offered lessons was too far to drive to. Sadly, kids at my new school made fun of the instrument! Unbelievable! After playing some piano and electric bass, I came back to the accordion in my late teens when asked to go busking with pals. I still had that old Regal accordion hanging around. I began playing accordion in bands and never looked back. I think the versatility of musical styles that I could join in with is what got me hooked, along with that feeling that everyone longs for, a place to belong and express oneself. I didn’t learn the typical accordion repertoire of the day, and so had no pre-conception of the music an accordion was “supposed” to play.

What is one of your most memorable experiences as a performer?

I've been blessed with so many memorable experiences as a performer! Among them, touring with Ranch Romance in the 1990's playing to audiences in the thousands at festivals; playing with the Buckaroosters in clubs swirling with happy dancers; gigging with the Rolling Blackouts in tiny venues with audiences in rapt attention; and of course my latest projects with Miles & Karina. One experience that has happened again and again is the moment of looking across at my beloved bandmates and being filled with happiness that I'm making music with people I love. You can see it when the audience is transported to a joyous place. Sounds sappy, but it's is one of the best feelings in the world I can think of!

Do you have any good practice tips for bass, ukulele, or accordion players, or musicians in general?

Whatever you are learning, my best practice tip for students is to just play slowly. Be relaxed and aware without tension. If the music demands it, you can speed up later once you have it in your fingers. And sing! And listen! Be delighted! And play music with others! For musicians in general? Listen. Bring music to as many folks as you can, play the music that moves you, and encourage music making and appreciating in whatever way you can. I know, sappy again, right? Imagine a world in which all politicians sang their speeches in compelling melodies while playing ukulele. That could be a different reality!

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