I have played this piece on Principal 8', Octav 4', Octav 2', Quinta 1 1/2' and Scharff 4 fach stops using Velesovo sample set of Hauptwerk VPO. You can support me on Patreon and get free CD's: https://patreon.com/secretsoforganplaying
Thank you everyone for participating! You all made us very happy with your entries. We have all selected the following winners. You can congratulate them here.
No organ for practice?
If you are sitting at home during this quarantine, you might have a problem of accessing a practice instrument. I was very glad when my friend James Flores shared this video with me in which you will see how to construct your own organ at home. Highly recommended, especially the part about the pedalboard!
Yesterday I tested Soundrop music distribution service for my and Ausra’s tracks. Distrokid banned me some months ago without explanation just at the moment when my revenue started doubling every week and I had to find a new distributor. Mixnauten was my next choice. Everything went rather well at first but then somehow all my tracks I submitted through them disappeared from Spotify. Even back and forth support emails didn’t help sort out the issue as of yet. So yesterday I uploaded 3 of Ausra’s newest tracks and 2 of mine. Interface is much more visually appealing than that of Mixnauten’s. The submission process was easier than expected. I had only to figure out how to convert a track to 16 bit rate. I did that with an online audio converter and after a few minutes the tracks were in review. Will they appear on Spotify after a few days as they promise? Will await and see.
SOPP575: I like that Total Organist is keeping me focused on my practicing, and how to practice
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 575 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Jeremy, who is transcribing our scores and adding fingering and pedaling, and is our member of the Total Organist Community. He writes:
“I like that Total Organist is keeping me focused on my practicing, and how to practice.”
V: Ausra, what does he mean?
A: I think that’s what he means, what he says, that it helps him to stay focused on his practice and because it shows how to practice it means that it improves his practice, too!
V: What is the opposite of focus in this case for Jeremy?
A: Well, the loss of concentration, I guess.
A: Distractions, yes.
V: Have you been distracted in your life from your organ practice by any other exciting things, let’s say?
A: Of course, but not so much because of exciting things, but probably because of very serious and unpleasant things.
V: Can you name one of them?
A: No, I can’t.
V: Just one?
A: Because it’s just very personal.
V: Ah. I thought maybe that ha something to do with school, you know?
A: Oh! Do you mean overworking all the time?
A: Yes, that’s one of them, but… I didn’t mean that when I said it.
V: So, if Total Organist is keeping Jeremy focused on his practicing, this is a good thing. Right? But I’m thinking, “How is this program keeping him focused?” By which means? Do you have any idea?
A: I think it’s because it consists of so many things that everybody can find something useful and something to work on.
V: And this could be a distraction at the same time, right?
A: I don’t think you would find any of the Total Organists that would do everything in this program. I guess you just find what your weakness is and what you want to learn the most, and then you work on that.
V: But there are hundreds of scores and programs and trainings. You can get lost, right?
A: Maybe you need to write a smooth guide through your Total Organist program.
V: Step by step!
V: But for everybody, as you say, it’s very personal, and the goals are personal. And I know Jeremy is participating in our weekly contest—Secrets of Organ Playing Contest—week after week, and it’s been great to see him work through Bach’s “Orgelbuchlein” Chrorale Preludes regularly. It’s amazing to see him progress and to actually read his reports, what he has been doing over each day, and I think when a person writes about his day, what he has been working on, then it makes him think about his day, about his activities. And sometimes, if you don’t think, you don’t notice things that you do, and you don’t know if you are productive or not—if creative or not. And when you are reporting like this for everyone else to see in this group, I think it really helps him to stay focused, as he says, for tomorrow also—for tomorrow’s goals. Don’t you think?
A: Yes, I think so. I think you are absolutely right.
V: That’s why I take your activity reports and also publish them on Basecamp so other people could also know what you are doing.
A: Do you think they are useful?
V: Nobody said that they’re not.
A: Well… if you think that they are useful, you may put them there.
V: Yeah, I think they are useful, because they help people feel that you are human, you know, not hiding behind a screen, but a real person.
A: Okay. I am a real person, “Hi!” Well, anyway, I think if I would have had such a program let’s say 25 years back, I think I would have benefited from it very much.
V: You think that 25 years ago you would have benefited from this program a lot?
A: Yes! When I had just started to play the organ.
V: Hmmm. There was no opportunity for anyone to create this. Right? No Internet, capabilities of streaming, and uploading….
A: I know, and I just think it would have saved me a lot of time and a lot of trouble.
V: We started organ playing back in 1994, I think,
A: Yes, that’s right!
V: And that was before even blogs were created! Blogs were created, I think, just before 2000, the first blogs, but they became mainstream around 2002 picked up by big media, and I also remember that I noticed the word “blog” mentioned also on the Internet and on TV around that time, but I hadn’t done anything with it. I only dreamed about it, and started writing blog posts only in 2007 in Lithuanian, and in English in 2011.
A: Yes, and now it’s just so nice to have access to all that information and organ playing technique, because I remember my first lesson with George Ritchie at Lincoln, when he asked by which method book I was taught to play the organ, and I said, “By none!” And I remember how he looked at me.
V: You didn’t use any textbooks.
A: Yes, I know. And I just felt like I came from the middle of the jungle somewhere, basically learning how to play organ from monkeys!
V: Well yes. Nowadays, you cannot say that it’s lack of information that’s stopping people from mastering the organ or practicing the organ. Not anymore, right?
A: Yes, but I don’t think that much has changed in Lithuania, because I guess with their kind of music, they still don’t use any kind of method books, so…
V: Good thing we have a global audience and are not limited to a Lithuanian audience.
A: Yes, that’s right. At least we can share our experience.
V: Thank you guys! We hope this was useful to you, so you see how the Total Organist community is being inspired by one another, and keeping on track with their organ practice, and reporting back at the end of the day about their daily practice activities, and about their weekly goals, challenges, and this helps them move forward much much faster than they would be doing on their own. Right Ausra?
V: Okay, this was Vidas!
A: And Ausra!
V: Please send us more of your questions; we love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen!
I have played this piece on Vox Humana 8', Kleingedackt 4' and Nassat 3' stops using Velesovo sample set of Hauptwerk VPO. You can support me on Patreon and get free CD's: https://patreon.com/secretsoforganplaying
Staying at home
In Lithuania we are staying home from March 13. Many of us think our government isn't testing enough people. That's why we have only 255 cases at the moment. The government probably doesn't have enough capacity to do so but everyone knows they should have bought tools and equipment right when they saw how the situation in China is developing.
We have 4 casualties at the moment.
A lot of confirmed cases are here are doctors which means they are not getting adequate protection. Everyone is very worried because if enough doctors will be infected, there will be no one to treat other people.
The most annoying thing to watch is how our health minister dismisses every concern about not taking enough serious measures earlier because "there wasn't any need".
Probably the government isn't the only one at fault here. World Health Organisation should have advised this worldwide months ago. Now every nation is taking different security measures and a lot of them are doing it too late or not enough. If there was one global strict recommendation to lockdown everything let's say for one month in January, we probably wouldn't have Italy, Spain or Germany's outbrake with resulting casualties.
But people are people and don't react until it's too late. In Lithuania beginning of March on the weekend there was a traditional open market on the streets at the feast of St Casimir. People didn't attend in droves this year but still this was a big risk.
Around that time basketball game in the indoor arena was attended even by our President who officially said on TV he trusts our security system. This was a very bad example.
On March 11 Lithuania celebrated our Restoration of Independence day. Official events were moved from the parliament to the nearby square. Still a big risk.
In our church at the day the university held a concert on this special occasion. 3 choirs performed. The church wasn't full but it had still quite a few people. I was playing the organ. Big risk for everybody.
I wish we all stayed home in January. Then maybe global pandemic wouldn't have spread.
Stay safe! Stay at home!
For organists having one or more MIDI keyboards with or without the MIDI pedalboard connected to a laptop is a wonderful possibility to practice during a quarantine relatively inexpensively.
Ausra and I enjoy Hauptwerk virtual pipe organ program a lot where we can play and record on quality sample sets of real organs. Right now we only have one keyboard but are waiting for the pedalboard to arrive hopefully this spring. But even without the pedals we are having a blast recording and sharing manualiter works with our Patreon supporters.
For example, yesterday afternoon Ausra recorded gentle Krebs' Praeambulum Christ lag in Todesbanden and I - his cheerful Fuga a 3 in C Major.
Would you like to master Hilf Gott, dass mir's gelinge, BWV 624 by J.S. Bach?
I've created this practice score with complete fingering and pedaling so that our students could master this chorale prelude from the Orgelbuchlein efficiently, saving many hours of frustration and achieving ideal articulation - articulate legato.
Thanks to Jeremy Owens for his meticulous transcription from slow motion video.
Basic level. PDF score. 2 pages.
This score is free for Total Organist students.
Check it out here
Have you ever wanted to start to practice on the organ but found yourself sidetracked after a few days? Apparently your inner motivation wasn't enough.
I know how you feel. I also was stuck many times. What helped me was to find some external motivation as well.
In order for you to advance your organ playing skills and help you motivate to practice, my wife Ausra - @laputis and I invite you to join in a contest to submit your organ music and win some HIVE.
Are you an experienced organist? You can participate easily. Are you a beginner? No problem. This contest is open to every organ music loving Hivian.
Here are the rules
Thank you everyone for participating! You all made us very happy with your entries. We have all selected the following winners.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Our Hauptwerk Setup: