By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
When Ausra and I were church musicians at St. John's before going to the US to study, we had to deal with the congregation that didn't sing hymns very actively.
I mean they joined in when the organ led them but were barely audible. The sound was halfhearted. By the way, that's how Lithuanians sing in churches in general.
Although we have traditional song festivals which have been running from the early 1920's (and now they are part of the UNESCO cultural heritage) but singing in Catholic churches is not our forte.
How about your congregation?
Do people enthusiastically join in hymn singing? Or do they just go through the motions without adding any energy?
John from Australia also has this challenge. He just moved from another town and found a congregation which he likes. They even let him play their organ and were amazing at his abilities.
So they offered him to play for their church services a couple of times per month. But John noticed that people don't sing from their hearts.
If you are in a similar situation, you might find my training "Enthusiastic Hymn Singing" helpful (50% discount is valid until May 5). Free for Total Organist students.
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Our Hauptwerk Setup:
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.