Have you experienced frustration when practicing organ playing? This feeling can arise from incorrect practice habits and can inhibit the advancement of an organist. Moreover, many organists after feeling frustrated may skip practice sessions for a long time and eventually quit practicing the organ altogether. In this article, I will give you 3 tips which will help you not to get frustrated when practicing the organ.
1. Remember your goal. Usually frustration sets in when we are unsatisfied with our progress or the results we are seeing. However, all this negative feeling can be avoided if you remember your goal, dream or vision as an organist.
It may be something general, like becoming a good organist or developing a solid organ technique or more specific, like learning any particular piece that you like or preparing for an upcoming recital or church service. Try to resist the thoughts that let you down and keep your mind focused on your goal. This way your mistakes and challenges will not seem as daunting to you.
2. Make a plan for your daily practice. Once you determine what your goal is, you have to create a plan of your daily steps to reach this goal. In other words, you will have to know what kind of specific action you have to take every day in order for your dream to become a reality.
For example, imagine that your piece is 3 pages long, each page having 4 lines which makes total of 12 lines. Your daily plan might be to learn 1 line per day and repeat the previously learned lines. As you can see, it will take 12 days to learn the entire piece and a few more to make your playing fluent. Of course, if you want to progress faster, you can always put in more practice time and learn more lines per day.
3. Take a slow tempo. Usually when we make a mistake it is because our practicing tempo is too fast. Here you have to understand the difference between practice and performance. You see, although faster tempo might be required when performing any particular piece in public, you have to play differently when practicing alone.
The best tempo for practicing is the tempo in which you can avoid making mistakes. So check how many mistakes you are making and slow down accordingly until they disappear. It really is that simple. You will not feel any frustration this way. On the contrary, you might feel some pride that you are seeing the results you want.
Do not worry about the concert tempo. You will reach it gradually when you are ready. As the saying goes, slow practice makes fast progress. Most importantly, remember you goal, stick to your plan and small challenges will seem insignificant to you. Remember that every practice session brings you closer to your goal one step at a time.
By the way, do you want to learn to play the King of Instruments - the pipe organ? If so, download my FREE video guide: "How to Master Any Organ Composition" in which I will show you my EXACT steps, techniques, and methods that I use to practice, learn and master any piece of organ music.
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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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.