If organists want to secure more recital opportunities on organs that interest them, current practice is to contact the local organist directly and ask him/her. This reaching out is so easy today as so many organists use social media and/or have their own (or their churches') websites. Contacting an organist is as easy as writing a short email proposal or messaging them on social media with little info about yourself and what it is you want from them.
This rarely works, though. If it did, we all would be circling around the globe with multiple recital tours each month. The No. 1 reason for this is that it is and feels like spam - the recipient doesn't know you, doesn't expect your message and in many cases, your proposal may not even be relevant to this person.
It would be better to approach a person who trusts you, who expects your email, and to whom your information would be relevant. What I recommend is that you invest time and effort into building a genuine relationship with this person and help him/her solve their problems long before you even think about asking something back in return.
Here's why I think with this approach you are much more likely to succeed in finding new recital opportunities:
1. The person will get to know you better. Remember that you are just one of the hundreds of organists they communicate with. By showing up in their email inbox regularly you will become your own category, not just one of the many.
2. The person will get to like you more. By helping them solve their problems, it's far more likely that you will be treated as a sincere person whom they would want to recommend.
3. The person will get to trust you more. Nothing can be achieved without mutual trust. Because you have helped him/her in the past so much, a normal reaction is to reciprocate - to spread the art of giving gifts further.
Going forward, as our email inboxes become more and more crowded and our days - more and more hectic, it's vital you continually ask yourself this question, before hitting that "SEND" button: "What can I do to increase their trust?" so that you won't need to chase them but they would come to you instead.
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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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