Because organ repertoire is so vast (the earliest surviving music is from the 14th century), we might sometimes get overwhelmed by the variety of compositions, composers, national schools, types of compositions, and historical periods. In this case, our wishes might be too broad for the moment. One day we might want to play this, another day - that. By doing so, we might even lose our motivation to play the organ in the long run.
We can't achieve a quality performance by playing different pieces every day. What happens is that by doing so, we might develop reasonable sight-reading skills but our overall level will not be as high as if we create a strict practice routine or plan.
If you want to succeed in organ playing, you need to have a plan. Just like any other activity organ playing requires thinking about our goals, strategies, and tactics to achieve a higher level.
So, how do we create this plan for our organ practice? First of all, we need to think about our goals with organ playing. Where do we want to be in 2 months, in 6 months, in 1 year, or 5 years from now. Do we want to get a solid foundation of our organ technique? Or to find a good organist position? Or to be able to play a challenging but exciting organ piece of our choice. Or maybe to prepare for our organ recital? Because we are all different, our needs will be different, too. But we still need to think about our goals.
When we know what we want to accomplish in x months from now, then we can begin to think about strategy to do that. For example, let's pretend I want to be able to play the famous Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor (or any other piece) in 8 weeks. In order to achieve that goal, my strategy might be something like this: I would need to spend 3 weeks by learning the piece, 1 week memorizing it and 4 more weeks perfecting it.
Once I have the strategy in place, I can plan the tactics, too. This would mean I have to calculate how much time and effort I have to put in order to learn the piece in 3 weeks. Because this piece is about 9 pages long, I would need to learn 3 pages per week, or 0,5 page per day to meet my goal.
So, would you like to create something like this for your own organ practice? Try this approach and you will have incredible clarity in what you need to do to achieve your goal.
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.