Are you in a situation, where you have to prepare for organ recital but the date is approaching really fast? You probably are feeling very stressed out about that. If so, here is what I recommend you do.
The worst thing you can do right now is to panic. By panic I mean you might be tempted to play you pieces really fast at the concert speed all the time, thinking that this approach will help you do more repetitions and consequently will let you to prepare for the recital better.
This is not a very good strategy. Instead of forcing yourself and playing the pieces too fast too soon, I recommend you take a deep breath and learn to relax. Relax your body but focus your mind.
Don't think about the difficult places in your program, don't think about what the audience might think of you etc. Instead focus your mind on doing one little step correctly and you will succeed.
It is best to go over your program pieces in a really slow tempo. This will help you relax and understand that you can do it on time. Success in a slow tempo will lead to success in a faster tempo.
Increase the tempo very slowly, only when you feel that the slower tempo is too easy. Also you can try to work in separate voices and combinations of two and three voices. This will also let you to experience success.
Once you feel that you can perform a single line correctly at least 3 times in a row, add one more voice. This is a little bit more difficult. So take it slowly at the beginning and slowly increase the speed as you get better.
So little by little you will start to feel more confident and secure. Instead of stressing out about the due date and many pieces that still need your attention, you are doing the exact opposite - you are enjoying the process and relaxing.
Try this approach for yourself, if you feel that the due date is approaching really fast. You will discover how much faster you can progress by slowing down and working in separate voices and voice combinations. I know, it feels counter-intuitive but it works.
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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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