By Vidas Pinkevicius
How does your organ practice routine should look like? Should you play exercises, practice organ improvisation, organ compositions, or sight-read?
No amount of exercises can substitute sight-reading of collections that you love. You will get many things you need from just playing them through.
Most importantly, whatever you choose, stick with it for at least 3 months in order to begin to see some results.
It's like reading quality books - one cannot be a decent writer unless one is a prolific reader. Somehow life lessons from the works of others drip by drip are ingrained in one's mind.
Ausra and I practice our sight-reading together (in alternation). Last week we spend in our summer cottage. There we sight-read 8 great harpsichord suites by Handel. This week it's time for Mozart's piano sonatas (Part I).
If someone in your family is a musician too, it would be wonderful for you to have a regular sight-reading practices with her/him for the entire family (including the children who will later want to imitate their parents). You can also team up with a friend.
It definitely counts as happy and quality family time and boosts your motivation to practice since someone close to you holds you accountable.
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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.