Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 483 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Tamara. And she writes:
Starting out “with a bang” on the 10 Day Pedal Challenge and Pedal Virtuoso course. It’s already Day 4 for me! My biggest issue will be making time every day to practice, say, for ½ hr or so, instead of trying to cram everything in on 1 or 2 days per week. So far I’m on a regular schedule. Could use support from the gang here in staying on track! Thanks to Vidas, Ausra, and all organists here!
V: Tamara is our Total Organist student, and she has written this response, What is she working on currently, to our Total Organist community on Basecamp. And obviously, people have responded nicely with their suggestions and support. Let me see if I can find those things. What is your impression, Ausra, before I forget?
A: Well, I think that Tamara is right, on the right track.
V: Mm hm.
A: I think it’s more efficient to practice every day a little bit, instead of practicing only let’s say 2 or 3 times a week for longer periods of time. What do you think about it?
V: Ideally, you should practice more than two times per week. Three times per week minimum, right? Because if you practice two times a week, sort of twice, then you’re just staying in the same level. And then anything more than that adds a little bit of progress to your performance practice. But I think people sometimes manage to practice every day, and people who have more time, practice more hours. People who have less, practice for 15 or 20 minutes or 30 minutes. That will be wonderful, I think. Because then you can progress faster, right?
A: Sure, of course. Because if you will do long intervals between your practices, then every time you will feel like you’re starting over, almost from scratch, from the beginning, so to say.
V: Mm hm. And I found other peoples’ response to Tamara’s answer. And Jeremy writes, “I’m right there with you. We started school again this week. I teach at a university, and suddenly there is little time for practicing.” And Diane jumped in, “Striving for the same, doing my best despite life getting in the way, and a temperamental organ maintenance guy who can’t get here till September. But I will attempt to carry on.” So you see, everybody is on the same boat here, struggling to find time for practice. But whatever they do, I think, is working, right - everybody needs to find their own solution to challenges.
V: But we are here as a community to support each other.
A: And that’s very nice, you know, that we can talk to each other and share our problems and solutions, too.
V: Yeah. Every day, people post to our Basecamp channel their feedback, and people respond. And we have those automatic questions to help them answer them on time, what are they working on, what are some things that they have been struggling with, right? Those things help them think about their organ playing and practice more deeply in detail. Not just go through the motions, but really think what is working, maybe what is not, what needs to change. I think this really facilitates their progress so much. And sometimes, we have questions, like once a month, asking, “How do you like Total Organist so far?” And this feedback gives us really great insights, what are people getting out of our programs.
A: True. And sometimes, when you struggle with your problem and you think that, you know, it’s impossible to solve it, or you feel yourself that you are somewhat maybe less talented than others are, that’s not true. Because if you would share your problem, you would find many, many others who share the same problem. And maybe already have found a solution to it. So.
V: You just need to join others in their quest. Don’t stick to yourself. Don’t be isolized - is it the right word?
V: Isolated, yes. Because to practice alone, it only leads to some progress, and eventually, it’s really hard to continue if you don’t have any support. So obviously, people who are listening to our conversations, or reading them as a transcript, they are getting support in this way as well. They feel that the community is present around this blog and podcast. But what we have around Total Organist is even more focused group, because there are only about 70 or plus people doing this, or maybe more, maybe with people who transcribe our podcast conversations and fingering and pedaling scores are also in this community as well, so maybe around 100 people we have as a team. And this feedback really help people feel they’re not alone.
A: Which is very important, I think.
V: All right, guys. This was Vidas,
A: And Ausra.
V: Please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice…
A: Miracles happen.
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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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