SOPP513: I feel bad when I get the next week's email and I haven't even finished the one from two weeks ago
Vidas: Hi, guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra
V: Let’s start episode 513, of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. And in this episode we’d like to talk a little bit about our Total Organist students answers. Once a month we ask them a question, ‘how do you like Total Organist so far?’, And here is what James wrote on Basecamp:
James: I feel bad when I get the next week's email and I haven't even finished the one from two weeks ago haha!
Vidas: I wrote: I like Total Organist because it gives people an opportunity to quadruple their motivation to practice and consequently quadruple their results.
Jeremy: I love it. It is a place of encouragement in some parts (the daily updates on what we've been working on) and also pushes me to become better by taking weekly classes or watch videos etc.
Vidas: And Ruth wrote:
Ruth: This program provides terrific encouragement for me. I see how something should be played ideally. I can hope to do the same, one day. At least, that is my hope. I am grateful for the constant encouragement.
V: What do you say, Ausra?
A: Well, I think encouragement is very important, at least for many people.
V: You are sort of an individualist, Ausra, by heart.
A: Yes, I am.
V: Mmm-hmm. In your character you avoid masses of people, big congregations, gatherings, meetups.
A: Because I[’m] always working with people, so I have people around me every day. So after work I just want to spend my time alone, with myself. And I think being an organist is an excellent thing for me. Because I think that basically organist is all alone.
V: Mmm-hmm. If you were my student of Total Organist, just imagine, this hypothetical situation. I don’t suppose it would be nice for you, but still, as an exercise, for your character, for a person with your individuality, would you prefer to learn things on your own, completely, or would you choose to have some people around you who support you, some kind of mentor, or a few mentors, who are more advanced than you, who are sort of at the same path, supporting each other, just like we are doing in Basecamp?
A: I think what you are doing on Basecamp is a little bit similar to what we had when were back at school...
A: and we would have those organ studio meetings every week.
A: And we would get support from each other and from our professors and from other students. So I guess this is some sort of similar form of support and sharing ideas, and sharing our work.
V: You know there are so many, so many, now opportunities for people to take online courses, classes, even online academies, to learn any skill they want, right? And sometimes even for free, right? But the biggest challenge for people who are doing this is to stick with the schedule, stick with the routine and with the curriculum and actually finish what they started. If you go to school in a physical location, it’s one thing. But when you are sitting and studying at your computer or even on your phone or tablet, it’s different. Nobody really pushes you to do what you maybe are not eager to do right away, and you have to find inner motivation. So what we are doing, doing this group environment, even in the virtual setting on Basecamp with Total Organist Community, I think this is exactly what’s school does with support, with constant deadlines, right, and I think I can only hope that people can quadruple their results and motivation.
A: Do you think everybody needs deadlines and feeling that somebody is watching them all the time, and pushing them, encouraging them?
A: Really, really?
A: Don’t you think it puts too much pressure on some sort of personalities?
V: Not necessarily like we’re doing. Not necessarily like we’re doing with Total Organist, but if you’re doing things on your own, you have to pretend that you have deadlines, at least inner deadlines, for yourself.
A: But for example, I have very huge inner feeling of responsibility for something and if I know that I have to do something I will do it. I don’t need that outside voice pushing me to move forward.
V: I mean inside voice, this has to be inside.
A: Because I have very strong inside voice.
A: So, I don’t need your encouragement because I have already too big encouragement of my own.
V: Yeah. So that’s, but people like you are on the minority, I think. Otherwise we would already have reached…
A: You don’t know so much because people like me, they don’t contact you. We don’t express with your opinion.
V: But I mean if majority of population would be like you, we already would have reached Mars. Or even further.
A: Do you think so?
V: Because most of the time people, when they are alone, they don’t do 100% of work. They do a little less, or even more, they take shortcuts. Not you perhaps.
A: Not necessarily. If I’m alone I can do my job better because nobody distracts me.
A: I can work well now.
V: But you are on the minority, I think. Individualist, you know, would despise the masses and do things on their own.
A: I don’t despise masses. Simply I’m not interested in what we are doing. I’m more interested in myself.
V: Alright, guys. This is where our personalities differ, because I would suspect that among our students you have both sides, right? Some people who are more like extroverts and some people who are like introverts. I’m not judging anyone here, I’m just saying that there are two kinds of, at least two kinds of people, there are even more probably, sides of character. And what we’re doing with Total Organist, we try to encourage people advance faster than they would do on their own.
A: Yes, and I believe still and I haven’t changed my opinion, that organ is an instrument intended for introverts to play.
A: You might disagree.
V: No. No.
A: That’s why I’m sort of looking a little bit with this suspicion to…
A: an organist who exhibits themselves very often. For example, play a recital and change their dresses in the middle of it…
A: their outfit, and, or doing only virtuoso pieces and playing them in prestissimo tempo just to exhibit themselves, so I don’t like things like this. I don’t think it’s fair. And it don’t think that organists should be like this.
V: But how do you explain that masses, right, I’m talking about not one person, not two, not ten, but masses, love this kind of show?
A: Well, if you love shows like these, you don’t have to go to an organ recital. You might just turn on your T.V. It’s full of crappy shows. Dance with a star, sing like a star, be a star and all that kind of (inappropriate expletive not included).
V: Fifteen minutes of fame.
V: Everybody wants to be a princess and a prince these days. Nobody wants to be regular person anymore.
A: So in that way, you don’t have to sort of do not a nice thing with instrument, kind of instrument.
V: Yes. Simply put, you sometimes you have to sell out.
A: I think it’s too nice organ, too nice instrument, which has too long and beautiful history, that you would ruin it by doing some ugly show stuff.
V: Can you find a balance, to please yourself and to please your listeners?
A: Well I guess the main goal is to educate your listeners that you wouldn’t have to do show out of organ performance.
V: Or, nowadays, you can actually choose your listeners, to play not for everyone, but for people who believe in you, who appreciate what you do.
A: And for example, for me right now, I enjoy the most the performances of @partitura on Steem platform
A: Because he always plays so nicely and he just seems to be loving the same kind of music that I love so I listen to his recordings and I enjoy them.
V: Mmm-hmm. Have you changed your opinion of digital organs then?
A: Actually, yes, I did a little bit.
V: (Laughs, ha, ha, ha).
A: I still prefer a real thing, but while listening to a good recording on a good digital instrument, I don’t think I could notice the difference right away. If I would listen to them alive, then yes, but not on the recording.
V: Mmm-hmm. You’re right. Technology progresses faster than we can understand. A lots of things to think about, right, Ausra, from these answers that our wonderful students from Total Organist community have sent to us. And guys, keep please sending 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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