SOPP566: Your course was very helpful in getting back to my “roots” and kick-starting this entire adventure
Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 566 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Dave, and he writes:
I did your year-long subscription some years ago… and after that found a local organ teacher.
I just wanted to let you know that after 40 yrs, I successfully accomplished (another) audition for
going back to college to get a Bachelor's degree in Church Music with an Organ Performance certificate.
I just started this new semester at a college here in North Carolina; where I have an opportunity
to practice on a wonderful Fisk instrument (currently enrolled in Music History, Harpsichord and Organ.)
Your course was very helpful in getting back to my “roots” and kick-starting this entire adventure.
So, while I’m not currently enrolled, I do get your weekly messages (and even read them) and
I do look at the weekly competitions.
Just wanted to say “thank you” for your “nudge” back into the world of organ playing.
V: What are your thoughts, Ausra, for starters?
A: Well, I think you should be very pleased to receive a message like this, because it’s a direct praise to your work, and I think it’s a very nice letter! It’s nice to help people, and to get this feedback, because otherwise you would never know if your courses work or not.
V: You know, what’s a amazing to me is that after 40 years, he got back to college! That should be done more often, I think, in the world, when senior people have more time in their days and can study things!
A: Now it’s becoming more and more common, and let me correct you a little bit. I think that in the future, we won’t have seniors at all, because nobody can retire after the economy is changing so swiftly, and people are living for more years. So, let’s see… now in Lithuania we have to retire at the age of 65. Yes?
A: But I think until the time we will be getting to retire, I think that age will be probably 75.
V: Is it even possible?
A: I don’t know.
V: How will they approve it?
A: But I think they will find their ways to do it in order to save money from the pension funds.
V: Won’t the community protest?
A: Well, who cares about community. But what I’m trying to say is that the life is changing basically everywhere, and people have to stay in business for more years, and therefore they have to change their major very often, or to find new possibilities to make a living and to earn an income. So I think playing organ can be one of the options.
V: Especially if a person likes playing, likes music, then this passion can become a side income for him.
V: Or her. Have you have ever heard Fisk instruments before?
A: Yes, I have heard them.
A: In the United States, of course.
V: I think I heard at Oberlin. Yes?
V: We’ve been there. It’s actually been more than once. At Oberlin, it’s a French style instrument. And also, at Rochester. Remember? This church where Hans Davidsson played?
A: The 3rd part of Clavier-Übung, yes?
V: Clavier-Übung, yes.
A: Yes, I remember that. Anyway, often the people who live in Europe think that America has no fine organ instruments, and they are so wrong! Because America has all these extremely good organ builders such as John Brombaugh, and Gene Bedient and Fisks, and Taylor and Boody, and now Martin Pasi is building all these wonderful instruments in America, and Bruce Fowkes, and all others! They are extremely professional, and their instruments are splendid!
V: Yes. They all congregate under APOBA – Associated Pipe Organ Builders of America. Yes. A Fisk instrument, I haven’t played it before, but heard it a few times, and of course, we have heard recordings.
A: Sure. Many times.
V: Excellent. So it’s great that Dave is back in organ playing studies. What can we wish for him? That he participate in our weekly competitions! Yes, he does say that he looks at that. I think our contests give people opportunity to record themselves and to get better at playing different repertoire every week. For example, if he’s studying at the college level, bachelors degree, he might not be required to prepare a new piece every week. He can have a program for let’s say, one semester and then after the semester, he would play a jury or a recital or something. But with weekly contests, you need to prepare at least something—at least a short piece—a minute, two, three, four, five minutes, whatever you can, and this in time greatly facilitates your learning process, and with time you can learn longer pieces faster. Remember like @partitura, or Auke Jonbloed, was playing just a couple of minutes per week. Right? His recordings were really short. But now, he’s easily playing 5 minutes, and difficult trio compositions, and chorale preludes.
A: Could he also submit harpsichord pieces for our competition, or not?
V: Not for The Secrets of Organ Playing, but there is a Sonic Groove Live contest on Steem, that accepts all kinds of live performances on all kinds of instruments.
A: But couldn’t he perform, let’s say, some of his harpsichord music on the organ and then submit to our competition?
V: Oh, that would be wonderful! Yes! Sometimes it works. Cross instruments, yes! Wonderful, so that’s an idea for people like Dave who are following our messages, even reading them, and even listening to the people’s performances but haven’t taken the step towards submitting their own entries. Maybe they are hesitant, maybe they are afraid what others will think. We can assure you that we never criticize harshly. Right Ausra?
A: Yes, that’s right.
V: If we ever have to say anything about your performance, it would be a constructive criticism with points to improve on, which is really valuable, right?
A: Yes, I wish so many times that people would tell me what they really think about my playing and not just telling me nice things.
V: Okay guys, this was Vidas,
A: And Ausra!
V: We hope this was useful to you. 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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