SOPP647: My dream is to be a great concert organist, and to be one of the most significant organ performers in this century
Vidas: Hello and welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast!
Ausra: This is a show dedicated to helping you become a better organist.
V: We’re your hosts Vidas Pinkevicius...
A: ...and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene.
V: We have over 25 years of experience of playing the organ
A: ...and we’ve been teaching thousands of organists online from 89 countries since 2011.
V: So now let’s jump in and get started with the podcast for today.
A: We hope you’ll enjoy it!
V: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 647 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Nabil, and he writes,
1) My dream is to be a great concert Organist, and to be one of the most significant Organ performers in this century. Because I believe I have something new to bring.
Also to be the first Organist in a Cathedral (good organs usually are in big churches), to push the people in the church with me looking towards heaven in their prayers by making great music…
V: This was his dream. Number 2, it’s obviously the challenge, and it is
2) * Not having Organ or even Classical Music atmosphere around me.
V: He lives in Israel. Also
* Planning to study Organ and Church Music in Europe (it's very hard and complicated plan)
* I need support in social media to get known
Love you and Ausra!!!
V: What do you think, Ausra, about his dream first of all?
A: Well, I’m thinking that he is a very ambitious young man, and I wish him good luck with his dream.
V: Do you know any very significant organ performers in this century...maybe in the past century?
A: Yes, I know significant in this century and in the last century as well.
V: Just name one. Your favorite.
A: Well, from which century?
V: 20th century.
A: 20th century. Well, probably Marcel Dupre comes to my mind.
V: This one, right. Do you think Marcel Dupre had this kind of goal or dream, to become one of the most significant organ performers in the 20th century?
A: Well, I don’t know. If he wrote a diary maybe if this information is available. But probably not. I guess he just did what he did on a regular basis, because he was really a very hard-working man. And of course he also wanted that people around him, for example his students, would be also very hard working as well.
V: Yes. So it usually is the opposite. If you have the dream of becoming famous let’s say, you will not become famous of your work, probably. You could become famous of your physique, appearance, outlook. It’s possible right, if you do something eccentric with your face or your body. But if you want to be well-known because of your work, as Nabil writes, it has to be the opposite dream. You need to be probably more concerned with building up your skills than to building up your fame.
A: True, because without your skills, you won’t be able to be famous. Well and in general, if you want to be famous on social media, then I would say that probably organ is not the best way to get known, because it really takes time and effort, and support of course. And luck, too. Well, look at such person for example as Cameron Carpenter. Well, he graduated from Juilliard if I’m correct. Well, do you know what it means to be accepted to Juilliard and to graduate from it? It means that he had to put a lot of effort and to do a lot of work. And now yes, he’s famous on the social media as well. Could you do that? Well I don’t know.
V: And also some people get more luckier than others. You mentioned luck, right, and that’s a big factor actually. For example, I know a person who has only two videos on his YouTube channel, but he has several million of views. Organ music, but just two pieces. And he’s not been active for many years now. Just riding this way for a decade maybe. And probably he’s not even playing organ anymore. Maybe changed direction. But it doesn’t mean that he’s not well known because of those two videos. He was young and talented and got somehow noticed. But that’s luck, that’s not hard work.
A: Yes. And you know, I already gave up my dream to become famous, and to have, to even gather 1,000 subscribers on my YouTube channel, because I realized that I’m neither young, nor a man and neither slim. So basically, I don’t have any chances to get famous in an organ world.
V: Famous is very relative thing you know. You are famous to me, and you’re famous to people who are listening to this podcast for sure. Even though they might not count as one million subscribers of your YouTube channel. But basically, I think it’s a relative thing. If I gave you advice about YouTube channel, I wouldn’t give you advice to be famous or to reach 1,000 subscribers. No, probably the most important thing will be also just to concentrate on uploading music. Playing, recording, and uploading. The same as for Nabil probably. On a different scale, of course.
A: I think the most important thing is not to become famous, but to really enjoy what you are doing. To really like and love what you are doing. Because otherwise, all that daily routine that you, all those hours that you have to spend practicing organ might become really tiresome for you if you will not love enough what you are doing.
V: Exactly. If you are doing just for the sake of some lofty goal which might be true for you now, but I don’t know about the future, you might change your mind, then you will not last long. You might last one week, two weeks, maybe a month. And then you get burned out, because the results will not be positive enough to create positive feedback loop. Like for you, right? If you had received more subscribers right away, you would keep going and going and going and uploading new music. But it doesn’t work that way. It’s much slower progress, if you keep counting subscribers. If subscriber count is your metric of success, basically. But I don’t think subscriber count is the metric of success. Success probably means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.
A: Yes, and you know as about studies abroad, for example in Europe, I would suggest for Nabil to consider not only Europe but also United States - why not? Sometimes they can offer good scholarships to which you can apply. And if you’re talking about Europe, why not to try for example Germany? I think it has really good ties with Israel.
V: Correct, correct. Yes. Well, he writes the last challenge as support on social media. Everybody needs attention, right, and everybody fights for this attention.
A: Yes, therefore this competition is really severe.
V: And some people get discouraged and give up, close their channels and delete their accounts, change their mind a week later and reopen again. That’s fine, but it’s a negative circle, basically. You won’t win this game by doing this, by playing this game. I think most important thing, as you say Ausra, is just enjoy what you’re doing. And keep sharing your music with others. And if that will work eventually, that’s okay. If it’s not, at least you will have a good plan.
A: Sure. Because otherwise you might find out after 10 or 20 years of your life that you actually have wasted it and did things that you even didn’t like it.
V: Yeah, for example if you suddenly analyze what’s the most popular type of organ music online right now, and start playing it over and over again, this type of music. Not the same piece, but similar pieces by different composers. And you get popular, right - you might get popular this way. But if you keep doing this for years without love, just for the sake of popularity, as you say, you might get revelation that you wasted your time without actually playing anything that you did like during that time, right?
V: Thank you, Nabil. And we hope this was useful to other people who are facing similar challenges and have similar dreams. 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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