SOPP658: Now I can play with both feet to both edges of the pedals, even with my heels. How did I play before?
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!
Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
Vidas: Let’s start episode 658 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Manfred, and he writes:
I was not a novice on the pedal, since I played the church organ for a couple of years. When I started to look into nicer and more demanding pieces for organ, I felt I need a better technique at least for playing scales. Fortunately I found your Course in the internet, signed up and practiced the lessons every day over 12 weeks.
It is amazing: My feet find the right keys without looking. Now I can play with both feet to both edges of the pedals, even with my heels. How did I play before?
I tried to play an new piece. It is amazing how easy my feet play the notes almost automatically.
Thank you very much!
Vidas: So, this is a sort of a testimonial about one of my courses that Manfred is taking!
Ausra: Yes, it’s a nice advertisement for you!
Vidas: Let me check which course. Yeah, this is “Pedal Virtuoso Master Course.”
Ausra: That’s what I thought from his description of it.
Vidas: It is a rather demanding course, and not everyone is able to finish what they start.
Ausra: But if they will finish it then they will have a really nice result!
Vidas: Right. So before that, he played church organ, and played a little bit of organ music, but didn’t have a pedal technique, probably, for playing accurately. So he looked on the internet and he found my “Pedal Virtuoso Master Course,” and I’m very grateful that he wrote this testimonial. Maybe it will enable other people to start practicing from this course, or other people who haven’t finished. Maybe they will pick up and keep going.
Ausra: Let’s hope for it!
Vidas: What other advice would you have for Manfred, Ausra?
Ausra: Well, I’m really glad that he improved his pedal technique, so now he can play more demanding organ pieces, which is very nice. He might enrich his church services, or even play a recital for his congregation.
Vidas: What I recommend if Manfred is really serious about taking my advice, and it appears that he is, is to record his playing and to put it online. Share it with his congregation. Perhaps nowadays a lot of services are being done online, and he could put it on YouTube. You know? What do you think about it?
Ausra: Well, I know that you basically record and publish everything that you are doing. I’m not that kind of person, but well, it’s up for everybody to decide, you know, how they want to do it, or if they want to do it.
Vidas: Yes, but if they want my advice and they trust me, then they would improve even more, because the reason I’m suggesting this is our weekly contest. He could participate…
Ausra: Well yes, but I would suggest for somebody to record themselves in order to listen back to them and to improve, because the improvement will be greater and faster if they will do that. But you know, I think only things that you have done really well you need to publish, and put it online.
Vidas: Yes, but this weekly goal to share one piece, it’s a kind of good deadline for people. Not too much, not too little, just about right.
Ausra: You know, it depends what kind of person you are and what kind of lifestyle you lead, because for somebody, it might be too stressful to record one piece per week at a high level. Don’t you think so?
Vidas: Maybe that piece is too difficult then!
Ausra: Well, but maybe you want to learn the longer piece which is more demanding, and you need to spend maybe a few months working on it.
Vidas: Sure. Sure.
Ausra: Because otherwise you might become an organist who plays always the pieces that are one or two pages long, and not improve much further.
Vidas: With time, I think recording goes easier and people get used to the current workload and get easier over the longer pieces. I’m noticing it myself. Last week I recorded three movements from Trio Sonata, the entire Trio Sonata!
Ausra: Well, not everybody has so much time to practice.
Vidas: As are you?
Ausra: Yes. And not everybody has a DMA degree, so don’t praise yourself too much.
Vidas: Maybe I should praise myself a little more because… or not.
Ausra: Because what?
Vidas: Because I recorded Trio Sonata! You see?
Ausra: Well, yes, I know, and everybody knows how wonderful you are. Nobody doubts it.
Vidas: Okay, guys, I think you get the point. Ausra is different from me, so if Manfred would like to get a second opinion from Ausra, and of course it’s his choice to apply her advice. My advice is different, and well, exactly Ausra. I agree with you. Not everybody has the same goals. Not everybody has the goal to quadruple their results. That simple. And if they are happy with their current level, or improving just a little bit, then they can do what they’ve been doing!
Ausra: Well, I’m just saying that people have other things in life as well, and for example, you live with the organ. For you this is the most important thing. You can spend 20 hours a day just doing what you really love and what you really like. You don’t have, you know, like daily duties like teaching full time or doing whatever full time. So you can learn a new Trio Sonata every day! That’s okay! But maybe a person has only a half an hour or an hour a day to practice at the most.
Vidas: Wait, I’m not suggesting that Manfred or anybody else to record every day a Trio Sonata. I cannot do it myself, you know?
Ausra: But that’s what you were talking about and praising yourself.
Vidas: I was praising myself that I’m improving. You know? It goes faster—hard pieces. I think when Trio Sonata three movements is like 13 to 15 pages long, and I was able to do it in one week.
Ausra: And I am only telling you that if you are learning or posting for the performance for the competition every week a new piece, that these pieces might be really short and sort of insignificant at first.
Vidas: At first. Yes. So well yes, and everybody has their own situation and has to decide for themself what’s the next step. Right? We only can share with them what we are doing. Right? I’m sharing my story, you are sharing your story. That’s it. People can take or leave it.
Vidas: Right? Because otherwise they cannot really be forced into doing anything we say. Right? They will still choose to do or not to do. Right?
Ausra: Yes, and you know, everybody has to find her or his own way of doing things.
Vidas: True. Okay guys, thank you so much for sending these beautiful questions and testimonials. Please send us more of them; we love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
Ausra: Miracles happen!
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Our Hauptwerk Setup:
Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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.