SOPP671: I’m 75, and do know for myself, the very high difficulty of remembering my daily study already the next day.
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 671 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Hubertus, and he writes:
“Hello Vidas and Ausra,
As for getting informed with your very-very good advice etc. I admire your setup, and do respond to your questions as a moral obligation.
As you probably remember from the last mail exchange, I’m 75, and do know for myself, the Very high difficulty of remembering my daily study already the next day.
13 years ago I started from scratch in music and organ play.
I generally get only 1 to maybe max. Sometimes 2 hrs time to practice a day, some days even less, for all kinds of reasons, concentration is a hot issue in this all.
So, on the moment I’m studied in this past holiday season the BWV 721, and after 2 months now I’m able to play the piece as tempi gives, and still make usual remembrance mistakes, and in between I TRY to replay several pieces I studied recently before, with lots of difficulties in reading.
Again, I still like to play and do, especially this Bach piece.
So to answer your nr 1;
My dream WAS, 12 years ago, to play beautiful easy pieces of baroque music etc., Nevertheless, to my feelings and due to my former remarks, this goal is not really to achieve anymore, most probably due to organ play starting age around 62, and present bad possibility to remember the study even of the day before properly, and maybe I have to study twice as much, but I cannot bring that up, sorry.
Answer Nr 2,
as mentioned = 1 – Concentration special in reading, 2 - Maybe not enough daily practice time, with coming wintertime I expect/hope to find more time, 3 – Impatience in having results.
Very much Thanks again for your lessons in practicing setup.
Hope this helps in your request.
All Best regards to both of you,
Vidas: That’s a long message from Hubertus, right Ausra?
Ausra: Yes, it is, but very useful. Thank you Hubertus.
Vidas: Yes, thanks so much for answering these two questions. The first one was, “What was your goal in organ playing?” and the second, “the challenges that he has to overcome to achieve this goal.” So to recap, probably his goal no longer is to find beautiful music that he wants to play. Right? Baroque music.
Vidas: But maybe now, right now, to have a more modest call. Right? Like this BWV 721 piece that he likes to play, maybe a few more pieces. Right?
Vidas: And the challenges of course, he faces several, concentration, especially in reading, and he’s not able to give daily practice time, and of course, he is impatient because he wants results quicker, but it doesn’t work that way. Right?
Ausra: Yes, true. I guess these problems could apply even for younger or even very young people—being impatient, wanting to have results as soon as possible, and not finding time to practice, and actually, staying concentrated. It all could be very challenging.
Vidas: And some people reach their goals and some people don’t. Why is that?
Ausra: I think because some of them work very persistently and some don’t.
Vidas: And why is that again? Why do some people work and others don’t?
Ausra: I think because we all are very different. Different personalities!
Vidas: Yes. Can I add something else to this?
Ausra: Sure you can!
Vidas: What if we are having goals, differing goals, right? But these goals mean different things to us, like importance, priority wise. For some people organ playing is really important, and for some it’s just a hobby that they do at the end of the day. If they have time, okay, if not they skip a day or two or five.
Ausra: But I think that for Hubertus it’s really important because he started to learn to play the organ when he was 62 years old! Not everybody would challenge himself or herself to achieve his goal, and that is very exciting and I really admire him for doing that.
Vidas: I would probably recommend setting up like an intermediate goal—a short term goal—like three months from now what he wants to achieve. Learn this piece, right, but why? Why does he want to learn BWV 721? Because it’s beautiful, yes, of course! Is this enough to force himself on an organ bench? For some people yes…
Ausra: Yes! Yes, of course. You know, being at the age of 75, I think, and to practice maybe not everyday but every other day is already a big achievement, actually, because despite all these musical goals, the practice of the organ gives you another result that might slow down whatever kind of dementia you might develop with age. It might help for your joints and for your coordination…
Vidas: But you need to take rests frequently.
Ausra: Of course. Definitely, yes! But I think because the organists use both our hands and both of our feet, we have to coordinate between them, and I think this is a very important skill to have for anybody.
Vidas: I would probably add to this… I don’t know… one thing, maybe. I’m not sure what Hubertus’s family situation is, if he lives alone or not, if he has relatives visiting him, for example. What might help, let’s presume he has some kind of still friends visiting, most people do even though they might live alone. But sometimes people come over to the house, and what would be nice is if he could play this piece for them. For friends or for family.
Ausra: That’s a possibility, but now you know, during the pandemic not everybody wants to have visitors.
Vidas: True. I would suggest video, but that’s probably not for everyone.
Ausra: Well, I think the most important thing is enjoy the process of daily practicing, and if you do enjoy your practice, I think it’s good enough.
Vidas: With this kind advice from Ausra let’s finish our conversation for today. Let’s thank our listeners for sending their questions to us, and let’s hope to meet again in the next episode. This was Vidas,
Ausra: And Ausra!
Vidas: And remember, when you practice,
Ausra: 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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