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: Let’s start episode 673 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Louise, and she answers my questions of what is her dream in organ playing, and what is holding her back from achieving that dream. So she writes:
“1) My dream is to be able to play well enough that people would enjoy and be blessed by my playing.
2) What is holding me back? A) my age. I am almost 72 yrs old and have not played for nearly 30 yrs; B) I do not have weekly lessons; only when my teacher has time. He is a college professor. I cannot afford tuition. C) brain fog due to a serious illness 6 yrs ago and COVID last year.
On the positive side: the Lord provided an organ for me to have at home. 2 manuals; full pedalboard; FREE!! I was a piano major in college and taught piano for 28 years; I love to practice.
Thank you so much for your online lessons. I have printed them out so I can better focus on correct practice habits.”
Vidas: Wonderful Ausra, right, this feedback!
Ausra: Yes! Really wonderful to read it.
Vidas: 72 years old, Louise strives to become better at organ playing so that people would enjoy it, and even has an organ at home!
Ausra: That’s wonderful! For me, it looks like she has all the…
Ausra: ...Tools, yes, to achieve it.
Vidas: Even a college professor.
Ausra: Well, and since she cannot take the organ lessons regularly while having an instrument at home and being a piano teacher for herself for 28 years, it means she has a good strong background in music in general! I think she can learn many things by herself.
Vidas: Correct! She didn’t write what kind of music she would like to learn, though. What is your guess?
Ausra: Well, I guess that music that would fit the church, probably. That’s my guess.
Vidas: Yeah, it depends what she has in mind writing that her dream is to be able to play well enough that people would enjoy it.
Ausra: Well, and you know…
Vidas: And who might these people be?
Ausra: Yes, I thought about people in church in her congregation, but maybe I’m wrong. But in general, I think that the main goal for any musician is to please him- or herself first. I think that’s the most important thing, that whatever you are playing that you would enjoy what you are doing and what you are playing, that you would enjoy the process of learning and the result of it, and if you will be happy with your playing, I’m sure the audience will be happy, too.
Vidas: What is brain fog? She has a brain fog. Do you know?
Ausra: I’m not a doctor. Don’t ask me. But I’ve heard this term.
Vidas: ….brain fog meaning…
Ausra: It’s often people get it after a stroke…
Vidas: “Brain fog isn’t a medical condition, but it’s a term used for certain symptoms that can affect your ability to think. You may feel confused, right… oh… that makes sense… confused, hard to focus
Ausra: Dizzy probably.
Vidas: Mhmm. Okay, that can be improved, actually, with practice. Right? I’m sure with time it slowly gets better. Right? If you sit at the organ bench, every time you start to focus, and that focus at first is not as strong, but as time passes, naturally, your brain muscles will adapt.
Ausra: That’s right. The most important thing is that you will do it on a regular basis, like every day. Even spend a short period of time, but every day.
Vidas: Yeah, even 15 minutes a day over the course of a year or more will make a huge difference, actually.
Ausra: That’s right.
Vidas: And even if you can take a break after those 15 minutes for a few minutes or 5 or even 15 minutes, then come back to the organ bench and practice for 15 more minutes, that’s twice as beneficial.
Ausra: That’s right.
Vidas: With very little effort. Excellent. So I hope this is useful to Louise. What else can we add? Of course, she doesn’t have regular weekly lessons, so what we could recommend is, of course, joining our Total Organist community. We have a good group of people who are striving to quadruple their organ playing results, and we have those daily questions about what did people work on today, and some of them answering that can probably testify that this fact alone forces them to think about their progress and to actually not escape the practice on a regular basis. What do you think, Ausra?
Ausra: Yes, true! Plus many people struggle with the same things you are struggling with, so it’s good to know that you are not alone.
Vidas: I think people enjoy reading, most of the people would rather read than write, so when you, me, and some other people write, they kind of participate in this discussion just by observing. And that’s a good thing, too.
Vidas: They’re not feeling left alone in the corner.
Ausra: That’s right. Plus as I said, because Louise had professional training in piano and taught, herself, for 28 years, I guess she really can do a lot by herself, just by having a guidance for programs as the Total Organist.
Vidas: Yes! Today, with the technology, we can connect with people from around the globe much easier, and even though people cannot have physical access to teachers, let’s say, then they can take advantage of online learning, and that goes also true for physical instruments at church. If a person doesn’t have pipe organ access at home, just getting a second-hand midi keyboard and connecting it to the computer is an excellent start while having a decent virtual organ sound at home.
Ausra: Yes, that’s a solution, too.
Vidas: Wonderful. So thank you so much for your question, Louise, and we hope this was useful to you and others who are in a similar position. Please send us more of your questions; we love helping you grow. This was Vidas,
Ausra: And Ausra!
Vidas: And remember, when you practice,
Ausra: Miracles happen!
V: This podcast is supported by Total Organist - the most comprehensive organ training program online.
A: It has hundreds of courses, coaching and practice materials for every area of organ playing, thousands of instructional videos and PDF's. You will NOT find more value anywhere else online...
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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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