By Vidas Pinkevicius (get free updates of new posts here)
I almost forgot I scheduled this organ demonstration today!
After the first ear training class this morning for 7th graders, I was ready to go and practice on our school recital hall organ. I wanted to play some Langlais...
Without any rush I went to the bathroom to refill my water bottle and then checked out the key from the organ balcony.
It was then when somebody called on my cell phone. It turned out to be my colleague music history teacher to whose 6th grader's class I promised to do an organ demonstration. She was teaching them about various musical instruments around this time and pipe organ was next on their study list.
So the kids were already waiting for me and I almost forgot this event!
OK, it's going to be really fun...
I started demonstrating this organ, telling stories about the stops and the mechanics of this instrument.
Then I played BWV 565 Toccata without the fugue from memory. I actually forgot the ending so I improvised my own ending (don't tell master Sebastian).
I then took out one of the wooden pedal pipes and gave the kids to blow on it. Only after did I understood what kind of mess I made: the pipe was very challenging to put back in place because you couldn't really see the handles on the back side of it.
I tried to do it several times, gave up and gave to some of the bravest boys, they gave up and then their teacher volunteered to help out. Luckily she was a tallest one from our group and actually succeeded almost immediately to put the pipe back in place.
Then I gave all the kids the chance to play this small 10 stop two manual organ. It has an ugly post-war German really piercing sounding 1' 3 rank Mixture.
It turned out to be their favorite stop!
Almost all of them used it when they tried out the organ with their hands.
While they were playing I took the rest of them into the organ chambers to take a peek and enjoy the "beautiful" sounds from the inside.
Heavy duty earphones would've been really nice!
Nevertheless they were all extremely happy. Maybe next year somebody from them will take organ lessons...
So what's the deal with mixture that fascinated them so much? What do you think?
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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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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.