David from USA writes that his dream for organ playing is to be able to play in such a manner and with such excellence that it rouses a congregation, gives them a meaningful, beautiful worship service, and brings all the participants closer to God in the beauty of music. The three things holding him back are: self-confidence, level of achievement on a technical scale, and the ability to improvise on hymns for service singing.
So David and many of my other readers have felt this voice calling unto them to rise to their potential, to enrich the lives of other people with the enchantment of organ and liturgical music and to inspire them to become better human beings.
Is it always easy to say yes to this voice? Or can you sometimes turn the blind eye to your true mission in life and go on with your daily routine?
I would guess that more often than not we do try to ignore our calling. Because it’s scary, because it might not work, because we feel that it’s not our turn, because we haven’t been picked by the people with authority.
Just like David, we lack this self-confidence, that in the end it’s all going to be OK. Just like him the technical challenges (especially when you get older) seems so time and energy-consuming that we don’t want to take up this burden upon ourselves.
When your mission is to create beautiful music for church services and you’ve been told about the difficulties in learning to improvise on hymn tunes, naturally we try to convince ourselves that only people with great talent can achieve this. We might even persuade ourselves that our life as it is now is just too dear to us, that we don’t really want this change because deep down we feel what kind of sacrifices our mission will require from us.
If it’s not so easy to make ourselves believe that our life doesn’t require change, we might forcefully endeavor to proof this to ourselves. This might take the shape of sticking to our current habits of ineffective practice, of jumping from one piece to another without actually learning anything (I’m not talking here about the sight-reading practice with intent), of improvising without actually having anything important to say, or simply, quitting.
All of this we do with only one intent:
To convince ourselves that climbing out of this bucket full of other crabs is not for us (and yes, other crabs do want us to stay inside this bucket with them because they are fighting their own resistance).
I think we can do better than that, can't we?
Kyrie II (p. 2) from the Mass for the Parishes by François Couperin (1668-1733), one of the most influential French Classical composers and organists.
Let Children Hear The Mighty Deeds
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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.