By Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene (get free updates of new posts here)
Your public organ performance is in 3 weeks and you feel terrible about your playing especially this one piece. What can you do? Should you cancel the event?
You could, but your credibility as an organist will suffer because of this.
Plus it will get more and more difficult to show up to play in public if you hide from challenges.
What you can do is of course quadruple your organ playing efforts during these 3 weeks and analyse this piece from the strategic point of view.
Do you make mistakes in every line or is it in just a few spots?
Does your beginning and end sound strong?
If it does, you can cut your piece and play just the portions which usually go well.
Now, this plan is just for an emergency, I don't recommend you do it all the time.
But it's better if you still play in public, even if the piece is incomplete.
Can connect the episodes of your piece so that they flow naturally into one another?
Of course beginning and ending is a must. Don't touch them. But maybe you can cut some of the most difficult spots.
Remember, you can modulate certain cadences into keys which work nicely together.
Just be a little bit creative and find a sweet spot where the piece without the most challenging middle episodes still would sound convincing.
You'll still will be practicing the whole thing. Maybe with 4 times the energy than before. But if things go sideways, you'll know what to do.
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.
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.