There is an ongoing debate among organists about the strengths and weaknesses of consistency in organ playing. In this article, I will give you my opinion on this topic.
Let me start by explaining what kind of consistency there is in organ practice. Consistency in playing the organ can be seen in many ways. One of the most obvious is sticking with one piece for some time until it is thoroughly mastered. An advantage of this approach is of course an increased in depth knowledge of this particular composition which would not be otherwise possible if you just played many new pieces over the same period of time, unless of course you want to master sight-reading.
A possible weakness that consistency reveals is that for some people practicing one piece for a long time is quite boring. They argue that they want to learn something new every day. However, they tend to forget that while staying consistent and practicing one piece until the full mastery in reality opens up new horizons in organ playing and helps to see many new things in the same composition as your knowledge of this piece deepens.
If practicing one piece at least for a couple of weeks is a challenge for you, I recommend you choose your organ piece wisely. If you are going to spend much time with one work, this composition should be of really high artistic quality.
In addition, you can be consistent in your practice, if you are keeping all the important details of your piece in one style. Such details or elements, could include fingering, pedaling, articulation, ornaments, tempo, phrasing, registration etc.
So all of these elements should be consistent over the course of the piece. For example, if you are working on a Baroque composition, the general articulation in this piece should be articulated legato which means having small distances between each and every note. However, this articulation should not sound too detached or choppy. Instead, you should perform such piece in a singing (cantabile) manner.
So if you want to be consistent in articulation, try to keep the same kind of spaces within each measure but try to emphasize the alternation of strong and weak beats. In other words, the organist should strive for consistent articulation in every voice and not allow some measures be played legato while others might sound staccato or articulated legato.
The real skill of the organist shows in his or her ability to articulate consistently and not allow even slightest discrepancies and accidental slurs.
As you can see, consistency in organ practice leads to success and helps you focus on a specific organ piece to increase your skills and mastery.
Keep in mind the above strengths of being consistent in organ practice. Go now and consistently start to practice an organ piece of your choice today. In order to achieve the best results, make sure you are consistent in your all musical details.
By the way, do you want to learn my special powerful techniques which help me to master any piece of organ music up to 10 times faster? If so, download my FREE video guide "How to Master Any Organ Composition".
Or if you really want to develop unbeatable sight-reading skills, check out my systematic Organ Sight-Reading Master Course.
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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.