David Milller: I purchased a Johannus Opus 7 practice organ for my house in Hagerstown MD. I play a 15 rank Mollar at Zion Episcopal church in Charles Town, West Virginia. I enjoy practicing along with you using your YouTube videos and my home instrument tuned to your demonstration organ's pitch and temperament. My goal is to master the Articulate-Legato touch. Thank you for all the encouraging work you do and on the frequent updates to your web site.
There are two sides of the issue when organists make mistakes during service playing or recitals - the way they impact us and the way they impact the listeners.
Some people don't seem to be too disturbed by mistakes they make - they continue playing as usual. Other organists feel so awkward and off-balance that the very act of being aware of their mistakes produces even more mistakes. This attitude requires tremendous focus of mind on the current measure with the exclusion of everything else. This isn't easy at first but it can be exercised and learned like anything we do. Focus is a skill. We are not born with it but we acquire it through conscious effort over time. Forgive yourself, forget the mistake by fixing your gaze on the next spot, and move on. You'll do better next time.
Our listeners can also have different feelings about our mistakes, too. Some might not even notice them because they came to enjoy the music and the event, to participate actively at church service. Others can be quite critical and even cynical about the mistakes we make. They might scold you, they might even record you and post the video online just to share their frustration or make fun of you. In a way it belongs to the culture of bullying.
It's so sad that people behave this way. What can you do about it?
Haters gonna hate, non believers will not believe. And that's OK.
Maybe your music and your playing is not for them. Maybe it's for this woman sitting on the edge of her seat and crying afterwards...
[Thanks to John for inspiration]
PS Some of my readers seem to miss the sight-reading selections I've been including with these posts so here is the piece to play for today:
Arrogamer (p. 24) from Buxheimer Orgelbuch (ca. 1460), a landmark early German source of organ music. Although it's written for 3 staves, it's best played without the pedals with the left hand taking the two lower staves.
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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.