Very often young organists tend to search for some magical recipe to practice
organ which will position them into expert level within a short period of time.
In other words, they want to find some method which will help them to learn to
play the organ confidently in the shortest amount of time possible. In this
article, I will explain why there are no quick solutions and shortcuts in organ
There is no "push-button-magic-become-virtuoso-overnight" method. But many young people tend to think there is one. A lot of times I hear about some
incredible system which will teach you to play the organ in just 2 hours. This
is of course a simple marketing trick but it is very far from reality.
In reality, our practice has to have 3 things which are far from shortcuts:
1) Quality. This is a pursuit of perfection. Imagine that a master (Herr Bach, for example) is watching over your shoulder. Try to play as if someone you respect so much is listening.
If you had this thought in your mind constantly, would you allow yourself to
play with accidental fingering, pedaling, and articulation? Would you play your
organ piece with incorrect articulation and ornaments or would you rather pay
attention to every detail mentioned above and correct every mistake you made? I think you get the picture.
2) Quantity. The more you play - the better (with some exceptions, of course). At least of 30 minutes a day of organ practice is needed to begin to see some positive results. If you have time, you can practice for an hour or even longer but especially long practice sessions are not healthy. Try to rest for 5 minutes every 30 minutes or so.
In general, it is believed that someone who wants to become an expert in any
field, needs to spent at least 10000 hours practicing. So if you practice for 2 hours everyday, which is an optimum duration in many cases, you will approach the expert level in 5000 days or 13.7 years (if you have quality in your practice, of course).
Here I don't mean you should spent all this time only playing organ. Piano playing, music history, ear training, music theory, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, and improvisation are all included in the total number of hours.
3) Consistency. Practice every day or at least 3 times a week constantly. Get
into practice routine. After 1 month it becomes a habit. So stick to your routine for a month and later you will find it quite enjoyable.
Imagine that your practice is like a large train. To move such a train will
require an enormous amount of energy but to keep it moving is much easier. That is why you should try not to skip practicing.
Remember the above key points when you sit on the organ bench. I am fully
aware that you will have to show some perseverance in your practice and efforts but if you truly want to become good in organ playing, I can assure you, it is well worth the effort.
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 Organ Practice Guide.
Or if you really want to learn to play any organ composition at sight fluently and without mistakes while working only 15 minutes a day, check out my systematic master course in Organ Sight-Reading.
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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.