By Vidas Pinkevicius
How does your organ practice routine should look like? Should you play exercises, practice organ improvisation, organ compositions, or sight-read?
No amount of exercises can substitute sight-reading of collections that you love. You will get many things you need from just playing them through.
Most importantly, whatever you choose, stick with it for at least 3 months in order to begin to see some results.
It's like reading quality books - one cannot be a decent writer unless one is a prolific reader. Somehow life lessons from the works of others drip by drip are ingrained in one's mind.
Ausra and I practice our sight-reading together (in alternation). Last week we spend in our summer cottage. There we sight-read 8 great harpsichord suites by Handel. This week it's time for Mozart's piano sonatas (Part I).
If someone in your family is a musician too, it would be wonderful for you to have a regular sight-reading practices with her/him for the entire family (including the children who will later want to imitate their parents). You can also team up with a friend.
It definitely counts as happy and quality family time and boosts your motivation to practice since someone close to you holds you accountable.
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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.