Do you struggle in sight-reading organ music and not looking at the fingers?
Let me ask you this: How are your harmony skills?
The reason I'm asking this is because they are related to sight-reading skills as well.
With time, if you continue to sight-read organ music, the ability to not look at the keyboard and still play the right notes will become better. But it's a process.
Besides that, having proficiency in harmony will help you understand the music that you play, even the music that you sight-read. Not only you will think in patterns, but you will also know what they mean.
It's like learning a foreign language. You can learn how to pronounce the words in that language and even native speaker can understand you but without knowing what individual words or phrases mean - it will be automatic memorization - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
I hope this analogy makes sense.
Besides having a decent technique, harmony and analytical skills are a single biggest factor of success in organ playing in general and in sight-reading in particular.
So if you study harmony in parallel to sight-reading, you know you're on the right path.
[HT to Dominique]
Ausra's Harmony Exercise:
Practice ascending diatonic sequence in G minor. The chords: V6-V65-I (see video example below):
Do you have a question for Ausra about harmony? You can reach her by email.
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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.