SOP599: Because of my personal situation I do not have a lot of time to exercise and I cannot commit myself to systematic and conscientious exercise
Vidas: Hello and welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast!
Ausra: This is a show dedicated to helping you become a better organist.
V: We’re your hosts Vidas Pinkevicius...
A: ...and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene.
V: We have over 25 years of experience of playing the organ
A: ...and we’ve been teaching thousands of organists online from 89 countries since 2011.
V: So now let’s jump in and get started with the podcast for today.
A: We hope you’ll enjoy it!
V: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
A: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 599 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by María de Jesús Redentor. And Maria writes,
Good evening, Vidas.
My goal in learning to play the organ is to play during the liturgical celebrations and I would like to focus on that. In addition, I would like to get to know the organ registration, as well as improvisation and improvised accompaniment, and also the possibility of performing pieces, especially in the Baroque and Classicist style.
My obstacles are:
1) I am a beginner organist and I do not have much practice.
2) Because of my personal situation I do not have a lot of time to exercise and I cannot commit myself to systematic and conscientious exercise.
3) What I want to add is that I still have difficulty in performing typical organ pieces with a pedal.
Using the opportunity, I would like to thank you very much for this possibility to learn playing the organ online and for very practical and helpful instructions.
María de Jesús Redentor
V: She wants to play in church services, basically.
A: Yes, yes. That's what I understood from her letter.
V: So Maria first needs to overcome her obstacles, obviously. She's a beginner, and maybe that's natural to have less experience than more advanced organists, don’t you think?
A: Yes. And I don't think that this is the main problem, not having experience. You can gain experience by practicing diligently on a regular basis. I think that not finding time to practice, it’s a bigger problem.
V: Mm hm.
A: Because, you know, nothing comes without hard work. You have to do it on a regular basis. Especially, you know, if she writes that she still struggles with pedal technique. I think it all comes from the lack of practice.
V: My mom always used to say, “Art requires sacrifice.” Remember that saying?
A: Yes. I remember that.
V: Do you remember the context in which she would say that?
A: I remember you telling me, but maybe it doesn’t work, doesn’t apply to this situation.
V: (laughs) Maybe, but I just tell you because it's funny. My mom would, she's a graphic artist, and when she was a student, she would try to catch butterflies, and I think make them into, what, what’s this word, you know, like an exposition of butterflies. And she would say, “Art requires sacrifice.” (laughs)
A: So basically she would hunt and kill the butterflies.
A: How cruel your mom was.
V: (laughs) She was very sorry afterwards. Yeah. So in this case, art requires exercise - not exercise - and exercise, too, but also sacrifice. From Maria’s part.
A: So basically, you have to find time to practice on a regular basis. Because otherwise, your progress, you would still progress if you would practice, let’s say twice or three times a week. But it would be really slow.
V: I don't think she can find time. No, it's impossible. I think she has to make time. And that's a big difference, right? If you look at your schedule, which is really busy in Maria's case perhaps, and she doesn't have any opening, doesn’t see any opening, and she says, Never mind - no, this day I cannot practice, right?
A: Well, then my suggestion would be, sleep less!
V: But she has to make time by prioritizing her activities. What’s the most important thing in her activities? And do that first. If organ is not as important, then it will be left for evening when she is too tired to do anything probably, right?
A: It depends on what kind of personality she is. If she is the early bird or late bird, so.
V: Mm hm.
A: It depends. I do most of my important things in the morning.
V: Me, too. Me, too. Creative stuff has to be done in the morning, in my opinion. And more managerial stuff can be left for the afternoon. Like replying to emails, doing some management work, which doesn’t require your creative so much.
A: Well, and because Maria wants to be a church organist, to play for liturgy, and usually, organists, for playing the liturgy, we get paid.
A: In most of the cases, yes? Then maybe this could be also a good stimulus to practice more and become a better organist.
V: Like motivation.
A: And maybe eventually to get more paid for it.
V: Mm hm. That’s right. If you play with pedals, you get paid less, or more?
A: More, I would say.
V: If you play with one foot you would get paid less or more than with two feet?
A: Well, I guess answer is obvious.
V: (laughs) Good. So guys, apply this in your practice. And Maria, too. Our advice really works, people tell us, right Ausra?
V: But you have to be strict with yourself. You have to be honest with yourself. And don't make excuses. Because art requires sacrifice.
A: True. And just see what consumes most of the time, because I'm sure it's either computer or TV or smartphone, or something.
V: Yeah. Maybe delete all apps. All social networking apps on your phone. Check Facebook only from your computer, not from your phone. Then you will have plenty of time, right? Because all those notifications, Facebook is very very intrusive into your life, and very very smart marketing company policy - they’ll allow you to only temporarily delete those notifications on your phone. After a day or so, they will come back. And you will be distracted again, right, Ausra?
A: That’s right.
V: But people like to be distracted, that’s the problem.
V: It’s easier to get distracted than to actually get some work done. Okay, guys - Please send us more of your questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
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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.