Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 355 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Tamara and she writes:
“Dear Vidas and Ausra:
Thank you so much for your instructional emails, conversations about certain issues related to repertoire and organ playing, and support. They have been so extremely helpful in my own work. I've been following/completing each email as best I am able to get the time. I work a part-time organist position, but also 4 additional positions (as pianist/conductor/teacher) in the music industry here in the U.S.!
I missed the Black Friday/Cyber Monday discount on Total Organist, which I hope you will offer again around Christmastime! At that point I will take advantage of it. I will be very busy anyway until third week of December, so I will have time to concentrate on organ over the holiday break.
I will for now purchase your edition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, as well as the Karg-Elert Nun danket alle Gott--the latter which I played for our Thanksgiving Service two weeks ago. I will appreciate your take on the fingerings and pedal markings.
Sending you both very best wishes!
PS--I also enjoy your cartoons!”
A: That’s very nice.
V: Tamara is very diligent listener of ours and tries to apply our tips in her practice in her church service work a lot and this is extremely pleasing to know right Ausra?
A: Yes, I’m glad she finds it useful.
V: For people like that it’s worth doing what we are creating because these people like Tamara can really reap the benefits of their practice and they can help themselves and we’re glad to be part of this.
A: And we are glad that somebody like Tamara responds to us back and we know that we are doing a useful job.
V: And she says that she didn’t take our offer for Total Organist for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and she hopes to get around it for Christmas time. Will we offer it Ausra?
A: Yes, I think we will.
V: And Christmas is really not far away.
A: Yes, it’s coming really fast.
V: So when Tamara will join Total Organist and if other people will join together with her they can practice any course that there is in our repertoire, any material that they wish to download, any program that they find useful. We have music theory courses, harmony courses. We have improvisation right Ausra? What else we have?
A: Yes, plenty of to choose.
V: Sight reading, hymn playing, pedal playing. Just about any area from organ playing. That’s why we call it Total Organist.
A: Yes, plus a lot of pieces with the fingering and pedaling written in.
V: Umm-hmm. It’s really helpful.
A: You know what I noticed when we were reading Tamara’s letter that she has so many positions as a musician. Do you think it’s hard for a person to have three or four part-time positions or it’s harder to have one full-time position?
V: I would think that having one full-time position is easier than five part-time positions because then you can concentrate fully, give 100 percent in your one job. What about you Ausra?
A: But maybe it’s nice when you have part-time positions then sort of you never get bored because you have to change surroundings all the time.
V: And there are certain advantages, right? If you get kicked out of one position you have four more left.
A: Yes, you have four more left or three more left.
V: What do we call it? Diversification right?
A: That’s right.
V: And diversification is the path to financial independence and that’s what people in today’s world are striving for a lot these days because to be dependent on one full-time position is scary these days. You have the job and maybe your priest is transferred to another church and then you can lose it.
A: Yes. So I guess it’s sort of nice to be a musician because you have all these options.
V: You can be a free-lancer right? You can be substitute organist. You can position yourself as a person who can play services for other churches when there isn’t anybody around.
A: And since Tamara also is pianist and conductor and a teacher it gives her broad perspective of things to do and I think it’s very often the case with organists that we play both organ and piano and can conduct choir and can teach too.
V: Exactly Ausra. Would you prefer being a full-time or part-time musician in several institutions?
A: Well it’s a tricky question.
V: Like today I will explain a little bit situation. Like right now you are working at National Children’s School of Music with lots and lots of hours.
A: Yes it’s a full-time, more than a full-time.
V: How many classes do you teach?
A: Twenty-six hours per week.
V: Twenty-six and plus all the grading papers and additional…
A: Yes, preparation and all that paper work.
V: So it’s a full-time.
V: It takes probably forty hours of your week easily.
V: And would you rather teach less there and do something else in other fields.
A: Well I can’t imagine how I could teach less then I would get less money and even now sometimes it’s hard to survive from teaching full-time and plus I’m also a part-time organist at Vilnius University.
V: Umm-hmm. It depends on where you live in the world, how advanced your country is and ...
A: How we are valuing teachers let’s say because my country is not obviously.
V: Just last week-end we had strike and demonstration of teachers and other unions in the center of Vilnius demanding respect for this profession, bigger salaries, lesser classrooms and what else? In general, more respect. Do you think they will succeed?
A: I don’t think so.
V: And the same week-end they had strikes and demonstrations in Paris, violence.
A: Yes, they were breaking windows and burning cars.
V: And our teachers just were protesting with bells in their hand and books and very politely.
A: Very intelligently. But nobody listens to you when you are too polite.
V: Yeah, you are right.
A: But we are northern people, we don’t know how to protest. We had not thrown us off.
V: Exactly, we have cold blood.
A: I don’t think so, I think we hide our emotions inside.
V: Oh, that’s why we have so many psychological illnesses.
A: Yes, and so many alcoholics.
A: And also you know…
V: Suicide rate is quite high.
A: Yes, it’s very high. I believe it’s the highest in the world.
V: Umm-hmm. Yeah. Every country has its own advantages and disadvantages and you have to live where you are and make the best of it I guess.
A: That’s right.
V: Luckily today we live in a global world where we can teach, right? You can teach not only your school but teach globally in 89 countries.
A: Yes, that’s a very nice thing.
V: And anybody who has any sort of skill they can do similar things today and writing a blog and getting paid for it is so easy today with blog chain technologies. Just five years ago it wasn’t possible at all. You had to do what we’ve been doing, right Ausra? You usually have product or service in addition to your blog selling to people, helping in other ways who would prefer to pay you. But today you could just post your teachings online and the platform itself pays for it.
A: I wish more people would take advantage of this and do such a sort of work but for me now seems that so little understands about it. For example we have so many teachers, some are friends you have especially.
V: Alex, from our book club.
A: And we are all in all teaching languages and most of them work at school or at university but we just don’t understand what we are doing and Vidas tries to explain to them so…
V: I was once proposing to get our communication into the telegram group where instant chat and messaging services is much more efficient and flexible and easy to do and user friendly and most of them were stuck with email.
A: Yes and Vidas was so persistent and he’s never tired of educating people. He tried so hard to convince them but nobody took advantage of it, almost nobody.
V: Anyway you have to always be curious about new developments, about new technologies and how they can help creative people and I can tell you quite surely that there hasn’t been a better time to be a creative person. And we are all creative. It doesn’t matter which field you are in, teacher or musician or artist, we all are creating something from our brain. Ideas. We generate ideas and today is the best time to generate ideas and get paid for them.
A: That’s right.
V: So for Tamara, maybe for others who are also struggling with part-time positions you could actually look online and take advantage of new technologies, such as Steem, ONO, Whaleshares, Trybe and others and do what you are still doing actually but diversify your income even more than you are doing and actually get paid while you sleep. That would be wonderful right Ausra?
A: Umm-hmm. Yeah.
V: You got paid while you slept right for your cartoons,
A: That’s right, yeah.
V: (Laughs.) Pinky and Spiky. Thank you guys for listening. Thank you guys for applying our tips in your practice. If just a few people do what we are experimenting with and leading by example I think this is a good precedent and they can also start developing their own new ideas and create new circles. 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.
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