Vidas: Hi guys, this is Vidas!
Ausra: And Ausra!
V: Let’s start episode 457 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Bass4Art, and he writes:
I have a Kawai Electronic full console organ here at my house. While I took some time away from practicing, I have been taking piano lessons, in fact, I am up to advance level 5 and beginning level 6 and still plugging away at it. Now I have gotten myself up to that level, I like to push my organ playing up to that level as well. I do have to work on my pedaling some more work on my coordination between hands and feet. While I have gotten rid of a lot of the organ music I had. I still have a full pile of it. So how would you advise? Not this coming up month, but more towards the end of the year. I do plan on purchasing your organ training course to help me with those things.”
V: So, Ausra, he seems to be able to play at the level of 5 and 6 in piano, so maybe that’s grades 5 and 6 in some systems.
A: Well, I’m not sure, you know?
V: Me, either.
A: In what kind of system is he training? Because, if he would be like our old piano students are at my school, at this grade, he would be quite advanced already.
A: Because we are playing really difficult repertoire at such level. But, the thing that concerns me is that it seems he wants to proceed probably with both instruments at the same time, and I think it might be quite hard, because although both these instruments have keyboards, they are quite different, and they require quite a different approach and different techniques to be developed. And finally, you still have to decide what you are. Either you are an organist or you are a pianist. You cannot be both at the same time.
V: At the same level.
A: Yes, at the same level.
V: Yes, yes. This is wise, to choose at some point. So, he has to ask himself what he values more, and what is more important to him. But, if he wants to advance in organ from this level, I’m not sure again—it’s speculation, because we don’t know exactly what pieces he’s playing. Right? But presumably, in the piano area, he has some finger proficiency. It’s not level one, but it’s 6. But it’s not level 10, so maybe somewhere in the middle, depending on actually reality. Sometimes, people say they can play that level, but it’s not quite clear if they can perform at that level. Right? For example: if I’m practicing Chopin Etude at home, it doesn’t mean I can play Etude at the recital.
V: So… maybe some basic organ works would suit him—short chorales from “Orgelbuchlein,” maybe,
V: We have plenty of fingering and pedaling for that.
V: Not too long pieces, I would say. And, it depends on his preference of style. Maybe he likes legato stuff more, then maybe he should take a look at Romantic composers—a little bit easier pieces. But with pedals, probably.
A: Definitely, if you want to play the organ, you need to learn to play pedals.
V: Alright! And of course, pedal technique will advance much further if he took our pedal virtuoso master course. So, we hope this was useful to you. Please send us more of your questions; we love helping you grow. This was Vidas,
A: And Ausra,
V: 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.