Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 506 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Brendan. And he donated us £10 and we were so surprised when we received his Paypal donation. And I wrote a thank you message to him, and then asked him about his organ playing, too. So he writes,
Just thought I'd be able to buy you a coffee! You guys put in so much work! My playing is improving - which is good news - but slowly. While I was working regularly, it was hard to practice as I worked away from home. Now that I'm approaching retirement I've space to practice daily. I'm going back through your sight reading material - which is very useful. I've even been able to cover in church services while our regular organist took a couple of short breaks. Might not seem much - but a huge milestone for me! Enjoy the coffee.
Best wishes to you both. ~Brendan
A: Very nice. We are very grateful. So now, we can go and get some coffee.
V: And then work in the garden.
V: Wonderful. You know what fascinated me the most, that he was able to substitute regular church organist for a couple of times.
A: It means he is doing progress!
V: Yes. It means that he is not panicking when mistakes occur, he can keep going. Not to freeze, doesn’t freeze.
A: And it’s nice, because if you can substitute for somebody it means that in time you can take a regular position as a church organist.
V: Yeah, for example part time position. Even when you are retired. I know many people do that, and it’s a good supplement.
A: True. It goes both ways. You can learn some, you can earn some additional income which is always nice, and you can also have some things to do, which slows down you getting old.
V: Yeah, you postpone your aging process by having more interest in the world, and more specifically, in organ music. And this external motivation when you have to show up on the organ bench at church every week or even less often gives you boost in productivity and practice efficiency, because you know many people depend on you.
A: Plus, being able to play organ shows that you are also keeping some sort of physical health, because you cannot be completely cripple and still play organ. You still need to sit down on the organ bench, and play pedal, and use both your hands and feet together.
V: Yeah, it’s a total body and mind coordination. Good. Do you think, Ausra, it’s a challenge at this age, when he’s approaching retirement, to do this? Because, when he had to work, and he didn’t have time to practice, it was one thing, but now when he has more time to practice, maybe he has even other interests, maybe his other hobbies might take more time than organ playing.
A: That’s true. But usually it’s the case that the more you do, the more you can do, and when you do just very few things then you might stop doing anything at all. Because usually busy people do enormous amounts of various things. Don’t you think so?
V: Yeah, but they lack sleep.
A: I know. But sometimes, when you are thinking, “Oh, I have a free day - I will do this and this and this and that” and finally the day comes, and you do nothing. Have you experienced it?
V: Not recently, because I’m always running around like a squirrel with all those activities that I have to do. For some people, my activities might seem very unworthy of attention, right?
A: That’s what I thought when you said it.
V: (laughs) And that’s why I replied before you commented. I know how you think.
A: I know, yes!
V: We know each other too well.
A: That’s right.
V: So anyway, thank you so much, Brendan, for sending us some coffee money, and we really appreciate your support. You’re very generous. And to other people who are supporting us, we really are very grateful 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.