Vidas: Hello and welcome to Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast!
Ausra: This is a show dedicated to helping you become a better organist.
Vidas: We’re your hosts Vidas Pinkevicius...
Ausra: ...and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene.
Vidas: We have over 25 years of experience of playing the organ
Ausra: ...and we’ve been teaching thousands of organists online from 89 countries since 2011.
Vidas: So now let’s jump in and get started with the podcast for today.
Ausra: We hope you’ll enjoy it!
Vidas: Hi guys! This is Vidas.
Ausra: And Ausra.
V: Let’s start episode 582 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Pieter. And he writes,
Dear Vidas and Ausra,
A friend has sent me a link to your website and I think that it is something that is very interesting for me. Before I look into it further I would be grateful for your guidance as to how I might proceed. I will tell you a little about my situation.
I am an organ student living in the Netherlands although I have had a fantastic organ teacher in London where I lived for many years. I have an organ at home and practise every day. I do not have regular organ lessons at the moment as I am still very loyal to my teacher in London and prefer to go to her when I am there.
Although I played the organ many years ago I did stop but about 3 years ago I restarted lessons. I am highly motivated and I am in the fortunate position that I have a lot of time to practise as I am now retired (I am 63).
I have recently taken the Colleague diploma of the Royal College of Organists and I achieved success in the Pieces as well as the Harmony, Counterpoint, Theory and Aural sections. I was not successful with the tests at the organ although I did get a pass mark for transposition of a hymn tune. I think sight reading is my weakest area. As this diploma is modular I can repeat just the section that I didn't pass and if I am successful the next time then I will get the full award.
Of course I do understand that playing the organ is so much more than passing exams and I guess my goal is to be a better musician. I suppose I am looking for guidance as to how to approach these challenges and whether your material might help me in that respect. I am sure nothing can substitute for regular lessons and somehow I need to sort that out but your thoughts on that would be much appreciated.
Many thanks in advance for taking the time to read this email.
Kind regards, Pieter
V: Let’s congratulate Pieter that at the age of 63, he still continues to practice and still continues to improve himself, right?
A: Yes, it’s very good. I think that’s how people need to live their life.
V: Life long education, right?
A: That’s right.
V: Life long improvement.
A: I always admire people who have goal in life and not stopping doing things. Not only just watching TV all day long.
V: He mentions passing exams and tests. I don’t think they are necessarily a bad thing, right? Even if you think that organ playing is so much more than tests and exams. But tests and exams can give you a goal.
A: Sure. They can push you forward a little bit harder.
V: They can give you deadline.
A: That’s right. So they can increase your motivation.
A: So I think that’s a good thing, to have your goals set ahead of you, of your time. So I think it’s very beneficial.
V: Mm hm.
A: And I thought while reading Pieter’s letter that our sight reading course might be beneficial for him.
V: Definitely, definitely.
A: To improve his skills.
V: Yeah. A lot of people have very positive comments about this course. It doesn’t start very easy, like in the beginning level, you have to be able to sight read or practice, let’s say, a little bit syncopations, and eighth note movements, jumps, and polyphonic movement. Although the exercises start as just one single voice. But it’s not as easy as sight reading a hymn, separate lines of a hymn. The rhythms are more varied. But if he can, if he passed harmony, counterpoint, theory, and aural sections, I have no doubt that he has preliminary skills to take this course. And even though the course lasts for 40 weeks, we have supplemental material. People don’t have to necessarily stick to this schedule and do the course in 40 weeks. They can adjust the schedule and…
A: Sure. Or we can rush if we have time. For example, now when quarantine is all over Europe and most places of the world.
V: That’s right. If you find the course too easy at the beginning, you can sight read faster. And actually, he can let us know in advance, I can send you advance material. If you, for example, complete Week 2, Week 1, 2, 3, 4 material in two weeks let’s say, or one week, and you want maybe week 8 material right away, I can do that. I can grab the file and send it to you in advance. Just let us know. So, as Ausra thinks, and I agree, Pieter should look into our organ sight reading master course. This is a solid course, lasts 40 weeks, and will keep him occupied for quite some time, and is based on Bach’s Art of Fugue, with supplemental material at the end of playing Romantic organ music, based on Reger’s Chorale Preludes, legato style. Okay, guys, let’s ask Ausra if she has anything else to add.
A: Probably not.
V: Mm hm. So this was quite a specific question: How Pieter can improve his sight reading, basically, and we have very specific answer. Thank you guys for sending us those questions. We love helping you grow. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
Vidas: This podcast is supported by Total Organist - the most comprehensive organ training program online.
Ausra: It has hundreds of courses, coaching and practice materials for every area of organ playing, thousands of instructional videos and PDF's. You will NOT find more value anywhere else online...
Vidas: Total Organist helps you to master any piece, perfect your technique, develop your sight-reading skills, and improvise or compose your own music and much much more…
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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.