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: Let’s start episode 605 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Klāvs, and he writes,
There are answers to your questions.
1. My dream for playing organ is to play in church services and in concerts. I have played in church services some times.
2. My 3 important things that are holding me back from realizing my dream is:
V: So Klāvs, I’m not sure where he’s from, but the name looks Latvian, right?
A: Seems like that, but it could be anywhere, actually.
V: Mm hm.
A: I’m not an expert on names.
V: If he is from Latvia, then he is our neighbor. Next door neighbor. Wonderful. So Klāvs wants to play the organ in church services and in concerts, which is pretty, pretty versatile way of looking at organ training, right Ausra?
A: Yes, and probably this is the most often heard wish as from I read in our listeners’ letters.
V: Talking about his equipment - he doesn’t have an organ at home and he has to go to church, right? And there is an organ with two manuals and pedal, which is not bad.
A: Yes, it is. And if he can access that instrument whenever he wants, it just means that he has to go to church to practice every day.
V: Yes. That’s what we did in our earlier days when we were students and working at churches. We would practice at the church, too, besides practicing, of course, at the music academy.
A: True. But, well, if you want to become a good organist, you always need to sacrifice something.
V: For example?
A: Well, for example, night sleep. Remember as we were students at the Academy of Music what good times we would get to practice, like at 6 a.m.?
V: 6? And not 7, you mean?
A: Well, yes. There was one year when we practiced from 6 a.m., at the Academy, we are talking, at 6 a.m, we would start practicing at 6 a.m. And it would close at 11 p.m. and we would practice until then, too. And sometimes you would practice in the evening until 11 p.m. and you would start practicing next day at 6 a.m. Such a life of being organists!
V: When there are only five practice organs in that academy, and let’s say 20 students, right, and then also professors, four or five, so yeah, we had to sacrifice some sleep, at least for awhile. But I don’t think that Klāvs needs to go to his church at 6 a.m. in the morning.
A: Let’s hope that he does not. But you know, if he doesn't like to go to church to practice every day, then he needs to acquire instrument of his own, on his own.
V: Yeah. And there are many choices, right? He can buy second hand organ, used organ. He can order a new one, both electronic or pipe organ. He can set up Hauptwerk in his home. Hauptwerk probably would be the most affordable because you can fit your needs, from the most expensive set-up and most real situation like organs, resembling pipe organs pretty well in layout and feeling, to the most affordable ways of playing just MIDI keyboard and simple pedal, digital pedalboard, which could be fit into any room.
A: Yes. And he mentions also that he needs quiet place where he can learn. That might be a problem, because if you are practicing at church, basically you might not be alone at any time. Which actually shouldn’t bother you, because that’s the life of an organist. But if you would get, like, MIDI keyboards, let’s say at home, then you could practice with your headphones.
V: Yes, like we do sometimes.
A: And that way you would be really, you know, alone - and you make your own quiet place by headphones. And neither you bother others nor others would bother you.
V: Yeah. Those noise-canceling headphones reproduce sounds pretty well, but also they block outside noise as well, pretty well. So it’s like win-win situation.
A: True. And about knowledge of playing technique, because he doesn't have organ teacher yet. Well, there are two possibilities: either to get an organ teacher, or to teach yourself, or look for online sources. Like for example, we have taught already quite a few organists how to play the organ, and help them to learn.
V: We’ve been doing this for 10 years, right, Ausra?
V: Maybe less. Since 2011. So 9 years now.
A: Well, yes, because nowadays there is so much sources and so much information available as it wasn’t before.
V: Yes. Just keep in mind that this is podcast number 605. So over 600 teaching material publicly available for free, is on our website, organduo.lt. Plus if you want to go deeper into training and learn faster than on your own, you could join our Total Organist program together with our other students. You would be part of that very intense community which support each other on Basecamp, and who have accountability and really grow much faster.
A: Yes, because I think it’s much easier to do it when you’re not on your own, and then you have people around yourself who will support you and help you.
V: Yeah, we have weekly organ contest, and people have been submitting videos there. Imagine you have a weekly goal to prepare one piece, upload to YouTube and then submit to our contest. This goal becomes your learning foundation, right, Ausra?
A: Yes, it really helps.
V: And pretty soon, you will learn enough pieces to play in a short recital. Like if you learn for starters, just one piece per week of let’s say two minutes long - couple of pages, right? So for a short recital, you would need probably 20 minutes long, 20 pages. So maybe after 10 weeks, you would have enough material to play this short recital, either from your home, online, or in your church.
A: Yes, and I think if you really want to learn, you will always find a solution.
V: Yes. And we’re here to help you grow. Right, Ausra?
V: So please send us more of your questions. And remember, when you practice,
A: Miracles happen.
V: This podcast is supported by Total Organist - the most comprehensive organ training program online.
A: 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...
V: 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…
A: Sign up and begin your training today at organduo.lt and click on Total Organist. And of course, you will get the 1st month free too. You can cancel anytime.
V: If you like our organ music, you can also support us on Patreon and get free CD’s.
A: Find out more at patreon.com/secretsoforganplaying
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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.