My article from yesterday about the difference in meaning between the words "practice" and "rehearse" in organ playing sprakled a nice flow of ideas from people in the comment section. I sincerely would like to thank everyone who shared their thoughts with the Secrets of Organ Playing community.
By the way, this article was inspired by the thoughtful comment (point No. 1) of J David H. in response to my 94 page guidebook "Organ Practice is Privilege".
Today I'd like to take this discussion one step further and ponder on what we need more as organists - practicing or rehearsing?
From the comments to yesterday's article it seems to me we all agree that the main meaning of practice is to polish something repeatedly in order to perfect it and the emphasis of rehearsing more or less is on preparation for performance in public.
Then the question is this - in our everyday practice, do we need more this repetitive drilling which polishes and perfects some exerpt or a specific skill or do we need more of testing different stop combinations or playing run-throughs as if preparing to perform a piece in public?
In a way, the answer might be very simple, just as Leon said in his comment - from Monday through Friday we practice and on Saturday we rehearse (if the performance is on Sunday). Of course there is a need to adjust the proportion of the two concepts in many cases depending on the difficulty of music being learned.
But it feels to me this question is a bit more complex. You see, I think some people still practice organ as if they are rehearsing. In other words, they play the pieces from the beginning until the end quite aimlessly never stopping to correct the mistakes they make.
We need to be really conscious about when we need to practice and when - to rehearse. I feel that this would save some people from a lot of frustration when they struggle to learn a piece of music.
Of course practicing and rehearsing can overlap sometimes, especially when we are getting more and more familiar with the piece (even if you are not thinking about performing it in public). That's the idea of playing without stopping 1 beat, 2 beats, 1 measure, 2 measures, 4 measures, 1 line, 2 lines, 1 page, 2 pages, 4 pages, 8 pages etc.
What do you think? Join the discussion and share your thoughts in comments.
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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.