Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 2012 organ lesson

Yesterday morning, I went to Toledo for an organ lesson with Michael Gartz at Trinity Episcopal Church. This was my first lesson at Trinity as St. Mark's Episcopal recently merged with Trinity. . There are a few pictures from when the organ was installed in 2005 here. I had planned to take my camera along but in my anxiety of driving in snow (which turned out to not be problematic) I forgot it. I will take some pictures at my next lesson.

When we first arrived, I had the pleasure of listening to Michael practice a few of his pieces.  The organ is in the balcony so I walked around the nave while he played.  (In protestant churches this is usually considered the sanctuary). The sound of this organ is amazing.

I have heard it said that sometimes the organist has the worst seat in the house. This was apparent to me yesterday when I comparing how the organ sounded while standing in the balcony to hearing it while in the nave. The music sounded much more complete and how you would expect to hear a piece in the nave. In the balcony, the distance to the organ pipes is short so the full affect of the sound combining cannot be realized.

My actual lesson started off well. I did not need much coaching on the first piece as I am aware of when I slow down on harder parts and I'm still learning the end. From there, I needed much more help. Michael pointed out areas where I still need work and gave advice on techniques I can do at home. Overall, it was a great lesson and I am slowly making progress. I hope to be able to successfully play "O Come, All Ye Faithful" by next Christmas!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Story added

I've added a My Story tab which describes how my journey started back in 2009.  What do you think? Do you have courage to pursue your dream? If you need tips, I read Quitter recently which explains how to responsibly work on a dream job while maintaining your current ("day") job.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unexpected Audience

Today, I ventured over to the church to practice on the pipe organ. Usually I practice at home on my electronic organ. Much to my surprise there were a few people there working on the heating system.

I considered driving away when I saw the vehicles in the parking lot. Up until this time, I have not had an audience when practicing. Only a few family members, my husband, teacher, and cats have heard me play. I decided to go in and practice anyway. First, I saw the head pastor. He assured me it was okay for me to practice even though people were working. I am not confident (yet) in performing in front of others and a very small part of me would have been relieved had he asked me to leave until the worked was completed. So I pressed on to the organ bench!

I felt very self consciousness and nervous when I started out. I choose a softer piece to begin with. I could hear the workers talking with Joe (church member) who was there helping out. After about 10 minutes I realized that they were not paying any attention to me and was able to relax a bit.  I waited until after my unexpected audience left before cranking up the volume. All in all, it was a good practice session.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


For the past two and a half years, I have been working towards becoming an organist. This blog will document my journey, progress, and other random bits of my life. My next goal is to figure out how to center the picture at the top of this blog!