Monday, September 24, 2012

It's been 3 years - looking back and forward

This month marks three years of organ lessons. Three years! Looking back, I have made significant progress. I can now play the pedals and the manuals (keyboards) at the same time, substitute fingers (and feet), play a few pieces from beginning to end, and  have a basic understanding of how a pipe organ works.

Before I began, taking lessons, I thought in 2 or 3 years I would be proficient enough to be an organist at a church. I have been asked "How much longer will you need lessons?" and "When will you be ready to perform?" Learning the organ has been much more difficult than I ever anticipated.

Last weekend, I attended Jon Acuff's Quitter conference which was about following dreams. My dreams are to be an organist and a writer. I learned that its okay to go slow. It's better to make mistakes now while fewer people are watching. As Jon said, we can be awesome later. I need to be patient and make better use of my time to accomplish goals. There are things I can work at my current day job which will help with my dreams. The conference provided me with the inspiration to keep working on my dreams.

Looking forward, I will be better at planning. I will figure out what this blog should really be about. I will continue to learn. I will make use of the information provided at the conference. I will face my fears!

At the conference Jon Acuff said "Action always beats Intention". What actions do you need to start taking? Are there dreams you have been intending to work on?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer Recital Series - August 20, 27, 2012

Recently, I attended the last two of four recitals presented by the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Guild of Organists as part of their Summer Recital Series at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Ann Arbor, MI. I also attended the first recital but skipped the second recital as I was not in Ann Arbor that day.

August 20, 2012 - Shin-Ae Chun

Shin-Ae Chun performed four pieces. Her recital is not as fresh in my mind as it has been almost two weeks, but I do recall enjoying the performance and that the four pieces flowed well together. Shin-Ae also turned all of her own pages. Turning pages sounds simple but to do it while playing is harder than it looks! It is a skill I have not yet mastered.

Shin-Ae has an impressive resume holding several degrees and she is represented by Concert Artist Cooperative.

August 27, 2012 - Ted Emch

Ted Emch's recital included a variety of pieces. He played a couple of Bach pieces, a Buxtehude piece, Great is Thy Faithfulness, and his own complied improvisation of several melodies from movies in the first half. Following intermission, he played pieces from French composers and ended the program with Jon Phillip Sousa's Liberty Bell March, accompanied by a drummer. After a standing ovation, he performed another piece from memory.

Ted is an assistant organist at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and also a high school teacher. I found Ted inspiring as, like me, he makes time for the organ outside of his full time (non-organist) job.