Skip to main content
Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast

Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast

By Secrets of Organ Playing
Conversations about all things organ playing. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene talk with experts from the organ world - concert and church organists, improvisers, educators, composers, organ builders, musicologists and other people who help shape the future of our profession.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo

Breaker

Castbox Logo

Castbox

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

SOPP645: These organ shoes would be very good for my funeral

Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast

1x
SOPP655: This week I’m struggling with sitting down on the organ bench
This question was sent by Ausra, and she writes, "This week I’m struggling with sitting down on the organ bench. At first I didn’t have time and now I don’t have motivation to practice."
18:23
May 5, 2021
SOPP646: The first week I was not using certain muscles in the ankle area, I had sore muscles while playing organ pedals.
This question was sent by Manfred, and he writes: Hi Vidas, I was playing the organ in the church for services only. The requirements are low. Therefore I could train the Pedal in ‘wild’ and fairly uncontrolled way. Because of Corona the congregation must not sing. The organist is asked to prepare a few pieces as a solo. So I started to look for organ pieces that are a little more demanding. Then I was facing severe difficulties with easy or low-medium pieces for organ. Thanks to Youtube I watched the pedaling of good organ players. My style is way off! This led me to you. You have a method, you want to teach it in an internet-based style – so, I gave it a try. Man! The first week told me I was not using certain muscles in the ankle area, I had muscle sore. Now, I see a much higher flexibility in my ankles. I was playing with a sort of tennis shoes. No way! Yesterday I started with organ shoes (dancing shoes actually). Now I can feel the pedal keys and can slide on them. Wonderful! After this first week I do not detect better accuracy. But my feet want to adopt the new pedaling style when playing my organ pieces. This is sometimes confusing, but I am sure in 2-3 weeks the new techniques will make my feet more ‘relaxed’ as they become friends of the pedal. I am eagerly looking forward to the next few weeks! Best regards, Manfred
11:01
April 28, 2021
SOPP651: My goal is to become a church organist and excel in hymn playing
This question was sent by Doug, and he answered my question, What is your goal in organ playing, and what are some challenges that he faces when he tries to reach this goal.  So the goal is to become a church organist, and basically advanced in hymn playing.  And the challenges are three: Pedal techniques. Taking a hymnal with one line and converting it to swell, great and pedals on the fly. Grand Orgue or Hauptwerk conversion for home organ to practice on.
14:34
April 14, 2021
SOPP649: I thought that if there is a pickup measure in a song that the last measure of the song and the first measure should add up to one measure
This question was sent by Bob, and he’s taking our Melodic Dictation Course Level 1.  He writes, "Vidas, I have a question about 4 kl. 280 in Melodic Dictation Week 9. I thought that if there is a pickup measure in a song that the last measure of the song and the first measure should add up to one measure. But in this case there is a rest contained in the last measure, so the two measures do not add up to one measure. How do I decide whether I should add the rest or not? Or is it one of those times that it does not matter? Thanks. Bob"
12:23
April 14, 2021
SOPP644: My dream is to serve as an organist and lead the choir in my church organisation
This question was sent by Paje, and this is the answer to my question, “What is the goal in organ playing, and what are some challenges that get in the way of this goal. So: “1. Dream to serve as an organist and lead the choir in my Church Organisation. 2. Lack of consistent mentorship, lack of accountability, lack of clarity on what to focus on first as a beginner.”
11:36
March 31, 2021
SOPP647: My dream is to be a great concert Organist, and to be one of the most significant Organ performers in this century
This question was sent by Nabil, and he writes, 1) My dream is to be a great concert Organist, and to be one of the most significant Organ performers in this century. Because I believe I have something new to bring. Also to be the first Organist in a Cathedral (good organs usually are in big churches), to push the people in the church with me looking towards heaven in their prayers by making great music… V:  This was his dream.  Number 2, it’s obviously the challenge, and it is 2) * Not having Organ or even Classical Music atmosphere around me. V:  He lives in Israel.  Also * Planning to study Organ and Church Music in Europe (it's very hard and complicated plan) * I need support in social media to get known Love you and Ausra!!!
13:04
March 17, 2021
SOPP645: These organ shoes would be very good for my funeral
his question was sent by Katrine, and she writes, Thanks for asking about this Vidas. 1. To be as fluent and reliable at organ playing as I am at the piano (professional accompanist/repetiteur by background) 2. Getting the set-up right for feet and being confident that I am practising in a way that will lead to accuracy - not sure if stool height is correct, shoes are perhaps too wide etc. Unclear on where feet should be able to reach (get pain in legs if I stretch too far and have hurt knee trying to insist with my right leg that it can reach the bottom notes!) and not sure how best to practise pedal scales (have seen varying advice on toe/heel use). Many thanks! Katrine
10:53
March 10, 2021
SOPP642: With renewed energy I have heaped my attention on BWV 529, and various choral preludes, BWV 604 a favourite
This question was sent by Rosemary, and she writes,: “Happy New Year greetings to you all. This day dawned breathtakingly beautiful and we will all be glad of the shade in the garden as the heat rises. A new year ahead in which our prayers and hopes are with those frontline workers caring for victims of Covid 19, and discoveries for containment. May you all and your families stay safe. Your comments, goals and plans are incredibly inspirational for me, with renewed energy I have heaped my attention on BWV 529, and various choral preludes, BWV 604 a favourite. Studying your improvisation and trying out some variations. Thanks to you all and the very best of good wishes for a happy and productive year ahead sharing your wonderful talents. Rosemary”
16:50
March 3, 2021
SOPP640: There can be no doubt that the sight-reading course helped me particularly with issues of rhythm which I always found a weak point so I am grateful for that indeed
This question was sent by Pieter, and he writes,: “Dear Vidas, Thank you for sending me the extra exercise supplementary to the sight reading course. I appreciate that very much. Firstly let me apologise for my late response after finishing the course. It has been rather busy with various things. You may recall that when I first approached you asking your advice my goal to improve my sightreading skills was very much focussed on obtaining the CRCO (Colleague of the Royal College of Organists) diploma. I had already achieved credits for the paperwork and repertoire but not the musicianship tests. I am pleased to tell you that I achieved the last part of the qualification in the summer session and I therefore now have my CRCO qualification! I was really delighted to achieve this as it was a real challenge for me but after a lot of work, my efforts paid off! There can be no doubt that the sightreading course helped me particularly with issues of rhythm which I always found a weak point so I am grateful for that indeed. Although transposition was something I found slightly less challenging, this is also a sort of sightreading so I am sure the course helped me there too! I think I am done with organ diplomas so I will concentrate on learning repertoire now and just enjoying playing the instrument that I love but I have to say that my all round musicianship skills have improved through the experience of preparing for a challenging qualification and that has to help my playing in the general sense.This question was sent by Pieter, and he writes,: “Dear Vidas, Thank you for sending me the extra exercise supplementary to the sight reading course. I appreciate that very much. Firstly let me apologise for my late response after finishing the course. It has been rather busy with various things. You may recall that when I first approached you asking your advice my goal to improve my sightreading skills was very much focussed on obtaining the CRCO (Colleague of the Royal College of Organists) diploma. I had already achieved credits for the paperwork and repertoire but not the musicianship tests. I am pleased to tell you that I achieved the last part of the qualification in the summer session and I therefore now have my CRCO qualification! I was really delighted to achieve this as it was a real challenge for me but after a lot of work, my efforts paid off! There can be no doubt that the sightreading course helped me particularly with issues of rhythm which I always found a weak point so I am grateful for that indeed. Although transposition was something I found slightly less challenging, this is also a sort of sightreading so I am sure the course helped me there too! I think I am done with organ diplomas so I will concentrate on learning repertoire now and just enjoying playing the instrument that I love but I have to say that my all round musicianship skills have improved through the experience of preparing for a challenging qualification and that has to help my playing in the general sense.
16:48
February 24, 2021
SOPP643: My challenge is with getting enough courage to play hymns with pedals
This question was sent by Whitney, and she writes, My challenge is with getting enough courage to play hymns with pedals. I can do it fine when