Perhaps you’ve been playing piano for years and you are ready to try something new, or maybe your current church organist has left and you feel the need to help. Whatever the reason, you have decided to learn how to play the church organ. Here are a few pieces of advice we at Whitesel Church Organs would like to share with you to make your new learning adventure enjoyable:
Take time to learn the pedals! This is perhaps the biggest challenge for any piano player making the transition to the church organ. However, you’ll find that playing hymns will be much easier if you use the pedals.
You may be an accomplished pianist, but it is unlikely that you will be able to jump right into playing complex pieces on the church organ. Starting off with too much ambition can discourage you and increase your frustration. Start with simple pieces of music that will be easy to master and work your way up from there.
Play Easy Music Well
Mastering the smaller pieces will build your confidence and sound very impressive to those who cannot play the organ. You probably know as well as us that the typical church-goer does not make much distinction between a simple organ piece and a complex one. However, most people can recognize mistakes when they happen. If you can conquer a simple piece (and even memorize it), you’ll be building a repertoire of music you can perform easily while improving your organ skills.
Give Yourself Goals
Creating goals is about making short-term goals that you can meet that work you up slowly towards your long term goals. Here are some goals you should consider as you begin this organ playing journey:
- Short-term goals: Memorize, or at least become very proficient at several popular hymns that are difficult to play. Consider changing the key to make playing difficult hymns a little simpler if you need!
- Midpoint goals: Pick a few more simple hymns and begin learning the bass pedals. While this process will be long and challenging, we can guarantee that learning these pedals will make playing the organ easier in the future!
- Long term goals: Eventually, you should aim for sight-reading proficiency and even the ability to improvise at the end of a song!
One day, you’ll be able to play both simple and complex hymns alike! Until then, use your time wisely and do your best while practicing. We cannot encourage you enough to start small and move forward from there. Just like you had to start at the beginning with the piano, think of the church organ as a whole new instrument.
If you or your church is in need of a new organ, be sure to contact us at Whitesel Church Organs. We can help you find the perfect fit for your congregation, and we sincerely applaud you on your quest to better your organ playing skills! Contact us today to learn how we can help.