Music Workshops



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Basic Level Organists and Service Playing for Pianists

June 20–24, 2016

Many organists, whether recently drafted into playing or who have been on the bench for quite a while, have had very little or no basic training in how the instrument works, how to choose appropriate registrations, how to play pedals with both feet or how to lead the singing of hymns and liturgy through effective playing. This workshop covers these basic items. Additionally, pianists will learn the same concepts of how to lead congregational singing of hymns and liturgy from the piano.

Intermediate Level Organists - FULL

June 27–July 1, 2016

For organists who have the basics covered but desire to improve their skills of playing hymns and liturgy. Topics will also include creative hymn introductions, making informed choices about organ repertoire and strategies for leading challenging hymns.  Instruction is also customized to the ability level of each student.

Which workshop is right for me?

At a minimum, participants should have proficient keyboard skills. They should be able to read and play both treble and bass clefs simultaneously, such as when playing a hymn. The following questions will help organists determine what level is most appropriate.

When I open the hymnal to an unfamiliar hymn:

  • I have to practice it slowly before I am comfortable with it. (BASIC)
  • I can do an adequate job the first time through. (INTERMEDIATE)
  • I can sight read it easily. (ADVANCED)

When I look at a hymn with more complex rhythms:

  • I am not confident how to count the beats. (BASIC)
  • I understand the rhythm but still have trouble playing it correctly consistently. (INTERMEDIATE)
  • It’s usually not a problem. (ADVANCED)

My experience as an organist is described as:

  • I have little experience and struggle regularly to provide confident leadership. (BASIC)
  • I have little or some experience but am fairly confident in my playing, although I still find myself feeling uncomfortable. (INTERMEDIATE)
  • I have a good deal of experience and/or confidence. (ADVANCED)

My use of the pedals is described as:

  • I play the manuals (keyboards) only or play the pedals rarely. (BASIC)
  • If I play the pedals, I often use the left foot only. (BASIC)
  • I’m familiar with using both left and right feet in pedal playing. (INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED)