April 2014 Organ Lesson and my first YouTube video

Last Saturday, my organ lesson did not start out very well. It felt disastrous to me! I choose to start with the hymn, “At the Name of Jesus”. I felt nervous performing for Michael. I also had to adjust to this pipe organ as it had been 8 weeks since my previous lesson. I played wrong notes and had trouble with the syncopation. I had hoped to get a passing mark on this hymn but I had too many issues and it will remain on my assignment list.

The next hymn “O Love, How Deep” went much better. I enjoy playing this hymn. The coordination needed for the pedal line was a challenge and learning it felt like an accomplishment. Before moving on, I asked Michael to record me playing it. This recording is below!!!

My first ever YouTube video.

It is not perfect.

I was scared to post it knowing that it could have been better. My friends and co-workers have given me so much encouragement and support since viewing it that I am realizing it is okay that it is not perfect. This video represents how I played for those 30 seconds.

Also, Michael pointed out that even the video was not flawless, I kept going. I didn’t stop or hesitate. I did not continue to play subsequent wrong notes. I kept moving and found the right notes. We will all have rough spots in life. It’s how we get back on track that is important.

The rest of the lesson went fairly well. I received a passing mark on “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice”. I still need to work on “Berceuse”. I have improved enough on the prelude of Prelude and Fugue in F Major (BWV 559), that my next challenge is to play it faster and work towards a performance tempo. We ran out of time and only spent a minute or two on the Fugue.

Michael declared that I am capable of playing every hymn in the United Methodist hymnal. He means the technical aspect. The harder challenge is learning the art of playing each hymn. I was assigned two new hymns: “Crown Him with Many Crowns” and “Be Thou My Vision”.

I hope you enjoy the video! Thanks for watching it.

Daniel Roth Concert - Ypsilanti, MI March 2014
How I decided to become an organist
Website | + posts

Heidi Bender writes about her experiences of learning to play the organ. She started on the adventure in 2009.

She also writes on her website Tons of Thanks, which helps people write thank-you notes. Heidi is also a cat lady who writes at The Joy of Cats.

9 thoughts on “April 2014 Organ Lesson and my first YouTube video”

  1. One of my MOST favorite hymns is “Crown Him with Many Crowns”, so will you make a video of that for me, please?! I am serious. I enjoyed this video, but I need to hear the requested one real bad.

    • Hi Mary Jane,

      Sure, I can make a video of “Crown Him with Many Crowns”. It may take me a few months to learn it. Maybe someday you can come over for a visit and I will play for you.



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