It’s not any harder to play it right – November 2013 Lesson

“It’s not any harder to play it right than to play it wrong.” Michael pointed this out at my organ lesson last Saturday. While playing “Nearer, Still Nearer”, I had some tempo issues. Unlike in the past, I wasn’t hesitating because due to fear of playing a wrong note. I know the notes. It is not a technical issue. It is a mental issue. Playing with a consistent tempo is not any harder than playing it unevenly. It feels harder to me because it’s become a habit. I have had trouble since the start of organ lessons with “feeling” the tempo.

Seth Thomas Metronome
Seth Thomas Metronome

I need to break this pattern! Michael says this is the biggest issue holding me back. My plan is to practice with the metronome, making a sound aloud along with the metronome. I need to become the metronome.

There were several additional highlights of this lesson:

  • Playing the pipe organ is always a joy. The sound Trinity’s pipe organ is far superior to that of my Saville. This was very evident while playing “Berceuse” (French for lullaby). The organ sounded so gentle and relaxing. My old Saville would not put a baby to sleep! Michael suggested that I experiment with different stops at home.
  • “Nearer, Still Nearer” was played well enough that it was taken off my assignment list!
  • “All Creatures of Our God and King”, which I worked on for just over a year, was also given the stamp of approval. Michael boosted my confidence when he said I could play this one well enough for a singing congregation.
  • We had an in depth conversation about playing from memory. I am fascinated enough by it that I will cover this in it’s own blog post. I am continuing to make progress. It feels slow at times, but I am headed in the right direction.
What is a fugue?
The Joy of December - Part 1
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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.

4 thoughts on “It’s not any harder to play it right – November 2013 Lesson”

  1. In one month, you will no longer have tempo issues….they will be resolved. It takes 21 days to establish a habit and 21 days to break it. So, by Christmas, you should have this behind you….what a great gift to yourself!!!!


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