June 2017 Organ Lesson – Tempo Redistribution

On June 17, I met with Michael for another organ lesson.

Since then, I  have been preoccupied with the five feral kittens that were born in my yard. If you want to know more about that, I’m sharing updates on the Facebook page for my cats.

June 2017 Organ Lesson - Tempo Redistribution

Now, about the lesson! This lesson was tough for me. I am still struggling with “Glory Be to the Father.” As can be seen in the picture, this should not be a challenging piece to play.

The problem is with the syncopation in the first measure. Michael called what I’m doing tempo redistribution. I am playing four beats in the measure but not playing the notes the length that they indicate. I get to the second measure “on time.”

This problem has been quite frustrating. I know am a playing it wrong. Looking at the note values, I understand how they relate to one another. Yet, somehow, I am still misplaying it. I was able to get it right at my lesson with coaching from Michael!

My problems continue, but I refuse to quit.  What I can do is focus on better practice habits.

Practice Habits

Since my previous lesson, I decided to write down how I am practicing. This way, when Michael asks me “how did I prepare for the lesson,” what I did is written down for reference.

I also thought writing it down, would help me improve my playing as I used the metronome much more than usual since I didn’t want to write down that it wasn’t used.

Given that I still had so many problems playing note values correctly, I wonder if I was listening to the metronome? Was it on, and I just blocked it out?

Here is a list of what I will work on between now and my next lesson:

  • Loud Metronome
  • Be very intentional.
  • Listen to the metronome. No blocking it out.
  • Record myself more often. Usually, recordings reveal that my playing isn’t as good as it sounded when I was playing.
  • Listen to recordings of others playing what I am leaning.

Do you have any other suggestions?

April 2017 Organ Lesson - Changing my practice habits (again)
Saville organ gets repaired and the pistons can be used!
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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.

12 thoughts on “June 2017 Organ Lesson – Tempo Redistribution”

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  1. I guess I wondered as well if the problem with the rhythm is present at other times ( if you sing the measure, or if you clap the rhythm) or if it is only present when you try to play it on the organ? Sometimes understandIng rhythms intellectually and feeling them in your body can be two very different things. The suggestions above are great. I would add: clap the rhythms tap it on your leg, march to the rhythm… do anything that will help you feel it in your whole body, not just in your hands and feet as you try to play. Best wishes!!!!

  2. Can you sing it with the correct rhythm? If yes, try singing while playing one hand at a time on a soft flute. Once you can do that, sing while playing with both hands on the soft flute. Another possibility is to divide this measure in half. Play the “be to the” part until its memorized, then the “glory be,” then put both parts together.


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