November 2016 Lesson – Much Better and no more jeans!

“Much Better”. Several times while playing the two hymns at my lesson, Michael said “Much Better”. Hearing much better was music to my ears!

I started the lesson by playing “O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright” which was assigned back in October 2015. I was confident going into my lesson that I had made the necessary corrections since my previous lesson. I was happy to have this one checked off my list! I still have a tendency to rush a bit in a couple of measures, but overall it was “much better”.

“God is Good” was also tightened up enough to get a passing mark. I was super excited! The work I did with the metronome and trying to become my own metronome by making a sound along with it paid off, for the hymns anyway!

I have been assigned three new hymns which feels like a fresh start for hymns. I am planning to learn these three more quickly than my previous trend of learning hymns shows.

November 2016 Organ Lesson Much Better and no more jeans!

Not Much Better

The two classical pieces were not much better. I continue to struggle with the Prelude and Fugue in E Minor from Bach’s Eight Little Preludes and Fugues. Micheal pointed it out that is not that hard! I agree, isn’t. But somehow I am making it harder than it is. I have the notes mostly down, but struggle with the tempo and being able to hear my own problems. I need to record this one with the metronome so I can hear the issues on my own. Then I can correct them before going to my lesson.

I also learned that I should not play the organ in jeans! I don’t practice in jeans. Usually when I practice, I am wearing sweat pants at home or leggings (as shown in the picture). I had a bit of trouble with turning on the bench to reach the pedals while playing the prelude. So, that didn’t help any with my performance!

Michael said he would not recommend jeans. I am sure he and I have talked about that before. I have rarely seen him in jeans. Well, now it is time for me to stop! I suppose jeans would be okay, if I wanted to practice in jeans, but I’d rather continue to wear comfy pants.

My project to relearn Nun Bitten Wir by Buxtehude is still underway. Tempo problems with this one as well. I was able to make corrections while Michael was standing next to me giving me instructions. So that proves I can do it!

How’s your practice going? What’s your stance on jeans?

October 2016 Lesson - When persistence with experimentation is required
7 things learned during my first time playing the organ for a church service
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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.

11 thoughts on “November 2016 Lesson – Much Better and no more jeans!”

  1. I actually prefer wearing regular fitting jeans to practice — the thin material of dress pants slides around on the bench too much for my liking. That said, I’ve gotten used to both, and even practice in athletic shorts in the summer (which, combined with white socks and black organmasters is, in the words of my coworker, “certainly a look”). The most important thing to me is that clothes allow reasonably free movement while playing.

    Keep up the good work! The Bach will fall in line sooner or later 🙂

  2. The clothing you wear while playing the organ can certainly cause problems, especially if it’s different than what you’re used to–it’s a part of your performing “environment” that can throw you off if you’re not comfortable. Generally I’m comfortable playing regardless of what I’m wearing that day, but that’s probably because I’ve never consistently worn just skirts/dresses or jeans or other pants while playing the organ. Wearing a choir robe is where I occasionally run into problems, but that is because of the style and material of the choir robes at church. Fortunately I can get by without wearing one most weeks, and I’ve gotten used to it enough that it isn’t much of an issue anymore when I do have to wear a robe (wouldn’t have to wear one at all, except that I’m a member of the hand bell choir as well).

    I’m curious why your teacher wouldn’t recommend jeans. I can understand why it wouldn’t be recommended if you rarely wear jeans while practicing, but I don’t think there’s that much difference between jeans and pants in general (at least not in a way that would affect organ playing.)

    • I think he didn’t recommend them since I don’t practice in jeans and had trouble because of it. Also, he rarely wears jeans when he plays.

      I didn’t pivot as easily with the jeans on. I feel like I need to practice with jeans on (or other pants/skirts with heavier material) or avoid them.

  3. Interesting that you mention jeans. I sort of struggled wearing jeans when having to pivot from one side of the pedalboard to the other. My teacher didn’t seem to think it was important. I’m glad to be validated by you and your teacher. That said, I still wear jeans when I practice most of the time because I’m too lazy to change.

  4. Every day is a step closer to your goal. Always have hope and never give up.

    Have no idea about the jeans issues. When I was young and doing piano lesson. I always wore a dress or skirt.
    No jeans allowed at school for girls.

  5. I am excited for you!! Are you wanting to play in a church? I remember using that tick-tock thing years ago when I was taking piano lessons.


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