Heidi Bender - Page 43 of 45 - Inspiration and stories from the organ bench (with cats)
February 27, 2012

Life Lessons from Organ Lessons

In March, I will be writing about life lessons taken from the organ bench. Sound strange? There have been a number of instances during an organ lesson where the problem I’m facing and (usually the solution) could also be applied to life. For example, dealing with dissonance… Wondering what dissonance is? Check back in March to find out!

February 22, 2012

February 2012 Lesson

Yesterday, I traveled to Trinity for an organ lesson. The sun was shinning which made for an enjoyable ride. My lesson was scheduled for 1:00 so for lunch I had a peanut butter sandwich and an apple on my drive. I surely did not want to feel hungry mid-lesson!

When I arrived Michael was at the organ with Chris who attends Trinity. He is an organ enthusiast. Chris listened to at least part of my lesson or possibly all of it (I quickly forgot his presence). I was thankful that he did not stay in the balcony as I still have anxiety to play in front of others (except for my cats!).

I have been pondering what should I share about my actual lesson. When a few people asked me how it went I responded with “good”. But what does that really mean? Just answering with “good” feels just as fake (automatic) as when someone asks “how are you?” and the answer is a quick one word reply only I can’t respond with “good, and how was your lesson?”.

So what made my lesson good? First, Michael remains patient with me as I continue to work on the same pieces month after month. I expressed some frustration with the length of time in learning a piece and received encouragement.  Also, the sound of the pipe organ at Trinity is awesome compared to the electronic organ I practice on at home.

God willing, some day I will finally become an accomplished organist!

February 13, 2012

Organ Recital at Rosary Cathedral

Today, my husband (Ted) and I attended an organ recital at the Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, OH. The organist was Paul Monachino, who is the Director of Music / Organist for the Cathedral. The Cathedral is beautiful with a painted ceiling and intricate architecture. I recommended taking the Virtual Tour.

I was very much looking forward to this concert. Ted took the day off to attend with me. It was his first time to hear a pipe organ live. We arrived early and choose a pew towards in the middle and sat on the right, so that we could see Paul at the organ console.  The organ pipes are not visible.

We both enjoyed the concert. Paul started with Chaconne by Francois Couperin, which I recognized as Michael has provided me with his recordings of this piece. Next was Prelude and Fugue in C Major; BWV 547 by Bach followed by Three Early American Hymn Tunes: Woundrous Love, Simple Gifts, and Amazing Grace. The last piece before intermission was Prelude and Trumpetings (1961) by Myron Roberts.

For the second half of the program, Paul performed Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony No 4. in F Minor. This symphony has 6 movements: Tocatta, Fugue, Dolce, Scherzo, Adagio,  Finale. The Finale definitely sounded like a finale!

One of my goals is to eventually be able to describe the actual music (not just list the titles of pieces) so that others can be inspired to give organ music a chance.