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Since I have an organ at home, I have been asked about how to find a practice organ. This post will contain my ideas of how you can find a home practice organ.
I was fortunate to get my Saville organ for at home for free! At the time, I was taking organ lessons with Michael, and he was the organist at Adrian College then. The college has a pipe organ, and they were not using the Saville organ that had been donated to them. I was able to take it to my home for free and have been using it ever since.
If you choose an electronic organ, I strongly recommend finding a model that has a full range of pedals. The models with only one octave of pedals aren’t going to help much with practicing to be able to play other organs. Newer electronic (or digital) organs will sound more like an actual pipe organ than older models. My organ is from the 70’s. Technology has advanced a lot since then!
Once you find an organ, you may need to make a plan for moving it to your home, unless you bought it from somewhere that provides delivery. They can be very heavy. It took 4 people to move my organ into the house. You may need to hire movers, rent a truck, find 4 strong people that can lift it, etc.
Piano stores that sell used pianos may also have used electronic organs. I discovered this when I bought my piano. The store had at least one electronic organ on display each of the three times that I visited.
Some churches may have electronic organs that they are no longer using. Or they have more than one instrument and be willing to part with one. Of course, this could be quite time consuming depending on the number of churches in your area.
Ask everyone that you know. Someone’s relative or friend of a friend might have an old organ that they would be happy to get rid off.
One time, I saw a full-size organ with the full pedal board in a second-hand store — however, most of the time I’ve seen the small organs with only 1 octave of pedals, which I recommend you avoid.
You can also check Facebook Market Place, Craigslist, and eBay for electronic organs that might be for sale close to you.
They last time my organ was serviced, the technician mentioned that he had other organs for sale. These organs were not listed for sale on his website as far as I remember. Even if the repair place doesn’t have any organs for sale, they might know people in the area that are looking to sell.
Depending on your budget, you might decide to purchase a new organ. Dealers that represent big brands may also have used models available. The prices will vary depending on how many ranks and the size of the organ. A 5 manual organ will cost more than a 2 manual organ.
Several years ago, I went to the American Guild of Organists convention, Rodgers was there selling new instruments. They, of course, sounded great! However, the price of a new organ wasn’t in my budget then, and I didn’t think a newer organ would help me become a better organist any faster. I am sure it would have been more enjoyable to hear!
Pipe organs are going to be more expensive. But if you have space and budget, you can have a pipe organ in your home!
What other tips and recommendations do you have to find a home practice organ? Please share your ideas in a comment below.
When someone comes over to my house for the first time when entering the living room they may see this scene:
What do you think they are? Usually when people cover over the cats would not be sitting on them. Several people have asked if they are for the cats, even when the cats are not sitting on them. The cats like to sit on them, do you think they are for the cats?
These are the speakers for my Saville Organ!
Sometimes the cats sit on them while I am practicing or just anytime that they feel like it. Other times they do this to look out the window. There is a bush on the other side of the window and sometimes they want to get a better view of a bird or a squirrel.
You may be wondering, why are the organ speakers so large? These are the original speakers, most likely from the 1970’s. Technology has changed alot since then!
These speakers were once mounted on the wall at a local church. Kilala prefers the largest speaker. The other two cats sat on them more often in the first year or two of having the speakers.
I had to search through a couple of years of photos to find one with Lina on a speaker. Lina (small calico) and Buster (orange/white tabby) are on the speakers in the top photo. In the picture collage Kilala is shown on the bottom right on laying on the largest speaker.
If you have cats or other pets, what in your home, do visitors think are designed for the cats (or other pet) that really servers another [first] purpose?
Would you like to see more posts with my cats? I’ve included “with cats” in my tagline for awhile now and have not written many posts including them! Perhaps June should be cat month.
P.S. I’ve added a resource page!
I’ve made two updates to the site. First, I have added a new page, Saville Organ. This pages provides some information on my Saville organ including the stop list and a few photos.
Also, I have updated the About page to include a section on Michael Gartz, who is my organ teacher.
Thanks for reading!