Thursday, December 20, 2012

This is the first blog I have done in a while and it is a little different in that it is more personal, not about a well known band or person.   It is about what comes after a door closes.

For about fourteen years (I should be playing a lot better than I am after all that time!) a group of "senior hobby organists" have met every week.   We had in the past, several different teachers with different methods and ideas about technique ranging from the Lowrey EZ-Play method to straight piano method.   From all of this, the program evolved into a short lesson each week from a really proficient mentor.  We were meeting all this time in the Lowrey dealer's store.   Recently,  changes were brought about at the store and we really had no "home" there.   So although the store is still in business,  it without with rancor or ill will,  that a business decision has been made to concentrate on piano sales primarily, and they will no longer support the Lowrey organ program.   At a gathering of the people involved, by consensus it was decided to try meeting weekly and the only place we could consistently be is here at my home.  SO, hereon for as long as it works, the fourteen or so members of the organ group will meet here at ten a.m. on Thursdays.  We don't have a teacher,but we will work on our skills and help each other improve.  There are a few who feel they are satisfied with where they are, but most would like  step up their tempo, find chords more easily, sight read and read the base clef.   

We decided to choose a song from music arranged by a former teacher who wrote in a lot of double right hand notes, and some interesting left and right hand fills.   A Foggy Day is a well recognized piece that doesn't have move very fast.  It has a lot of minor chords and Mr. Miller wrote several passages with double notes.   He wrote in all the chords, and identified them as in fake music giving us the opportunity to play either way.   

A little more about what we will be doing on Thursdays.  We will decide on a song, as we did today, and go over it briefly to see if there are any cords or passages that will give us a problem.  Someone will run through it by sight reading it, and then we will have it to work on for a week.   Next week we will go over it, anyone who wants to will play it, tell us what they chose for sounds and rhythms, and anything else they want to say about it; i.e., they found it boring or beautiful, etc.   The learning part of the meeting should take no more than an hour.   Following that, we will have a "performance for friends" time during which people who choose to can play something they chose from their music stash, telling us what they are playing, and any other thing they want us to know like did they change sounds from the ones found built in the organs.

I think this is a good way to go, and hope it will work as people get used to it.   It's a little more organized than we have been used to, so if it doesn't appeal to people involved they will have a chance to express that opinion as time goes on.   The important thing is, we don't want anyone to drop out because they are unhappy with the way things are going.   

One of the things we did today was explore "upper and lower drawbars" which change the sounds with almost limitless possibilities.  It created a lot of interest so next time we will explore it a little more and I will have some information available from our good friend Dennis.

Check back now and then to see what happens with our organ friends.   Next blog will be about a personality.  Which one?  Well, I am not sure.  I have several in mind.

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