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Chopin Preludes – New Urtext Sheet Music

Written partly during Chopin’s catastrophic wintertime stay on Majorca, the 24 Preludes, opus 28, are some of the composer’s most mysterious works. Schumann said of them: “They are sketches, beginnings of études, or, so to speak, ruins, individual eagle pinions, all disorder and wild confusions.” Read more >>

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Author Topic: Accompanist Rates / Transition from Piano to Organ  (Read 1171 times)
xenon
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« on: January 11, 2004, 06:32:49 AM »

I've been offered a position as an accompanist at a church, and I was trying to settle on a good amount for pay.  I have about 13 yrs experience in piano, with 7 yrs experience as a church pianist, and 4 yrs as a choir / instrumental accompanist.  I was wondering what an "acceptable" rate would be to charge for a 2 hr rehearsal every Sunday?

My second question concerns with making the transition towards becoming an organist.  How hard would it be to adapt my skills towards becoming a church organist?  This would be a great asset towards being a musician for church services.  Then, I could apply for the Royal Canadian College of Organists and have the proper certification, along with my ARCT (to come soon).

Any suggestions?  Thanks.
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You can't spell "Bach" without "ach"
-Xenon
Rach3
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2004, 06:35:40 AM »

Do you play the organ?
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"Never look at the trombones, it only encourages them."
--Richard Wagner
xenon
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2004, 06:58:48 AM »

I'm learning.  I'm also wondering how the transition from piano to organ would be like.  At the moment I don not find it particularily difficult.
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You can't spell "Bach" without "ach"
-Xenon


TAKE YOUR SEAT! Hear Mitsuko Uchida Play Mozart Live with the Berliner Philharmoniker

Thanks to a collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall, all Piano Street members can enjoy free access for 48 hours to the Digital Concert Hall. Log in to your Piano Street account to get your free voucher code which gives you instant access to the Digital Concert Hall. Take the opportunity to hear a live concert with pianist Mitsuko Uchida and to access all concerts in the archive! Read more >>

eddie92099
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2004, 02:16:29 PM »

I don't think the word transition is the best one to use. Technique is incredibly different on the piano compared to the organ - you really are learning a much different instrument to what you may at first suspect. In fact, the organ is much more similar to playing the harpsichord than the piano,
Ed
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xenon
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2004, 11:57:11 PM »

It still isn't too bad for me.  The keys are funny, but then I'm unfortunately more than accustomed to to the electric keyboard (which has the same feel as an electric organ).  I also am aware of the "monomagnitude" of the organ, how the pedal changes that, and how stops change the tone, volume, "air passages", etc.  It was really not much of a problem to me, but I was wondering how hard would it be to pick up and get an organist certification?
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You can't spell "Bach" without "ach"
-Xenon
krenske
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2004, 06:25:51 AM »

As a pianist/cathedral organist... here are some suggestions Roll Eyes
Maybe start with a trio sonata (Bach) and work it so that you can play ANY two parts, and sing the other. Then play all parts. Keep learning trio movements like this until such time as you feel as comfortable on the organ bench as you do on the piano... and your Left Hand should be separated from your foot by then too. Then you will be an organist.. BUT BE WARNED..
An organist has a whole new set of problems - and they have nothing to do with playing organ!
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"Horowitz died so Krenske could live."
xenon
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2004, 06:31:14 AM »

Thanks Cheesy.

Could you please elaborate?
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You can't spell "Bach" without "ach"
-Xenon


Piano Vintage – Italian Excellence Bringing Old Steinways Back to Life

One of the most interesting exhibitors at the Cremonafiere Exhibition’s piano part – the so called CremonaPianoforte – this fall was a company and and workshop called Piano Vintage. The company performs a type of restoration dictated from the work philosophy and experience of the “Steinway Academy”. Read more >>

Rach3
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2004, 06:57:46 AM »

Assuming you are relatively new to organ technique, Bach trio sonatas are not exactly the place to start, they require absolute indpendence of hands and feet, which is an aquired skill. If you are serious about being a REAL organist, you should get one of the method books. They are very different from normal method books in that they only deal with real, serious technique intended for accomplished pianists and they include things like large Bach fugues, which from scratch a competent pianist can master within one to two years, they are a fairly complete course from piano basics through the subtleties of the organ... Of course, depending on your church's needs, you may not need such technique from the beginning; hymns are often played without pedal parts (from your experience you should be great at this), until you get to more advanced improvisatory playing (i.e., pedal-point cantus firmus with improvised counterpoint on the manuals). If you can find an experienced organist to listen to you a few times, you can greatly reevaluate your technique; pianists turning to organ often exert much more effor than is needed, usually using lots of force and wrist-motion as opposed to very fine fingers-only work.
-Rach3, mini-organist and student

Just out of curiosity have you heard any great organ recitals? They are viciously inspiring.

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krenske
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2004, 01:07:29 AM »

well...
lets look at this.

Quote
Assuming you are relatively new to organ technique, Bach trio sonatas are not exactly the place to start,

that's not quite correct - in fact, they comprise Bach's own organ-technical lessons, given to his son. Furthermore, if one slows them down, and removes a part (duo sonata), and perhaps sings the remaining part (a wonderful excercise in co-ordination), you have a very quick way to master many of the basic challenges, when transferring an existing piano technique to the organ.

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they require absolute indpendence of hands and feet, which is an aquired skill.

yes, assuming you're performing them. But they're also a great way to DEVELOP this "indpendence".

Quote
If you are serious about being a REAL organist, you should get one of the method books.

Perhaps you would consider writing one, Rach III?

Quote
They are very different from normal method books in that they only deal with real, serious technique intended for accomplished pianists and they include things like large Bach fugues,

Yes, excellent "excercises"... I suppose your Method for Racing Car Drivers kicks off in Formula Ones?

Quote
which from scratch a competent pianist can master within one to two years, they are a fairly complete course from piano basics through the subtleties of the organ...

... as described in the "Method de l'Orgue de Rach III"

Quote
Of course, depending on your church's needs, you may not need such technique from the beginning; hymns are often played without pedal parts,

where's the key's to the casio, dear?Huh?

Quote
until you get to more advanced improvisatory playing (i.e., pedal-point cantus firmus with improvised counterpoint on the manuals). If you can find an experienced organist to listen to you a few times, you can greatly reevaluate your technique;

Are you offering, Rach III?

Quote
pianists turning to organ often exert much more effor than is needed, usually using lots of force and wrist-motion as opposed to very fine fingers-only work.

Let's all get tendonitis, right?

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Bartolomeo
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2005, 09:46:10 PM »

I happened upon this thread and hope the original poster is still following the forum.

I have been making a transition (if the term can be said to apply) from piano to organ over the last year and a half and thought I'd share some insights.

It really is best to consider the organ a different instrument.  Though it has a keyboard that is similar in layout to the piano, there are few other similarities and a great many differences.  There is pedal technique to be learned, a wholly different approach to fingering, a much greater emphasis on release timing than is the case with piano, and a separate repetoire.

I thought it would be easy -- a mere "transition" -- and I wasted a lot of practice time before I found a teacher and corrected some very basic problems with foot position and fingering.  Having been through that, my advice to anyone contemplating a serious run at organ playing is to locate a talented teacher and heed well their advice.

The most imporant task facing an organist is hymn playing.  Typically one might have as much as two weeks to learn a hymn, and occasionally organists are expected to sightread hymns in public or perform them with less than a day of preparation.  This is a departure from the buildup of repertoire over a period of months that might be more typical for a pianist.

There is no such thing as a low profile gig for organists, and so the "unwritten rules" -- the traditions and business of playing -- apply all the time.  You have to show up and be prepared and look good and smile, and avoid saying stupid things, because people will remember from the very beginning.  Frequently, but not always, people are listening when I practice, and though I don't like doing it, I adjust my practice technique accordingly.  As other posters have alluded to, there is a certain amount of church politics.

I find organ playing very rewarding.  Churches need organists, and they need them every Sunday.
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pianonut
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2005, 10:47:01 PM »

if you are pretty good at sightreading, and rarely make mistakes, i would charge the same as what you do for piano lessons.  considering all your schooling and effort, $100. per weekend (2 hours) sounds good.  otherwise, your gas, time, and extra given time (always happens) will not be remunerated.  (keep track of your mileage for tax-time! and, car related expenses, music that you buy for church, and time spent practicing for your gigs).

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do you know why benches fall apart?  it is because they have lids with little tiny hinges so you can store music inside them.  hint:  buy a bench that does not hinge.  buy it for sturdiness.


Up in the Air – Atkinson performs Beethoven

This is a lovely performance on an invisible piano by comedy genius Rowan Atkinson (also known as Mr. Bean). The air piano act include two Beethoven sonatas: the first movement from the Pathétique Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op.13 and the third movement of the Moonlight Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2. Read more >>

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