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Church Organ Method Book Opinions

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  • Church Organ Method Book Opinions

    I have The Organists' Manual by Davis but I'm finding myself not knowing what to work on in which order. And hymns seem to be an after-thought. I saw the book "Church Organ Method" on Amazon and I like that it is split up into 15 lessons. I can't find much more about it than that. Can anyone give me more information about this book?

    Background: My goal is to pass the service playing AGO certification in a few years. I have many years piano playing experience although I wouldn't call myself advanced. I've been taking organ lessons from a retired teacher for a few months now but he is pretty laid back and doesn't give me much direction as far as what to work on next.

  • #2
    Look into a three volume tutor: The Church Organist a new method, by Chistopher Tambling, published byKevin Mayhew, 2010. It is a comprehensive approach to suit an experienced pianist adapt to playing traditional church organ. Good quality books.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Sadly, I don't see those books available in the USA. I did end up buying "Church Organ Method" but still undecided about how I'm going to proceed. Any other titles that might be helpful for an individual without a teacher?

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      • #4
        How about taking control of that teacher?

        Select several hymns that seem to be challenging for you, and distill some exercises from these.

        One might be a footing exercise, with phrases of the bass line nudged into about four keys so that you cover nearly two octaves. Add footing based on, say, Alcock "The Organ" (plenty of old copies around).

        Another might chord fingering, substituting fingers for legato effect, taken from the hymns, and drilling the inversions of the hymns' harmonies (and go for a range of keys, again). Add changes in registration, seek to build lines in the top voice, etc.

        Have some progress with these to show "teacher", and elicit instruction from the oracle.

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        • #5
          I am also thinking of taking the service playing certification some day. Doesn't the AGO site give a list of references one could use to prepare ?
          Allen TC-3 with gyrophonic speaker cabinet.
          Classic 'AGO' MIDI Pedalboard from Classic Organ Works.
          Technics SX-PX6 Digital Piano.
          Roland D-110 Sound Module.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Pachinko7 View Post
            I am also thinking of taking the service playing certification some day. Doesn't the AGO site give a list of references one could use to prepare ?
            If you're going to do the Service Playing certificate, don't overlook the sight-reading. Holy accidentals! Unfortunately, the AGO's Service Playing certificate has little to do with actual service playing today, unless you're in a high church that still uses organ to accompany the choir. The only parts I found relevant we're the hymns, transposition, and somewhat the service music (i.e. classical prelude, postlude, and offertory).

            Don't fall into the mistake of believing the AGO certification will mean anything when applying for a job. [Braces self for inevitable fallout]

            Michael
            Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
            • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
            • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
            • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

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            • #7
              After my last posting I remembered the following materials. While I don't necessarily subscribe to their beliefs the LDS (Mormons) have excellent educational materials and beginning music for organists.I hope this helps somewhat.

              Michael
              Way too many organs to list, but I do have 5 Allens:
              • MOS-2 Model 505-B / ADC-4300-DK / ADC-5400 / ADC-6000 (Symphony) / ADC-8000DKC
              • Lowrey Heritage (DSO-1)
              • 11 Pump Organs, 1 Pipe Organ & 7 Pianos

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you Michael, I'll take a look at those.
                Allen TC-3 with gyrophonic speaker cabinet.
                Classic 'AGO' MIDI Pedalboard from Classic Organ Works.
                Technics SX-PX6 Digital Piano.
                Roland D-110 Sound Module.

                Comment


                • #9
                  How does one aquire a service playing certificate? I'm in Louisiana.

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