Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Posts Tagged ‘concert organist

As we look toward 2015, I encourage you to BUILD ON YOUR SUCCESS! Take a moment to look back on 2014 and re-examine the goals you set and the successes you had. Too often we look only to the future and forget to revel in the joy of goals accomplished and challenges conquered before moving on to the next “big thing”.

I encourage you to look at your past year of organ study and ask yourself two questions:

What did I do well?

What could I have done differently?

Your reflections and answers to those two simple questions will help you move into 2015 with renewed energy and enthusiasm for your organ study.

So what will building on your success of 2014 look like in 2015? Following are just a few of the great ideas I’ve heard in the past week:

enjoying my performances and performing with a smile

improving reading skills

performing organ duets

preparing and performing a solo recital

adding trumpet tunes to my repertoire

reworking old pieces with my improved skills

preparing for college entrance exams

understanding and applying registration skills to my repertoire

planning and preparing repertoire for the Spring recital

So, let the excitement begin!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan has a studio of 18 adult organ students and weekly shares in the excitement of helping these students realize their goals and dreams. She is also a concert organist who performs the multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea with her husband David Jordan, media specialist.

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Use photos as an improvisation tool to help students explore an instrument, a technique, or a compositional idea.

  • A photo of a waterfall encourages students to explore the full range of the keyboard
  • A picture of jagged mountain peaks encourages students to use full hand chords to create power
  • A photo of a roiling clouds with streaks of lightning encourages students to explore the power of the bass in contrast to quick rapid notes in the upper register of the instrument
  • A photo of mist-shrouded valleys encourages the use of the sustain pedal
  • A picture of bagpipers encourages the use of 5ths as an accompaniment to a jaunty melody
  • A photo of bumblebees encourages the exploration of 2nds and rapid running passages

Obviously the list is endless and with today’s technology one can easily share photos via the electronic devices most of us carry.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

Practice Thoughts

shared by one of my students —

1.  Raise the “priority” of practice.  Make it one of your prime goals instead of getting the time left overs of your day.

2.  Don’t over practice a piece.  When I do I start believing I know it and will then lose concentration.  Go on to another piece and then come back later if you want to play it more.

3.  Have some fun.  Vary the voicing, even to extremes.  Mess with the rhythm and time.  Save a “lollipop” to reward yourself with at the end of your practice session that you can play well that will leave you with a good feeling.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, teacher and concert organist

Fall is here…

and it’s time to “hunker down”

We’ve had nearly a week of off-and-on rain, wind, showers, rain, wind, a sunbreak, rain, and more rain.  What a perfect week it has been to “hunker down” and enjoy our music room.  Years ago one of my beach students added “hunker down” to my vocabulary.  His thought was that practice sessions are more frequent and more productive during those fall and winter months when the weather gives us good reason to “hunker down” and focus on creating music.  So “hunker down” for some great practice!  ‘Tis the season!

 

Happy practicing!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

 

In music,

“the work of preparation ruled by discipline should finally disappear,

so that the elegance and freshness of the form

should strike us as being spontaneous.” 

Pablo Casals

It is time to start the work of the fall
by setting goals.

It is time to prepare to achieve those goals
by creating a realistic plan.

It is time to become disciplined
by setting a practice schedule realistic enough to maintain.

This work, and yes it will be work, will provide the means to allow
the elegance and freshness of the music you play to appear.

Ah, that we all could have the joy of playing and sharing our music
in a spontaneous and carefree manner.

Now, that is a goal!

The only way most people recognize their limits is by trespassing on them.
– Tom Morris

How? Asking others, looking around, watching clips on the Internet, exploring a museum, walking in a park, reading a book (eBook or a paper one), using a tablet and third-party software, etc. Open yourself in a big way, look around and pay attention with a focus. Whether sitting with friends, your family, at the office, in nature or elsewhere. Offline or online. Get inspired, let your imagination go wild. There is so much to sense.

Curiosity is the key to creativity.
– Akio Morita

And finally:


Leonard Bernstein;  “to accomplish something, you need to make a plan and have too little time.

The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.

Just some thoughts for the summer.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, creator of organ and media events and concert organist

Looking for inspiration to recharge your own creativity?  You might want to:

  1. Support the local arts scene. Go to a local festival, music event, art show, play, museum exhibit.  Visit www.bachandsons.com to find the location for the next live Bach and Sons concert in your area.
  2. Grab a stack of magazines, and clip whatever looks interesting or cool to create your own inspiration board.
  3. Read a book of short stories such as  On the Heels of an Organist.
  4. Go for a walk, and take your camera with you to document the experience.
  5. Stop by the library, and check out some CDs.
  6. Take a long soak in a hot bathtub
  7. Watch the sun rise or set
  8. See an Oscar-nominated movie or a foreign film.
  9. Listen to your favorite music while sipping on a cup of hot cocoa or cappuccino
  10. Visit a “creative” shop that has nothing to do with what you actually do–an art supply store, a fabric shop, a music store.

Boundless, unending sources of inspiration are yours for the taking!  Let your world heighten your senses and creativity.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist



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  • bhundley1: I'm interested in your elaborating on the "fingering" aspect of practice. Are you a fan of Czerny, for instance, in terms of building up dexterity wi
  • promotionmusic: Thanks for your response. Congratulations to you on the work you are doing in the piano world.

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