The Maestro Online

Beginner Organ Lessons

LIVE OUT YOUR ORGAN PIPE DREAM!

There are two reasons why people have beginner organ lessons online (or in person, organ lessons in Teesside, Yarm, UK, they have an organ lying around at home, or they’re gangsta. You may be seeking organ lessons for beginners or be seeking advanced diploma lessons, or perhaps seeking to prepare for a college or conservatoire organ audition, becoming a church organ scholar, or be seeking a Cathedral Organist post. I’m here to transform you into an organgsta with my one-on-one organ lessons online or face to face. That is, if you are ready to put the pipe organ pedal to the pipe organ metal.

REVIEW OF BEGINNER ORGAN LESSONS ONLINE

Robin, thank you for a wonderful organ lesson during which, you created specific exercises that are interesting and easy to understand. After my lesson, for the first time, I really feel that my pedals manuals and music can make real music, fun and enjoyment together as a team, instead of complete confusion!

Camilla, London

Beginner Organ Lessons Online & face-to-face lessons in Person, Beginner to Diploma (Teesside, UK near Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Northallerton)

with Dr Robin Harrison PhD BMus(Hons)/GradRNCM FNCM ARCO LTCL DipLCM PGCE(QTS) MISM

REVIEW OF ROBIN’S BEGINNER ORGAN LESSONS ONLINE PEDAL METHOD

This organ lesson pedal method is revolutionary in its holistic approach of learning to play the pedals using popular melodies and letters rather than abstract dots on a stave, therefore overcoming the apprehension of using the feet in another way other than walking on.

Pedals are introduced from the initial learning to play the organ.

From the outset, sitting at the organ with the correct bench position of the body is very important and the explanation is given as to why. Then, it explains the placing of the feet to allow them to pivot freely from the big toe to the heel. The next step is the warm-up exercises with the introduction of the feet to the pedalboard.

It explains where to place the feet and the movement of chromatically creeping up and down the individual pedals is introduced.

The movement of the two feet together in two note chords and their letter names is introduced with each note and left foot (LF) or right foot (RF) to use going up and coming down. The heels are introduced left heel (LH) right heel (RH) in a progressive manner therefore ensuring from the very beginning that there is no apprehension in adding another element into the equation. The letters of different melodies are introduced to enable the student to gain confidence and to enjoy making music with theIr feet.

Each lesson is holistically focused on the individual student and ensures that the playing of the pedals is smoothly integrated into their organ playing.

My husband added that well-known organ teachers would be unable to teach this. Because this is so revolutionary and brilliant can you copyright it ASAP?!

Who or what is an organgsta?

The term organist is a tad softcore if you ask me. And all “organists” from the likes of Bach to Manzarek are really hardcore. Not just as musicians, but also as individuals. Did you know that Bach travelled 250 miles on foot from Arnstadt to Lübeck to study the art and craft of Lübeck’s famous organist, Dietrich Buxtehude? He literally walked the oranist’s walk. I therefore prefer the term organ-gsta. It’s much more becoming.

Why you ask? Well, for one, no beginner learns the organ to impress others. You’d probably be playing guitar otherwise, perhaps even the piano. No judgement there. We all have our motivations, but the sole reason someone learns the organ is because they love the sound of it and are already in love with the organ. They have beginner organ lessons for all the right reasons. Gangsta!

And done right, the organ can actually knock people’s socks off. Back in the days of Bach, the organ would knock off body armours too. Guess what? You could be an beginner organ-gsta too!

How do YOU become a beginner organist – organgsta?

With in-person (Teesside, UK) or online organ lessons for beginners, I go for a blow-by-blow approach. You know, with the church organ pipes and all.

Jokes apart, I use a holistic approach to beginner organ lessons, where the whole organist’s musicianship is trained using an innovative methodology inspired by the Kodaly-based music pedagogy. You, your individuality and your musical desire within are always at the centre of the ‘learn the organ’ experience. Since you’re going to learn to play the organ for all the right reasons, that’s already half the battle won.

I couple this individual experience with meticulous organ learning exercises that you can adopt which help you develop the right organ techniques and grow as a wholesome musician. You learn everything from organ playing to improvising to sight-reading, even creating your own organ compositions. Here are some of the KEY features:

  • Rhythmic concepts that help beginner organists with coordination

  • Pitch using Kodaly derived solfege (the relative do-re-mi system) to help beginner organists hear and play

  • Articulation and different types of organists’ touch

  • Transposition (playing in different keys and thus using the whole piano), great for organists in churches

  • Absolute notation (reading with note letter names)
  • Coordination activities between the organist hands and feet, the beginner organist’s brain gym

  • Organ Pedal technique through popular songs

  • Inner ear development, hear before you play on the organ

  • Making a piece ‘your own’ through personal interpretation and articulation

  • Organ Performance Repertoire, Beginner to Diploma

  • Transposition, Sight Reading and Score Reading

  • Keyboard harmony bespoke to Organists through historically informed methods

  • Organ improvisation and extemporisation (including backing tracks to improvise over) to deepen understanding and consolidate concepts and skills learned

  • Strategic Organ Practice Techniques

  • Organ Examinations – preparation for all major boards and institutions

  • Live organ lessons (online or in my home-studio on my 3 manual digital in Yarm, Teesside, UK) include a bespoke video summary of the session.

How Should Beginner Organists Practice?

Check out this organ online interview with renowned international organist, Kevin Bowyer, a virtuosic organ legend!

Advanced Organist? CRCO, ARCO, FRCO? Cambridge or Oxford Organist? Organ Scholar?

Yes! This is the place for your organ lessons online or face-to-face too! I constantly have a wide number of organ diploma students for all diploma levels and many prize winning students. I have also examined for the Royal College of Organists and am a specialist in all aspects of paperwork and very strategic when it comes to aural (published by Routledge). 

ORGAN LESSON REVIEWS:

“Robin was a fantastic teacher in preparing me for my FRCO. In particular, he helped me improve my harmonic analysis skills. He really improved my exam technique by encouraging me to think about how to get to the answers by asking pertinent questions. Robin helped me pick out tasks I could work on each week leading up to the exam to strengthen my aural skills. He was very generous with his time, helping to fit in extra lessons as I needed and working with my time zone while I was in Australia.”

Alana Brook FRCO, Assistant Organist, Lincoln Cathedral

“Robin is an intuitive and empathetic teacher who uses inherently musical approaches to develop the student as an all-round musician. I have studied advanced harmony with Robin for almost 4 years, and he has enabled me to develop my understanding and fluency and relate such skills to my wider playing and performance. Whereas other teachers tend to take a detached, academic approach to harmony that I have found daunting and confusing, Robin used my existing strengths at the keyboard to improve both my technical and psychological approach to harmony exercises. This person-centred, holistic approach is characteristic of Robin’s teaching style, as he takes into account all aspects of the student’s experience beyond the mechanics of getting a sound out of the instrument. This has resulted in improvements not only in my playing and ability to respond to harmony tests, but my confidence as a performer and emotional connection to my music-making. I cannot recommend Robin highly enough to students seeking support in any aspect of music performance, including those areas less readily taught such as harmony, keyboard skills and improvisation.”

Anita Datta, Former Organ Scholar Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, former Assistant Organist at Beverley Minster

HOLISTIC ORGAN LESSONS ONLINE

For a full article on holistic organ lessons online, read here.