Welcome to The LDS Organist Blog

The purpose of this blog is to help pianists learn to become true organists. Many individuals believe that if you play the piano you can play the organ, but the instruments differ greatly. While this blog is specifically geared towards members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, much of the information shared can be utilized by all. I hope that the information I share here will help you become an effective organist in your ward, stake, or other congregation.

Feel free to browse and search this blog. It was started in January 2010 and while new posts aren't added very often, this blog contains a wealth of information and is a wonderful resource for all organists. If you're a new reader, you can find the first lesson here: Before We Begin: Acquiring the Essentials. Also, please "like" the corresponding facebook page, which is updated more often. A link is provided on the right sidebar, or you can click here.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The more you know, the less it seems you know

When I started this blog just over a year ago, I felt like I knew what I was doing. I had studied the organ off and on for about 16 years and had a good grasp of the basics. I felt confident in my abilities.

However, after about six months, I ran out of teaching ideas and realized how little I actually knew.

I attended the BYU Organ Workshop in August of 2010 and began earnest study again with Carol Dean, a Colleague in the American Guild of Organists. I immediately felt like I knew nothing. While I did have a good grasp of the basics, I also had some technique and posture issues that I had been unaware of before. All of a sudden my vision had been increased.

Before, I was seeing my organ playing through the eyes of a regular LDS church organist. I did have a good grasp of organ technique. After I began this blog, attended the BYU Organ Workshop, and started studying in depth, my vision was expanded and I began to see where my abilities fell on a much larger scale. All of a sudden, I saw every limitation. I realized that I knew very little compared to "real" organists, and think that I better understand how Moses felt when his vision was increased. Carol was always very complimentary, but I didn't feel as though I deserved those compliments.

Today I had a really good lesson. I have been practicing regularly, and my Bach and Buxtehude pieces are starting to "live." Baroque organ music is finally clicking in my brain, and I'm so excited!

While I might not feel this way tomorrow, today I feel like a true organist. I'm regaining confidence while acknowledging how much I still have to learn, and it feels really good.

While the organ can be overwhelming, especially when you first begin your study and realize just how different the organ and the piano really are, hang in there. For a while every time you learn something new you may feel like you know less than you did when you started. Eventually that feeling will start to fade and you will find confidence you didn't know you could have.


  1. Thanks for your open heart! I've always said that learning the piano is easier at first and more difficult later, and learning the organ is more difficult at first and easier later. That's what I heard you saying in the last paragraph of your post. So, yes! Hang in there, and don't compare yourself to anyone but yourself. You're getting better every day in every way!

  2. Thanks for doing this blog. I have found it very helpful.

    I'm not as far as you, but I can just start to see over the hill into the vast valley of ignorance that lies before me.........