Thursday, August 7, 2008

A great idea ...

H/T to Mark Quarmby via the PIPORG-L listserv.

The Organ Music Society of Sydney (Sydney Chapter of the AGO) has begun a special online newsletter for young organists which can be downloaded from the Organ Music Society of Sydney website.

I think it's a nice idea to have newsletters and the like targeted specifically to young organists as they really are the future of the Organ World. I still remember when I first expressed interest in learning how to play the organ. A couple of organists I had met were very keen on encouraging my interest and helping me find a teacher. I became involved with the local chapter of the AGO and started attending recitals and the like (and if you click on the Concert Program tag, you'll be able to see some of the programs of the concerts I've attended in the past). Hopefully, schedule permitting, I'll be able to attend more organ recitals this year. I was also invited to be a part of the e-board of the Durham-Chapel Hill chapter and will be assuming the position of Treasurer/Registrar. (Scary thought.)

So. How would we attract the young people to the organ? I helped out at a Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza event that the local chapter held a few months ago (well, "helped" is a relative term as I was in the throes of my 3-month bout with laryngitis at that time). The kids were very keen to try out the organ and seemed really keen to see the inner workings of the organ, as well as to examine the various pipes we had floating about. Most of these kids were piano students and were of elementary to middle-school age. Hopefully their interests were piqued. I remember when I first started to learn how to play the organ, a young home-schooled girl was amongst the organ students I kept on encountering at organ crawls, Masterclasses, etc. My organ teacher once told me that he was teaching an 11-year old the piano with the thought that as soon as her legs can reach the pedals easily, her instruction will shift to the organ.

Publications like that the Sydney chapter of the AGO put out can only help in attracting the young to the organ. I think it's a great idea.

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