Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for January, 2012

Every Day Is A Practice Day

One of my students  has started using this mantra, along with a practice and lesson preparation schedule, to focus her energies as she prepares for an upcoming recital.   I must admit, this mantra is now on a yellow sticky note on my computer as a reminder to not put off until the end of my day what I enjoy most—practicing and playing the organ! 

With the busy lives we all lead, it is easy to forget that indeed we do have the opportunity to make every day a practice day.  Some practice days might include an hour or more at your church or a concentrated block of time on your home organ, while other practice days might include ten minutes on the piano at home or a half-hour sorting through music and planning for upcoming services or concerts.

The month of February provides us with a myriad of opportunities for making those practice days productive:

Lessons – use  your practice days to discover questions on repertoire, registration, or technique so you get the most out of lessons

Valentine’s Day – use your practice days to plan a musical gift for a friend or family member.  That special someone would surely enjoy a private organ concert.

Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday – before you don that mask for the Mardi Gras party or whip up the pancake mix for your Shrove Tuesday gathering, use your practice day to treat yourself and have a favorite music play-a-thon just for yourself.

Ash Wednesday – use your practice days to prepare introspective music for this important day in the liturgical season that signals the beginning of Lent

The First Sunday of Lent – use your practice days to plan, prepare, and practice not only the music for the six Sundays of Lent and the many services of Holy Week, but also to learn or relearn those rather difficult Easter hymns.

We organists certainly are blessed.  In what other profession or avocation is making every day a practice day filled with such sublime, joyous, introspective, glorious, and awesome results?  MUSIC!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

The Passion of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

The Passion of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

is the title of a new documentary recently presented on Into the Music, an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Radio National program.

Written and produced by Linda Neil with guests…

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

    creator and performer of  Bach and Sons,

an organ and media event

David Schulenberg, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach’s latest biographer

John Rodgers, composer and improviser and

Anthony Burr, musician

Renegade, rebel, drunk genius, failed son and a man born out of time—Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is an enigmatic figure in western classical music.

Writer and producer Linda Neil unravels the mystery behind some of the myths and stories about this composer and makes some surprising discoveries about aspects of music-making that have been lost in history.

What was it like being the eldest son of one of the superstars of classical music?

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach was trained by his father, Johann Sebastian, to be a working musician and composer just like him. Yet Friedemann, a brilliant improviser, struggled to make his mark and ended his days in poverty. Till now he has been a mere footnote in our music history.

But do more complex truths lie behind his story?

Click here to visit Pro-Motion Music  for a link to the broadcast and other WF Bach information

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

Are you a Forward-Thinking Musician?

Forward-thinking is a term that has not yet found its way into dictionaries.  It is too “new”.  However, much has been written about the topic and the characteristics of those who are forward-thinkers with visionaries Bill Gates and Steve Jobs topping the list of great forward-thinkers.

Forward-thinking has been described as

  • thinking progressively
  • looking beyond the “now” and formulating strategies for future success
  • asking “what’s next?”
  • looking ahead with an eye to improvement
  • relating to the future with fresh perspectives and conscious departures which acknowledge that in this never-before-in-history time anything and everything is possible
  • trying to figure out the goals of tomorrow, then trying to find the methods of tomorrow to achieve them

Becoming a forward-thinking musician is a tall order for the busy and at times, overwhelmed forward-looking musician.  Is it possible to integrate the two behaviors?  Some thoughts and questions to ponder as we begin anew with fresh eyes, ears, and minds this year of 2012.

  • As a church musician, am I thinking progressively?
  • As a teacher, am I looking ahead with an eye to improving my teaching skills?
  • As a performer am I looking beyond the strictures of my instrument, the organ, and creating ways to better share this instruments and its great repertoire with my audiences?
  • As a businessperson, am I able to get out of the “this is the way I have always kept the books” to finding ways to streamline this time-consuming task.
  • As a writer of newsletters and blogs, am I relating to our readers with fresh perspectives and insights?

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

As a Musician Do You Find the “White” When Others See the “Gray”?

In their book The Integrity Advantage, Adrian Gostick and Dana Telford identify ten “integrity characteristics.” Let’s examine how these “integrity characteristics” can be integrated into the life of the whole musician—the musician with all the different parts working well and delivering the functions that they were designed to deliver to students, colleagues, and audiences. 

Let’s now examine one of these characteristics which involve making effective decisions.

You find the white (when others see gray). You don’t make difficult decisions alone. You receive counsel and take the long- term view.

Several years ago the church where I was teaching initiated a room use fee. This fee was going to greatly increase the expense to my organ studio. Instead of merely announcing to my students that a room rental fee would be added to the following semester’s lesson fees, I asked for counsel from my students and sought other alternatives.

We took the long-term view by carefully weighing the convenience of the present teaching space, the type of organ, and the ability to reserve the space not only for lessons but student concerts as well.

In the end, through the counsel of my students, I made the decision to remain at the same church and add a room use fee to the lesson amount. The students, because of their buy-in, understand the addition of the fee and are satisfied with the studio location. 

Musicians of integrity work together to create a better learning situation for the future.

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