Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Archive for the ‘hymn texts’ Category

Practice as Devotion

Ideas for incorporating devotions into your organ practice

Enter into the practice session with a short prayer or moment of silence to center yourself.

Be mindful to review in advance what you would like to focus on or accomplish with the practice session. Warm up with the technical exercises first. Demonstrate self-denial (sacrifice) by first practicing those least pieces (or sections of a piece) that you like to avoid, save for last, or sometimes skip altogether.

In the middle of your practice, take a break from actually playing and read a Psalm, the lyrics to a favorite hymn, or a devotional reading from one of the resources mentioned earlier.

Meditate a few minutes focusing on what you have read. Resume your practice with a gracious attitude while reflecting on how incredibly awesome the organ is at expressing musically the text, theme, mood, and/or sentiments of a hymn or repertoire.

Always end a practice session on a positive note and with gratitude.

One option is to close your organ practice with a “postlude” – something you can play musically with confidence — a piece that brings you joy. This may even be a simple composition with a beautiful soundscape that is not technically complex.

The possibilities are endless for connecting contemplative spirituality or devotional meditation with organ practice are endless – allow yourself to be creative.
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

Enriching Your Organ Practice

Effective organ practice can be difficult to maintain on a consistent basis. Why? Are we approaching our practice too casually? Is our organ practice starting to get monotonous with technical exercises and boring repetition? Are we spending too much time playing what we like to focus on or enjoy but neglecting those important technical exercises or compositions that will help get us to the next level? I am certainly guilty of all of the above.

Finding time is another factor that can impede a disciplined habit of practicing the organ. Life — with hours spent working, family obligations, social engagements, and church can leave little time left to practice the organ.

Idea! Adding an element of the sacred to your organ practice may spiritually enrich your practice experience. A colleague recommended incorporating spiritual devotion into my organ practice rather than adopting additional spiritual practices or setting aside more discretionary time for devotional study. How wonderfully practical! Practicing the organ also then becomes a devotional act and a spiritual practice.

Hymnody provides a rich treasury of devotional lyrics. Many hymn texts are based on scripture so also incorporate a biblical element when used as a source of devotion.  There are also a number of books and resources published to support using hymns as a source of devotional practice. These include Open Your Hymnal- Devotions that Harmonize Scripture with Song by Denise K. Loock, The One Year Book of Hymns by Robert Brown, and Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions by Kenneth Osbeck. These resources provide devotional readings based upon classic hymns of the Christian faith. 

Jeannine OcalaAdopting contemplative or meditative aspects to your organ practice may contribute to experiencing the music more deeply. By doing so, you enhance your ability to play musically rather than intellectually. Another benefit is the positive psychological associations that may occur when organ and devotional practice are blended.  An organist may gain more confidence, resolve and commitment to improving organ skills. Organ practice becomes much more than tackling the assignment from the prior lesson and assuring oneself of being prepared or appearing prepared for the next lesson (or church service or recital).

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, a teacher with an active organ studio has also been a church musician most of her life.  She is also a concert organist and with her husband David, media artist,  is the creator and performer of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.

 

 

The Gift of Love

The Gift of Love

a setting of

1 Corinthians 13

Though I may speak with bravest fire,

and have the gift to all inspire,

and have not love, my words are vain,

as sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess,

and striving so my love profess,

but not be given by love within,

the profit soon turns strangely thin.

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control;

our spirits long to be made whole.

Let inward love guide every deed;

by this we worship, and are freed.

 

Text written by Hal Hopson in 1972.

Sung to the tune O WALY WALY, an English tune from the early 1700’s.

Meter 8.8.8.8.

Published in 25 hymnals

Arrangements: organ, choral, handbells, piano/organ, and other instruments

http://www.hymnary.com

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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.  Dr. Jordan is also a life-long church musician.

 

A Lenten Meditation

A Lenten Hymnal Meditation – Now Quit Your Care

Last year during Lent, I discovered a hymn that was new to me and one that had not been sung as a congregational hymn in all my years of church work.  I am sharing it here as a Lenten devotion.

The hymn is found on page 145 in The Hymnal 1982 and was written by Percy Dearmer, one of the compilers of The English Hymnal of 1906.

Now quit your care and anxious fear and worry;
for schemes are vain and fitting brings no gain.
Lent calls to prayer, to trust and dedication;
God brings new beauty nigh;
reply, reply, reply with love to love most high;
reply, reply, reply with love to love most high.

To bow the head in sack-cloth and in ashes,
or rend the soul, such grief is not Lent’s goal;
But to be led to where God’s glory flashes,
his beauty to come near.
Make clear, make clear, make clear where truth and light appear;
Make clear, make clear, make clear where truth and light appear.

For is not this the fast that I have chosen?|
(The prophet spoke) To shatter every yoke,
Of wickedness the grievous bands to loosen,
oppression put to flight,
To fight, to fight, to fight till every wrong’s set right. 
To fight, to fight, to fight till every wrong’s set right.

For righteousness and peace will show their faces|
to those who feed the hungry in their need,
and wrongs redress, who build the old waste places,
and in the darkness shine.
Divine, divine, divine it is when all combine! 
Divine, divine, divine it is when all combine! 

Then shall your light break forth as doth the morning;
your health shall spring, the friends you make shall bring
God’s glory bright, your way through life adorning;
and love shall be the prize. 
Arise, arise, arise! And make a paradise! 
Arise, arise, arise! And make a paradise! 
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Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with her husband David, media artist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Around the World in 80 Minutes — live organ concerts with multi-media.  Dr. Jordan has been involved in church music ministry throughout her life.

 

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