Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘church music ministry’

Hymn-based organ repertoire

Excerpted from the Jordan Organ Studio October 2018 Newsletter.

Most all of us are currently playing some sort of hymn-based repertoire either for use in a church service, for the upcoming recital, or simply for pleasure.

Question: Do you know when the hymntune your piece is based on was originally composed? Do you know the text of the hymn? Have you discovered something interesting about the composer of your piece? Hmmm…a little research makes music come alive. I simply love learning something new about repertoire — and each of you certainly helps me do that on a weekly basis!

My new lesson week began yesterday afternoon with three inspirational lessons following our worship service. All three were filled with hymn based repertoire. My eight-year-old’s lesson (following a service where she played three hymn variations for the prelude) included new hymn based repertoire in addition to her favorite trumpet tunes; my newest student – a talented 13-year-old with the goal to become a church organist, added two more hymns to her “completed hymn list” and prepared a Bach Prelude for an upcoming church service; and Walter and I played hymns from the 1920 Protestant Episcopal hymnal and Bach’s Orgelbuchlein for two lovely hours. Just like the lessons earlier in the week, hymnody played a huge role in each of their lessons.

I simply love the fact that in any given week, with you my wonderful students, I have the opportunity to explore hymns from a myriad of denominations, to learn new hymns (I think Walter got the award for adding the most hymns to my hymn knowledge base this week — who knew the Episcopalians of 1920 had so many different hymns), to see favorite tunes with different texts, to hear creative settings of these amazing pieces, and to simply hear some of my favorite pieces of music.

It’s a really great life being your teacher! I am so blessed!
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Interested in organ lessons for yourself, your child, or your grandchild?  Dr. Jeannine Jordan loves to teach and has studios in Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove, Oregon.  You may reach her at jeannine@promotionmusic.org.  Fulfill a dream…start organ lessons today.

The Tie That Binds

Question: What is the tie that binds all of us (the cohort of the Jordan Organ Studio) together?

Answer: As I do weekly, Friday morning I was reviewing my notes and thoughts from the lessons I had taught in the past week, when it occurred to me that most all of the lessons have a common thread running through them. That thread is hymnody.

Some of us, by the nature of our church positions, practice and work on hymns to be sung weekly by our congregations. Those Sundays just keep coming around with hymns galore! For all of us who are church musicians, hymns are and should be a part of every practice session and lesson. We need to remember that the hymns are THE MOST IMPORTANT pieces of music we will play for our congregations!

Question: How is your hymn playing? Does your congregation sing well? Are you an excellent leader? Is your playing precise and of good tempo? Are you creative with your introductions? Do you use alternative harmonizations to suit the text or ethnicity of the hymntune? Hmmm….so many questions to ponder.
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Interested in organ lessons for yourself, your child, or your grandchild?  Dr. Jeannine Jordan loves to teach and has studios in Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Forest Grove, Oregon.  You may reach her at jeannine@promotionmusic.org.  Fulfill a dream…start organ lessons today.

Something About Hymns

A religious song or poem in praise of God is a hymn.

A writer of hymns is a hymnist.

A collections of hymns is a hymnal or a hymnary, which may or may not include music.

The music to which a hymn may be sung is a hymn tune.

The singing of hymns is hymnody.

A student of hymnody is a hymnologist.

And, finally the scholarly study of hymns, hymnists, and hymnody is hymnology.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church musician and hymnologist, is also the creator and performer of the organ and multi-media concert experiences, Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea, as a concert organist.

The Mighty Ocean-Tone

The Mighty Ocean-Tone

From 1871-1873, Henry Ward Beecher, 19th century theologian, scholar, and hymn writer delivered several lectures in the Yale Lectures on Preaching series.  The lectures cover many topics other than preaching, including congregational singing and organs. Expressing the spiritual and ecclesial function of the organ in worship, Beecher provides the following metaphor:

“I am accustomed to think of a congregation with an organ as of a fleet of boats in the harbor, or on the waters.  The organ is the flood, and the people are the boats; and they are buoyed up and carried along upon its current as boats are borne upon the depths of the sea.  So, aside from mere musical reasons, there is this power that comes upon people, that encircles them, that fills them, this great, mighty ocean-tone; and that helps them to sing.”

So organists, put on your organ shoes, turn on the organ, and provide for your congregation the “great mighty ocean-tone” that fills their spirits, encircles them with power, and sets them free to sing God’s word.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, church and concert organist, with David Jordan, media specialist, are the creators and performers of Bach and Sons and From Sea to Shining Sea.

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