Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘historic organ music’

Keeping Your Word

The dictionary definition of integrity uses three words: wholeness, unity, and honesty. “When talking about integrity, we are talking about being a whole person, an integrated person, with all our different parts working well and delivering the functions that they were designed to deliver.” (Cloud, p. 31) To continue our discussion of the ten “integrity characteristics” as defined in The Integrity Advantage, we look at the necessity of keeping your word as a music teacher to gain trust within a community or group of individuals such as a student cohort.

You keep your word. You act with integrity to gain trust.

If I tell my students we are going to have an opportunity to play the outstanding pipe organs at Mt. Angel Abbey, it is not a whimsical idea. I know once such an opportunity is presented to my students, I will have to follow through. By working through the myriad of details necessary to make that performance and learning opportunity a reality, I continue to build trust with my enthusiastic group of students.

“In the end trust is about the heart, and someone making an investment in you from his or her heart. If you gain people’s trust, their heart, then you also have their desire and passion. Good teachers capture the other people’s will, their true desire, through connecting with them first. “ (Cloud, p.53)

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, instructor of organ and concert organist.

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

A Wedding in Dornheim

(The year in Muhlhausen as told by Maria Barbara Bach, JS Bach’s first wife)

Bach Wedding Church in Dornheim

Johann Sebastian Bach and I were married on October 17, 1707.  It was a lovely affair starting in Arnstadt and continuing in Dornheim four miles away.  We had such a grand time walking with all our family and friends to the little village church in Dornheim where a friend of the family married us.

After our celebration, we immediately moved to Muhlhausen where Johann had already begun his work several months earlier.  I will now be with Johann to support him, provide a home for him, and to encourage him in all his musical efforts.

Things are definitely looking up in Muhlhausen.  Students have started coming to Johann Sebastian asking for lessons.  If you are a genius, it is a gift to be taught by Johann Sebastian Bach.  If not…well things can be a little tough.

However, now that we are settled in Muhlhausen, we are finding that the congregation at St. Blaise’s is basically Pietist.   We now know that Pietists believe in extreme simplicity – simplicity in everything including their music.   I am told they are afraid of the excessive use of music and art in worship, with its temptations to worldliness.  Some church people even wanted a complete ban on instrumental music in the service.  This was not good, because what my Johann plays for them is his wonderful but complex contrapuntal music.

I have begun to wonder if St. Blaise’s in Muhlhausen is such a good place for us or not.  What were they thinking when they hired my Johann Sebastian Bach?

(The anecdote above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)

Princess Eleonore d’Esmier and the Music of the Court at Celle

(Eleonore d’Esmier, Duchess of Wilhemsburg, French born wife of the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle describes the Court’s music.)

My husband is George Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg.  I recently married this great man and I now make my home here in Germany.   You see, I am originally from France.  In fact, I hail from the most famous of all courts in France, the court of Louis XIV.  This is not only one of the most magnificent of courts in all Europe, but it is the court that all lesser courts seek to copy.  All over Germany, counts, dukes, and other nobles are trying to recreate the lifestyle and grandeur of the Sun King’s Court

With that goal in mind, my husband has decided we will create our own little French court in Celle, just south of Luneburg.  Since I am French, however, we have a great advantage over other courts trying to become the Versailles of Germany because I really know what the Sun King’s court is like.  Therefore, we speak French at the court of Celle and we have even hired an orchestra of French musicians to make music for us.  We also play the great keyboard music by all the best and most fashionable French keyboard composers like Couperin and de Grigny.  My generous husband has created such a lovely French court that I feel like I am “at home.”

The castle in Celle, Germany

(This anecdote above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)


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