Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘integrity in teaching’

It’s Tough, But Musicians Need To Keep On Keeping On

You keep on keeping on. You have ethical consistency and predictability.

The anecdote, “The Gifted Musician” from Hidalgo’s writing, encourages us to consistently and predictably practice not only our instrument but also integrity in our musical life:

“Most people only enjoy listening to music, but some people also enjoy creating music. Some musicians are good, some are better and then there are those who are exceptionally good—considered to have the “gift” of music. But even they have to practice.

I attended a concert recently where a fan of the featured musician walked up to his favorite performer and said: “You’re an outstanding musician!” The artist replied saying: “Thank you, I appreciate you saying so. I practice everyday.”

Just as we as musicians must practice every day to maintain a high level of artistic talent, so too must we practice implementing integrity every day in our musical lives. 

We must keep on keeping on with what we know has integrity as performing, teaching, and church organists.

Fill Your Musical Lives With Those Who Have Integrity

You hire integrity and you promote those who show an ability to be trusted.

Fill your musical lives with those colleagues and students who have integrity. Share ideas with them, learn from them, listen to them, interact with them, and encourage them to grow in their professional competencies.

Your musical colleagues and students are a wealth of information.  Encourage those in your musical circle to share their ideas for programs, church music, workshops, cohort building, and practice and performance tips.  Everyone has a different musical background and thus may have totally different insights than yours into a piece of music or a performance experience.

With an open and receptive mind, a teacher can always learn as much or more from her students than she shares.  I encourage/require my students to bring to each lesson at least three questions.  These questions range from “how do I pedal this phrase?” to “what is a gemshorn?” and always stimulate interesting discussion and a great learning opportunity for both student and teacher. T

Take time to listen to your colleagues.  Attend their concerts, workshops, and church services.  Every organist plays in a unique style and quite possibly you will hear music you want to add to your repertoire, a unique soundscape, or a different way to introduce the Doxology.

Build community activities such as recitals and play-in opportunities into your teaching studio.  Students learn so much from one another in a supportive and nurturing environment.

None of us ever gets enough praise and encouragement.  Make sure you give more than you receive in this area.
Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

 

Being Honest But Modest–Trait of a Musician With Integrity

You’re honest but modest. You let your actions speak louder than words.

I frequently talk about and write about the two “P” words—Practice and Performance. However, it is important that I do more than talk and write about this subject; I also practice, create and perform new programs hoping that my example will encourage my students to work toward their practice and performance goals.

Creating programs takes sometimes months of research. Programs with a theme are always audience pleasers.  Discovering that theme can take many twists and turns:  an article read, a new piece performed, a thought from a student, an idea found while walking the beach or walking through an art gallery all can lead to that “new” program.  Sometimes the “discovery” phase can take weeks or even months.  Once the theme is solidified though, the creation of the program can begin.

For a program such as my organ and media event, Bach and Sons, the idea came from a series of solo organ concerts I presented at the Abbey Bach Festival where I played on one night the secular organ music of Johann Sebastian, Carl Phillip Emmanuel, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and on the second night the sacred organ music of those composers.  These programs planted the seed for Bach and Sons.

Eighteen months later, after extensive research, practice, and preparation and with the help of an eight member focus group the concert was premiered in Anchorage, Alaska to an enthusiastic audience.  Since then it has enjoyed many performances.

My students are well aware that I not only talk the talk about practice and performance, but spend hours a day in practice for those many performances throughout the year as a concert organist.

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