Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘media and organ event’

You Mess Up, You ‘Fess Up–a Trait of a Musician with Integrity

A musician with integrity will follow another “rule” of creating and running a music studio–“you mess up, you ‘fess up.” You disclose both good news and bad. You acknowledge mistakes, apologize and make amends.

I recently had the humbling experience of having to reschedule an entire week of lessons. I “messed up” and scheduled lessons for a week I would be out of town. I had to “‘fess up” and disclose the news that no matter how carefully I had planned the lesson schedule, it just wasn’t going to work. I apologized and asked to reschedule the week’s lessons. Thankfully, most of my wonderful students changed their schedules to accommodate mine.

For me, a person who likes order and works to pay attention to details, this was a difficult lesson in integrity.  However, because I do respect my students’ time and their need to rely on a set schedule and I rarely make the mistake of having to change their lesson times, all of us made it through a challenging week.  One of us learned that she is less than perfect (again), and the students had the opportunity to show their support of their teacher by reworking their own schedules.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organ and piano instructor with studios in Lincoln City and Hillsboro, Oregon.

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.

JS Bach Leaves Arnstadt for Muhlhausen

(JS Bach’s move to Muhlhausen as recounted by Maria Barbara Bach, JS Bach’s future wife.)

With the many challenges facing Johann Sebastian in Arnstadt, I decided to talk with my relative Johann Bellstedt in Muhlhausen.  I told him Johann was very unhappy and was looking for a new position as a church organist.

Blasiikirche in Muhlhausen

Upon learning this news, Herr Bellstedt, immediately asked Johann to come try out the new organ at St. Blaise’s in Muhlhausen—on Easter Sunday no less!  Well, of course everyone was very impressed with Johann’s virtuosity and the board decided on the spot that my JS was the man for the organist position.

It is so exciting.  Now, with this new position and its great salary of 85 gulden and a promise of 54 bushels of grain, two cords of wood and six bundles of brushwood, my Johann tells me we can get married and that we will immediately move to Muhlhausen to start our new life together.

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

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