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.

Advertisements

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.)

I hear that Johann Sebastian is off to Lubeck

(Barbara Katherina, second cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach and elder sister of Maria Barbara, Bach’s future wife recounts Bach’s trip to Lubeck)

Marienkirche in Lubeck, Germany

My dear sister, Maria Barbara, have you heard the news?  Our JS has just gotten permission to go to Lubeck to hear the celebrated organist, Dietrich Buxtehude at St. Mary’s.   He has been talking about this trip for so long and now the city council has given him four weeks right during Advent to go to Lubeck.  Of course, he has asked our cousin, Johann Ernst to substitute for him here at the Neukirche, so the music there will go on as usual.  JS tells me he is going to walk the 200 miles to hear the great Buxtehude and his Advent Abendmusik concerts.

Finally, just when I had nearly given up hope and had started thinking the rumor was true that Johann was going to marry Herr Buxtehude’s old daughter, Anna Margareta, so he could get the organist position at Lubeck, he has returned.  Did you realize he had been gone sixteen long weeks from his position at the Neukirche?  Let me tell you, the authorities knew just how long Johann Sebastian had been gone and they are mad.  They have argued and argued with JS but he is not apologizing for his behavior and the length of his absence.  And really why should he, our cousin Johann Ernst filled in quite nicely at the Neukirche while he was gone.

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

Was that JS Bach who drew his sword?

(Barbara Katharina Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s second cousin and elder sister of Maria Barbara Bach describes life in Arnstadt.)

Bach sculpture by Bernd Gobel in Arnstadt

Maria Barbara, have you heard? Johann Sebastian was just in a fight. I happened to be walking down the street near the Neukirche when this brawl erupted and that awful bassoonist Gegenbach and our dear JS had come to blows. I think our cousin Johann got the best of that little bassoon player, though, as Johann drew his sword and just cut to tatters Gegenbach’s clothing! I was there! I saw it! And more than that, I am going to testify to the city authorities that the fight was not Johann Sebastian’s fault! Poor Johann Sebastian is just so bothered by those awful no-count untalented boys at that school. It is too bad he can’t just compose his beautiful organ music and be left alone.

The organ music dear Johann is composing now is so interesting. He tells me a wonderful composer named Georg Bohm that he met while he lived in Luneburg influenced him greatly. He just loves to compose variations on our wonderful hymns. Why sometimes just to be different, he puts the melody in the pedal in many of the pieces he is composing right now. He really is a genius that cousin of mine.

(This anecdote is one of a dozen vignettes from the organ and media event, “Bach and Sons” performed by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.

My brother-in-law, Johann Sebastian, is off to Luneburg

(JS Bach’s sister-in-law tells of the young Johann Sebastian Bach’s move to Luneburg.) 

Herr Herder, the schoolmaster here in Ohrdruf, has suggested that Johann Sebastian and his friend Georg Erdmann go together to Luneburg to sing and study at St. Michael’s School.  In fact, he is sure the boys can get scholarships because they are such fine singers and musicians.  The only problem is that Luneburg is so far away, nearly 200 miles, and they would have to walk.  We will see what plans can be made.

We just got word that Johann Sebastian is doing wonderfully in Luneburg.  He loves all the music at the church and he is doing well at school as usual.  He tells us there is an incredible music library with over 1700 titles by 175 different composers in Luneburg.  My husband would really love to get to Luneburg to see this music, but he is so busy here.

Johann Sebastian is also doing well financially.  He has the scholarship of course, but he is also earning a living as a singer at weddings and funerals and we hear he is even performing as a street musician.  We were told that Johann Sebastian has also made the acquaintance of some famous organists who play in and around Luneburg, a Herr Bohm and a Herr Reinken.  I think Johann took some of the music he composed while he lived with us to Luneburg and it would not surprise me if he played one of those pieces for those great masters.  I hope he will play his arrangement of “Von Himmel Hoch.”

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

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: