Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘organ instruction’

How Will You Find Your Day?

“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.” J.A. Wheeler, Physicist

Modifying the idea author James Hugh Drury had to expand Wheeler’s thought, I’ve now taken the liberty to delve into this quote from a musical perspective.  It has yielded some interesting thoughts.

“If you haven’t found something surprising in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something wondrous in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something heartbreaking in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something to celebrate in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something worth grieving over in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something blessed in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

“If you haven’t found something amazing in a piece of music you are practicing, performing, listening to, or teaching during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”

The implication here is that we must pay attention to the everything in each piece of music being practiced, performed, listened to, or taught.  We must actively engage in the work of making music as a participant, not as a spectator. We must bring all our senses into play in each encounter and every circumstance.

How will you find your day, this day filled with music?

What will surprise you?

What will make your heart beat faster with wonder?

Make it more than the chronology of 24 hours of music-making.

Let it be and become a day filled with significance, a day filled joy, wonder, and discovery.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

Act Like You Are Being Watched!

You act like you’re being watched. You make sure your integrity is passed along to future generations through your example.

As musicians we are always being watched or listened to in one way or another. Barbara Killinger in her book, Integrity, presents advice for musicians quoting a song by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine from their insightful musical, Into the Woods:

“Careful of the things you say,
Children (students, congregations, audiences, colleagues) will listen.

Careful of the things you do,
Children (students, congregations, audiences, colleagues) will see
And learn.

Children (students, congregations, choirs, audiences, colleagues) will look to you
For which way to turn,
To learn what to be.

Careful before you say,
‘Listen to me.’
Children (students, congregations, audiences, colleagues) will listen.”

Dr. Jeannine Jordan,  teacher, church musician, and concert organist

As A Musician, Do You Care About the Greater Good?

You care about the greater good. You make decisions that will benefit the entire organization.

As a musician, it is sometimes tempting to think first about ourselves, to look inward, and “hole-up” in our practice rooms, music studios, offices, or church sanctuaries.  After all, everything we do and everything we are about requires hours and hours and hours of planning, preparation, and practice before we ever have to or get to interact with another human being.  However, as musicians of integrity, we must have an awareness and a concern for the greater good for those groups of people and organizations with which we are associated.

Caring about the greater good of my hard-working and dedicated group of students means providing community building opportunities such as Play-Ins, recitals, and music-sharing days.

Caring about the greater good of my church’s congregation means working closely with the pastor to plan the music for worship; practicing and preparing the music I will play;  preparing the choir in the music they will sing to lead worship;  and eventually sharing the music that will enhance worshipDr. Jeannine Jordan, organist with David Jordan, media artist

Caring about the great good of my audiences means presenting concerts that will advance the value of music making in society.  It means not only being well prepared to play in an exciting and careful manner, but also being creative and original in my performance presentation.

Caring about the greater good of my musical colleagues means supporting the professionalism of my musical colleagues by listening first and then encouraging a thoughtful interchange of ideas to advance the music profession.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist

 

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.

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