Dr. Jeannine Jordan, Concert Organist

Posts tagged ‘organ students’

Three questions – a study technique


Three questions per lesson?

Preparing your three questions is a great practice tool.

To create three questions you must be:

 engaged in your practice,

curious about your music, and

ready to make new discoveries.

Make creating three questions for each lesson 

new practice habit in 2019!

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist, has a large organ studio in Hillsboro and Lincoln City, Oregon. Contact her at jeannine@promotionmusic.org about organ lessons. She and her husband, David Jordan, media artist of Pro-Motion Music are the creators and presenters of the dramatic story-driven organ and multimedia concert experiences, From Sea to Shining Sea, Bach and Sons, and Around the World in 80 Minutes.  #DrJeannineJordan  #OrganAndMultimediaConcert

How To Stay the Course

                                        ”Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.

Talent will not;  nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not;  unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not;  the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

–Calvin Coolidge

How to Stay the Course to achieve your musical goals and dreams:

  • Renew your vision of what you are working to accomplish regularly.  My students are encouraged to set and put in writing a new goal for their organ study three times/year: at the beginning of our fall, winter/spring, and summer organ lesson sessions.
  • Do something every single day to move in the direction of your desired achievement or goal.  As an organist, practice of course is of utmost importance.  But, what about those days when one cannot get to an instrument?  Listen to recordings, read about composers, peruse new music, talk to colleagues.
  • If you find yourself drifting away from your course, analyze what is going on.  Maybe the goal is too unwieldy, maybe the goal is too easily achieved, maybe you need to tweak the direction of the goal.  Analyze and regroup, but don’t stop your forward momentum.
  • Involve a friend or network in helping you achieve your goals.  The students in my organ studio are a cohort of individuals who actively support each other through email communication and several group meetings a year to share performances and ideas.
  • When you fail – and we all do – place yourself gently back on the path.  Redefine your goal and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your teacher, your family, and supportive colleagues.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist


What’s In A Title?

A wealth of information about a piece of music can be gleaned from examining the title of the piece, such as:

  •         The form – Do you know the difference between a fugue and toccata?
  •         Whether the piece is hymn based – Have you read the text to Amazing Grace?
    Did you know that a word in capital letters indicates the name of the tune on which the piece is based?
  •           The mood – What moods do the words Fanfare or meditation evoke?
  •          Its use as service music – Can a piece titled Prelude be used in other parts of a worship service?
  •          The tempo – How fast is allegro?  How slow is lento?
  •          Registration suggestions – How do I create a tierce en taille registration?

Where can one find the answers to these questions?

I.  A Music Dictionary  

A music dictionary should be something you carry with you in your music bag and use at every practice session.  You will be amazed at how much you will learn by looking up one word at every practice session.

Google “music dictionary” online or visit any music store and you’ll find a music dictionary to purchase to fit your needs.

For all of you iPad type device users, the Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary is quite the resource.  It is found at http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/

II.  A Hymnal

A hymnal should also be found in your music bag.  It is an invaulable resource for hymn texts and tunes.

A superb online resource for finding hymn texts and tunes is http://www.hymnary.org

III.  An Organ Registration Resource

Google search on the web still amazes me!  Want to know about tierce en taille?  Google the term and you’ll find videos, definitions, and resources galore.

Also check out http://www.organstops.org to learn more about the Tierce or Trompette stop.

For a resource book to carry with you or at least have handy in the organ bench, look for the Dictionary of Pipe Organ Stops by Stevens Irwin.

It is amazing how much information the
title of a piece imparts to the curious student of the organ.
So, don’t foget to start

“at the top”

to become a creative and informed performer. 

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, instructor and concert organist

The WOW Performance

Several times a year a copy of The Young Organist E-Newsletter appears in my Inbox.  This publication compiled and edited by Godelieve Ghavalas  for the Organ Music Society of Sydney explores various topics relevant to the young organist.  To date, I have found the lively discourse of ideas apropos not only to youth but to organists of any age.

The focus of Ms. Godelieve’s newsletter last month was programming.  Various concert organists, church musicians, and concert goers weighed in on the subject of creating a program that is interesting for an audience.  The various writers commented sharing ideas that included:

  •  the music that should be part of a successful program
  • whether there should be written or verbal program notes
  • the pros and cons of using live camera feed projection to make the organist visible to the audience
  •  reasons for including other instrumentalists or singers and in general
  • shared a wealth of information.

However, a one sentence comment by a teenage organ student put a point on the discussion.  His comment:  “It doesn’t matter what the piece of music is, which organ it is or what the program is, other instruments included or not, the piece of music must have that “WOW” factor and the player must be aware of this and know how to share it with the audience.”

Let’s all take this young organist’s advice and look for and not miss sharing the “WOW” factor with our audiences, our church congregations, our students, and ourselves. What a great project!

To read my interview with Ms. Ghavalas published in Pro-Motion Music’s E-Newsletter, click here. 

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