“Teaching Little Fingers to Play the Organ” was the topic of my workshop this afternoon here at the Bakersfield AGO convention and I just about had heart failure! I brought my iPad (really, Carl’s!) all the cables I thought I needed, and an Apple TV so that I could show my Keynote presentation wirelessly. Alas, I neglected to bring the Apple TV remote so I could configure the iPad and the Apple TV to talk to one another!
“But it worked at home!” It was an emergency trip to buy an adapter cable at the local Apple Store which saved the day and I was then able to show my video after all.
Of course, I began the presentation with an explanation that I am “The Other Katherine Crosier,” and that “The Real Catharine Crozier” has gone on to her heavenly reward.
The conventional wisdom is that children should be able to play the 2- and 3-part inventions of Bach on the piano first, or at the very least, be tall enough and have long enough legs to reach the pedals. But guess what! Bach did not play the piano first!
I told them about my own story — how my mother started me with piano lessons at age four. In first grade I had a new piano teacher in the person of Mrs. Mae Driver, but since I discovered at an early age that I had perfect pitch, I never practiced and in fact sightread my lessons. Anyway, my piano teacher never assigned me any classic piano pieces. People are usually quite stunned to find out that I do not play any standard piano pieces, in spite of the fact that I can play most of the organ works of Bach, plus other repertoire of Franck, Mendelssohn, Reger, Dupré, Alain, Messiaen, and so forth.
The main books I use are the “Discover the Basics,” “Discover the Organ,” and “First Organ Book,” all edited by Wayne Leupold. I explained to the workshop participants a little about my teaching techniques and played videos of my students in various stages of their development. Of course I told them about Joey Fala and his journey to becoming a concert organist — and that he will be competing in the AGO/Quimby Regional Competition for Young Organists next week in Hartford, CT.
Surprisingly, there were lots of questions and we had to rush to make the next bus taking us back to the hotel. And I had been afraid that my presentation wasn’t long enough! A number of people came up to me to tell me how appreciative they were to hear my presentation, and how helpful it was to them.
Tonight we had a convention banquet at a local restaurant, and I was privileged to sit next to the Regional winner, Chinar Merjanian. Her mom had come to my workshop, and I enjoyed visiting with them both.