I met a new student yesterday, and it confirmed for me why I teach organ. I could absolutely see “the lights come on” when I had her hold down a chord and I pulled the stops one by one until she was playing on full organ. It’s all about the “wow” factor — when you play on an instrument like the Beckerath organ, you get a tremendous sense of power and all you can say is “WOW!”
I told her mother, though, that my goal is not to create a professional musician, yet it seems that organists are still in demand despite changing worship styles. People still want organ music for weddings and funerals, and churches still need organists for services. For a teenager, it beats working at McDonald’s!
If you remember from a previous post, in 2006 my husband Carl played a 40th reunion concert with a violinist, Yuko Honda, he met in college. Check out my post here. Yuko’s violin teaching was her life, and at her funeral, an anonymous poem was printed in the program. I’ve adapted it here to pertain to the organ:
This is why I teach music.
Not because I expect you to major in music or become a concert organist
Not because I expect you to sing or play all your life
Not so you can relax
Not so you can have fun
But, so you will be human
So you will recognize beauty
So you will be sensitive
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So you will have something to cling to
So you will have more love, compassion, gentleness, good
—in short, more life.