Tomorrow, Saturday, March 7th at 4:00 p.m., I will have two organ students play in the annual Children’s Benefit Concert at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. What is very gratifying is to see how these talented youngsters progress from year to year, and I’m sure this year’s concert will be another unqualified success. In the past, children have performed with song and dance, on violin, cello, drums, flute, organ, and piano.
In looking over my teaching career over these many years, I feel that I have had a fair amount of success with a number of students (think of Joey Fala!) And in spite of all of their too-busy schedules and in spite of my made-up teaching style, somehow they have learned how to play The King of Instruments, as Mozart called the organ.
If you think I have been successful in teaching, it’s not necessarily my method, that’s for sure. In fact, I think with every single student I have to reinvent the wheel, because every student is different. I just call myself a very patient person. Years ago, before I married Carl Crosier, I would spend every Sunday afternoon putting together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle all by myself. Nowadays I have a jigsaw puzzle app on my iPad and I work on 400-piece puzzles every two days, and 64-piece puzzles every day. Teaching organ students is just another version of a jigsaw puzzle that needs solving!
By the way, hearing my students play in front of an audience makes me a lot more nervous than if I played myself!
Tomorrow, you’ll hear that former first-grader (now in tenth grade) perform the “Toccata” from the Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann.
Here’s a performance by Olivier Latry of this work: