Organ Playing: How to Prepare a Piece for Public Performance

If you have an organ composition that you love and would like to be ready for public performance such as a church service, an organ recital or just informal gathering of friends and family, you have to know how to practice it efficiently and effectively. If you’re interested to know my recommendations, please read on to find out.

Before practicing your organ piece you have to decide whether you will be playing it from music score or from memory at that public performance. Some people like challenges, like playing from memory in public. Some people are afraid of playing in public from memory and get a high degree of performance anxiety. They are afraid of losing their memory in technically challenging places.

So you have to decide for yourself whether you will be playing a piece from memory or from the score. Keeping that in mind, I still recommend you memorize it. It doesn’t mean you have to perform it from memory in public but the memorization process will be for your own benefit and fluency of this piece.

So how do you memorize an organ piece? Although there are at least several music memorization systems, I like the following one.

Subdivide your piece into fragments of four measures and memorize each individual measure in that fragment. This usually takes about 15 minutes of practice. The way you do this is as follows.

Play measure one five times from the score and five times without the score. Do the same for measures two, three, and four. After that memorize two measures at a time: one and two, two and three, and three and four.

The next step would be to practice three measures at a time: one, two, three and two, three, four. Finally, you can memorize all four measures the same way. Again, play five times from the score and five times without looking at the score.

Can you see where I’m going with this method?

The next step would be to memorize the next fragment. Do this for each individual fragment of your piece. After you reach the end of the piece, you have to go back and memorize two fragments in the row.

That will be eight measures. Later you will be playing four fragments combined and so on. With every step you will make your fragments longer and longer. Remember that at the beginning of each practice session you have to repeat previously mastered material before learning something new.

Try to apply these tips for memorization in your practice and you will be ready for public performance of your organ piece.

Great Solutions For The Nursery School Nativity Play – Some Simple Tips From Teachers

Which way to turn? The struggle for good quality nursery school nativity plays

“We are fed up with boring play scripts”, say early years teachers in nurseries, pre-schools and primaries across the UK. They are faced every year with the difficulty, stress and turmoil of staging an original Christmas nativity play. Teachers in Early Years settings in particular comment: “there is not enough out there to suit early years teachers because most nativity plays are too complicated for our young performers.” But help is here!

Stress verses stardom – what do real teachers think?

Teachers in northeast England have quoted the following as major issues: impossible scripts, boring stories, the search for costumes, lack of staff help and forgetful little learners. All these factors combine to make this a most stressful pursuit for teachers in pre-schools and nurseries, who are keen to show off their children’s talents to an eager audience of parents and friends. When asked about possible solutions, teachers offered the following advice. “We should turn to the most innovative companies for music education resources, such as early years nativity plays and musicals.” Also, “don’t waste time on the old favourites, but look to new companies offering more original content.” “We need more tips for the staging of our Christmas plays”.

Teachers’ tips and tricks at Christmas time

Most teachers agree that a major difficulty lies in the staging of a successful Christmas play. Teachers in the southeast agreed that “a well written nativity play from an established and recommended company is best.” “If one of your teachers can lead the playscript by taking on a major narrator role, then this can help smooth the path for children who are trying eagerly to remember the script as well as the songs.” Luckily, one company has taken this approach in response to teachers comments.

Whay have teachers have recommended Music for Schools for the best musical nativity play for early years?

“We want innovation”. “We want simplicity”. “We want an easy time of it.” Fortunately, for teachers the expertise of music education writers like Music for Schools Ltd helps stressed teachers to regain control and to enjoy their celebration of this special and magical time of year. Music for Schools has captured the interest and enthusiasm of early years teachers with such musical nativity plays as ‘An Easy Cheesy Nativity’. This original musical nativity play really is easy-to-stage and presents simple, catchy songs. Also the script is cleverly led by your own teacher-narrator, helping those young performers to present a smooth performance with minimal lapses in memory or succumbing to nerves.

Full of fun – a Christmas nativity celebration for pre-school, nursery and reception children

This fun, one-act musical nativity is popular with teachers because it is very easy to stage and cleverly uses a main teacher-narrator to guide the young performers through the script and story onstage. Catchy and easy songs are used to tell an original story about the farm animals near Bethlehem, who arrive at the home of the mice (the stable) hoping to catch a glimpse of baby Jesus.

Teachers think that Music for schools regains Christmas musical magic and enjoyment for early years

Teachers agree that, at this time of year, performing school musical productions for Christmas now has the certainty of enjoyment for audiences of parents and friends, whilst teachers can pursue their educational goals and experiences for their early learners through fun musical nativity plays. Make sure, therefore, that you leave it to the experts – relying on Music for Schools.

Royalty Free music resources are favoured by teachers

Many teachers have commented on the current situation regarding performance licensing, however, help is at hand from Music for Schools Limited which also provides their early years and primary school resources with a free royalty license, enabling teachers to achieve value for money with a free performance license offered to UK schools and nurseries within the purchase price.

Music for Schools offers the right solution for early years nativity teachers at Christmas time

Music for Schools has found the solution for early years teachers by presenting well written, simple scripts, with catchy tunes. These are favoured above all else by teachers in schools looking to present a good Christmas early years nativity musical play for their children and audience. I hope these tips will be useful for you all.

Music to Medicate Unemployment

My sister just lost her job at a large well-known corporation. She had been there for more than a decade which means it was a really good position for her. When the company announced the cut-backs, due to the economy, she was immediately concerned about her position. However, with friends in high positions she figured her career was safe. Wrong!

During the next few weeks the company executives assured them that there was no reason to panic. Even though the company seemed secure for the moment she still decided to move into a less expensive apartment, in the same apartment complex, cut expenses like cable, landline phone, premium channels, DVR rental and other luxuries. This was her initial effort to save as much income as possible while searching for another position. The inevitable happened. Unemployed!

The endless search for another position started in an already crowded market of unemployed financial specialists. My sister and her former coworkers decided to start meeting to discuss their lingering unemployment, applying for unemployment insurance, explore stress management options, and to explore other avenues to become employed again.

After many weeks of meeting at their homes, they decided to treat themselves by meeting at a popular restaurant. While at the meeting it was suggested they go to a well-known spa to get a facial. Most of the women hesitated at spending extra money until they were told the spa had a special for certain women who are trying to keep themselves together during a rough patch, like being unemployed. The spa offered a buy one get one free facial.

That evening my sister arrived home with a more hopeful attitude plus she looked and felt like a million dollars. The trip to the spa gave her a more positive attitude about the job market, too. She told me in glowing details how much the music relaxed her. She forgot all about her problems like paying rent, bills etc. She raved about the conversation they had after the spa and how much the experience was enhanced by the type of music playing in the background.

Since the beginning of time music has been known to have a therapeutic effect on the soul and mind. In one of his famous quotes Plato said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” Music gives people a sense of belonging and to have something to identify with. It is a creative expression of what is going on inside of an individual.

Music has the power to evoke positive memories, transforming the present negative energy into healing. My sister and her friends were rejuvenated while listening to the music at the spa. They did not spend much money to keep up their appearances to continue interviewing for new jobs. The most beneficial part of the visit was the discovery of listening to smoothing music which made them relax.

What happened with my sister and her former coworkers was really amazing. All of them decided to make a point to listen to smoothing music every day. Some of them have started learning how to play an instrument so they can make their own music! That one experience involving music relaxed their minds and conquered the stress of looking for new positions. It was an amazing accomplishment that left all of them speechless. Their search for new positions is still a priority but it is approached with a more relax and positive mind.

Music can be a smoothing and inexpensive medicine to relieve unemployment stress. Being unemployed can be one of the most stressful situations anyone can go through. The constant effort to find another channel of income can be nerve racking. Then add the day to day struggle of paying bills, raising children, and all involved work of keeping body and family together can be difficult to manage.

Some experts believe the rhythm or the beat of certain music has a calming effect on the mind even though the listener may not be conscious about it. The experts further suggest this rhythm could be our mother’s heartbeat when we were in the womb. During that time it was a safe and protective place to be. The experience of rhythms later as an adult takes us back to the time in the womb.

Some experts suggest listening to or playing certain types of music can alleviate such illnesses as stress and high blood pressure. To get started using music as a medicine find the kind of music you feel comfortable listening to. Listening to relaxing type music does not necessarily deal with stress. It is the affect the music has on the listener. Be sure to listen to smoothing music that is comfortable and puts you at ease.

In my own experiences, the smoothing power of music has been a constant companion during periods of sorrow. Music is something that can never be taken away from the listener. Once a tune is in the mind it can be played over and over again no matter where we are or what we are doing. It is a powerful natural medicine that the brain records and store in our memory so it can be recalled and enjoyed.

Music is the type of medicine anyone can afford. The medicine can be taken at any time of the day and without the use of needles. All you have to do to take this healing medicine is sit back and relax. The music will do the rest.

The Rewards of Playing an Acoustic Electric Guitar

I’ve been playing acoustic guitar for several years now, but it was just recently that I finally purchased an acoustic electric guitar. At the beginning of my guitar-playing days, I was just playing for fun, and so I didn’t really need an acoustic electric guitar. Essentially, a normal acoustic and an electric acoustic guitar are almost exactly the same, except for one very significant difference: the electric one contains a built-in pickup. This means that you do not need to insert an additional pickup to the guitar to amplify it. You merely plug it in, and you’re ready to play.

When you are just playing by yourself, you have no need for an acoustic electric guitar. Because unless you’re playing with a band, amplifying is probably not your biggest need. Normal acoustic guitars generate enough volume on their own, and don’t require the amplification level an acoustic electric guitar amplification produces.

An acoustic electric guitar does have several advantages over a normal acoustic with an added pickup. To start with, when playing the electric guitar the pickup is always with you. There is no need to drag it around, and no concern about the pickup falling out. In addition, acoustic electric guitars are likely to include superior quality pickups, and these pickups will be well mounted. Pickups added for a non-electric acoustic guitar are difficult to position to get a great quality of sound.

One of the best features of a new acoustic electric guitar, though, is the built-in controls included with it. There is really no easy way to control the volume of a normal acoustic guitar that’s been amplified. But an acoustic electric guitar has volume controls built into the guitar itself. This is such a great feature. If your guitar volume level doesn’t sound the best to you, then rather than going over to the amp and tinkering with it, you can instead adjust the volume on the side of your guitar. If you are playing a gig, this can be a big timesaver (not to mention it looks more professional to the audience).

An acoustic electric guitar can help evoke the confidence and desire one needs to play the guitar with other people. Although it takes more than a great guitar to play well, having an acoustic electric guitar represents a big step in that direction.