Organists: Practice Habits?
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 181
    To step away from the liturgy wars for a minute...

    You organists out there, what do your rehearsal habits look like? Do you practice daily? Twice daily? Only when you absolutely have to? Are you on the bench for an hour, or three, or fifteen minutes? Do you practice at home or at the church? On an organ? On a piano? I don't have much of an organist community around me, so I'm curious what others do. I find myself practicing on my home instrument for 45 minutes to an hour daily during the slow seasons, and an hour to maybe even two a day during prep for Christmas, Easter, etc. when I'm preparing more involved pieces at a greater number. I usually take Saturday off from practice, and often Friday as well since I also work a day job. I haven't a clue if this is normative or not! What are your habits?

  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,215
    I am a fairly good sight-reader, so that definitely helps me keep the practice time down. I would honestly say, at this point in my career, I spend approximately 15 minutes per week preparing hymns, postlude, prelude, interludes. This is much less time than I used to practice and it is much less time than I would require if I were playing more involved repertoire, but you get what you get at this point.
  • I'm not a full time church musician so it doesn't work out for me to practice daily. I try to go to the church once or twice a week and will spend 2-2.5 hours practicing. I will also put some time in at home learning manual parts on the piano. Most of my practice is learning repertoire, and about 15 minutes is spent learning hymns (and that is often figuring out registrations).
    Thanked by 1trentonjconn
  • henry
    Posts: 220
    I practice scales on the piano daily and occasionally a piano piece that I enjoy. After piano, I practice the organ for up to an hour each day: preludes, postludes, hymns, new pieces that I'd like to learn.
    Thanked by 1trentonjconn
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    Practice? We don't need no stinking practice. We're good!
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 181
    Man y'all make me feel like I practice way too much.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • I'm an undergrad organ student so I try to practice 3 hours per day, split up so that I don't overwork myself. The cathedral organist practices a similar amount and prepares a 15 minute prelude and concert-level postlude every week. It's quite a sight to see.
    Thanked by 1trentonjconn
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    It depends on the work you are doing. Since I don't play regularly in retirement, I practice when I feel like it. When I did play regularly, I ran through the material I already knew and put my time on the new pieces I didn't know so well. A special event or concert put things into high gear and I practiced more. It depends.