About the Workshops

Greetings:

Thank you for expressing your interest in LDS organist training through the BYU Organ Department! Here is some information to help you determine what form of assistance might best fit your situation. Although the workshops described below are conducted by BYU, they are endorsed by the leaders of the General Music Committee of the LDS Church.

FOR MULTIPLE STAKES
Multi-Stake Organ Workshops are designed to offer training to pianists interested in learning to play the organ, and to organists at every level of experience. Normally it consists of a single 4- or 5-hour organ workshop together with a recital and hymn-sing, scheduled about six months in advance. The workshop is customized to meet the needs of your area, including up to three sessions every hour on topics such as:

  • Introducing the Organ! A Tour of the King of Instruments
  • On the Bench: Things YOU Can Do On the Organ TODAY!
  • Choosing Stops to Fit the Occasion
  • Inspiring Hymn Playing
  • Effective Prelude and Postlude
  • Teaching LDS Organists
  • Developing Your Pedal Technique
  • Coping with Challenging Pedal Parts
  • Making the Most of Your Practice Time
  • Learning Organ on Your Own
  • Free (optional) mini organ lessons

NEW: There is now a special track of classes for youth and young adults!

The goal: to inspire musicians young and old to better serve the Lord through continued organ training. Because this workshop is a one-time event, it will include a thorough explanation of ways to continue organ training, and a challenge to find the way that best meets individual needs as soon as possible. Instructors will include BYU faculty and graduate student instructor(s), along with well-qualified local organists. No instructor fees are paid by the Stake(s). Expenses are funded through the BYU School of Music “down to the last donut” by a special account underwritten by a generous donor. Arrangements and preparations are coordinated between the official BYU Liaison and a local coordinator from the Host Stake:

BYU Organ Workshop Administrator provides/arranges:

  • Website set-up for registering participants
  • Name tags and folders for attendees
  • Instructor airfare, meals, and lodging
  • Handouts for attendees
  • Publicity flyers
  • Hymn Sing/Organ Concert programs
  • Loaner organs (BYU will work with a local organ dealer to get two to three loaner organs)

Local Workshop Coordinator arranges: (funded by BYU “down to the last donut”)

  • Meetinghouse reservation and setup
  • Publicity
  • Refreshments after concert (recommended, but optional)
  • Saturday lunch
  • Any bottled water or other refreshments

Of great importance is the approval and support of the Host Stake leadership. This stake would call a Workshop Coordinator, and together they would invite nearby stakes, as deemed appropriate. For the workshop to be a success, much good publicity and many arrangements will be handled by the coordinator. The official BYU Liaison will work with that person in creating a highly effective workshop. A helpful and detailed checklist for the Workshop Coordinator titled “Hosting a BYU Organ Workshop” will be provided.

FOR ONE OR TWO STAKES
Stake Organ Workshops are also available, usually with a local instructor and a BYU instructor. These are smaller in scale than the Multi-Stake Organ Workshops described above, with one or two sessions being taught at a time. However, they can be just as effective in achieving the goal: to inspire musicians young and old to better serve the Lord through continued organ training.

For local instructors who would like to conduct a Stake Organ Workshopon their own, outlines, lesson plans, handouts, and other resources are available.

FOR INDIVIDUALS
Mentored Individual Organ Training is designed to help guide individual organists into the type of training that best meets his/her needs. A BYU mentor is assigned to help devise an effective plan of study. This might include finding a private organ instructor in the area, or identifying one of many tutorials or courses that can assist organists in improving their skills. There is no fee for the services of the mentor.

Individuals may also explore Organ Training Resources Available through BYU<http://organ.byu.edu/TrainingResources.pdf> on their own. Particularly effective for pianists who have no organ training is The New LDS Organist<http://www.organ.byu.edu/newldsorganist/index.htm>, a free set of twelve podcasts and packet to help newly-called organists get started.

FOLLOW UP
If you would like to pursue any of the following with me, please begin by first taking the steps indicated below.

Multi-Stake Organ Workshop. Gain the approval and support of your stake leadership for this large workshop, and list nearby stakes that would be invited to participate.

Stake Organ Workshop. Identify any qualified organists in the stake(s) who could assist in conducting the training, and then gain the approval and support of the stake leadership.

Mentored Individual Organ Training. First explore Organ Training Resources Available through BYU<http://organ.byu.edu/TrainingResources.pdf> on your own. Then, if you have questions or feel that you could use the services of a mentor, contact me.

Best wishes in your continued service!

For questions, comments, or details on bringing an organ workshop to your area, send an email to organworkshops@byu.edu