Organ School

Following a rather early half term start, Mummy and I spent a lovely day in Lyme Regis. Sadly, we didn’t get to see much of the town or the sea, but we did spend a full day inside their rather lovely church, St Michael the Archangel.

Six children and a group of 20 or so adults attended Organ School. The adults were on a 3 day residential and whilst they were away sampling the delights of various other organs in the area, including Exeter Cathedral, the children had a day learning from two fine organists, Philip Scriven and Ian Curror.


The day started with a short talk by another organist, David Bruce-Payne, who in fact judged me in the Eisteddfod last year and remembered what he had said was outstanding playing. He talked about dealing with nerves and how to beat them – practice (obviously; know your piece better than it knows you (as in squash the gremlins telling you that you can’t do it when you can), breathe; copy pages (make them bigger if need be) and stick them together; know your environment; record yourself playing and listen back ; and more.

We were then told organ,in the church, which was installed a few years ago at the cost of £300,000. The tutor explained how  it works and then  Philip played the Animal Parade by Ian Farrington. It’s the most complicated of pieces and Philip was very humble taking his applause. You can select extracts by following this link to the composer’s page

The adults left and the children, one by one, took a turn at playing their pieces. Here are my two sessions

I think I was the youngest person there. I was quite scared to start with but I have came away with useful skills and comments, along with the knowledge I should always have a tape measure in my bag so that I can get the organ stool to the right height for me to play and that I need those gold organ shoes to arrive!

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