The organ performance degree provides training in both performance and in teaching. The degree holder is qualified to offer private organ instruction–a service demanded in every community. The degree offers assurance to prospective students that the teacher has gained sufficient knowledge and experience in organ to provide quality instruction.
The organ performance degree holder has a large pool of potential organ students in most communities. The large numbers of young people who study the piano gain note-reading fluency and other fundamental musical skills needed in organ playing. Young musicians are fascinated by the versatility and power of the organ, and the opportunity to broaden their musical experience through organ study is attractive to many of them. The more experienced pianists and organists welcome the insight and the energy that a new organ graduate has to offer. An organist willing to offer recitals, seminars, and other musical services may earn the respect and trust of the musical public, resulting in dedicated private students.
One who develops performance and teaching skills in both piano and organ will find an even larger pool of potential students. The B.M. with a dual emphasis in organ and piano is an excellent degree choice for one whose career goals center around private teaching.
Some opportunities exist for teaching at the college and university levels. Competition for these positions is keen, but those who continue organ study to the master’s and doctoral levels find part- or full-time teaching positions especially rewarding. The B.M. and M.M. offer excellent training and opportunities in performance and teaching, in preparation for the advanced graduate work required to qualify for these positions.
Many churches require an organist, usually on a part-time basis. One may find great musical satisfaction as well as steady income in such work.
Community- and school-sponsored musical organizations occasionally require the services of an organist as an accompanist. While these opportunities rarely provide regular income, the organist who satisfies will be re-invited as needs arise. Excellent opportunities for experience in choir and solo accompaniment exist at BYU, providing fine preparation for one interested in work as an accompanist or church organist.
For all of these income and career opportunities, organists are favored who not only hold degrees, but who work well and pleasantly with people, who demand excellence of their own work, and who are versatile in their skills. All of these important qualities are encouraged at BYU as an integral part of the organ performance degree programs.