BYU Independent Study Organ Courses ("Organ Certification")


Brigham Young University Independent Study offers a variety of organ courses designed to provide motivation and instruction for organists to improve their skills by working toward specific goals. Traditional instruction is offered through books and computer lessons, while performance instruction is coordinated with qualified organ instructors in the vicinity of the student.


These courses are a multi-level, in-depth organ training program created by the BYU organ faculty. Each of the six levels (courses) offers between two and five hours of college credit (fee: $326-$815) and a certificate of completion.  Visit <>.  The six levels begin by teaching basic organ skills to the pianist (Level 1), and end (Level 6) at the point of readiness for the Colleague and Service Playing certificates of the American Guild of Organists.  Visit <>.


Levels 1 and 2 are also available in web-only versions that offer no college credit. The Certificate Track carries a $40 enrollment fee and offers a certificate of completion. The free Self-Study Track does not offer a certificate. Visit <>, and then click Courses > Personal Enrichment Courses > Music > Music 71, etc.


Students, in consultation with their instructors, enroll in the level that best suits their needs. Up to one year is allowed to pass the requirements for that level. Upon passing, students may enroll for the next level. In the Self-Study track of the free Personal Enrichment courses, students may decide to work through only selected topics.


Each level (Levels 1-2, and Levels 3-6) presents two types of instruction: 1) written assignments and exams on organ technique, organ registration, and music theory, and 2) played assignments on specified exercises, organ repertoire, hymn playing, sight-reading, transposition, and accompaniment. The written assignments are graded by computer. Students may pass off the played assignments with an approved evaluator or possibly with a member of the BYU organ faculty. Some may be submitted by video recording.


A student should seek out a private organ instructor who is willing to assist him/her in completing the course requirements. In addition, instruction customized for each level is offered during the BYU Organ Workshop <>. Other instructional materials are available at <>.


For more information, follow the links above, visit the Organ Study at BYU web site <>, or write BYU Independent Study, 120 Morris Center, Provo, UT 84602.

THE BYU ORGAN WORKSHOP (Offered by BYU Conferences and Workshops)


The BYU Organ Workshop offers four days of instruction in organ playing skills.  Up to five classes are scheduled every hour to meet the needs of beginning to advanced organists.  Whether you use your skills in the church service, for teaching, or for your own enjoyment, you will be taught and encouraged by more than a dozen seasoned instructors.


Supervised Practice Sessions (no fee) and Private Instruction ($25-40) provide an opportunity to play hymns or organ pieces for an instructor and receive personalized feedback, instruction, and motivation.  Most organists prepare hymns or organ repertoire pieces from the six Independent Study organ levels (visit the web site for a detailed list of requirements at each level), but any form of organ performance preparation is acceptable.


Return home from this intensive workshop with the seeds of new skills and with the motivation to follow through with organ study throughout the year.  Use this workshop as a springboard for lifelong learning in organ.  If you wish, enroll in a BYU Independent Study organ course (see above) to help you along during the year.  Return the following year and take workshop classes that will prepare you for the next level of study.  The fee is $250-$290.


For more information, visit <>, call 801-422-7692, or write BYU Organ Workshop, 161 HCEB, Provo, UT 84602.



The BYU Young Musicians SummerFestival is a workshop for young instrumentalists and vocalists ages 14–18 who want to improve their musical skills and talents. It is a six-day musical experience with instruction in more than 20 instruments, including voice. Instruction is by School of Music faculty and guest instructors, and is offered at the beginning level for pianists who want to study organ, and also at the intermediate and advanced levels. Several BYU organ majors have began their organ studies with the SummerFestival.


Workshop Package: $440 (includes daily lunch), plus optional food and housing package $235 (housing and all meals). Counselors provide excellent supervision.

For more information, visit <>, call 801-422-7692, or write BYU Young Musicians SummerFestival, 161 HCEB, Provo, UT 84602.

dc 7/13