When you enroll in Group Organ study at Brigham Young University, you become part of an innovative and highly successful program. Since the installation of the Group Organ studio in 1988, over 2000 pianists, anticipating an eventual opportunity to serve the church as an organist, have learned the basics of organ playing through these courses. It is an excellent way to enhance the quality of your service to the Church through music. At the same time, you learn basic skills needed to begin exploring concert organ music.
“Basic Organ Skills” (Music 115) offers assistance in developing the basic organ playing skills, knowledge, and judgement necessary for one to function confidently and satisfactorily in a worship service. Previous piano experience is necessary, as this class assumes that students can read music and play easier hymns at the piano without difficulty. Those who have little or no piano experience should complete two semesters of Group Piano Instruction (Music 113) to prepare for Basic Organ Skills. Recognizing the wide range of musical backgrounds represented by the students enrolled in each section, the course is designed to teach the same basic skills to everyone, but at the same time to encourage those who are able to move faster into additional and more challenging repertoire.
“Organ Techniques and Literature” (Music 116R) develops further the skills introduced in Basic Organ Skills, and covers more advanced concepts and skills in hymn playing, registration, interpretation, and organ literature. Emphasis is made to encourage the individual to learn at his/her own pace, through the establishment and working out of a “semester plan” that includes hymns, organ literature, and accompaniments. In addition, the tools used by the creative organist to encourage and enhance congregational singing are introduced. Due to the individualization of the course structure, Organ Techniques and Literature may be repeated for credit.
Both group organ courses described above offer a less expensive alternative to private organ study, as there is no fee charged above the normal tuition costs.