Frequently Asked Questions

All Attendees

Classes are designed for organists at a range of levels or on certain levels of training. Participants should place themselves into one of the levels listed at the beginning of the Class Descriptions. Beginning organists are encouraged to attend those classes marked with an asterisk (*) on the Daily Schedule. If you are unsure of your level, please read carefully the What to Bring instructions.

  1. Bring an LDS hymnbook or your cell phone or tablet with the hymnbook app for the Hymn Sing and for classes.
  2. Review the class descriptions carefully before arriving so you know what other items to bring.
  3. Bring a notebook to capture all of the good information and take notes shared by the teachers. Staff paper and Post-it notes may also be helpful.
  4. Consider purchasing organ shoes.
  5. Bring a portable lunch to eat between classes (the HFAC has some seating areas). It will let you to enjoy the lunchtime sessions or take a quick lunch break instead of braving the crowds in the cafeterias and missing a workshop class.
  6. Bring some extra money and plan your schedule so you can visit the display area. The BYU Store is also located in the Wilkinson Student Center close by.

One 50-minute virtual private lesson ($60) with a workshop instructor is available during the workshop week. Registration, scheduling, and payment for private lessons will become available on Monday June 21st on our private lessons page. These lessons are only available to those 18 years of age and above.

The BYU Organ Workshop is geared towards adults 18 and over. We recommend that younger organists register for the Young Musicians’ SummerFestival and Institute. This is a program for instrumentalists and vocalists ages 14–18. Participants are able to be with their own age group and enjoy top-notch musical instruction (including on the organ—small-group instruction), along with evening social events with their peers.

BYU Independent Study offers six levels of courses (MUSIC 399R, sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (credit); and Music 71-76 (noncredit) designed to provide motivation for organists to improve their skills by working toward specific goals. The courses emphasize the following skills: organ technique, organ literature, hymn playing, registration, music theory, sight-reading, transposition, and choir accompaniment.

After choosing your level, you have up to one year from the time of enrollment to pass the assignments and exams. You will progress through the course requirements with the help of a qualified organ instructor (finding the instructor and paying the instructor’s fees are your responsibilities). Upon passing one level, you may enroll for the next level. The cost for the credit courses is $398-$995, and for the non-credit courses is $150. Music 71 and 72 are also offered as free courses.

Assignments are graded either by the BYU instructor assigned to your course or by computer. The exams are of two types: (1) written exams on theory, registration, etc., and (2) played assignments with a member of the BYU organ faculty, or with an approved evaluator. Helpful feedback is provided for all assignments and exams.

We are always happy to receive input for improvement. We read every submission and will implement those ideas that would improve the workshop and are feasible. You can email organ@byu.edu with your comments. Also, an online evaluation will be emailed to you for your feedback following the workshop.

Please email your request to organ@byu.edu. Make sure you state your name and what options you were registered for. After the deadline, each situation will be considered individually, depending on the case and the reason for the refund request.

In-person

Because the BYU Organ Workshop is well attended and there are other conferences and workshops happening at the same time, the BYU Traffic Office will not be granting permits to park directly adjacent to the Harris Fine Arts Center. Additionally, summer term at BYU is still in session, employees are still working, and parking in central campus is limited. Parking for the 2019 program is in Lots 2A and 2V, near the Museum of Art (MOA). Free parking is also available in Lot 20, west of the BYU Conference Center. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from the Conference Center parking lot to the Harris Fine Arts Center. For the evening events you may park in Lot 2 east of the Museum of Art.

During Supervised Practice, you may practice on any of the 12 digital organs in the organ lab. This is an excellent time for hands-on training. You might also consider bringing a copy of the stoplist of your organ to Supervised Practice and Study to get a few registration tips from the instructor. Four of the organs are reserved for these ten-minute supervised practice sessions. The other eight organs are open for practice or online study without supervision on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no extra cost for this.

Private Organ Instruction sessions are one-on-one organ lessons with your choice of both instructor and organ—an excellent opportunity to receive help in hymn playing, organ pieces, BYU Independent Study organ course requirements, or any area of organ performance. Play hymns and/or organ repertoire that you have prepared for the instructor, who will comment on your preparation and provide guidance for further study. You must preregister for this. There are 50-minute appointments ($60) available with the instructor on the instrument of your choice (space limited). Limited practice time at no charge and choice of instruments are available throughout the workshop.

Many classes are hands-on and require full attention. Infants and young children will not be admitted to any workshop sessions.

A list of eating areas will be included in the packet you receive at check-in (Monday, noon until 5:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. on). There are also vending machines and a microwave in the basement of the Harris Fine Arts Center.

We plan on having a display room with items that can be purchased during the workshop. Many of the offerings are items that are commonly needed in the Independent Study Organ Courses and during the workshop. Best In Music stocks most of the titles needed during the BYU Organ Workshop. They are prepared to fill orders quickly, charging actual shipping and no handling charges. Those in the Utah County areas are welcome to visit their stores to shop in person or select free in-store pick up from their website.

You will be notified when sign-ups for scheduled practice (no charge) becomes available.

Online

To make the most of some classes, try to arrange to be near an organ. Having access to a church organ, a home organ, or even a keyboard or piano during those classes will help you internalize what is being taught.