Rochester Chapter members have the opportunity to coach with teachers in our area as part of the Lesson Series. The cost to participate in the series as a whole is $50 if you are going to play, $25 to audit; members may choose to do either. Please be in touch with Carol Cowan, organizer of this series, if you would like to participate.
Lesson Series Testimonials
from Carol Cowan, series organizer:
I have been in charge of the lesson series for some 15-20 years now. My, how time flies.
I just wanted to tell you little bit about the series to encourage more people to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
We have the good fortune to study with three very qualified and highly educated teachers in our field. The price is extremely low ($50.00 for the entire series) and has not risen since I have been the series organizer.
A very loyal group of us have been regularly playing for each other and our master teachers. Our teachers take us “wherever we are” and give us pointers or help with any literature we are working on. Our teachers are very sensitive to helping us with the “big picture” and don’t get us “bogged down” with too many details. They are also kind, understanding and give many useful tips that help make our jobs easier. Some of our lessons are “themed” such as: bring music for weddings, funerals, Bach’s Orgelbuchlein, romantic music, choir anthems you are accompanying, etc. Many of us have the same organ collections and/or volumes and often times we will hear someone play something that we don’t know in music we already have. It has been fun to listen to others play and widen my own repertoire by learning new pieces. Also, a deadline helps me to challenge myself and learn new music that I would otherwise put off until “I had more time.”
Our teachers rotate from year to year and we are also lucky enough to be able to play the new organs in town.
I have enjoyed being a part of this group and encourage others to give us a try. Auditing is an option for anyone not sure they want to play but still want to check us out.
from Trixie Meteyer, participant:
I just want to make a “plug” for the lesson series Carol lines up each year. I find the lessons very helpful, especially now I am not taking lessons on regular schedule. It is a discipline to play for other organists and have an experienced teacher give you hints. When we only play for our own church and rarely hear other organists it is easy to get sloppy! Also, emphasize that the atmosphere at AGO lessons is charitable and encouraging!! I hope the series can continue and more people will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
from Margaret-Anne Milne, participant:
The lesson series is a fun to share favorite pieces with all and to get helpful suggestions from the Masters. It has been helpful for me in that it has provided a discipline (most of the time!) to get a piece up to snuff and thereby add a new piece to my repertoire. I do think it’s important to stress that it’s a sharing class and players shouldn’t feel stressed about a perfect performance. I know I have brought several pieces that needed work and have asked for help.
I am certainly hoping that we can continue, but it is important that we have at least a core group who regularly commit. That makes it more valuable for everyone!