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Topic Options
#703762 - 08/17/04 01:23 PM cost of organ lessons
Viola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Los Angeles
Hello,

I was just quoted the price of 140-160$ for an hour of an organ lesson in a church, by a professional organist.
This seems to be a lot. What is a typical price range?

Thank you very much,

Viola.

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#703763 - 08/17/04 05:58 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
I sure hope he's good!

--DR LO

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#703764 - 08/18/04 07:55 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
RickG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 947
Loc: Texas
Viola,
That seems very expensive. Could that include giving you time to practice on the pipe organ? I would " shop around". You might try looking on the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Guild of Organists web site. (search Google) They might be someone who can give you some other names. Don't tell them about the expensive one! Play dumb!
Good Luck! I just love to play the organ, even more than the piano! Just don't tell anyone in this forum!! :-)
_________________________
RickG

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#703765 - 08/19/04 11:20 AM Re: cost of organ lessons
Viola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 21
Loc: Los Angeles
Dr Lo and RickG,

Thanks for your replies!
I will look around some more.
Trying the AMG is a great idea! Thank you.

As for the organ, I started learning
less then a year ago. At home we now have a
Gulbransen Premier organ (from around 1960-65 or so), which we supplied with new electronics. Under the keyboards there are MIDI strips, and the pedal works on reed switches. The sound produced is the sound of an English organ (the recording with a program to use was available on-line). So, I just have to learn to play... So far, I was on my own. I am doing excersises from the Gleason book, learned a choral by J.S. Bach, and am learning the first part of the Trio-sonata No. 2 in C minor by Bach (I can consistently do all of the first part with pedal, with no mistakes, at an average speed). The reason that I looked for a teacher is that I want to make sure I am not getting some bad habits which will be hard to get rid of later. The other thing is that my pedalboard is flat and radiating, not to mention that it is only 25 keys. Thus, I am trying to understand how different it is from a regular pedalboard (standardized as prescribed by the AGO).

Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated.

Viola.

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#703766 - 08/21/04 05:30 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
RickG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/08/02
Posts: 947
Loc: Texas
Viola,
It sounds like you are on the right track with the Gleason Method. It is the standard as far as traditional organ methods. With a 25-note pedal board, you are not going to be able to do all of the literature. Also, the spacing on the pedalboard is going to be much more narrow than a standard AGO 32 notes. I would urge you to get a teacher and maybe the teacher can help you find an addtional place to practice. In the L.A. area, there are many colleges and universities that might have an organ teacher. Try that for getting some names. You may not need to study with the professor; however, he may have a junior or senior (or graduate student) who might be able to teach you at a reduced rate. The Orgelbuchlein of Bach is a great place to learn literature that can be played on many organs. Good Luck!
_________________________
RickG

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#703767 - 09/04/04 04:36 AM Re: cost of organ lessons
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Sorry, coming very late to this one.

The price you were quoted does sound rather excessive. Don't know if this will help any, but I've been taking organ lessons for the past two years or so, and my teacher charges $25.00 per hour. He is also the full time Director of Music and Organist at the church where I'm taking my lessons as well.

I definitely second Rick's recommendations - check your local chapter of AGO, and also ask around, there are plenty of organists who are more than happy to give recommendations.

Best of luck to you.
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703768 - 09/16/04 06:16 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
DR LO Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 98
Loc: Southwest Iowa
The biggest thing with not having a teacher is make sure you DON'T PLAY THE PIANOT ON THE ORGAN!!! That is the worst thing an organist can do. You might already know that, but just for your sake.

--DR LO

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#703769 - 09/17/04 04:47 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
Oh, tell me about that. At my first lesson, my teacher opened up the Methodist hymnal to the first hymn he could find and asked me to sight-read it on the organ, manuals only. So I did. Four flats, no problem.

So I finished the piece, and my teacher sat there, nodding his head and said, "Not bad ... for a pianist."

(insert drum riff here)
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703770 - 10/20/04 10:46 AM Re: cost of organ lessons
Requiem Aeternam Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1395
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Hahahahahahaha
_________________________
"He who turns himself into a beast, gets rid of the pain of being a man."

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#703771 - 12/10/04 06:17 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
Prophetic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/02/04
Posts: 98
I pay $50 a month. In exchange for playing at mass, I get to play on 2 different casavants in my area. One's a 1920 expiremental (Love it. Couplers are awesome. Swell 8, Swell 16, Great 8, Great 16. Amazing. Just needs some tune ups) The other one is a 1930's casavant. I take lessons from a guy here locally though. \:\) I'm working on the vater unsers by bach.

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#703772 - 12/21/05 04:13 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
Rach.3Freak105 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 446
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
I pay $35 dollars for an hour lesson. I go every other friday.The guy is also a professional organist, conductor, and choir director.
_________________________
Once during a concert at Carnegie Hall, the violinist Rachmaninoff was playing with lost his place in the music and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Rachmaninoff replied, in all seriousness, "Carnegie Hall".

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#703773 - 01/21/06 08:29 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
ctwells47 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 17
Loc: Beacon, NY
Dr Lo, what do you mean when you say "don't play the organ like a piano?". I was trained on the paino, haven't played in quite a few years, but I picked up a Hammond organ and am trying to teach myself. You comment caught my attention. Do you suggest that I take a few lessons?

Christina
_________________________
Christina

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#703774 - 01/28/06 11:18 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
Rach.3Freak105 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/05
Posts: 446
Loc: Moorestown, NJ
Yeah, I have the same question, what do you mean do not play the piano on the organ?
_________________________
Once during a concert at Carnegie Hall, the violinist Rachmaninoff was playing with lost his place in the music and whispered to Rachmaninoff, "Where are we?" Rachmaninoff replied, in all seriousness, "Carnegie Hall".

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#703775 - 01/28/06 11:28 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
The rate for organ lesson should be about the same for piano lesson. In my area, it's going around $40-50/hour.

$140-$160/hour sounds way high to me.

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#703776 - 06/03/06 02:38 AM Re: cost of organ lessons
ChemicalGrl Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/03/01
Posts: 643
Loc: Durham, North Carolina
The organ requires a different touch than the organ. For hymns, for example. The first time I played that hymn I described above, I did it, manuals only (I didn't know how to play the pedals at that point), and I just played the chords, as I would have done on the piano. Result - very choppy.

I'm not sure I can describe it that well, but one of my friends, who is also a pianist trying to learn how to play the organ, describes playing the organ like having your hands crawl along the manuals. The Gleason book has some good exercises to build on your manual technique. And now, after having taken organ lessons for a little under 4 years, and having had to take a few piano lessons when my organ teacher went on sabbatical, I found that I had to adjust yet again my touch on the piano as my piano teacher complained I was trying to play the piano like an organist!!!
_________________________
Regards,
Lyn F.

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#703777 - 06/03/06 03:29 AM Re: cost of organ lessons
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
You know, we are rescusitating a really old thread here!

But since I didn't see it the first time around, I'll reply too! \:D

$50 is the going rate here (sometimes a little less, depending on the situation).

Piano touch: choppy on the organ, lots of lifting of the hands, forearm movement.

Organ touch: very legato, with lots of finger substitutions (the "crawling" effect). The clean release of each chord is just as important as the attack.

As the organ's tone is unvarying, a lot must be done with agogic accents, staccato of varying lengths, etc. in order to simulate a crescendo and to make the music come alive rhythmically. Of course, you can do a crescendo with the expression pedals, but not every division is under expression.

An organist has to learn to adapt to the acoustic of each room; sometimes this means learning to work around a time-lag. Other times, it means that you can "play" the rests in the music (pause dramatically while the reverberation fades).

Some other organ FYI: when playing hymns it is customary to drop out the bass line from the manuals (hands); that part gets played with the pedals.
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#703778 - 08/22/06 06:55 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
Kimo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/05
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
It cost me $120.00 total for 10 - 1 hr lessons in 1962, when I was in the Navy. Was ship's organist for 3.5 yrs after that (CVA-19). Took 3 months of lessons in '66 to be able to have access to a church organ in Burlington, VT. That's where I was spoiled... 5 manual electrified tracker organ, full pedals, etc. A person really had to have good timing to play the 32' pedals... the delay was about 1/4 second but what a ride! I compare that organ with everything I play now and there's no comparison.

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#703779 - 11/06/06 01:29 PM Re: cost of organ lessons
Elkhound Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/06
Posts: 11
Loc: Charleston WV
 Quote:
Originally posted by whippen boy:

Piano touch: choppy on the organ, lots of lifting of the hands, forearm movement.

Organ touch: very legato, with lots of finger substitutions (the "crawling" effect). The clean release of each chord is just as important as the attack.[/b]
Exactly. Unfortunately, I'm at the stage where my piano teacher yells at me for being too organistic and my organ teacher yells at me for being too pianistic. (Well, they don't actually YELL, but it is something that they address.)

 Quote:


Some other organ FYI: when playing hymns it is customary to drop out the bass line from the manuals (hands); that part gets played with the pedals. [/b]
If you can. My pedal techniuqe isn't up to that, yet.

Generally, most pre-Beethoven keyboard pieces will work with minimal adaptation on the organ. Even some modern ones. Kachaturian's "Ivan's Song" works quite well by soloing out the main melody on a reed stop (clarinet or oboe) with strings or flutes for the rest.

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