Finally had the first lesson today. And now that I've sat at the organ, I can visualise what you mean. Seems like you can probably go all the way up to at least E with the left foot if you centre yourself around E-F above Middle C on the manuals. But it was a strange sensation, I felt like the bench was way too high for me! Makes me wonder if the organ shoe company you recommended to me makes Platform Pedalling Shoes. I could just barely reach the pedals. And no, I'm not that short (around 165 cm tall) so you would think I shouldn't have any problems with reach at all.
After a brief explanation of the blood and guts of the organ, my teacher had me play a hymn (tune of St. Flavian), manuals only, and complimented me on my ability to sight read. He then mentioned that he thought I had just the right touch, not too heavy-handed like he expected someone who had played the piano for 20+ years would have, but he did mention something about trying to articulate the phrases a bit better. Putting in judicious breaks here and there ... connect some of the notes here and there ... I was trying my level best to follow him, but admittedly had a bit of trouble trying to visualise what it was he was trying to tell me. I guess I must have absorbed it somehow, because when I played the hymn again, I played it to his satisfaction.
So then we moved to the Bach. Had me play Little Prelude in F. He liked the way I played the first part of it. Again, did manuals only, no pedal. And we talked more about phrasing. He had me do a Hanon-like piece, telling me that it's a good exercise to ensure I develop the manual-touch for the organ. Seemed to like what he heard.
He then piled all this music on me - heart did a bit of a flutter when he gave me a couple of Buxtehude pieces (yes, I love Buxtehude) and said I could pick one to work on.
So all in all, I think it went well. I guess I shouldn't have based too much on our initial conversation. We got on splendidly well today, and I feel like I can work with him. Hope he feels the same way. He did compliment me on my musicianship. That made me feel good, especially in light of the training (or lack thereof, formally) that I've had.
So lessons are weekly, and once my grant goes out tomorrow afternoon, I'm going to march myself over to the Music Department here at the university and ask if staff members are allowed to practice on the university instruments. One day, just as a bit of a break, I wandered across campus in search of the Music Library to find a book on the analysis of Bach's WTC pieces that someone (BruceD, I think) had recommended to me. So when I got to the building, I was trying to figure out how to get up to the third floor when I stumbled into this huge room. There was two baby grand pianos, one harpsichord, and two organs. I think it would be way cool if I could manage some practice time on one of those organs, then whenever I'm culturing cells or waiting for a gel to run, I could just go ahead and head over to the music building and practice away.
But now I'm rambling on. Admittedly, I'm up on Cloud Nine. I think my teacher noticed how enthusiastic I was about the whole thing, and he commented on that as well. So all in all, a good lesson, and I am definitely looking forward to the next one!