See below for descriptions of workshops and presentations I have offered for AGO chapters, academic organ programs, conferences, and academies.
Healthy Keyboard Technique
How can we best prepare our students to play a vast body of organ repertoire with healthy and effective technique? This workshop seeks to answer this question by offering resources and strategies for teaching organ technique in a holistic manner. The session will share methods and pedagogical tools from the curriculum used at collegiate organ programs including Syracuse University and The Eastman School of Music. Topics include body wellness, use of dynamic instruments to reinforce organ practice, and ways to teach an historically appropriate technique. While this session uses a collegiate curriculum as a model, the basic concepts can be adapted for teaching students at all levels.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough practice time to accomplish your goals? Do you find it hard to focus on practice when there are so many other things to be done? This workshop will offer ways to make the best possible use of limited practice time. I will discuss the importance of simple physical warm-ups and mindfulness techniques to get you ready for a practice session, and will address practice strategies for standard repertoire. Members are encouraged to bring pieces they are working on or would like to start for specific practice ideas. I will also talk about how these strategies can be applied to group bell or choir rehearsals.
Mindfulness for Musicians
Mindfulness is a buzzword in education circles today. It is also surfacing as way to approach music-making, in both performance, and practice/rehearsal. Come learn about what the term mindfulness means, and how it can apply to musicians. I will share how I use mindfulness techniques in my own teaching at Syracuse, and in my preparation for public performance, and demonstrate how these can be applied to individual or group settings (as in a choir rehearsal). This material is helpful for anyone who deals with performance nerves, has a tendency to procrastinate on learning new music or church planning, or who wants to run a more efficient and focused rehearsal.
Planning Events for Young Organists
Every AGO chapter should sponsor at least one event per year aimed at cultivating and engaging young organists. The future of our profession depends on our willingness to do this and our ability to do it well! To that end, this workshop will offer models for successful programs both large and small that can be repeated by chapters of all sizes. In addition to offering case studies, this workshop will focus on practical tips for fundraising, marketing, and event planning and follow-up. Workshop attendees will receive an extensive list of model events with program director contact information for the purpose of consultation, and a step-by-step guide for event planning. This workshop is designed especially for chapter board members who want to develop programs for young people, as well as organists in academic positions who are looking to develop partnerships with their chapters to help support recruitment.
Presentations and Lecture Recitals
Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition
The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago was a watershed moment in American organ culture: over the course of four months, 21 of the finest American organists, along with Alexandre Guilmant of Paris, performed 62 solo organ recitals on a new four-manual organ built by Farrand and Votey, effectively paving the way for the rise of the solo organ concert in the United States. This paper uses a newly-created database to present a detailed analysis of concert programming trends at this seminal event, revealing a complex mixture of “popular and profound” elements at play.
Introduction to the Organ Music of Judith Bingham
Judith Bingham is a highly-respected British composer with a catalogue of over 300 works, including 20-some published works for organ. Her careful attention to her craft, her successful approach to the instrument, and the accessibility of her works to a broad audience are all rationale for further study. Additionally, Ms. Bingham has gained considerable recognition in her home country and has worked with some of the most accomplished British organists, but her organ music is not widely known outside Britain. This lecture-recital will serve as an introduction to Ms. Bingham’s organ music that will include a brief biography of the composer, her approach to registration, musical language, choice of subjects, form and structure, texture, harmony, and rhythm. The presentation will draw on extensive direct communication with Ms. Bingham, as well as publications by Stephen Farr and Marjorie Monroe-Fischer.
Masterclasses, specific repertoire:
- Italian Baroque
- Seventeeth-century Dutch and North German: Buxtehude, Bruhns, Böhm, Scheidemann, Sweelinck, van der Kerckhoven, van Noordt
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- Judith Bingham
- Nineteenth-century America: Buck, Eddy, Foote, Parker
- Early music on the pedal clavichord