Music - Good Thoughts Requested

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Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby karenb » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:00 pm

Hi All,

A year or two ago, I mentioned that one of my hobbies had been playing the organ and piano, but I'd pretty much stopped due to my parents' (and my own) illnesses.

I started studying with a colleague a few months ago, and am preparing to take first level exam in the American Guild of Organists' certification program - the exam is this Friday (yes, the 13th!).

I'm really nervous, and would appreciate any kind thoughts you might send my way!

Karen
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby gunflint » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:11 pm

You have many good thoughts from a lot of us karenb. You have been there for me several times, now it's your turn for a break. Good luck.
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby Andrea » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:34 pm

Good luck. I used to play organ (have 2at home right now,a full pedal one and my dh granny's pump organ). I wish you well! Is this a pipe organ exam? I hope to someday go back to playing
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby karenb » Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:30 pm

Gunflint,

Thanks for the good wishes - I'm so nervous right now I feel about ready to fly the coop - I've actually dealt with surgery better than with this at the present moment!

Andrea,

This is an interesting hybrid instrument - appx 60 ranks digital electronics, plus 4 ranks of unenclosed pipes! The exam is about 45 minutes - 10 pieces, including transposition and sight-reading. Yikes!

Karen
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby phyrehawke » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:01 am

Wow Karen, i have played piano a lot and some organ, and this is incredible! I am sorry I was preoccupied this week and did not get in to see your message sooner. I hope you did very well on the exam! What an amazing sounding organ...fun to play?
How long will it be before you know how you did?
Lately, you have my good thoughts almost daily anyway...
Rozanne/phyre
"A path of awakening would never suggest that we should be a passive and unwitting spectator of our own repeated disasters, but should turn the power of our attention to untangle the web of complexity." Christina Feldman
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby kiminfla » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:08 am

Sorry I didn't see this sooner. I hope all went well yesterday! Be blessed, Kim
CM - PFD 9/7/06
Life is mostly froth and bubble. Two things stand like stone: Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own. -- Adam Lindsay Gordon
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby karenb » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:02 pm

Kim & Rozanne,

Thanks for the notes! It's been quite a week... I won't know the results for around 3 months or so. I didn't realize how much I'd been focusing on this exam until yesterday after it was all done, and I just sort of collapsed in my easy chair!

Now comes the waiting, and finding new things to learn. I will say that this was a great motivator to get me playing again...

Thanks again!

Karen
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby jswack » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:34 am

How was the exam? And what did you play? I'm a flutist, also sing a lot (professional training is in flute though, but I have a C-spine problem as well as Chiari).
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby karenb » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:23 pm

I "survived" the exam (meaning I didn't crash-and-burn on any one part) - I won't know the results for several months. This was the first/lowest level of the Organ certification exams given by the American Guild of Organists. It consists of 10 parts - you have to get at least 50% on each part, with a total score above 70% to pass.

For me, this is all very meaningful - even though I can't feel my legs and have lost most of my ability to walk, I am still able to play the organ!!! That means I can play an entire musical line (and more) with my feet!!!

I know this doesn't seem like a big deal to many folks who are dealing with serious health issues, and maybe they're correct. For me, though, it means a great deal, especially in light of everything I've lost in the last 5 years my health - my health, my home, both of my parents, my career, and my ability to walk freely. I understand that I am no longer able to perform on a regular basis, but at least I can still perform - no small feat for anyone, but especially for someone with SM!!!

Karen

P.S. I pretty much had to stop playing due to my own health problems and the needs of my parents. This represents the first serious endeavor I've made in music in the past five years.
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby gunflint » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:45 am

It seems like a big deal to me. Most of us have become used to losing abilities of one sort or another. If the ability isn't lost it becomes painful. I think that most of us have a line in the sand somewhere. Mine is fishing. Most people couldn't care less if they could fish or not. For me if I lose the ability to fish I don't know what I'll do.
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby karenb » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:32 pm

That's exactly what this means to me.

Even more, while my parents were ill and dying, I wasn't able to focus on anything, much less enjoy time spent with music. I lived day-to-day in a crisis mode, often living in motel rooms and struggling to continue working full-time in the midst of the chaos.

I still remember the physical therapist who told me he believed it would take a lot longer for me to lose the use of my feet than to lose the use of my legs. The big deal is - I bring my wheelchair right up to the organ bench, transfer from one to the other, and then I'm suddenly free of my limitations! Even though I can't control my legs, I can still control my feet, so I can still make glorious music!

Sunday afternoon, during the "member recital", I'm going to be playing a big piece that includes runs and jumps where my feet are the only thing playing. For me, the miracle is that I can still do this at all!!!

Karen
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Re: Music - Good Thoughts Requested

Postby June » Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:23 pm

Karen,
I've just read your posts about the organ guild test, and I'm so happy for you. I'm sure it must be very enjoyable for you to be able to sit on that bench and make beautiful, glorious music--such a release. I used to play the piano and felt much the same way--being able to lose myself in the music, but now I find that after a few minutes, my back hurts too much to continue. Ah well, I had many years of enjoyment.

Keep up the good work. Music is such good therapy--and it's fun!
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