Free Workshop: Pianist’s Introduction to the Organ

Members, Friends and All are invited to join the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Guild of Organists for a “Pianist’s Introduction to the Organ” workshop. This free event, which includes a complimentary lunch, will be held on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016 from 9:30 to 1:30 at St. James’s Episcopal Church located at 1018 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford.
organ consoleThe day is especially designed for adult pianists who find themselves in transition from playing the piano to playing the organ. With our local churches encountering a shortage of organists, pianists are often called upon to lead a congregation with little or no experience at the organ. If you or someone you know is skilled at the piano keyboard but intimidated or confused by the organ console, this workshop offers an opportunity to learn some of the basics in a friendly, hands-on setting where you can ask those questions you have been too embarrassed to ask! Several GHO-AGO organists will explain, demonstrate and guide the pianist into the wonderful world of organ playing. Method books and easy organ music will be available for review, as well as a take-home music packet to get you through the early stages of leading a congregation.

Discussion topics will include:
-A General Introduction to the Organ – through a demonstration of St. James’s pipe organ you will learn what to expect and look for when encountering any new instrument. Organ registration (the various sounds and colors of the organ) will be introduced and discussed throughout the day.

-Practical Organ Technique – will focus on the differences between playing the organ and the piano and will offer useful advice for playing both manuals(keyboards) and pedals.
-Hymns, Hymn Settings and Easy Organ Repertoire – further demonstration of organ technique will continue with an introduction to hymn playing and easily accessible organ repertoire.

-Playing for Service and Leading a Congregation – a discussion of the joys and challenges of leading a worship service from the organ console.

To reserve your place or for more information, contact Vaughn Mauren at or 860-521-9620 by January 15th, 2016.