Tips on how to make lots of mistakes on the church organ this Sunday and undermine your confidence.

If you would like to leave church after the service feeling like a failure, please follow the following bad advice closely!

  • Be too aware of making mistakes.
  • Be too sensitive about what other people say to you about your playing.
  • If you make an error let it dwell in your mind and distract your concentration.
  • Take advice from everyone – after all – you’re only there to serve, right?
  • Let the Vicar control the amount of verses (on the fly) when playing choruses and/or singing the last verse again!
  • Play a piece that is too difficult for your standard because you are embarrassed about repeating an easier piece that you played recently.
  • Allow the congregation or choir to lead you – being indecisive is a great way to ‘cock things up’ big time!
  • Leave the preparation of the music to the last minute.
  • Enjoy Saturday evening (or night!) just a little too much and see double on Sunday morning – easily done when you are under pressure!
  • Be intimidated by all who tell you that they would be doing the organist’s job but they don’t have the time to practise – I’ve heard that one a few times!

There are many ways to undermine your confidence and plenty of people around to point out how wonderful the organist is in the church down the road.

If you are thin skinned and over sensitive, being a church organist can be a heavy cross to bare. However, don’t give up – get organised!

Write down the “must do’s” such as practising the hymns and voluntaries. Then secondly, if time permits, work on your technique and independence with easy exercises that won’t leave you tired and frustrated. Leave the difficult music that you won’t be playing this Sunday to last, if there is time.

Time is precious – always practise the service music first.