Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Organs and Sleeping Feet

I didn't play this organ. Can you tell?

Our organ sits in the corner, its stool tucked away neatly. The keys gather dust. Next to it sits the piano. Every day its keys get a pounding. Its stool scrapes along the floor as we position it for our practice session. We are not a house of organists, that's for sure.

I always meant to have a go at the organ. But without being shown how to play it, I didn't dare to touch it. Every so often I'd look wistfully at it and think 'If only I could play the organ.' But I never did anything.

Then, we went to a homeschooling camp. They had no organist, though they had an electric keyboard. I doubtfully volunteered to play for mass, but only on the keyboard. In the half an hour before mass, I ran through the music for the first time ever, visualising mistake after mistake.

Mass began, and I played the hymns, completely focused on the music. I didn't hear the singers, or the congregation. I only counted the verses, and sighed with relief when mass finished. That hadn't gone too badly. I might be able to handle this.

When I turned up for mass the next day however, it was suggested that I might try the organ. I was nervous. I'd hardly even touched an organ. Surely I'd mess everything up. I slid my bottom along the organ stool and stared at the mind boggling array of switches, buttons and keys. What would I do with two keyboards?

One of the girls gave me a quick run through on how the organ worked, and suddenly I was playing the organ. I concentrated all my mind power on the music. I mustn't mess up. Everyone would hear me on the organ. I mustn't touch the pedals either. They'd make a loud noise.

So I sat on the wooden seat, running through the music in my mind, checking and rechecking that I had the right music, with my feet dangling in mid air. As the last notes of the last hymn died away, I breathed a pray of thanks. It was over. Now it was time to see how badly I'd done.

Much to my surprise, everyone thought the music had been wonderful. Suddenly I was the organist of the camp. Would I play the organ for the next day's mass? I certainly would.

As I slid off the stool after playing for my last mass of the camp, pins and needles shot through my feet. After so long hanging in space, they'd fallen fast asleep!

Now that I've dipped my toe in the waters of organism, I'm eager to go on. Maybe I can play at mass in our parish. Ooh, that sounds a little daunting. I'm not sure I'm ready for that yet. Or maybe I am...

Do you or have you ever played the organ for mass? Do you enjoy it? Or do you find it a bit scary?


  1. Well done, Immy! It sounds as though your confidence grew, as you played. I wish I could hear you. Maybe, you could post a video of your playing, on your blog? That would be lovely to see:)

  2. Thank you Aunty Vicky. Maybe I will post a video, when I feel quite that confident.