Let’s start episode 318 of Secrets of Organ Playing Podcast. This question was sent by Sjouke and he writes:
“Hi Vidas and Ausra,
Today I have finished a morning practice session for about 2 and a half hrs, and than after that I was done for, meaning very tired. I get that way, my back is hurting and between my shoulder blades etc. Although I am not very good at it, playing the organ that is, still I try to get to the church at least once a week, because others also want time behind the organ, which is understandable and I do not begrudge them that, and I am working at trying to get a key for the church so I do get more time behind the organ. I do have a organ at home and I enjoy playing of it but of course the sound is different, so that is why I go to church to practice.
But it seems that I am a slow learner, being 72 years of age does not help, but that is frustrating me. I usually pick pieces that I know that I can learn, a couple of months ago I heard a friend of mine play, "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" by J.S. Bach and I asked this friend of mine if he thought I could learn this piece, his reply was to try, but to take it slow. I have done that, now this piece has four pages, but it is going very slowly, and I do not mind telling you that I get impatient and frustrating for a piece of music of this kind, I can work on it for a year before I can say I do know it now and I can play it at home with not problem, but in public is another story.
I played for a congregation for fifteen years, and it took me another eight years before I felt comfortable enough that I did not get overly out of control nervousness. One and half years ago that church closed its doors, to bad for I really enjoyed my time there. My question to both of you is how do I get over this out of control nervousness. I done a performance last March I believe and it was not very good, I did know the piece I was playing, which was an improvisation by Dianne Bish " Great God We praise Your Name" I do not know if you know it, but it did take a while for me to learn it. Anyway the nervousness really I need help with, please do not suggest a psychologist, for I did see one for three years and not help. Thank you for answering this question.