Tim here. A listener sent me an email that went something like this: "I am so impressed with your piano/organ skills. We ended up sitting in the choir loft at church on Christmas Eve and I was shocked to see you behind the organ. I knew that you play accordion from conversations you've had on the air, but I didn't realize you play organ for churches too. You are a man of many talents!"
Well, you're very kind. I started to respond to her and realized it was turning into somewhat of a blog about a dying art, kids being busy, etc.
Oh wow, thanks! Well, I started playing piano in 1st grade and started taking organ lessons in about 6th grade. I was the regular full-time organist for a church back in Mitchell, SD by 9th grade. I also did music camps on organ at Augustana College (a long time ago!). Oh yeah, I was a Piano Performance/Education major at Concordia College before I left that to do radio (that's a whole other blog!). To me, a big ol' pipe organ like that is such a cool thing to play! Multiple manuals (keyboards), buttons, knobs, levers, right up my alley! The sad thing is, it seems to be a dying art. To think that I am a "young" organist (and if you listen to the show, you probably know how OLD I am)! I am giving lessons to one junior girl, but it's almost too late for the church to utilize her in actual services. Then I always hear, "Well, young kids are pulled in so many directions these days." I don't really think it's any different than when I was in junior high. Besides piano and organ lessons, I was in band, jazz band, choir, swing choir, plays and musicals, had a paper route, and ran in track. Of course, I didn't also have to find time to play video games, chat on my phone, and keep up with the latest Facebook posts of friends.
Yeah, there's probably an image of what the Lutheran church oraganist is like. But I don't exactly fit that mold...ask my wife! I think the pipe organ is an awesome, technical, living, breathing beast that's a blast to play! If you have a talented, young, piano player in your house who obviously "gets it" and is a good site-reader, encourage him or her to get behind the controls...sooner than later!