I am an organ music lover. Whether I’m listening or performing sacred or secular material, I am constantly amazed at the king of instruments and the ability it has to move my soul. While I’ll never be an excellent organist (because I don’t practice for hours and hours every week), I try to be non-offensive as I play for my local LDS congregation on Sundays. I have lots to learn, and the Internet is filled with wonderful resources. Below are some links that I’ve found particularly helpful.
If you are a piano player and want to learn how to play the organ, I’d recommend first looking at my version of the New LDS Organist training program produced by Dr. Don Cook at the BYU School of Music. I’ve rearranged his resources and created new PDFs with everything you need to complete his course in twelve weeks, spending about about 2-3 hours per week studying and practicing the material. Click here to start your training now!
About Your Calling: Addresses by General Authorities
- Eyring, Henry B. “Rise to Your Call.” Ensign, November 2002.
- Hinckley, Gordon B. “The Quest for Excellence.” Ensign, September 1999.
- Jensen, Jay E. “The Nourishing Power of Hymns.” Ensign, May 2007.
- Kimball, Spencer W. “The Gospel Vision of the Arts.” Ensign, July 1977.
- Oaks, Dallin H. “Worship through Music.” Ensign, November 1994.
- Packer, Boyd K. “The Arts and the Spirit of the Lord.” Ensign, August 1976.
- Packer, Boyd K. “Reverence Invites Revelation.” Ensign, November 1991
About Your Calling: Official Church Communication
- LDS Church Music website
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Guidelines from the Church Handbook of Instructions
- Quotes from Church Leaders and the scriptures about music
About Your Calling: Other Resources
- Learning Organ (Internet discussion group)
- Howarth, Paul R. “Tips for Beginning Organists.” Ensign, September 2002.
General “Hot Spots” of Organ-Related Web Resources
- SUNY: University at Albany: Pipe Organs and Related Topics
- American Guild of Organists: Educational Resources
Specific Areas of Interest to Organists
- Organ Study at BYU website
- BYU Organ Workshop
- BYU Young Musicians SummerFestival
- College Credit: Organ Performance (Levels 1-6)
- Music 399R: Independent Study Level 1
- Music 399R: Independent Study Level 2
- Music 399R: Independent Study Level 3
- Music 399R: Independent Study Level 4
- Music 399R: Independent Study Level 5
- Music 399R: Independent Study Level 6
- Free Non-Credit: Organ Performance (Levels 1-2 only)
- Music 071 — Organ Performance, Level 1
- Music 072 — Organ Performance, Level 2
- LDS Church Music Website
- BYU: Organ Training Resources
- DeeAnn Stone: Resources for LDS Organists
- Emma Smith Hymnbook
- Richard Elliott: Temple Square Organs
- Organ Historical Society
- Jackman Music
- Kelvin Smith: Personal Music Site
- BYU: Where to Buy Organ Music
Recordings and Broadcasts
- Organ Historical Society: Online Catalog
- JAV Recordings
- American Public Radio: Pipedreams
- Pro Organo
The Organ Itself
- Encyclopedia of Pipe Organ Stops
- A Young Person’s Guide to the Pipe Organ
- Amazon: The Amazing Pipe Organ (Children’s Book)
Nate’s Favorite Organists on YouTube
- Gert van Hoef is a Dutch young adult who started playing organ at age 13 in 2008. He is absolutely brilliant! I love his improvisation on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
- The Scott Brothers are an amazing organ and piano duo. Check out the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2.
- Tabernacle Organist Richard Elliott is perhaps the best LDS organist alive today. Check out my custom playlist of his works.
- The avant-garde Cameron Carpenter is another young musician who seems to be shaking up the international organ scene with his mohawk and showmanship.