Organ Teachers

For anyone interested in learning to play the organ or making the move from piano to organ there are a number of excellent tutors connected with this Association and in the surrounding area.

South Devon tutors include teacher and examiner Ian Curror who mentors RCO diploma candidates and students taking Grade exams; Simon Dunbavand teaches in his Torquay studio and also does home tuition; further afield is David Davies in Exeter, formerly from Exeter and Guildford Cathedrals.

The RSCM lists institutions offering scholarships. The Plymouth and District Organists’ Association runs an Organist Training and Encouragement Scheme. In West Dorset the South Wessex Organ Society offers residential courses and useful tips for playing a church organ. Also check out the Courses for Volunteer Organists website and the PipeUp Devon training scheme for young organists run by the Diocese of Exeter.

For those on a budget there is much you can do yourself with a good organ method book to make the transition from piano to organ: accompany as many services as you can and start pedalling from day one, even if just the cadences softly; do copious left hand with pedal exercises; practice hymns and contrapuntal music at home on the piano/keyboard without using the sustain pedal to develop good finger legato; enter yourself for graded organ exams at your church, aiming for top marks for pedal technique; treat yourself to an occasional lesson from a professional organ teacher.