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When you enroll in Group Organ study at Brigham Young University, you become part of an innovative and highly successful program. Since the installation of the Group Organ studio in 1988, over 2000 pianists, anticipating an eventual opportunity to serve the church as an organist, have learned the basics of organ playing through these courses. It is an excellent way to enhance the quality of your service to the Church through music. At the same time, you learn basic skills needed to begin exploring concert organ music.

"Basic Organ Skills" (Music 115) offers assistance in developing the basic organ playing skills, knowledge, and judgement necessary for one to function confidently and satisfactorily in a worship service. Previous piano experience is necessary, as this class assumes that students can read music and play easier hymns at the piano without difficulty. Those who have little or no piano experience should complete two semesters of Group Piano Instruction (Music 113) to prepare for Basic Organ Skills. Recognizing the wide range of musical backgrounds represented by the students enrolled in each section, the course is designed to teach the same basic skills to everyone, but at the same time to encourage those who are able to move faster into additional and more challenging repertoire.

"Organ Techniques and Literature" (Music 116R) develops further the skills introduced in Basic Organ Skills, and covers more advanced concepts and skills in hymn playing, registration, interpretation, and organ literature. Emphasis is made to encourage the individual to learn at his/her own pace, through the establishment and working out of a "semester plan" that includes hymns, organ literature, and accompaniments. In addition, the tools used by the creative organist to encourage and enhance congregational singing are introduced. Due to the individualization of the course structure, Organ Techniques and Literature may be repeated for credit.

Both group organ courses described above offer a less expensive alternative to private organ study, as there is no fee charged above the normal tuition costs.


Private Organ Study (Music 160R) is for the non-major organ student who desires more individual time with a member of the organ staff than is possible with Group Organ classes. Weekly 30-minute lessons allow the student more flexibility and personal attention in details of hymn playing, technique, interpretation, registration, etc. An additional fee of $270 per semester is charged. Students enrolled in Private Organ Study are given a keypad number and permitted to practice in the pipe organ practice rooms on the first and second floors of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Music 160R is the logical choice for the non-organ major who prefers to move at his/her own pace, or who has completed some group organ study and would like to continue and accelerate organ training.


Organ Registration (Music 166) is an excellent follow-up for Music 115 or 116R, as the basics of organ registration are reviewed, then applied in the various areas of organ repertoire and service music. Students who succeed in this course will feel comfortable exploring the resources of virtually any traditional organ of any size. Concurrent enrollment or completion of Music 115, 116R, or 160R is required, or the consent of the instructor.

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