Pick a small thing and crush it. (Jazz Organ Project 34/250)

I sat down a few days ago to work on a classical organ piece that I had started about two years ago. It’s the fugue from the Organ Sonata No 6 in D minor Op 65 by Felix Mendelssohn. Quite intimidating to me.

In approaching this movement again after several months, I found that I’m able to approach it in a methodical new way.

I remembered a few pieces of advice from my lessons with Susan Moeser. Break off a chunk of eight measures. Sometimes it’s helpful to start at the end of the piece and work forward. Practice each part individually- RH, LH and then pedals. Then practice each combination of two (RH + LH, RH + Pedals, LH + Pedals). I made it a goal to play each of these combinations through ten times, spot practicing individual measures ten times if I messed up.

Then finally, combine all three parts and play the eight-bar passage fifty times, again stopping to spot practice troublesome areas.

That should take two hours or so.

Repeating this process, go through the entire piece practicing in 8-bar chunks. Then go through with 16-bar chunks, then 32.

Then when you can play each chunk really well, practice the entire piece 500 times. I guess after about 6 months or so of practicing an hour a day, maybe I can make a video of the entire movement and share it with y’all.

Here’s what I have to offer after Day 2. I present to you The Last Eight Measures of the fugue from Organ Sonata No 6, replete with finger noise:

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