Fewer students are choosing to learn how to play the organ, but Indiana University’s school of music is working to make its program more appealing.
IU’s Jacobs School of Music celebrated the installation of a new practice organ today with a sunup to sundown concert. Music students, teachers and appreciators crowded next to the open door of a tiny practice room in the music annex to hear the sounds of the school’s new practice organ.
This might seem like a big event for a relatively small pipe organ, but Jacobs School of Music Department Chair Janette Fishell says the organ is an important addition to the school.
“Organs come in all sizes, and we have a large wonderful instrument in Auer Hall, we have another wonderful new instrument coming in Alumni Hall next year,” she says. “But our students and faculty…we all need smaller instruments to practice on.”
Organ students previously could only practice once every 3 weeks on the one large concert hall instrument. But the new practice organ is modeled after that one so students will have a better understanding of the instrument they would perform on.
Organ student Stephen Price says playing the new organ is much closer to playing that large organ.
“I thought it was great it feels very similar to Auer Hall which is very helpful and the sound quality is very nice for it being in that small tiny room,” he says.
Including Price, more than two dozen other music students and faculty were scheduled to perform on the Little Fisk throughout the day.