November 2016
The ‘New Organist’ Initiative

NSAGO Dean Andrea Handley
NSAGO Dean Andrea Handley

Andrea Handley

My dean’s message this month is actually a message from Isabelle Demers – a request I received in an email from her a few days ago on behalf of the newly formed AGO Committee on New Organists:

Dear chapter deans,
Greetings from Texas! I’m writing on behalf of my colleagues from the Committee on the New Organist (CONO), Brian Mathias, Kip Cortez, and Michael Koenig.

CONO is a newly formed committee whose primary goal is to provide pianists and entry-level organists (“new organists”) with educational resources that will enable them to increase their skill level at the organ. Like many of you, we are concerned by diminishing numbers in the AGO and the organ world in general, and by the dearth of organists in smaller communities. Our work will encompass a variety of mediums, including social media, but today I’m writing with a simpler request.

One of our first goals is to create a list of organ teachers per region/area, including people willing to teach via Facetime, Skype, or other lesson types. To that extent, could you ask your members to provide the following information? It goes without saying that they should only include information that they feel comfortable sharing (for example, listing their work phone number or email if they are worried about online privacy).

Affiliation (work, AGO chapter)
Brief vitae (education, work)
Contact info (email, phone)
Preferred level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
Are you willing to offer a few (3) pro bono lessons to beginners?
Are you comfortable teaching using Skype, Facetime, or other new mediums? 

Many thanks for the time you’ll devote to my request.

With very best wishes,
Isabelle Demers

This initiative is an excellent one, and as dean of the North Shore Chapter, I’m asking you all to respond to this request, so that we can provide a complete list of teachers in our chapter. We’ve made it a little easier for you to fill out this form online by clicking on the following link:

Thank you all in advance, and we look forward to having a comprehensive list of teachers in our area to report to Isabelle and the CONO committee.

Andrea Handley, Dean

Posted in Past Dean's Columns.