RCO Academy Organ School | Scheduled Classes
Through the RCO Academy Organ School we deliver educational opportunities for hundreds of organists, both amateur and professional, through both our individual teaching service and our scheduled classes.
Current scheduled events and classes from RCO Academy Organ School are listed below. All players are welcome, regardless of age or aspiration: you don’t have to be a member of the RCO, or be having lessons with an RCO Academy Organ School teacher, to attend one of these classes.
Most sessions are limited to 6 active participants, to maximise hands-on tuition; when a class is full we may sometimes take observers, hold a waiting list or run a second event (either the same day or at a later date), depending on circumstances.
Scheduled classes can be booked online by following the Book Online links beneath each event. If you prefer to book by post, you can find a booking form on the RCO Download page (scroll down to the RCO Academy section). Class preparation sheets and any other additional information can be found on that same page.
If you have a question about these classes, please e-mail the College at email@example.com
Please note times (the 24-hour clock is used).
Saturday 7th December 2013 (10:00 – 13:00)
Your First Recital (repeat class)St Mary South Woodford, London E18
A repeat class (albeit earlier in the day) due to high demand. Frederick offers a welcome opportunity for less-experienced students to present a continuous performance of their best pieces on a superb organ. Knowing that performance gets easier with practice, you can overcome those nerves by playing to a ‘safe’ audience of classmates, and receive gentle, perceptive feedback from Frederick. The class begins with warm-ups on the organ, followed by your recital of between 4 and 15 minutes and (if time) will offer a chance for a ‘second go’! Level: Grades 3 to 7
Saturday 7th December 2013 (14:00 – 17:00)
Your First RecitalSt Mary South Woodford, London E18
Frederick offers a welcome opportunity for less-experienced students to present a continuous performance of their best pieces on a superb organ. Knowing that performance gets easier with practice, you can overcome those nerves by playing to a ‘safe’ audience of classmates, and receive gentle, perceptive feedback from Frederick. The class begins with warm-ups on the organ, followed by your recital of between 4 and 15 minutes and (if time) will offer a chance for a ‘second go’! Level: Grades 3 to 7
Saturday 11th January 2014 (10:00 – 13:00)
Basic ChoirtrainingSt George Hanover Square, London W1
Simon shows you how to beat clearly, start and close a phrase, indicate expression and get the best from your singers’ voices. Your ‘instrument’ will be a group of friendly singers from Harrow Choral Society. Level: all standards
Saturday 18th January 2014 (11:00 – 14:00)
Playing from MemorySt Giles Cripplegate, London EC2
James shows you how to build confidence and fluency through training and trusting that memory. Even if we don't aim to play without the score, we all need to flex our memories in music-making, whether in learning a new piece, managing page-turns, playing a psalm or even a hymn. A class for everyone who plays church services, or just wants to increase self-trust. Level: Grade 5 to diploma
Saturday 25th January 2014 (11:00 – 14:00)
Flying Solo: The Tools of ImprovisationSt Giles Cripplegate, London EC2
Gerard shows you, without the aid of a score, how to play, harmonise and elaborate familiar tunes.
Restricted to 6 active participants. Level: Grade 4 upwards with little or no improvisation experience
Saturday 1st February 2014 (14:00 – 17:00)
Karg-Elert Op.65Now at Pembroke College, Oxford (tbc)
Dr Nicholas Prozzillo
Nicholas introduces and teaches the CertRCO set work: Karg-Elert’s magnificent 66 chorale-improvisations, written 1907–10. Op. 65 shows Karg-Elert reinventing the chorale-prelude structure, in a collection with a wide variety of expressive moods. Choose one or more pieces from our graded repertoire list from this wonderful collection (list sent when your booking is confirmed).
Restricted to 6 active participants. Level: Grade 5 to CertRCO
Saturday 15th February 2014 (14:30 – 17:30)
Playing the PsalmsChrist's Chapel of God's Gift Dulwich, London SE21
Marilyn demonstrates that the psalms offer boundless opportunity for organ accompaniments to lead and inspire, from the mountains skipping like rams to Leviathan sporting in the deep – and not forgetting the copious references to musical instruments. Prepare a psalm from our list then let Marilyn show you how to accompany and colour the registration, ensuring that your choir or congregation are supported and inspired.
Restricted to 6 active participants. Level: Grade 6 to diploma
Saturday 22nd February 2014 (11:00 – 14:00)
Le grand siècleSt Giles-in-the-Fields London WC2
Jonathan enables you to experience the glittering court of Louis XIV through the repertoire of Couperin, Clèrambault and their contemporaries. This astonishing music teaches you how to produce singing lines, dancing rhythms, elegant cadences, delicious ornaments and much more. Enjoy playing on a glorious historic organ (with much pipework from the same period as the class’s repertoire) recently restored by William Drake.
Restricted to 6 active participants. Level: Grade 6 to diploma
Wednesday 26th February 2014 (18:00 – 21:00)
Manage a Large ConsoleUnion Chapel Islington, London N1
Tom will help you to hone your registration skills on this famous 3-manual organ, built 1877 and ‘a fine example of Henry Willis’s best work’ (Thistlethwaite). The instrument was magnificently restored earlier this year by Harrison & Harrison, and ‘is unlikely to have sounded finer, at any time in its past, than it does today’ (Ian Bell). Bring any piece of your own choice that requires a variety of organ colours, and Tom will show you how to exploit all the possibilities.
Restricted to 6 active participants. Level: Grade 7 to diploma.
Saturday 1st March 2014 (11:00 – 14:00)
Sight-readingSt Giles, Cripplegate, London EC2
Anne Marsden Thomas
Anne Marsden Thomas shows you the methods that work when trying to improve your sight-reading. The ability to play a piece at sight sharpens observation, makes exploring and learning pieces a dream and also raises exam marks! An action-packed but supportive class.
Restricted to 6 active participants. Grades 2-6
Saturday 29th March 2014 (14:00 – 17:00)
The Six EssentialsSt Jude, Halifax
Prof. David Baker
A concentrated class to a small group of starter-organists, studying pedalling, fingering, hymn playing, simple improvisation, repertoire and sight-reading. Prof. David Baker helps you lay strong foundations for fast, fun development as a musician on the organ.
Restricted to 6 active participants. Level: Grades 0-4.
Thursday 29th May 2014 – Friday 30th May 2014
Heredia to Cabanilles: the Iberian Peninsula 1580-1710San Juan Bautista, Marchena, Spain
Andres Cea Galan and Dr Nicholas Prozzillo
Two classes on historic Spanish organs near Seville, given by Andrés Cea Galán, performer, teacher, recording artist and author of numerous publication on Spanish organ repertoire, and Dr Nicholas Prozzillo, Betts Assistant in Organ Studies at Oxford University and a teacher for RCO Academy Organ School. Classes will cover Spanish music 1580-1710, thus appealing to FRCO written paper candidates, with practical tuition plus registration guidance. En-suite low-cost accommodation for your one-night stay is available locally.
Restricted to 12 active participants. Level: Grade 8 to diploma; lower grades welcome as observers and also to play if space permits.
All prices quoted are inclusive of VAT @ 20%