Advent highlights

For December, rather than review additions and amendments to the website, I thought I would highlight some of the very the many organisations that support young organists. The Organ Manual’s various social media accounts celebrated these during the season of Advent and listed below is the summary:

1 – PipeUp!

PipeUp supports young organists across Salisbury Diocese. Provides lessons at reduced rates (thanks to the Tindall Trust), mentoring and superb opportunities to play some magnificent Organs as well

2 – POTS

Oundle for Organists – Pulling Out the Stops (POTS) is a beginner course (up to and including grade 5) and those who have never played the organ before, but have achieved at least Grade 4 on the piano.

3 – YOST

YOST is a scheme that runs across the UK providing lessons and access to practice instruments for young organists. Once able, they are affiliated with a church where they play services regularly gaining valuable experience. 

4 – Halifax Organ Academy

Halifax Organ Academy holds regular organ days, master classes, seminars, performances, lecture recitals, provides workshops for school children, offers bursaries and scholarships and helps find organ teachers!

5 – TOSE in a day

The RCO organise a number of courses. ‘TOSE in a day’ is for Teenage organists. If offers focused tuition across a range of disciplines which organists need to master. Check out their website for more info!

6 – Hereford Training Scheme

Hereford Diocese run an inter-denominational scheme aiming to enhance and improve the skills of church organists or new comers to the instrument. It offers advice, support, lessons and experiences.

7 – Jennifer Bate Organ Academy

The Jennifer Bate Organ Academy course is for 14 – 21 year old girls. Held in Bramley it teaches a wide range of skills including accompaniment, improvisation and ensemble performance.

8 – Diocese of Leeds Music

The Diocese of Leeds offer organ (some subsidised) lessons to students of all ages in the area. It’s so successful they’ve recently advertised for more teachers!

9 – Beds and Herts Organ Association Training Scheme

The Young Organists’ Training Scheme run by Beds and Herts Organists Association provides funding for students aged 10-25 to learn to play the organ with a professional teacher. Bursaries finance 36 x 30 min lessons a year for the student and lots more!

10 – Newbury and District OA

Newbury and District Organists Association run an introductory organ lesson scheme. Their site has more information available and will soon have details for 2020.

11 – RSCM Pipeline Organ Scholarship

The RSCM run a Pipeline Organ Scholarship scheme across the UK. Students benefit from lessons, support from the church they learn in, a music allowance, access to a practice organ and more.

12 – Organ Club

Did you know The Organ Club have student membership? They organise trips, recitals, masterclasses and The London Organ Competition each year.

13 – RCO Courses

The RCO have a wide variety of courses to help organists fund their learning. Scholarships, bursaries and awards are available so they are accessible to all.

14 – Viscount Organs

Supporting young organists are Viscount Organs. They’ve provided organs for the Diocese of Leeds training scheme, are looking at providing another 5 elsewhere and recently installed practice organs at Kings College Cambridge.

15 – Oundle for Organists

Oundle for Organists organise a summer course for those ready to move on from POTS. With trips to Cambridge colleges and classes in all aspects of organ playing from renowned organists it is well worth attending.

16 – Scholarships and Bursaries

The Organ Manual lists many scholarships and bursaries available to organ students.

17 – St Andrews Organ Week (2019 details)

St Andrews Organ week is one of the leading organ courses in the UK for amateur and young organists. Participants enjoy a mixture of one-to-one and group tuition, lectures, workshops, masterclasses and concerts.

18 – Scots Organ

This scheme in Scotland encourages keyboard players to try the organ. With the support of an adviser and monitoring through the scheme it is hoped competent organists of the future are created.

19 – RCO CAM Qualifications

The RCO introduced The Certificate of Accredited Membership (CAM) as an early level certificate scheme designed to establish and strengthen fundamental skills and musicianship at the organ. There are three levels to progress through.

20 – RSCM Organ Scholarship Course (2019 details)

The RSCM run a three day crash course for cathedral organ scholarship students. It covers vital skills needed for successful service accompaniment and sessions on all areas like safeguarding, copyright and how to step up into a professional role.

21 – Scholarships – Choir and Organ

Choir and Organ  have a comprehensive list of schools, colleges, cathedral and more that offer organ scholarships in the UK.

22 – Surrey Organists Association

For pianists to learn another instrument and those who reluctantly have been asked to step in when no organists is available, Surrey Organists Association have a scheme. Also available through the scheme is an initial set of free-of-charge lessons and a small grant towards music.

23 – ABRSM

For those looking at taking exams, the ABRSM now start them for the organ at grade 1. Perfect for organists who are just getting to know the manuals.

24 – The Organ Manual

The organisations listed are just a representation of resources available for organists. The Organ Manual has details of all the above and many, many more organisations and sites which are there to help, encourage and support organists of all ages and levels of experience.

I very much look forward to continuing to promote the King of Instruments in 2020. Thank you so much for following and being part of this process with me.

Happy New Year

Best wishes



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