The last six months have seen a marked increase in the level of interest in home practice organs, both new organs and pre-loved used organs.
In the main, this has been fuelled by churches being closed due to Covid, which has meant that without a practice organ, many organists will not have been able to play for most of the last six months.
In fact, during the course of the year, acquiring our home practice instruments have meant that several students have managed to obtain scholarships to Oxbridge colleges next year! The father of one such organists says…..
‘Can I just say that your generous support of Dominic has been absolutely brilliant. We are really sure that having the organ from Viscount has enabled Dominic to reach the standard that he needed to achieve to get an offer (Organ scholarship to Downing College). Otherwise, it would have been very difficult even in a non-Covid situation, let alone the current circumstances to achieve the necessary practice and intensity. So thank you very much’
However, there are many other reasons for having a high-quality instrument at home and we thought we might share some reasons and benefits with you here.
Six reasons for buying a digital home practice organ
Here are our top six reasons why every organist should have a practice organ at home. We’re sure there are loads more reasons why people would like to have an organ at home. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
1. It’s cold and dark outside!
Not such an issue in the warm spring and summer months, but when it gets to cold and wet winters it can be difficult to summon up the enthusiasm to get to an unheated, dark church where the organ may well be out of tune. And the building so cold that perhaps only 30 minutes playing can be tolerated.
A digital organ at home will allow you to practise when you want, for as long as you want, and without having to book time at a church or taking a step outside – particularly in times of lockdown!
2. Parental time restored
We often meet dedicated parents who devote many hours a week transporting their child to church and then staying there for the practice time. A practice organ at home offers back some parental freedom and fewer miles travelled in the bus or by car.
3. Multiple voicings for more authenticity
Most Viscount organs sold in the UK have an English stop list and voicing as standard. However, it might be that you want to play some Bach with more authentic German voicing or maybe some Widor with a French voicing. Viscount digital organs allow you to change easily from English to Baroque, Romantic, or Symphonic voicings at the touch of a button.
See the video below how you can modify a voicing style on an Envoy, Regent and Sonus organ.
Whether you are learning, or even if you are a more seasoned or professional organist, a very useful thing to be able to do is to critique your performance by recording it and playing it back. You can then check phrasing, balance, articulation, etc. in order to be able to improve your performances.
Most Viscount organs have an easy-to-use recording device built-in and you can even save those performances to a USB key if you want.
It might be that your home practice instrument needs to be kept in a room with multiple use. All Viscount organs have a headphone socket allowing you to use headphones for private practice and without disturbing others.
Interestingly, this is not a facility that comes as standard on some other instruments.
6. Small footprint
Some of our home organs have very small footprints, taking up no more (or even less room) than a standard upright piano. One such instrument is the Chorum 40-S which is our most popular home practice organ.
Help is at hand choosing a home practice organ
We have just received a large pre-Christmas delivery from the Italian factory and so we have a wide range of digital organs suitable for home practice ready to go.
We have arranged this specifically in order to pre-empt a price rise from Italy in January, and also to mitigate any additional import charges which may be levied as a result of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
Please give us a call (+44 1869 247 333) or send an email to find out more, or to book a Covid-safe visit after lockdown.
I have played the church organ since the age of 11. I am organist at my local catholic church as well as accompanist for a small choral group and keyboard player in a function band. I am committed to ensuring Viscount customers get industry leading service and advice, resulting in the very best organ to suit their needs, be it church, school, home or concert hall.
Ronald Shillingford says
Having recently moved house it was my goal to get a decent practice organ for home use. I have been an organist for over 40 years and regularly play at a catholic church as well as other churches and crematoria when called upon. I knew the Viscount organs were my best bet as they are the most realistic organs with flexible voicing. There was no doubt in my mind that having heard and played the latest Physis technology this was my first objective. The second was an organ that was comfortable to play with everything placed where you would expect to find it. So l was delighted to purchase a Envoy 35SV and it was personally installed by my friend Jeremy Meager who has had over 30 years years experience in the organ business. I can highly recommend these organs they are a delight and joy to play.
Jenny Ashton-Jones says
Please can you send me a price list of the Viscount Chorum S40 I am organist and need to practice at home. Thank you.
Jonathan Clinch says
Thanks. An interesting read. Digital instruments are so frequently marketed as ‘practice’ organs, as though you shouldn’t dare to give ‘a performance’ on one. I wonder when they’ll become an instrument in their own right.