Derby and District Organists’ Association
Children and the Organ
The project aims to introduce young children to the fascinating world of pipe organs
through practical workshops and fun activities. The building and playing of organs
being such multi-
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The project team, consisting of DDOA members, offers to primary schools a practical workshop based in a local church. The activities allow pupils to:
Hear and see a pipe organ being played by a professional organist
Have a go on the organ themselves
Find out about how sounds are produced
See how the mechanics work
Enjoy a live musical experience
Understand how the organ is played.
The project involves a visit to a local church and is aimed primarily at pupils aged
9 –11. It has been carefully developed in consultation with experienced teachers
and the Derbyshire Music Service. The pipe organ is a rich source of learning
experience for children which is related to the National Curriculum. In particular
our project encompasses many aspects; music, science, technology, art & design and
What do the pupils actually do?
We start by listening to the organ, usually at full blast, which is very exciting and sweeps many children off their feet. We then usually have a brief explanation of how an organ works, using a mini organ, real pipes and including listening games and other simple activities to engage the pupils.
In the ’follow up’ session pupils split into smaller groups and engage in a variety of activities that deepen their understanding of what they have already experienced.
PLAN OF A TYPICAL SCHOOL WORKSHOP
GROUP ACTIVITIES -
1. PEDAL POWER Pedalling with a solo pedalboard
2. HOW IT WORKS Inspecting the inside of a mini-
3. PLAYING THE ORGAN Feeling the manuals, pedals and operating stops
4. HOW IT LOOKS Organising pipes in an organ case
5. ORGANIST IN CONTROL Interactive presentation showing how many tasks organists perform when playing