In November, the Office of Liturgy announced the formation of an archdiocesan Organist Training Program:

What is the Organist Training Program?

Many older organists and music directors are retiring, and pastors often express difficulty in finding suitable replacements.  Sometimes, pianists are hired to play the organ without having studied the unique characteristics of the instrument.  This includes many young Catholics, who wish to apply their musical talents to their parish music programs.  The Organist Training Program seeks to provide such keyboardists with the skills and training to successfully serve as an organist in a parish setting through a low-cost, goal-oriented, and flexible pedagogical structure.  Lessons are taught by members of the archdiocesan Music Commission and other highly-qualified organists throughout the archdiocese.

How much do lessons cost?

Each semester (September-December; January-May; June-August) of instruction consists of 10 half-hour lessons. The cost for each semester is $400.00.  A student is encouraged to seek the sponsorship of his/her pastor and parish, but a student may also pay his/her own tuition.  Payments are made directly to the instructor.

Is certification offered?

The organist training program offers two certificates which serve as evidence of skills achieved.  The “A Certificate” is granted when the student is able to play, with a minimum number of mistakes, a sampling of service music and psalmody representing his/her parish repertoire, along with five hymns selected from a prescribed list.  The “B Certificate” places more emphasis on organ repertoire of the masters. There is no minimum timetable for the completion of either certificate. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace.

How does one register or find out more information?

Prospective students may register online for the Organist Training Program at no cost.  For more information, contact the Office of Liturgy.