When you complete this course, you will have deepened your skills and understanding in the following ways.
This course consists of three units and three played assignments. Each unit contains between three and seven lessons, a Speedback assignment or two, and an exam. Each lesson contains a reading assignment, usually based on a section from one of the textbooks. Study Guides for each lesson will help deepen your learning of the material and prepare you for the Speedback assignment and the exam at the end of each unit. There are three exams total for this course—two midcourse exams and a final exam.
Begin the course by working on unit 1, lesson 1, “Organ Registration Fundamentals—Review.” Follow the study guide closely, taking careful notes. After you have completed all lessons in the unit, review your study guides. When you feel that you are ready, take the Speedback assignment. Use the detailed feedback that you will receive as you review the topics that you missed. This will help you prepare for the midcourse exams.
While you work through lesson 1, begin working on Played Assignment 1. Throughout the course, practice the played assignments alongside your work on the three units, arranging for lessons with your local organ instructor as often as needed. Whenever you are ready, arrange with the approved evaluator to pass off the entire played assignment, or send a video recording to your course instructor.
Make sure that you are enrolled in the level that is right for you. Level 3 is early intermediate—for those with substantial training and fluency in the basic organ fundamentals listed in Level 2. Level 3 students should feel comfortable with the playing skills and understand the music theory topics covered in Levels 1 and 2 (see below).
Level 1 offers beginning organ instruction—for pianists with little or no previous formal organ training, or who need help in applying what they have learned in their organ playing. It is also very helpful to those who have played the organ for years but wish to “fill holes” in their organ training. Level 1 covers basic organ technique, early-level repertoire, basic organ registration, and sight-reading single-line melodies. It also begins developing organ accompaniment and transposition skills. Music theory topics covered in Level 1 include the overtone series, musical notation (including note names, clefs, ottava sign, accidentals, enharmonic notes, chromatic scale, whole and half steps) rhythmic concepts (including duple, triple, and quadruple meter; simple and compound time), note values and rest values, metronome indications, tempo indications, and time signatures.
Level 2 reviews the basics taught in Level 1 and deepens them significantly. Level 2 is designed for those with organ training, but who would benefit from a review of basic legato organ technique, repertoire, hymn playing, and registration. Because Level 2 develops the ability to sight-read two-part music, students should already be able to sight-read single line melodies. Music theory topics covered in Level 2 include harmonic and melodic intervals, numerical classification of intervals, compound intervals, classification of intervals by quality, inversion of intervals, enharmonic intervals, structure of the basic scales, modes, the keynote, structure of the major scale, use of accidentals to form major scales on any note, the minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic), diatonic and chromatic intervals, key and tonality, major key signatures, relative keys, minor key signatures, use of accidentals to form the various minor scales, the circle of fifths, enharmonic keys, parallel keys, the tertian system, triads (basic, major, minor, diminished, augmented), and triads generated by major and minor scales.
While it is possible to “catch up” during this course on a few concepts or skills that you may have missed from earlier levels, avoid enrolling in a course that may be too difficult to complete in time. If you feel that you have enrolled at the wrong level, contact Independent Study to request a change of course. If you are unsure, contact your BYU faculty organ course instructor.
You will need the following materials to complete the course.
BYU Organ Faculty Resources
In addition to the materials you will receive from BYU Independent Study for this level, other resources are available on the BYU Organ Study home page. Make use of this internet resource as you continue organ study. This website will be updated frequently with new and interesting organ related resources, some of which are designed specifically for BYU Independent Study organ students.
Don Cook, your BYU organ faculty course instructor, can answer most of your questions dealing with the subject matter of this course. Feel free to contact him at 801-422-3260 or by email at Don_Cook@byu.edu.
After thoroughly studying each lesson, you should complete the corresponding Speedback assignment. Speedback assignments consist of a series of multiple-choice questions formatted for immediate computer (Internet) processing and feedback.
Most Speedback assignments may be completed with or without the aid of lesson materials. However, these concepts will be included in the written midcourse and final exams, which should be completed without using any materials for assistance. Whatever procedure you choose, strive for complete understanding of each concept.
When you are satisfied that the assignment represents your best work, submit it through Web-Grade for immediate grading and feedback.
Carefully review any feedback you receive and work on gaining a full understanding of any unclear concepts. Use the feedback as part of your preparation for the midcourse and final exams.
This course includes three played assignments. You must submit unit 1 before playing Played Assignment 1 for an evaluator. For details on the content of the played assignments, see “Preparing for the Three Played Assignments” section in this syllabus.
Prepare Played Assignment 1 by practicing the organ technique, organ repertoire, hymns, and sight-reading items required for that assignment. This process usually requires several weeks or months. When you are ready, follow the instructions given under “An Approved Evaluator” in the “Preparing for the Three Played Assignments” section of this syllabus.
There are two other ways to complete the played assignments: playing for a qualified evaluator and sending a video recording to BYU.
Each of the three played assignments consists of up to four sections--organ technique, organ repertoire, hymn playing, and sight-reading. The evaluator will make point ratings for all sections on manual technique, pedal technique, accuracy of notes, and accuracy and steadiness of rhythm as applicable. In addition, he or she will evaluate certain sections for tempo, registration, musical effectiveness, and line (meaning consistent touch, clean articulation, musical phrasing, parts independent yet cohesive). You must complete the midcourse and speedback assignments for lessons 2–9 to access Played Assignment 2; also lessons 2–11 for Played Assignment 3.
It is your responsibility to select an evaluator and make an appointment to play the assignment for him or her. You are responsible to pay an appropriate fee to the evaluator at the time of your appointment. Although fees vary widely, an hourly rate of $30 is often appropriate. This fee should be paid directly to the evaluator at the conclusion of the session, which usually requires about ninety minutes. If the BYU course instructor is chosen (in person or via video recording), no fee is required. In seeking out a qualified evaluator, choose from these three options:
When you meet with the evaluator, do the following:
IMPORTANT: In order for your instructor to post the grade, you must complete the Played Assignment Overall Grade assignment found under the Played Assignment module in your online course.
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The midcourse exams, which consist of 50 multiple-choice questions and 35 multiple-choice questions respectively, may be taken only after completing the respective lessons that they cover. Played Assignment 1 must be passed before you can complete the first midcourse exam, and Played Assignment 2 must be passed before you can complete the second. In order to space your studies throughout the year, plan to complete the first midcourse exam no later than six months into the course. See the Midcourse Exam Preparation section of this course for further information. When the results for the written midcourse exams are returned from Independent Study, carefully review any topics that are recommended to gain a full understanding of any unclear concepts. Use this feedback as part of your preparation for the final exam and to strengthen your foundation for further organ study.
After passing the midcourse exams to your satisfaction, complete the new lessons that are covered in the final exam (lessons 11–13) and complete Played Assignment 3. The final exam, which consists of 35 multiple-choice questions, may be taken only after all midcourse exams, played assignments, and Speedback assignments have been completed. In addition to the new lessons, be sure to review those lessons from the midcourse exams that will be covered again in the final. See the chart below and the Final Exam Preparation section of this course for further information.
All assignments must be submitted and graded before requesting the final exam.
The grading scale below used for all assignments, exams, and for final grading is as follows. A grade of D- (70 percent) or above is required on all assignments and exams in order to pass the level.
Your four Speedback assignments are worth 5 percent each (20 percent of your total grade). The three exams are worth 10 percent each (30 percent of your total grade). The played assignments are worth 15, 15, and 20 percent respectively (50 percent of your total grade).
Unit 1: Organ Registration Fundamentals Review
Midcourse Exam 1
Unit 2: Music Theory
Midcourse Exam 2
Unit 3: Music Theory
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BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.
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4 computer-graded assignments, 3 played assignments, each may be resubmitted once for a fee. The grading scale used in organ certification for all assignments, exams, and for final grading is as follows: a grade of D- (70%) or above is required on all assignments and exams in order to pass the course.
3 proctored, multiple-choice, computer-graded exams, may retake each once for a fee. A grade of D- (70%) or above is required on all exams in order to pass this course.
Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor. You can find a list of free tutors available to BYU Independent Study students on the Free Tutoring Services website.
Note: The Harold B. Lee Library website provides a number of online resources and librarians are available via phone, chat, and email to answer questions about library-related issues.
All course materials (e.g., outlines, handouts, syllabi, exams, quizzes, media, lecture content, audio and video recordings, etc.) are proprietary. Students are prohibited from posting or selling any such course materials without the express written permission of BYU Independent Study. To do so is a violation of the Brigham Young University Honor Code.
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Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah 84602-1514