Southern Nevada Chapter
of the
American Guild of Organists



Education and Outreach

The Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Guild of Organists to pleased to offer an exciting outreach program to piano teachers and their students. We extend an open invitation to provide an "exposure hands-on" session to the organ for your studio of piano students. Sessions can be scheduled any time during the year and at a time which is convenient for you and your students. Here are the particulars:

"Organ-izing from the Piano"

•Open to piano students in your studio of ANY age. All of your students, if they can play a piece, no matter the level, they can participate.
•Only students and their parents from your studio will be included in your session.
•A professional member of the Chapter will provide the session which will include a brief explanation about the organ, the kinds of sounds available, some background of the particular pipe organ being visited, and questions and answers.
•The studio teacher will be actively engaged in the session
•The major objective and major portion of the session will be devoted to giving each student an opportunity to play the organ.
•The sessions are designed so that the student will have a chance to play the piece first on the piano and then, with assistance from the facilitator, perform the same composition on the organ. It's fun and eye-opening!

We can arrange the sessions in just about any part of the Las Vegas Valley, any time of the year that works for your studio, and WITHOUT CHARGE, of course. All we ask is that your students be well-prepared to play and have a good time. This could be an excellent activity to plan for your students soon after they have performed in a studio recital. You may bring from 10-20 students for a session, part or all of your studio. If you have more than twenty students who would like to come, we can arrange two sessions, perhaps back-to-back the same day at the same location.
Teachers and students have been enthusiastic about this program. We'd love to have the opportunity to serve you and your piano students.


The piano students from the studio of Martha Sparks at Nevada School of
the Arts had a very special treat on Saturday, February 22nd. They were
invited to play the piano and the lovely pipe organ at All Saints Episcopal
Church in Las Vegas. Leading the session was Dr. Paul Hesselink, Dean of
Nevada School of the Arts, and also a wondrously accomplished organist. He
told the students and their parents the history of this particular organ,
how organs are built, how the sound is produced, and in general, what makes
them "tick." Parts of the casework of the instrument were removed so the
inside mechanisms of the organ could be seen. Then came the golden
opportunity. Since the session was called "Organ-izing from the Piano,"
students first played a prepared piece on the piano and then immediately
played the same piece on the organ. Dr. Hesselink was close at hand to aid
them in experimenting with the manuals, the stops, the cymbelstern (bells)
and the various sound combinations. They all seemed quite comfortable at
this new-found instrument. The students ranged in age from six to fifteen.
Of the seventeen students and their parents who attended, thirteen were
brave enough to try the organ. This was truly an unforgettable experience
and several students have asked, "When do we get to go again?"
"Organ-izing from the Piano" is a program sponsored by the Southern
Nevada Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. The objective of the
program is to "introduce" piano students of all ages to the pipe organ. The
sessions are designed for individual piano studio teachers and their
students and can be scheduled at practically any time convenient to the
teacher and the students. If you would like to provide your students with
this experience, you may call Paul Hesselink at 702 242-1940 or send an
e-mail to Of course, there is no charge for having the
workshop for your piano students. Parents are encouraged to attend as well.
Martha Sparks

(Published in the April 2003 newsletter of Las Vegas Music Teachers


On March 22nd, three families in Shireen Beaudry's Studio spent the
morning on a field trip: first to the piano concerto auditions, and then to
All Saints Episcopal Church to hear and learn about the new Cook tracker
pipe organ.

Dr. Paul Hesselink was on hand to help us view the organ, explain
its parts and how they are assembled. Each student performed a piece on the
piano, followed by performing it on the tracker, while Dr. Paul had fun
arranging the registration for each piece to show off both the concept of
the piece and the flexibility and variety of the organ and its sounds. The
children and their parents thoroughly enjoyed the experience. as I did; we
all had many questions which Dr. Paul was happy to answer.
If you wish your students to have this experience, contact Dr. Paul
Hesselink, home phone: 702 242-1940; e-mail:
Shireen Beaudry

(Published in May 2003 newsletter of Las Vegas Music Teachers

Transplanted Pianist Workshop

This yearly workshop is planned for pianists who are called into service
to play the organ in their churches. It is designed for those with
little or no organ training.
Topics discussed include basics of the organ, registration, hymn playing,
easy preludes and postludes, ideas for beginning use of the pedals and
resources for music and additional help. We also discuss the differences
between playing electronic and pipe organs. There is also time for
individuals to come up to the organ and try a technique they have not
previously used.
Our next workshop will be held in February or March 2004. Contact Jan
Bigler at 702-898-5455 for further information or to be put on our
mailing list.